For failing to pay the N20.5 billion awarded to him as cost of damages in the suit against the July 1 invasion of his residence, embattled Yoruba nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), has sued the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Department of State Services (DSS).
The application is one of the two filed by his lead counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), at an Oyo State High Court, which ordered the secret police to pay him N20.5 billion in aggravated damages and another N500 million in cost for invading his Soka, Ibadan home on July 1.
Two persons were killed during the invasion and Adeyemo’s valuable belongings were allegedly taken away by the DSS operatives.
The court had held that the invasion was illegal, adding that Igboho did not violate the constitution by campaigning for Yoruba nation. In the judgment, given by Justice Ladiran Akintola on September 17, the court also agreed that Igboho was being hounded for his agitation for Yoruba nation.
Instead of paying the huge sum, however, the DSS filed an application for stay of execution and an appeal against the judgment.
While filing an objection to the stay of execution, Igboho filed a second application for garnishee nisi against the CBN to pay the N20.5 billion to the applicant out of Federal Government’s purse with the apex regulatory bank.
Alliyu argued that neither the appeal nor stay of execution application affects an application for garnishee.
At the sitting on Monday, the court agreed and granted the garnishee order.
The matter was, however, adjourned for CBN to come on January 12, 2022 to show why the court should not make the garnishee order absolute.
In the DSS’ motion to stay the execution of the damages, it argued in its affidavit that paying the huge sum would plunge Nigeria into further economic woes, adding that it would make the judgment of appeal of little or no effect if paid now.
The DSS also argued that Igboho is currently a fugitive in Republic of Benin, who would be unable to refund the huge sum should the judgment of the appeal court nullifies the award.
But, Alliyu faulted the claim in his objection, saying that Nigeria’s budgets are in trillion Naira mark in recent years.
He also noted that the Office of the National Security Adviser under which the DSS operates gets N136 billion budget annually, which makes it very possible to pay only N20.5 billion.
The senior lawyer also argued that DSS’ claim that Igboho is a fugitive amounted to contempt of the court in view of the fact that the court had declared him free of any constitutional violation in the September 17 judgment.
Igboho is currently held in Cotonou, Benin Republic on the order of the Nigerian government for the purpose of extradition.