The Counsel for the Department of State Service (DSS), Idowu Awo, has told the Federal High Court that the case file relating to the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement application filed by the aides to Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, was stolen by armed robbers.
Mr Awo on Wednesday told Justice Obiora Egwuatu that his colleague who was bringing the case file to court had boarded a vehicle belonging to armed robbers commonly known as ‘one chance,’ and they took all valuables including the documents.
Leaning on this premise, the counsel sought an adjournment of the case.
Awo’s plea today came after the 12 associates of pro-Yoruba agitator Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, instituted a rights enforcement suit against the DSS for being paraded on the media as common criminals.
The suit by Igboho’s associates sought a declaration of court that their detention beyond 48 hours and their media parade without a court conviction constituted a breach on their fundamental rights.
All 12 applicants have also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the DSS from interfering with their personal liberty and freedom of expression.
They also prayed for an order granting the sum of 100 million for aggravated and exemplary damages against the DSS for what they term a serial breach of their constitutional rights.
After hearing all sides, Justice Egwuatu ruled that the file of the fundamental rights suit before the court be returned to the registry for reassignment to the regular court.
This, according to the judge, was predicated upon the fact that the annual recess of the High Court is now drawing to a close.
The Department of State Services (DSS) has defied a court order to produce the 12 detained aides of Yoruba-nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the DSS to produce in court on July 29, the 12 aides who have been in their custody since July 2, 2021.
Their case was expected to proceed regardless of the annual court vacation slated to begin on July 26.
But since the DSS failed to bring the aides before the court on Thursday, the case has stalled yet again, with Justice Egwatu now issueing another order, asking the DSS to produce the 12 aides in court on Monday, August 2.
While giving the order, he stressed that when a court of competent Jurisdiction, gives an order, such must be respected and obeyed.
The Counsel to Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), has alleged that his client is going through harrowing torture and pains, having been put in chains in a police cell in Cotonou, the capital of the Republic of Benin.
The Senior Advocate who spoke to our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele last night also disclosed that Igboho would appear before a court in Benin by Wednesday morning, for an extradition order.
Igboho was arrested on Monday by the security forces at an airport in Cotonou while trying to flee to Germany. He had earlier been declared a fugitive by the Department of State Services (DSS) and asked to turn himself in.
There were speculations that Igboho had been released by security operatives in the neighbouring West African nation, however, the counsel said his client was still in custody.
Mr Alliyu however stressed that rather than being releases, “Igboho is being treated like an animal in the cell “based on an order from the above.
“I got a call from a reliable source from the authorities in the Republic of Benin that Sunday Igboho has been put in a very dehumanizing condition in a police cell in Cotonou.
“The police source told me that they are under instruction by an order from above that Igboho should be chained like an animal waiting to be slaughtered. He told me that Igboho was tightly chained to the floor and he is in serious pain.
“While I was talking to the police officer on the telephone, I could hear our client crying and asking that the chains should be removed as he is in pain. But the officer told him that they cannot remove the chains as they are acting on instruction,” the lawyer said.
Alliyu, also restated that the extradition order being sought for by the Nigerian authorities may not likely sail through, given the status of Igboho as a political offender.
“I know that our client, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho Oosa), would be taken to a court in Cotonou, the capital of the Republic of Benin, tomorrow, Wednesday.
“The Nigerian authorities and security operatives that arrested him would be approaching the court for an extradition order to bring Sunday Igboho back to Nigeria.
“But it is not likely that the extradition order being sought for would sail through. This is because of the status of our client as a political offender who enjoys immunity against extradition.
“Like I said in a press release earlier today, even his arrest by security operatives was against the political nature of his offense.
“There is an existing extradition treaty between four West African countries, including Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Republic, which grants Igboho immunity from being extradited from the Republic of Benin.
“The Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, and Republic of Benin excluded political fugitives. It also states that where the fugitive will not get justice because of discrimination and/or undue delay in prosecution, the host country should not release the fugitive.
“Article 20 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to which the four countries are signatories made agitation for self-determination a fundamental right to be protected by all countries,” he said.
Raid on Igboho’s house and arrest of Yoruba Nation Agitators
On July 1, the Department of State Services (DSS) said a team of joint security operatives raided the home of Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho in Ibadan, arresting 13 of his armed men.
DSS Spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya in a briefing with journalists said the raid was based on intelligence that Igboho was stockpiling arms to cause chaos within the region.
Afunanya said when the security operatives approached the house, they were attacked by nine of Igboho’s boys who engaged them in a gun duel but were subsequently overpowered.
According to him, two of Igboho’s men were killed while an operative sustained injuries, however, Igboho escaped during the gun battle and is currently on the run.
Afunanya who said the long arm of the law will still reach Igboho, urged the agitator to turn himself in or be tracked down.
The 13 suspected armed agitators that were arrested consist of 12 males and 1 female. A large cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered by the operatives.