The Federal Government may file a fresh action against Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (also known as Sunday Igboho), following the judgment of Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion in damages in his favour, PUNCH reports.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told NAN in New York that the Federal Government may file fresh charges against the agitator.
The judge, Ladiran Akintola, had awarded the money as “an exemplary and aggravated damages” against the AGF and the Department of State Services, over the invasion of Igboho’s home in Ibadan on July 1.
However, Malami said the position of the Federal Government on the judgment was about “law and jurisdiction”.
“As far as this matter is concerned, which court is it that has the jurisdiction to determine it? And as you rightly know, obedient to court orders and court judgments,” he said.
“But then you have to understand within the context of such obedience that there are associated rights and interests that are vested in the Federal Government.
“Inclusive of rights of appealing against a judgment, inclusive of right to file an application for settingaside the purported judgment and order.
“And indeed, inclusive of the possibility of filling a fresh action if indeed the jurisdiction of the court that was alleged to have indeed handed that judgment is an issue.
“So, we are doing the needful in terms of looking at the law as it exists and then working within the context of the law in ensuring that justice is done as far as the contending issues between the parties are concerned,” the minister was quoted as saying.
The court had awarded N20 billion against DSS for the “illegal” invasion of Igboo’s home in Ibadan on July 1.
The invasion led to the arrest of 12 Igboho’s aides, while Igboho managed to escape arrest.
Following the raid, Igboho sued the Federal Government and demanded ₦500 million as special damages for the damage done to his house and his car and another N500 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages.
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.
Reacting to the judgement in a statement by its spokesperson, Maxwell Adeleye, the umbrella body of the Yoruba self-determination Group, Ilana Omo Oodua, asked the DSS to pay the N20 billion damages in the interest of peace.
The statement was titled, ‘N20 billion Fine Against DSS: Verdict Symbolises Triumph of Light, Truth Over Gladiators of Illegalities – Ilana Omo Oodua’.
Part of the statement read, “We thank the judiciary for re-affirming that self-determination is one of the fundamental human rights of the citizens that cannot be subjugated.
“Our position is that this verdict symbolises the triumph of light and truth over darkness. Ighoho represents the light and truth, while the Nigerian state stands for illegalities.
“Our position now is that the Nigerian Government should be honourable by respecting the verdict of a court of competent jurisdiction. The #20billion damages ordered by the court to be paid to Ighoho by the DSS must be paid with immediate effect in the interest of peace.”