The Department of State Security (DSS) has been ordered by Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court to pay N20 billion to Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) for unlawfully invading his Soka, Ibadan home on July 1.
Akintola awarded the sum as exemplary and aggravated damages against the secret police in the suit filed by Igboho in which he is seeking N500 billion damages for the invasion.
The court also declared the invasion illegal and tongue-lashed the DSS for acting based on what he described as “arbitrary aggression and prejudices” from his agitation for the Yoruba nation.
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 of ₦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 was 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 judgment would build the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary.
He said, “This is succor and an assurance that Nigerians can return to court to seek justice. With this judgment, 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 jeopardize the interest of citizens.
“Igboho will also be glad about this. It is a confidence-building judgement for us.”