Lawyer sues Obaseki, IGP for banning rallies

The Executive Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu have been dragged to court by a lawyer identified as Emankhu Isibor Addeh for banning political rallies and demonstrations in Edo State.

Filing a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/123/2020 before a Federal High Court, Abuja, the lawyer identified as Addeh stated that a complete ban on political rallies and demonstrations violated his fundamental rights.

The claimant is seeking a declaration that the respondents’ act enforcing the ban was unlawful and violated his fundamental rights as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution and Article 11 of African Charter on Human and People’s Right Act.

He is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents and its men, officers, and agents from restricting any and all persons from freely associating with one another for lawful purposes including political reasons.

He is also seeking, “A mandatory injunction against the respondents jointly and severally, its men, officers, and agents to immediately stop enforcement of the complete ban on all political rallies, demonstrations or procession in any part of Edo State.”

He also asked the court for a further relief of “N100million being aggravated damages against the respondents jointly and severally for the unlawful restriction of applicant’s fundamental rights to associate freely with other persons for lawful purposes”

Addeh averred that Obaseki’s proclamation of December 13, 2019, banning all political activities and rallies was akin to illegality taking away freedom of association in the state, which contravened the constitution.

The claimant in his 21-paragraph affidavit attached to his motion on notice, stated: “It is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional for the respondents to brazenly violate the constitution by banning all political rallies.

“By provisions of Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the court can sanction any person for brazen violation of the constitution, including the award of aggravated damages.”

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