An Oyo State High Court has ordered the Federal Government to pay Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, the sum of N20 billion.
The money is compensation for exemplary and aggravated damages against the activist during the invasion of his house by the Department of State Service (DSS).
Justice Ladiran Akintola of Oyo State High Court declared that the raid conducted by the DSS on Igboho’s residence was illegal, describing it as arbitrary aggression and prejudice against the activist.
In his response, one of Igboho’s lawyers, Pelumi Olajengbesi said the adjudication process would build the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary.
He said, “This is succour and an assurance that Nigerians can return to court to seek justice. With this judgement, the system has built confidence.
“This is also a strong warning to DSS that they are not bigger than the law.
“It is a signal that it is not good to take laws into their hands and jeopardise the interest of citizens. Igboho will also be glad about this. It is a confidence-building judgement for us.”
Sunday Igboho has been having a running battle with the Federal Government over his agitation for the declaration of a Yoruba nation,
His home at Soka, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, was invaded by men from DSS at about 1:30 am on July 1, 2021, leading to the arrest of 12 of his aides with 2 casualties reported, while Igboho managed to escape arrest.
Following the raid, Igboho sued the Federal Government and demanded damages, asking 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 car.
He also demanded another ₦500 billion for the exemplary and aggravated damages of breaching his fundamental rights with the malicious invasion of his house.
Igboho also asked for an order directing the Federal Government and the other respondents to tender a public apology in two national dailies.
Igboho filed the application, through his lawyer, Yomi Alliyu, to 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.
The respondents listed on the application filed on July 22 before the Ibadan Division of the Oyo State High Court were the Attorney General of the Federation, the State Security Service, and the Director SSS.
Igboho also sought an order from 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 jewellery and wristwatches, 2 mobile phones, and other items yet unknown but which were allegedly carted away by the SSS.