An Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, Friday ordered the federal government and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) to pay N20billion to the pro-Yoruba self-determination activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had on July 1 invaded the Ibadan residence of Adeyemo, who is currently in detention in Cotonou, Benin Republic, leading to the arrest of 12 of his aides.
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Justice Ladiran Akintola, who delivered the ruling, described the action of the DSS as “arbitrary aggression and prejudices” against Igboho and awarded N20bn as exemplary and aggravated damages.
But speaking on the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja Friday, Malami announced that the judgement would be appealed.
NAN quoted Malami as saying, “Efforts are already being made to commence the process of appealing the judgement.”
Igboho’s lawyer, Chief Yomi Aliyu (SAN), had challenged the federal government and sought, among other things, a restraining order for the federal government and security agencies not to intimidate, harass, arrest and freeze his bank account.
In his judgement, Justice Akintola dismissed the preliminary objection of the respondents, which challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.
The judge said, “In the absence of any evidence that Nigeria was in a state of war, the style and procedure adopted by the second and third respondents and their agents in this case is highly condemnable, repressible, crude and most unprofessional.
“With the benefit of the hindsight, given the number of guns, arms allegedly recovered from the premises of the applicant on the fateful night, relative to the harms, damage and deaths, plus trauma inflicted on, not only the applicant, his households, guests, and neighborhood, it is very doubtful if it worth the exercise at all.
“It was not only the applicant that would have been traumatised by the overzealousness and recklessness of the second and third respondents and their agents, the entire neighbourhood of the applicant’s residence was thrown into serious squabbles and troubles.
“The style adopted by the second and third respondents in the case should be condemned in strongest possible terms, especially even the fact that they are maintained by the Nigerian taxpayers. Yet they did not hesitate to unleash such mayhem on a Nigerian citizen, who has not been pronounced guilty of any crime by any court of the land.”