…files terrorism charge against two of secessionist leader’s aides
There was a mild drama yesterday at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja as the Department of State Services (DSS) told the court that some criminal elements, popularly known as ‘one chance’, have stolen its case file containing the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the 12 associates of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (aka) Sunday Igboho. At the resumed hearing of the case, counsel to the DSS, Idowu Awo, said the file, which contained the court processes served on the DSS by the aides, was stolen from a member of the service’s legal team.
He stated that the ‘onechance’ thieves snatched the case file from his colleague, who unknowingly boarded their vehicle. The 12 associates of Igboho instituted the rights enforcement suit against the DSS for parading them in the media as common criminals. In the suit, the aides are seeking a declaration of court that their detention beyond 48 hours and their media parade without a court conviction constituted a breach of their fundamental rights.
They are also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the DSS from interfering with their personal liberty and freedom of expression. The associates, however, prayed the court to order the DSS to pay them N100 million for aggravated and exemplary damages, for what they described as a serial breach of their constitutional rights.
The counsel to the 12 through their counsel, Timilehin Odunwo is also asking for an order restraining the DSS from any further harassment. The trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, however, ruled that the case file be returned to the registry for reassignment to a regular court. The court noted that since the court’s annual vacation was almost over; he would not have time to hear and determine the matter as a vacation judge. The court’s decision, the case file will now have to be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to a regular court. No date has been fixed for the next hearing.