An Oyo State High Court has awarded the sum of N20 billion as aggravated damages against the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami( SAN), and Department of State Services(DSS), in the suit filed by Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho.
Justice Ladiran Akintola gave the order on Friday while delivering judgement in a N500 billion suit filed against Malami and DSS over the invasion of his Ibadan residence, on July 1.
In the suit, Igboho, through his lead counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), had sought the orders of the court declaring the invasion as a violation of his fundamental human right, damage of his property as a violation of his fundamental right to peacefully own property and wealth as well.
Delivering judgement, Justice Akintola granted all the 16 reliefs sought by Igboho, saying: “The applicant led credible and unchallenged evidence against the respondents.”
“The respondents did not deny the invasion of the applicant’s residence, rather they notified the invitation on mere allegation of suspicion. Suspicion cannot take the place of law, no matter how strong it is.
“The ugly show of crude fire power by the respondents or their agents, leaving deaths, carnage and destruction behind should be condemned,” the judge held.
Justice Akintola also held that the invasion of Igboho’s residence in the middle of the night without a warrant violated his fundamental human rights to property, life and family under section 35 (i) (a-c) of through 1999 constitution.
He said: “In the absence of any evidence that Nigeria is in a state of war, the action and overzealous conduct of the agents of the 2nd and 3rd respondents should be condemned in strongest possible terms.
“If the identities of the agents of the 2nd and 3rd respondents were known, they should have been made liable for action.”
Justice Akintola further said that the 2nd and 3rd respondents were silent on how the arms and ammunitions allegedly paraded in Abuja were recovered from Igboho’s residnece.
“It is difficult to believe that thr arms and ammunitions were recovered from his residence because there is no evidence to that effect,” the judge said.
According to Justice Akintola,the judgement would serve a lesson to government agencies who are fond of infringing on the fundamental human rights of citizens.
He also awarded N2 million as cost to the applicant.
Reacting, Igboho’s lead counsel, Alliyu, said the victory for democracy and the rule of law.
He said: “We now see that we have to go back to the motto of NBA, and that is exactly what happened today, which means, where there is a damage, there is a remedy. We can see the language used by my learned and lord, Justice Ladiran Akintola, and you heard what I said in court that today’s case is history and lawyers yet unborn will refer to it as you are referring to previous cases.”