The Squirrels carved out the Eagles with a number of chances in the first half; the cross bar coming to the rescue on one occasion.
The referee pointed to the spot and Mama Seibou scored the penalty to give Benin the win in the game.
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The Eagles looked content to absorb the pressure in the early stages of the game but ended the first half stronger, carving some chances and causing panic in the hosts' vital area.
Both teams face off in the return leg in Kano on Saturday, with the overall winners qualifying for the finals taking place 11 January - 2 February 2018 in Kenya.
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As the Eagles continued to see more of the ball, Ibrahim Alhassan, in the 75th minute, waltzed his way into the box but tripped at the crucial moment.
However, with just minutes to full time, Nigeria's hesitant defending presented the home team a lifeline via a penalty and they gladly made the most of it to hand them a slight advantage going into the reverse clash.
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