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Court Thrashes Nigeria’s Attorney General, Malami’s Request To Dismiss Igboho’s Suit

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An Oyo State High Court in Ibadan has rejected a request by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to stop hearing a suit instituted against the Nigerian Government by Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemi, aka Sunday Igboho.

Igboho had filed a suit challenging the invasion of his house in Ibadan on July 1 by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), also known as secret police.

Malami had in his motion on notice raised a preliminary objection against Igboho’s suit.

According to Malami, the Oyo State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

The Attorney-General was represented in the court on Wednesday by a team of 10 lawyers led by Abdulahi Abubakar. On the team were Adekola Olawoye and Oladipo Olasope.

Malami asked for an extension of time to enable him to file further processes in opposition to Igboho’s application but the motion was opposed by Igboho’s counsel, led by Chief Yomi Alliyu, who argued that time is of the essence.

Alliyu argued that the law stipulates that replies shall be given within five days, stressing that Malami had nowhere to hide because the case is about fundamental human rights.

He also pointed out that by filing the motion on notice, Malami had called for the discretion of the court.

He, therefore, urged Justice Ladiran Akintola to exercise discretion instead of granting Malami’s application.

Counsel for the second and third respondents (the DSS and the Director of DSS in Oyo State), T. A. Nurudeen, did not oppose the application.

After listening to both parties, Justice Akintola allowed Malami’s lawyers to move his application but awarded N50,000 cost against the Attorney-General.

He adjourned the hearing to August 30.

Malami had in his preliminary objection, argued that the claims of unlawful killing of Igboho’s aides cannot be brought under fundamental human rights enforcement procedure.

He also argued that claims of damages and unlawful invasion cannot be resolved by way of affidavit evidence without calling witnesses, among others.

Igboho is, 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.

He wants the same order for his detained aides and associates.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday said a judge was on the ground to sign an August 4 bail warrant of the detained associates of the agitator issued by Justice Obiora Egwuatu.

The court blamed their counsel for failing to approach Justice A. R. Mohammed, who alternates as a vacation judge, for the release of the detainees.

Twelve associates of Igboho were arrested by the DSS when it raided the residence of the agitator in Ibadan on July 1. Two of his associates were killed during the raid.

The DSS accused Igboho of stockpiling arms and ammunition to wreak havoc in the country, an allegation the agitator has since denied.

Igboho escaped the bloody invasion of his home but was arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic some days later, while trying to travel to Germany.

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