The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has asked the Oyo State High Court to strike out the suit of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, arguing that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case.
This was contained in a notice of preliminary objection to the suit brought by Igboho, pursuant to Sections 251 (1)(R) of the 1999 constitution, Order 2, Rule 1 and 2, Order 8, Rules 1 and 2, and Order 9, Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, Order 3, Rule 1 of the Oyo State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2010.
Counsels to Malami, led by Mr Abdulahi Abubakar, filed the objection along with a motion on notice which they moved at resumed hearing of the case in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
In the motion on notice, the AGF asked for time extension to enable him file the preliminary objection, counter affidavit and written address in opposition to Igboho’s application. But the motion was opposed by Igboho’s lawyers, led by Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), on the grounds that extension of time could not be applied because time is of essence in the nature of the suit.
With Alliyu were Mr Adekola Olawoye (SAN), Oladipo Olasope (SAN) and seven other lawyers.
Alliyu argued that the law stipulates that replies shall be given within five days, stressing that Malami had nowhere to hide because the case is about fundamental human rights.
He said by filing the motion on notice, Malami had called for the discretion of the court. He, therefore, urged Justice Ladiran Akintola to exercise discretion instead of granting Malami’s application.
In his preliminary objection to Igboho’s suit, Malami argued that the claims for unlawful killing of Igboho’s aides can not be brought under fundamental human rights enforcement procedure, adding that claims for damages and unlawful invasion of Igboho’s residence in Ibadan, on July 1, can also not be resolved by way of affidavit evidence without calling witnesses, among others.
The application read in part: “The claims of the Applicant for unlawful killing, tort of trespass, assault and battery cannot be brought under Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.
“Claims for damages for invasion of House, unlawful killing, tort of trespass, assault, battery and allegation for discrimination and secessionist cannot be resolved by way of affidavit evidence without calling for witnesses, tendering of documents and even a likely visit to locus in quo.
“Complete action of the Federal Executive Agency cannot be reviewed by this Honourable Court (State High Court).
“That this Honourable Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit
“In view of the above and same should be struck out.”
Counsel to second and third respondents, Department of State Services(DSS) and the director of DSS in Oyo State, Mr T. A. Nurudeen, did not oppose the application
After listening to both parties, the Justice Akintola allowed Malami’s lawyers to move his application.
In his ruling, Justice Akintola allowed Malami’s application and awarded N50,000 cost against the AGF and his team.
Hearing was adjourned till August 30.
Igboho is seeking an order of the court to declare invasion of his Ibadan residence by operatives of Department of State Security (DSS) on July 1 as illegal and infringement on his fundamental human rights. He wants the same order foe his aides and guests who were arrested and taken to Abuja by the DSS men.
An order restraining the DSS or any other security agency from arresting or harassing Igboho still subsists. Justice Akintola gave the order on August 4.