Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Nine lawyers and another person, have approached a Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the Labour Party, LP, its candidates, and supporters from conducting a pro-Peter Obi rally in Lagos.
The plaintiffs include: Adedotun Ajulo, Salamatu Lewi, Hakeem Ijaduola, OgunbonaAkinpelu, Owolabi Oluwasegun, Mogbojuri Kayode, Wuyep Nadom, Dimimu Mabel, Kolawole Salami, and Wale Lawrence.
Ikengaonline checks revealed that the rally tagged “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally,” is scheduled for October 1, 2022.
But the plaintiffs prayed the Court to stop the rally from holding on October 1 or any other date, in Lagos State, alleging that it was an extension of the #EndSARS protest.
They prayed the court to restrain the LP’s presidential candidate Peter Obi; his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally, until the hearing and determination of their motion on notice in the suit.
Defendants in the suit are 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 the Governor of Lagos State.
The plaintiffs in an ex-parte application before Justice Daniel Osiagor, through their counsel, Mr. Dada Awosika, SAN, are contending that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will cause a breakdown of peace and will result in a post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
They urged the court to issue 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 October 1, 2022, or any other subsequent date, at the Lekki Toll Gate until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in the suit.
Meanwhile, Justice Osiagor directed the plaintiffs to put all the defendants on notice and adjourned hearing on substantive suit till September 23, 2022.
In a swift response, Chairman of Labour Party in Abia State, Mr Ceekay Igara, said the action was borne out of envy.
He, however, said that no amount of envy would stop people from loving Obi.
The Labour Party boss said that the said rally was being proposed by fans of Obi and not the Labour Party, adding that by the time the ban on political campaigns is lifted Lagos and other parts of Nigeria will witness massive rally for Obi.
He said that the ‘Obi movement is a national movement that cannot be stopped by anybody.”
Igara also frowned at futile attempts by politicians who feel intimidated by Obi’s rising profile and swelling support to link him with #EndSARS protest.