Former President Olusegun Obasanjo travelled to Benin Republic to discuss Yoruba Nation agitator, Mr Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, with the Beninoise leader, Patrice Talon.
The Cable quoted top sources in the diplomatic circle to have said Obasanjo first travelled to Zanzibar, an island in Tanzania, on August 1 to smokescreen his final destination.
He was said to have later rerouted to the Francophone country.
The former president was said to have travelled to Benin Republic to condole with Nicephore Soglo, a former president of the country, who recently lost his wife, Roseline Soglo in Cotonou.
The former Beninoise president and Obasanjo have maintained a warm relationship over the years.
Soglo is one of the African leaders who intervened at the time the Abacha regime arrested and jailed Obasanjo in 1995.
“Former President Obasanjo travelled to Zanzibar on August 1. Perhaps to conceal his trip; he rerouted to Benin Republic,” the newspaper quoted one of the sources to have said.
“He was to condole with former President Soglo who recently lost his wife.”
According to the newspaper, another source who was also privy to Obasanjo’s trip said, “He also met with Patrice Talon. The purpose of the meeting was to seek softlanding for Sunday Igboho.
“He’s asking the Beninoise authorities to grant the separatist leader asylum, and not to return him to Nigeria.
“The former president intervened on the request of some south-west leaders.”
Igboho was arrested by Beninise security forces alongside his German wife, who was later released, while attempting to flee to Germany. He has been in detention in Cotonou since his arrest.
The Cable said an aide of Obasanjo confirmed the former president was in Benin Republic, though the former president was said to have since returned to Nigeria.
When Sunday Tribune spoke to Igboho’s lawyer, Chief Yomi Aliyu, he said Obasanjo could have gone to the French-speaking country over Igboho’s matter.
“Igboho’s matter concerns everybody and it is imperative for anybody who is a leader of Yoruba to be interested in Igboho’s case.
“Baba could have gone there to mention Igboho. He will tell you the truth. Obasanjo is highly respected by Igboho and he is about the only person who can call Igboho to order.
“It is not possible for Baba to go there and President Talon won’t ask Obasanjo for his opinion about Igboho.
“I have no iota of doubt that he must have mentioned Igboho’s matter if he went to that country. Igboho’s matter concerns all Nigerians.
“In our legal team, we have Hausa and Fulani lawyers that we are jointly defending Igboho. It is not a Yoruba matter alone,” he said