An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Friday noted that every Nigerian has right to self-determination without being intimidated or harassed by the security agencies.

Justice Ladiran Akintola stated this while delivering judgement in a case instituted by the Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho against the Nigerian government and the Attorney General of Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Igboho

This followed the raid on Igboho's Ibadan residence on July 1 during which the Department of State Services (DSS) killed two persons and arrested 12 others. 

Aside from ordering the Nigerian government to pay Igboho a sum of N20 billion as compensation instead of the N500 billion demanded by the petitioner, the court restrained the Nigerian government from harassing, intimidating or arresting the separatist leader.

The judge dismissed the primary objection of the respondents which challenged the jurisdiction of the court in hearing the case.

Counsel for Igboho had approached the court in July to challenge the raid on his client’s house by the DSS.

While giving the judgement on the matter, Justice Akintola said, "First respondent files a notice of preliminary objection, objecting the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case on the grounds that the case cannot be brought under fundamental human rights, that the court lacks the jurisdiction.

"Having carefully considered the first respondent's notice of preliminary objection, together with written submission of the counsel on one hand, and on the other hand, having also considered the written submission of the learned senior counsel to the applicant respondent, this court is of the opinion that the fact of this case, as contained in the affidavit, and further affidavit in support of the originating notice, suggested that the second and third respondents and their agents, invaded the home of the applicant; that interference with the quiet enjoyment of the applicant of his house is trespass, and breached of the private and family life of the applicant.

"In the final analysis, this court finds no merit in the preliminary objection taken by the first respondent applicant in the originating application of the applicant for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, allegedly violated by the second and third respondents in this case. The same is consequently hereby dismissed.

"This court is unable to rule that the second and third respondents have a competent notice of preliminary objection before this court in this suit. The same is invalid and incompetent, not having been signed neither by the parties nor by their counsel in this suit. Consequently, the purported notice of preliminary objection is accordingly hereby struck out. The same is incurably defective and incompetent in law."

Speaking further on the main suit, Justice Akintola said, "The reckless and indiscriminate shooting undertaken by the second and third respondents and their agents, which resulted in the death of two persons of the applicant, was in itself, a threat to the life of the applicant. Nobody shoots guns in order of entertainment of people. Such a conduct has a serious potential of killing the victim, and at best constitutes a serious threat to the lives of the people.

"It is difficult to believe that the cache of arms and ammunition allegedly recovered from the residence of the applicant really came to bear. Even, for the sake of argument, the defence of the second and third respondents into the relief, that the presumed, they gathered intelligence, that the applicant was in possession of arms and ammunition at his residence, with which to cede the control of the South West to Lagos.

"In the absence of any evidence that Nigeria was in a state of war, the style and procedure adopted by the second and third respondents and their agents in this case, is highly condemnable, repressible, crude and most unprofessional. Every Nigerian has right to self-determination as enumerated in authorities earlier stated.

"With the benefit of the hindsight, given the number of guns, arms allegedly recovered from the premises of the applicant on the fateful night, relative to the harms, damage and deaths, plus trauma inflicted on, not only the applicant, his households, guests, and neighborhood, it is very doubtful if it was worth the exercise at all.

"It was not only the applicant that would have been traumatised by the overzealousness and recklessness of the second and third respondents and their agents. The entire neighbourhood of the applicant's residence was thrown into serious squabbles and troubles.

"The style adopted by the second and third respondents in the case should be condemned in strongest possible terms, especially given the fact that they are maintained by the Nigerian taxpayers. And yet they did not hesitate to unleash such mayhem on a Nigerian citizen, who has not been pronounced guilty of any crime by any court of the land."

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