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DSS versus Igboho: FG to appeal N20bn high court judgment

Abubakar Malami

The Federal Government says it will appeal against the judgment of an Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion in damages against the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) for the purported invasion of Sunday Adeyemo’s residence by the DSS on July 1.

The court sitting in Ibadan had awarded the amount in a fundamental human rights suit brought by the self-styled Yoruba nation activist, Adeyemo, also known as Igboho, against the defendants for the invasion of his residence in the Soka area of the Oyo State capital.

The AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the Federal Government would appeal the judgment, and that already the process of appeal had begun.

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Igboho’s counsel, Yomi Aliyu (SAN), had filed an N500 billion fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the AGF, DSS and Director of State Services in Oyo State, over the incident.

Aliyu also claimed that his client’s house and cars were damaged, while two occupants of the house were killed by the security agents.

But, counsel to the AGF, Abdullah Abubakar, argued that there was no evidence before the court that the blood seen in the video clip tendered by Aliyu belonged to a human being.

Abubakar also urged the court to disregard the exhibit and dismiss the entire suit because there was nothing in the video clip that indicated that the house that was invaded belonged to Igboho or linked the AGF with the invasion.

Counsel to the DSS, T. A. Nurudeen, aligned himself with the submissions of the counsel to the AGF insisting that there must be proof from a haematologist to show that the blood seen in the video belonged to a human being.

Nurudeen also tendered a video clip which was admitted by the court where Igboho allegedly threatened to create the Oduduwa Republic, while urging the Yoruba to protect themselves with charms and guns.

Delivering his judgment on Friday, Justice Ladiran Akintola said the style and procedures adopted by the DSS in the incident was unprofessional.

Akintola said that the applicant had demonstrated to the court that his fundamental human rights to personal liberty, right to life and blocking of his bank account amounted to violations of his rights.

He awarded the sum of N20 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages in favour of the applicant against the respondents and N2 million cost for instituting the case.