September 08, (THEWILL) – Twelve associates of the self-styled Yoruba secessionist leader, Sunday Igboho, have instituted a rights enforcement suit against the Department of State Services (DSS) for parading them before the media as criminals.
The suit, filed on Wednesday before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court (a vacation judge), is seeking a declaration of the court that their detention beyond 48 hours and subsequent media parade without a court conviction constituted a breach of their fundamental rights.
The suit is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the DSS from interfering with their personal liberty and freedom of expression.
Similarly, the applicants prayed for an order granting the sum of N100 million for aggravated and exemplary damages against the security outfit for what they termed a serial breach of their constitutional rights.
There was, however, a dramatic development as the counsel representing the DSS, Idowu Awo, told Justice Egwuatu during the proceedings that the case file was stolen from a member of the legal team who was meant to bring it to the court.
According to him, his colleague boarded a vehicle on Tuesday that belonged to criminal elements, known as ‘one chance’, to whom she lost her personal belongings and the case file.
With the annual recess of the court ending soon, Justice Egwuatu ruled that the file be returned to the registry for reassignment to the regular court.
THEWILL had reported that the DSS had during a midnight raid on Igboho’s Soka house in Ibadan, Oyo state, arrested 12 of his aides and whisked them away to Abuja on July 1, 2021.
Hours after the incident, the DSS issued a statement that alleged that Igboho and others had plotted to wage a violent insurrection against the Nigerian state, calling on the Yoruba Nation agitator to turn himself in at the nearest security agency.
Igboho’s associates were later paraded and detained before eight of them were released by the DSS on August 30.
The security agency had, however, kept four others in custody, although the court granted bail to all 12 persons.
Last Friday, the DSS released two more of Igboho’s associates, bringing the total number of those that have left its custody to 10.