Court restrains Obaseki from enforcing compulsory COVID vaccination in Edo

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A federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, has granted an order restraining Godwin Obaseki, Edo governor, and the state government from restricting unvaccinated persons from attending mass gatherings from September.

The governor, who launched the second phase of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination exercise last week, had said those who cannot show proof of taking at least one dose of the COVID vaccine may not be allowed to worship in mosques and churches, banks, event centres and other public places from mid September.

“From the second week of September, people may not be allowed to worship in churches and mosques without showing proof of their vaccination cards at the gates. Similarly, people will not be allowed to event centres, receptions or parties, without showing proof of their vaccination cards,” the governor had said.

“People will not be allowed to access banking services from the middle of September 2021, if they are not vaccinated.”

Consequently, one Charles Osaretin filed a suit marked FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 against the governor and five others.

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The applicant through his counsel, Echezona Etiaba, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), asked the court to order parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice; for the enforcement of the applicant’s fundamental human rights, and for the leave of court to serve the respondents by publishing the court’s processes in a national daily newspaper.

Stephen Dalyop Pam, the judge, granted the orders as prayed.

He adjourned the suit till September 10 for a hearing of the substantive motion.

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