Court awards N20bn damages against DSS for raiding Igboho’s house
Justice Ladiran Akintola of Oyo State High Court has declared the raid conducted by the Department of State Service on the residence of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, in Ibadan as illegal.
The court also ordered DSS to pay N20 billion to Igboho as exemplary and aggravated damages.
Akintola described DSS’ action as “arbitrary aggression and prejudices” against Igboho.
It was reported that the Soka, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, home of the pro-Yoruba self-determination activist was invaded by men from DSS about 1:30 am on July 1, 2021, leading to the arrest of 12 of his aides, while Igboho managed to escape arrest.
Following the raid, Igboho sued the Federal Government and demanded damages.
Igboho asked the court to order the respondents to jointly pay him the sum ₦500 million as special damages for the damage done to his house and his car and another ₦500 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages for beaching his fundamental rights with the malicious invasion of his house as well as an order directing the Federal Government and the other respondents to tender a public apology in two national dailies.
Igboho filed the application, through his lawyer, Yomi Alliyu, to enforce his fundamental human rights, pursuant to Sections 33-46 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and relevant articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
The application was filed on July 22 before the Ibadan Division of the Oyo State High Court.
Apart from the Attorney General of the Federation, the State Security Service, and the Director SSS, Oyo State were also listed as respondents.
Igboho also sought an order of the court directing the respondents to return all the items seized from the house.
He listed the items to include, N2 million cash, one thousand Euros, travel documents including international passports belonging to him and his family members, gold jewelry and wristwatches, 2 mobile phones, and other items yet unknown but which were allegedly carted away by the SSS.
Reacting, one of his lawyers, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said the judgement would build the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary.
He said, “This is succour and an assurance that Nigerians can return to court to seek justice.
With this judgement, the system has built confidence.
“This is also a strong warning to DSS that they are not bigger than the law. “It is a signal that it is not good to take laws into their hands and jeopardise the interest of citizens.