The umbrella body of the Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), has described the verdict of the Oyo State High Court as ‘the triumph of Light and Truth over gladiators of Illegalities’.
An Oyo State High Court on Friday granted a relief sought by Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho and ordered the Nigerian government to pay him N20 billion.
The court also dismissed an application filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, challenging its jurisdiction to hear allegations against Nigerian government agencies.
In reaction, the Ilana Omo Oodua led by renowned Yoruba historian, Professor Banji Akintoye, thanked the judge for reaffirming, in the verdict, that self-determination is one of the fundamental human rights of citizens that cannot be subjugated.
A statement made available to journalists by the group's Communications Secretary, Maxwell Adeleye, urged the Nigerian Government through the DSS, to immediately pay the fine awarded in favour of Igboho as ordered by the court.
The statement reads: "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 N20billion damages ordered by the court to be paid to Ighoho by the DSS should be paid with immediate effect in the interest of peace.”
Igboho through his lawyer, Yomi Aliyu, had filed a suit challenging the invasion of his house in Ibadan on July 1 by operatives of the DSS, also known as the State Security Service (SSS) or secret police.
Igboho was, among others, seeking an order of the court to declare the invasion of his residence by DSS operatives as illegal and an infringement on his fundamental human rights.
The three respondents are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), as the first respondent, SSS as the second respondent and Director of SSS in Oyo State as the third respondent.
Counsel for the AGF, Abubakar Abdullahi had filed an application challenging the ability of a state High Court to hear the activities of Nigerian government agencies.
But citing several judgements by the Supreme and Appeal courts in respect of the ability of the state high court to hear such cases, Justice Ladiran Akintola said the invasion of the house of the applicant violated his fundamental human rights as stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
"Unfortunately, this court is not a Father Christmas and cannot award the sum of N500 billion as requested by the applicant but the court retrained the respondent from arresting or harassing the applicant. He has right to his free movement as contained in section 35.1 (a)(b) of the 1999 constitution as amended," he said.