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State high court declares self-determination campaigns legal



By Chuks Njoku

An Oyo State High Court has declared that campaigns for self-determination by any group in Nigeria is legal and a fundamental human right.

Justice Ladiran Akintola, who delivered the judgement on recently iin a suit filed against the Federal Government by Sunday Adeyemo alias Sunday Igboho  said that with the combined provisions of international and domestic laws, Nigerians, including Igboho, had the unquestionable and inalienable fundamental right to campaign and agitate for self-determination.

You could recall that he earlier awarded N20 billion to Igboho against the Federal Government as aggravated damages over the invasion and destruction of his home by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) on July 1, 2021

Respondents in the suit were Attorney General of the Federation, the State Security Service (SSS) and Director, State Security Service, Oyo State.

Justice Akintola granted all the 16 reliefs sought by Igboho in the suit filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Chief Yomi Aliyu, SAN.
The reliefs include: “A declaration that the Federal Government’s resolve to prevent him from propagating his belief in ‘Yoruba Nation’ in association with others was against his fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience and association.”

Specifically, Igboho asked the court to declare that he and his Yoruba indigenous people had unquestionable and/or inalienable fundamental right to peacefully campaign and seek self-determination of Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and lobby the legislature to amend the CFRN, 1999 as guaranteed by Article 20 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2010, and Articles 3, 4, 7, & 18 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People made at its 107th Plenary Meeting of Thursday 13th September, 2007, thereby insulating campaign for self-determination from criminal culpability.
The court further held that the invasion of Igboho’s residence in the middle of the night without a warrant violated his fundamental human rights to property, life and family under section 35 (i) (a-c) of the 1999 constitution.