Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, yesterday urged an Oyo State High Court sitting at Ring Road, Ibadan and presided over by Justice Ladiran Akintola to strike out a suit filed before it by Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba nation activist, on the ground that the court lacks the inherent jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The Attorney General of the Federation had, through his counsel, Abdulahi Abubakar, filed a ‘Notice of Preliminary Objection together with a ‘Motion on Notice’ to ask for an extension of time to enable him file his preliminary objection, counter-affidavit and written address in opposition to Sunday Igboho’s application. The two processes were moved before the court at the resumed hearing of the matter.
The AGF, in his preliminary objection to Igboho’s suit, argued that the claims of unlawful killing of Igboho’s aides cannot be brought under fundamental human rights enforcement procedure, while claims for damages and unlawful invasion of Igboho’s Ibadan residence on July 1 cannot be resolved by way of affidavit evidence without calling witnesses, among others.
Malami also argued that complete action of a Federal Executive Agency cannot be reviewed by a State High Court; therefore, the honourable court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
However, Sunday Igboho’s legal team led by Chief Yomi Aliyu, SAN, objected to Malami’s motion for extension of time on the premise that it is a fundamental human rights matter and extension of time could not be applied because time is of the essence in a suit of such nature.
He asked the court to exercise its discretion instead of granting Malami’s application.
Counsel to the Directorate of State Services, DSS, and the Director of DSS in Oyo State, which is the second and the third respondents respectively, did not object Malami’s application.
In his ruling, Justice Akintola allowed Malami’s lawyers to move his application, but awarded the sum of N50,000 as a cost in favour of Aliyu and his team.
The case was adjourned till August 30 for further hearing.