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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.
The PUNCH reported that 10 plaintiffs, including nine lawyers, had asked the court to restrain the party, 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), the party and its candidate asked 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 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.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the party on Monday described as unfortunate an attempt by what it called a fifth columnist striving to link the proposed five million-man march in Lagos to activities of #EndSARS organisers.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi, said this in an interview with our correspondent.
This is even as the Lagos chapter of the party vowed to go ahead with the solidarity march for Obi with or without a police permit.
Arabambi described the proposed march as a peaceful rally which had been misconstrued as a covert agenda by proponents of #EndSARS to unleash a fresh reign of violence in Lagos.
The secretary of the Lagos chapter of the party, Sam
Okpala said, “As far as the Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party is concerned, we are going to hold our five million-man march and the rally will hold on October 1, 2022, in conjunction with our support groups.”