Posted by News Express | 30 November 2013 | 5,362 times
The Government of the neighbouring Benin Republic has confirmed that it freed former Niger Delta militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, based on pressure from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. Dokubo-Asari was been arrested in Cotonou, the capital of Benin, on Tuesday.
“It was under pressure from the Nigerian head of state that the authorities freed the rebel chief on Friday at around midday,” Benjamin Agon, spokesman for Benin’s foreign affairs department, told Reuters.
The news agency quoted diplomats as saying that Cotonou had been investigating Asari’s business interests in Benin, a tiny cotton producing country. One of the diplomats said Asari’s group, the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), had been suspected of lending support to criminal activities in the Delta despite having reached a peace deal with the Nigerian government in 2004.
Dokubo’s lawyer Festus Keyamo confirmed the release and said his client was now in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Both the Nigerian government and Dokubo’s men have denied that he was flown back with a presidential jet. A spokesman for the former rebel leader said he travelled back to Nigeria today aboard an Arik Air flight.
Dokubo, who claims not to be a Nigerian and has repeatedly said he would like to see the country divided, has massive investments in Benin, including a university. The Niger Delta which cause he claims to be fighting reels from massive infrastructural deficit.
•Photo shows Dokubo.
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