By Uche Amunike
The Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that the planned ‘ObiDatti’ rally which was scheduled to hold on October 1st by Obi’s supporters is not allowed to hold at their earlier planned convergence at the Lekki tollgate.
The judge, Daniel Osiagor, while giving the order to the organizers of the rally, not to gather at the toll gate, stated that they were however, allowed to March through the toll plaza and head to other locations. For security reasons, he directed that the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police should ensure compliance of the order.
Judge Osiagor came on the day political parties were to officially begin their campaigns nationwide.
Nine lawyers and ten plaintiffs had approached the court, asking that the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, as well as their running mates are restrained from holding their planned rally, which is tagged #Obidatti23 ForwardEver#, in Lagos.
Their argument was that it would bring about a breakdown of law and order as well as a repeat of the Endsars incident where soldiers opened fire at peaceful and unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
The defendants however, filed a notice of preliminary objection, seeking to stop the court from hearing the motion on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction and adjourned the case till November 4th for hearing and also to enable parties in the suit to be served.
Among the plaintiffs are: Adedotun Ajulo, Salamatu Suleiman Lewi, Hakeem Ijaduola, Ogunbona Akinpelu, Owolabi Oluwasegun, Mogbojuri Kayode, Wuyep Mantim Nadom, Dimimu Mabel, Kolawole Salami, and Wale Abe Lawrence, while the Ist to 10th defendants in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1729/2022 are Mr Obi, LP, Mr Baba-Ahmed, Mr Abure, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (Lagos State Command), Director-General (Department of State Services), Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, Attorney-General of Lagos State, and The Governor of Lagos State.
The argument made by the plaintiffs in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1729/2022 was that a repeat of the ‘infamous ENDSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally will bring about a breakdown of law and order, which will cause a post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
They demanded four reliefs from the court, namely: ‘An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants; their associates and loyalists from conducting the scheduled END SARS Rally tagged as the “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally on the 1st of October, 2020 or any other subsequent date, at the Lekki Toll Gate until the hearing and determination of the Motion-On-Notice dated September 12, 2022.’
‘An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants and their loyalists from further planning and promoting the Scheduled END SARS Rally tagged as the “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally’…
‘An order of interim injunction restraining the 5th 6th, 7th Defendants from allowing or granting permissions to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants, their agents, and the organizers of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” at the behest of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants from carrying out the said anniversary on the 1st of October, 2022 and any other subsequent date…’
‘An order of interim injunction restraining the 8th Defendant (LCC) from granting permission to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants; their agents, privies, allies, and loyalists, to make use of the Lekki Toll Gate or any space under and within the control of the 8th Defendant for carrying out the said anniversary on the 1st of October, 2022 and any other subsequent date…’