The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has restrained Peter Obi’s Labour Party (LP) and its supporters from using the Lekki Tollgate as a base to hold the ‘Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally’.
This followed a lawsuit filed by a group of legal practitioners, who sought to halt the rally, specifically in Lagos, Nigeria’s most popular metropolitan city, to avoid a reminiscence of the #EndSARS protest in 2020.
The lawyers, through their lead counsel, Temilola Awosika, had filed a motion at the Federal High Court, asking that Mr Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, be barred from using the Lekki Tollgate for their rally.
They told the court that holding the rally would cause a breakdown of peace and will result in post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1729/2022; Mr Obi, Labour Party, Mr Baba-Ahmed, the Inspector General of Police, police commissioner in Lagos, SSS director-general, Lekki Concession Company Limited, Lagos attorney-general and the governor of Lagos, were among those joined as defendants in the case.
Mr Obi’s supporters had fixed Friday, October 1, 2022, for the rally to draw support for their preferred candidate.
Ruling on Wednesday, Justice Daniel Osiagor asked the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, to ensure compliance with the court order.
Mr Osiagor held that while Mr Obi’s supporters cannot stop at the Lekki toll gate, they can pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues at which the rally plans to meet.
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.
The parties to the suit claimed they were yet to be served.
The Federal High Court later adjourned the hearing of the substantive suit to November 4, 2022.
Supporters of Mr Obi, who branded themselves as ‘Obidient’ have being holding rallies in Nigeria’s major towns, to garner support ahead of the 2023 general election.