It was learnt that the former militant leader, who claims to be a citizen of the tiny West African country, was arrested at about 1.00pm by the country’s gendarmes (police).
A statement by his lawyer and friend, Festus Keyamo, which confirmed the arrest, said Asari-Dokubo was picked up for no particular reason around the Lubeleyi roundabout and taken to “an unknown destination.”
Keyamo, in the statement on Tuesday, noted that Asari-Dokubo, a vocal supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid in 2015, had been residing partly in Benin Republic for many years, adding that the ex-militant even owns houses, schools and an academy in Cotonou.
The statement reads in part, “Today, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, my friend and client, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, was arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic, around the hours of 1pm and 2pm by the country’s gendarmes (police).
“He was picked up around the Lubeleyi roundabout and taken to an unknown destination. We want to emphasise that Alhaji Dokubo-Asari carries on legitimate business and has been living partly in Benin Republic for many years now. In fact, he owns houses, schools and an academy in that country. All these places have been searched as at this evening and nothing incriminating was found.
Keyamo expressed the conviction that “Dokubo’s arrest and detention are a ploy by certain forces in Nigeria in unholy alliance with the Beninoise government to keep him away as 2015 approaches”.
Keyamo stated that while he would be reaching out to his colleagues in Benin Republic to help in the enforcement of Asari-Dokubo’s fundamental rights, he called on the Nigerian government to immediately intervene and ensure that no harm befalls his client and “to use all diplomatic means to secure his immediate release and safe return to Nigeria”.