Igboho: Court Fines FG, Extends Restraining Order Against AGF, SSS

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Justice Ladiran Akintola of an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital, on Wednesday extended the restraining order in favour of a Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday “Igboho” Adeyemo, against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, State Security Service (SSS) and the Director of the SSS in the state.

The litigation was instituted by Igboho, following the bloody raid on his house in Ibadan in the early hours of July 1 by the SSS in collaboration with other security agencies. During the raid, two persons were killed and about 13 persons among Igboho’s aides were arrested during the operation and were later paraded in the evening of the same July 1 by the SSS in Abuja.

Justice also awarded a cost of N50,000 against the AGF over filing his response to the processes filed by Igboho out of time, though the legal team of Igboho had asked for a cost of N250,000. But the court granted the extension of time in the interest of justice.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) appeared for Igboho. They are Yomi Alliyu, Adekola Olawoye, and Oladipo Olasope. However, Abdullahi Abubakar appeared for AGF, while TA Nurudeen, appeared for second and third respondents.

The court had on Wednesday, August 4, granted a restraining order against the SSS and AGF from arresting, intimidating, harassing and freezing the bank accounts of Igboho.

The case with number M/435/2021, instituted by Igboho, against the trio of AGF as the first respondent, SSS as the second respondent, and Director of SSS in Oyo State as the third respondent.

Igboho’s lead counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu, SAN, who moved an ex-parte motion before the court on August 4, had on Friday, July 23, filed a notice of application for the enforcement of Igboho’s fundamental human rights before the court.

In the main suit, Igboho is also praying the court to order the respondents jointly and separately to pay him N500 billion as special damages for the damage done to his car and residence, as well as exemplary and/or aggravated damages for breaching his fundamental rights in the course of illegal and/or malicious invasion of his residence.

Giving the injunctions, Justice Akintola directed that both the AGF and the national headquarters of SSS should be served with the injunctions in Abuja, while the Director of SSS in Oyo State should be served in Ibadan.

The judge also gave the respondents 14 days to make an appearance before the court, before adjourning the case to August 18, for further hearing.

But counsel to the first respondent, Abubakar prayed the court for an extension of time for AGF to file his response to the processes filed by Igboho. Nurudeen, counsel to the second and third respondents, also aligned with the position of Abubakar, as he never objected to it. But lead council to Igboho, Alliyu, vehemently opposed the extension, saying the response should have been filed within five days of the receipt of the court processes.

But Abubakar and Nurudeen filed an application on their preliminary objections to the case, asking the court to vacate the restraining order, and strike out or dismiss the suit. The court, however, adjourned the case to Monday, August 30, this year, for a decision on the application.

In the notice of preliminary objections by the AGF, he challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case, adding that Igboho’s claim of unlawful killing, tort of trespass, assault and battery could not be brought under Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

The best respondents also said the claims for damages for invasion of house, unlawful killing, tort of trespass, assault, battery and allegation of discrimination and secessionist cannot be resolved by way of affidavit evidence without calling witnesses, tendering of documents and even a likely visit to ‘locus in quo.’

On the order not to freeze Igboho’s bank account, the AGF said the blocking of Igboho’s bank account ‘is a complete action of the second and third respondents, which can only be challenged before the Federal High Court, pursuant to Section 251 (r) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).’

In an interview with journalists after the proceedings, Igboho’s counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu, SAN, said:

‘In their motion, they are asking the court to extend the time within which they would respond to our processes. We vehemently opposed their application.

‘At the end of the day, the court, in the interest of justice, granted the application, and awarded N50,000 cost against them. The restraining order granted by the court on August 4 subsists until the application is finally determined. As long as this case goes on, the injunction stays. Although they brought an application that the order should be vacated. So, the court will decide on that on August 30, 2021.’

Meanwhile, Alliyu stated further that Malami, in the motion, has washed off his hands like the biblical Pontius Pilate that he did not have hands in the raid carried out by DSS on Igboho’s house, saying: ‘

The counsel in the processes he submitted, Malami said he is not a security agent. And his permission was not sought by the DSS before going to Igboho’s house. He said he did not know when SSS went to invade Igboho’s house and he did not send them. He said he is not Fulani.’

Credits: Daily Sun, News Express Reports.

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