Appeal Court nullifies N20bn damages against DSS on Sunday Igboho
The Ibadan Division of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday set aside the judgment which declared the attack on the house of Yoruba nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho illegal.
The court also nullified the N20 billion exemplary and aggravated damages awarded against the Department of State Security (DSS) for the attack, describing it as outrageous.
Justice Muslim Hassan, in his judgment, held that the Oyo State High Court lacked jurisdiction on the matter, adding that the judge should not have awarded damages based on his personal parameters.
Oyo State High Court in September 2021 declared the raid conducted by the Department of State Service on the residence of Sunday Igboho in Ibadan as illegal.
Justice Ladiran Akintola ordered DSS to pay N20 billion to Igboho as exemplary and aggravated damages.
Akintola described DSS’ action as “arbitrary aggression and prejudices” against Igboho.
DSS operatives in July 2021 invaded Igboho’s home, leading to the arrest of 12 of his aides, while the Yoruba nation agitator 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 Attorney General of the Federation, the State Security Service, and the Director SSS, Oyo State were listed as respondents in the suit.
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, two mobile phones, and other items yet unknown but which were allegedly carted away by the SSS.