Gov aspirant sues Obaseki over ban on rallies

A  governorship aspirant in Edo State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emenkhu Addeh, has gone before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge Governor Godwin Obaseki’s directive, banning political rallies in Edo State.

Addeh,  a lawyer, is urging the court to declare that the ban placed on political rallies by Obaseki was unlawful and amounted to a violation of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution as well as  Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

He urged the court to perpetually restrain the governor and the Inspector-General of Police, who was joined as the second respondent,  “from maintaining, embarking on or restricting any and all persons from freely associating with one another for lawful purposes, including political purposes.”

Addeh said the ban, announced on December 13, 2019 by Obaseki through the Secretary to the Government of Edo State, Mr Osarodion Ogie, was taking a toll on his engagement with his political followers.

He said, “At all times before the 13th of December 2019, I had been involved in extensive personal as well as group sensitisation, within my party members and faithful in the Peoples Democratic Party, to mobilise support regarding my aspiration to contest primaries to pick the governorship ticket of my party scheduled for June 2020, so that I may fly the flag of my party in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State scheduled for September 19, 2020.

“I am unable to proceed with my already scheduled and organised membership rally and drive to sensitise PDP members towards the forthcoming primaries fixed by INEC for June 2020 because of the fear that thugs of the 1st respondent, supported by men and officers of the 2nd respondent.”

Addeh said he believed that in placing ban on political rallies in Edo State, Obaseki “exceeded the limits of his rights or authorities and should be stopped by this honourable court to forestall further violations of the applicant’s fundamental rights.”
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