A Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday granted an order restraining Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki from proceeding with his plans to bar residents of the southern Nigeris state from places of worship and other public institutions except they present themselves for vaccination against Cpvid-19.
The court gave the ruling in a suit filed by Mr Charles Osaretin against the Edo Governor and five others.
In arguing the motions in suit no. FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021, senior lawyer Echezona Etiaba urged the court to order parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for the enforcement of the applicant’s fundamental rights and for the leave of Court to serve the respondents by publishing the court processes on a national daily circulating in Nigeria.
The ruling has already been described by many as yet another case of judicial rascality with the court having no territorial jurisdiction.
The orders were granted as prayed, with the court adjourning the matter to the 10th of September for hearing of the substantive motion.
The court granted the request for the status quo to be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the motion, thus preventing the state government from enforcing the controversial order.
Reports suggest religious groups and associations across the state had unanimously condemned the order by the state government.
The governor is being accused of a brazen attempt to license worship in the state, and a show of misplaced priorities. Civil Society Organizations have also condemned the move as an act of government overreach and violation of the fundamental human rights of citizens.