The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss an application seeking to prevent his supporters from staging a walk in Lagos.
Recall that 10 plaintiffs including nine lawyers had asked the court to restrain the LP, Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, the party’s national chairman, Julius Abure, and their supporters from holding the rally.
Justice Daniel Osiagor subsequently adjourned the matter till Wednesday, September 28 after taking arguments from the parties on the mode of service of court processes, among others.
However, in a preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Mr. Alex Ejesieme (SAN), on Tuesday, the Labour Party and its candidate prayed the court to dismiss the application on five grounds.
They argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case. The defendants also argued that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to seek such an injunction in the first place, adding that it was an abuse of court processes.
“The subject matter of the plaintiffs’ suit is not within the jurisdictional purview of the Federal High Court. The plaintiffs have not disclosed any reasonable cause of action as to activate the jurisdiction of this honourable court.
“The plaintiffs do not have the requisite locus standi to institute and maintain this action thereby divesting this court of jurisdiction. The plaintiffs’ suit as presently contrived is speculative, conjectural and incapable of invoking the jurisdictional powers of this court,” Ejesieme argued.
Obi’s supporters known as the ‘Obidients’ have been marching in various cities in the country including Jos, Abuja, Ibadan, Umuahia and Jalingo.
However, the 10 plaintiffs lawyers in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1729/2022, filed an ex parte motion against the Lagos march.
The plaintiffs are: Adedotun Ajulo, Salamatu Lewi, Hakeem Ijaduola, Ogunbona Akinpelu, Owolabi Oluwasegun, Mogbojuri Kayode, Wuyep Nadom, Dimimu Mabel, Kolawole Salami, and Wale Lawrence.
They had argued 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 asked the court for four reliefs including an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants; their associates and loyalists from conducting the scheduled #ENDSARS Rally tagged, “#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 dated September 12, 2022.