Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, is demanding N5bn in damages from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Department of State Services (DSS), over the invasion of his house in the early hours of July 1 by DSS operatives.
Igboho, who is currently in detention in Benin Republic, filed the suit at the Federal High Court in Ibadan on Friday through his counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN).
During the raid, two of his associates were killed, while 12 others were arrested.
Igboho is contending that the invasion of his house in the Soka area of Ibadan, was malicious and also amounted to a violation of his fundamental human rights.
The agitator told the court that the DSS operatives stormed his residence at about 1 am on July 1 and “without announcing who they were or asking the applicant (Igboho) to open his gate, shot their way through, killing two people, including an elderly Imam doing Tahjud (vigil), shooting at cars, thereby destroying them and not sparing animals, like cats and dogs in total violation of the intendments of the fundamental human rights provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act.”
He said for two hours, they shot through the ceiling and roof of his house, depriving him of “the quiet enjoyment of his house for the period of the armed invasion of the said property.”
Igboho wants the court to order the defendants to return his personal belongings, which they allegedly carted away during the operations.
He listed the items as N2m cash, €1,000, travel documents, gold jewelry and wristwatches, an iPhone 12 mobile phone, Samsung mobile phone, and other items yet to be ascertained.
Igboho is also demanding that the AGF, the DSS and the DSS DG pay him N500m as cover for the damage done to his cars and house and another N5bn as “exemplary and/or aggravated damages for breaching the applicant’s fundamental rights in the course of the illegal and malicious invasion of his residence.”
In addition, the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator wants the court to declare that he has “unquestionable and inalienable fundamental right to peacefully campaign and seek for self-determination of Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and lobby the legislature to amend the 1999 Constitution.”
The court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.
Desperately wanted by the Department of State Services in Nigeria, with an international arrest warrant hanging around his neck, and facing immigration-related offences in Cotonou, the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, is seeking asylum in the Republic of Benin, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered that the 48-year-old activist resorted to the option after he was arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
Igboho was arrested with his Germany-based wife, Ropo, at the airport while they reportedly tried to catch a flight to Germany around 8 pm on Monday.
Although the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ruled on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her, Igboho is spending his first weekend in a police cell in Cotonou.
He is being tried for migration-related issues after he was allegedly caught with a fake Beninese passport at the point of his departure to Germany through an Air France flight.
“He (Igboho) was already at the airport with a passport. The immigration officers suspected his passport to be fake and so they stopped him. A passport was allegedly forged for Igboho in the Benin Republic for the purpose of the Germany trip. At the airport, they discovered he was the one,” a source familiar said.
The source, who craved anonymity, however, said although an application had been filed for Igboho as a political refugee in Germany, processes had also been completed to file another application for asylum for him in Benin Republic.
“Igboho has already applied for asylum in Germany and he hopes to file a similar application in Benin Republic in the coming days,” the source said.
The source also said that there was the possibility that the Beninese Government would drop the migration-related offences brought against Igboho over alleged forgery of passport.
The leader of Igboho’s legal team, Yomi Alliyu (SAN), had also in a statement noted that his client could not be extradited because the 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Benin and two other countries excluded political refugees like Igboho.
Meanwhile, upon their arrest, Igboho and his wife were detained in police custody in Cotonou but the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ruled on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her.
The court session lasted for about six hours with intermittent breaks.
The court, however, ruled that Igboho be remanded in police custody till the next date of adjournment which is likely to be next week.
Igboho spends weekend in Beninese cell, court resumes sitting next week
Although the Cour De’appal De Cotonou, adjourned the hearing of the case against Igboho, till Friday (yesterday), the hearing didn’t hold. The implication of this is that Igboho would spend the weekend in the Beninese cell.