The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Friday adjourned till September 28 to hear a motion for an injunction seeking to stop the Labour Party (LP), its candidates, and supporters from conducting the “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” on 1st October or any other date in Lagos.
Justice Daniel Osiagor fixed the date after taking arguments from the parties on the mode of service of court processes, among others.
In the suit, 10 plaintiffs, including nine lawyers, are asking the court to, among others, restrain the LP; its presidential candidate, Peter Obi; his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed; one Julius Abure; and their loyalists from holding the rally.
The plaintiffs include Adedotun Ajulo, Salamatu Lewi, Hakeem Ijaduola, Ogunbona Akinpelu, Owolabi Oluwasegun, Mogbojuri Kayode, Wuyep Mantim Nadom, Dimimu Mabel, Kolawole Salami, and Wale Lawrence.
The 1st 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.
When the matter first came up on 15 September, Mr Osiagor directed the plaintiffs to put all the defendants on notice and adjourned the hearing of the substantive motion till 23rd September.
At the commencement of proceedings on Friday, Romeo Ese-Michael and Kayode Mogbojuri appeared for the plaintiffs.
The first to fourth respondents were represented by a team led by Daniel Ibeagu whilst the eighth, ninth and 10th defendants were represented by Jonathan Ogunsanya.
Counsel to the first and third defendants objected to the mode of service but Justice Osiagor ordered they should be served in court.
The judge admonished parties to abridge time as the matter is of importance, noting that the motion on notice must be heard and determined before 1st October.
He further urged parties to avoid technicalities meant to frustrate such a sensitive matter and adjourned till 28 September for the hearing of the motion for an injunction.
The plaintiffs, in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1729/2022, filed an ex parte motion through their counsel Dada Awosika.
They argued 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 post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
They asked 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…”