Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the Labour Party (LP) and its supporters not to converge at the Lekki toll gate for its ‘#Obidatti23 Forward Ever’ rally scheduled to hold on October 1 2022.
However, he ruled that they can pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues.
Justice Osiagor also directed the Inspector General of Police and the Lagos State Police Commissioner to ensure compliance with the order.
Specifically, the court held that while the rally cannot stop at the Lekki toll gate, it could pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues at which the rally plans to meet.
The court made these orders while ruling on a motion for injunction brought by 10 plaintiffs, who had asked the court to, among others, restrain the LP, its presidential candidate Peter Obi, his vice Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally.
However, a preliminary objection filed by the defendants seeking to stop the court from hearing the motion on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction could not be entertained as all parties to the suit had not been served.
The court adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to November 4, 2022.
In the suit, 10 plaintiffs through their Romeo Ese Michael had asked the court to, among others, restrain the LP, Obi, Baba-Ahmed, Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally, until the hearing and determination of their Motion-On-Notice of September 12, 2022.
The plaintiffs were Adedotun Ajulo, Salamatu Suleiman Lewi, Hakeem Ijaduola, Ogunbona Akinpelu, Owolabi K. Oluwasegun, Mogbojuri Kayode, Wuyep Mantim Nadom, Dimimu Mabel, Kolawole Salami and Mr. Wale Abe Lawrence.
On the other hand, the 1st to 10th defendants were Obi, LP, Baba-Ahmed, 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 Governor of Lagos State.
In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs argued among other things that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” would cause a breakdown of peace and would result in post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
They had prayed the court for four reliefs:
“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”