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Appeal Court adjourns DSS suit against N20bn damages award to Sunday Igboho

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State has adjourned the case brought before it by the Directorate of State Services (DSS) challenging the N20 billion damages awarded to Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho, over illegal raiding of his house in the state.

As gathered, the DSS approached the court and demanded that the judgement delivered by the High Court in Ibadan be set aside and that the case be re-examined by the Appellate court to determine its credibility.

The security agency, on Wednesday at the court, also claimed that the case filed by Igboho which was premised on fundamental human rights was wrongly filed and that the case should have been on trespass by its personnel in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

Addressing newsmen after the court sitting, Sunday Igboho’s lead counsel, Yomi Alliyu, disclosed that the case has been adjourned for further hearing till a later date.

Alliyu stressed that the court promised that the new date would be communicated to all parties ahead to allow ample preparation before appearing it.

He described all issues raised before the court by DSS as tactics adopted to avoid paying the damages awarded to his client.

The counsel assured Sunday Igboho’s supporters that all efforts were being put in place to ensure that the Appeal court rule in support of the high court judgement.

Before the court adjourned the case, dozens of Sunday Igboho’s supporters had stormed the court in solidarity but were denied access, forcing them to protest outside and chant different songs to express their displeasure over the federal government’s actions.

They chanted: “What do we want? Igboho freedom. Do not kill Sunday Igboho. Do not kill Sunday Adeyemo, do not kill Sunday Adeyemo the way you killed Abiola.

“How many people DSS go kill, how many people DSS go kill, then go kill us tire, then go kill us tire, how many people DSS go kill. Yoruba nation, no going back”.

Earlier at the High Court, Justice Ladiran Akintola stated that it was unlawful for any government agency to invade a citizen’s home without acquiring any legal order.

Akintola, while faulting DSS actions, awarded N20 billion as compensation to Sunday Igboho and his supporters affected by the action on July 1st, 2021.

The judge stated that the sum was exemplary and aggravated damage against the secret police in the suit filed by Igboho in which he had to seek N500 billion damages for the invasion and killings of two persons.

Akintola also declared the invasion illegal and tongue-lashed the DSS for acting based on what he described as “arbitrary aggression and prejudices” from his agitation for Yoruba Nation.

The activist had dragged the government before court after the invasion of his by DSS at about 1:30 am on July 1, 2021, leading to the arrest of 12 of his aides, while Igboho managed to escape arrest.

In the suit filed through Alliyu, the Yoruba Nation agitator sued the Federal Government and demanded that the court award him certain compensation for the murder, unlawful arrest, and vandalism of his property.

Igboho asked the court to order the respondents to jointly pay him the sum of ₦500 million as special damages for the damage done to his house and his car and another ₦500 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages for beaching his fundamental rights with the malicious invasion of his house as well as an order directing the Federal Government and the other respondents to tender a public apology in two national dailies.

He asked that the court should help enforce his fundamental human rights, pursuant to Sections 33-46 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and relevant articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

It would be recalled that the application was filed on July 22 before the Ibadan Division of the Oyo State High Court.

Apart from the Attorney General of the Federation, the State Security Service, and the Director SSS, Oyo State were also listed as respondents.

Igboho also sought an order of the court directing the respondents to return all the items seized from the house.

He listed the items to include, N2 million cash, one thousand Euros, travel documents including international passports belonging to him and his family members, gold jewelry and wristwatches, 2 mobile phones, and other items yet unknown but which were allegedly carted away by the SSS.

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