By Onozure Dania – Ibadan
The Department of State Services (DSS) has told an Oyo State High Court sitting at Ibadan, that the Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho is currently undergoing the process of extradition back to Nigeria.
Igboho after being raided at his Ibadan home on July 1st, 2021, by operatives of the Department of State Services had escaped to Benin Republic en route Germany, but was arrested by the operatives of the Brigade Criminelle on July 19, 2021.
However, the Yoruba Nation agitator’s counsel, Yomi Alliyu, SAN, filed a N20.5 billion suit against the DSS on Igboho’s behalf at the High Court in Ibadan.
In a judgment delivered on September 28, 2021, by Justice A.L. Akintola, the court had ordered DSS to pay Igboho the sum of N20.5 billion naira as exemplary damages.
The DSS, in a 16 paragraph affidavit, in support of Motion on Notice, to stay the execution of the judgment of the court in suit No/M/435/2021 and an injunction pending the determination of the pending appeal sworn to, on behalf of the DSS by one of its operatives, Johnson Oluwole, and filed before the court on Monday, November 22, 2021, the DSS said that the Yoruba Nation agitator was currently undergoing extradition procedure to bring him back to Nigeria.
It said: “That it is a fact that the applicant Chief Sunday Igboho has been declared a fugitive by the Nigerian Police Force sometime in the month of June 2021.
“That it is a fact that the applicant was arrested on July 19, 2021, and he is currently in custody of the Beninese security agents, undergoing extradition procedure to come back to Nigeria.
“That it is a fact that one of the reliefs granted by the court is that the respondents should pay the plaintiff the sum of N20bilion.
“That it is a known fact that statistics has shown that the economy of the country is in a dire situation and is in the process of recovering from Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
“That it is a fact that withdrawing the whooping sum of N20billion from the country’s account will adversely affect the smooth running of the country.
“That it is a fact that the applicant is under investigation by the security agents for reasonable acts that is inimical to the corporate existence of the country.
“That it is a fact that until the applicant is extradited, charged and either convicted or acquitted by a court of law, the payment of the sum of N20billion might facilitate the allegations labelled against the applicant.
“That it is a fact that until the applicant is extradited back to the county the enforcement of the judgment especially the N20billon, will render a situation of helplessness on a positive judgment of the court of appeal,” DSS said.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, Igboho’s counsel, Yomi Alliyu SAN, filed two applications filed a preliminary objection and attached a sworn affidavit stating that it amounts to contempt of court to detain Igboho anywhere in the world at the instance of Nigeria after an order of Court that he should neither be arrested, detained or harassed by the Respondents.
Alliyu said that the budget of Nigeria runs into trillions whilst NSA gets over N136 billion annually; hence paying N20.5billion, can in no way affect NSA Office or the FGN.
He also told the court that the Respondents have not paid the sum of N20.5billion cost awarded. That all these constitute contempt of court.
In his response, counsel to DSS, counsel,P. O. Fabiyi, on sighting the preliminary objection said he came to withdraw their motion because the 1st Respondent has taken over the prosecution of the matter.
But the court reminded him that the AGF was always in the matter, then he said he needed time to put their house in order.
Alliyu also filled an application for Garnishee Nisi against Central Bank of Nigeria to pay N20.5billion to the Applicant out of Federal Government monies with CBN.
The learned silk argued that neither Appeal nor stay affects an application for Garnishee.
However, the Court agreed with the silk’s submission and granted the Garnishee Nisi, proceeding.
Consequently, Justice Akintola, adjourned the matter for CBN to come on January 12,2022, to show cause why the court should not make the Garnishee order absolute.