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Activist asks court to stop restriction of movement during elections

An activist, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, on Tuesday urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to declare as unlawful, the restriction of vehicular and people’s movements during elections.

Omirhobo and his non-governmental group, Incorporated Trustees of Malcolm Omirhobo Foundation are the first and second applicants in the suit.

They are suing for themselves and on behalf of the Nigerian public.

Joined as first and second respondents in the suit are the inspector-general of police and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

In his originating motion, brought under the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009, the applicant is seeking a declaration that the restriction of movement of citizens nationwide, during the 2019 general election, is a flagrant violation of citizens’ rights to freedom of movement.

He avers that it is a violation of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian public, to freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of expression as guaranteed by Sections 39, 40, 41, and 46 of the constitution.

He says it is therefore, illegal, unlawful, undemocratic and unconstitutional.

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The applicant also seeks a declaration that the police have no power under the laws of Nigeria, to breach the fundamental rights of the Nigerian public to freedom of movement, association and expression nationwide as they are guaranteed by the constitution.

Omirhobo seeks a declaration that the restriction of movement during the election, is not a law and that there is no law in force which is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society to warrant a derogation of the rights of citizens.

The lawyer, therefore, seeks an order of court, restraining the first respondent, his servants, agents or privies, from enforcing or implementing the restriction of vehicular movement of the Nigerian Public nationwide, during the conduct of elections.

He also seeks an order for the enforcement of his fundamental rights and those of the Nigerian public, against the respondents.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the originating motion. (NAN)

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