A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has restrained the Police from inviting, arresting and detaining leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State ahead of the House of Assembly election on Saturday.
Justice N. Ayo-Emmanuel gave the order on Thursday following an application brought before the court by some leaders of the ruling party in the state.
In an originating summons for the enforcement of their fundamental rights, Hon. Ibukun Fadipe, Hon. Sarafadeen Awotunde, Ojo Abiodun Michael, Hon. Abiodun Ojo Fafa, told the court that PDP leaders and members have come under serious and imminent threat of indiscriminate arrest and unlawful detention by the officers and agents of the Police on the malicious instigation of opposition political party members with respect to tye forthcoming State Assembly elections.
The PDP leaders prayed the court to protect their fundamental rights to liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of association especially as it concerns their right to participate freely and actively in the due electoral process without being inhibited or being disenfranchised in anyway.
Respondents in the suits included the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Assistant Inspector General of Police (Zone XI Command Osun State), the Osun State Commissioner of Police.
In his ruling, Justice Emmanuel acceded to the reliefs sought specifically by and in respect of the named PDP leaders/members pending the determination of the substantive originating summons for right enforcement.
“An order restraining all the defendants from arresting, detaining or further arresting/detaining the plaintiffs and their members across Osun State so as not to infringe or further infringe on the rights of the plaintiffs to dignity of human person, liberty and freedom of movement and expression guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (particularly in relation to the opportunity to freely, actively and outrightly participate in the forthcoming Osun State House of Assembly election scheduled to take place on the 18th March, 2023), pending the final determination of the originating summons in this case.”
“An order restraining all the defendants from making efforts or restrict liberty of the plaintiffs, dignity of human person, and freedom of movement and expression guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (particularly in relation to the opportunity to freely, actively and outrightly participate in the forthcoming Osun State House of Assembly election scheduled to take place on the 18th March, 2023), pending the final determination of the originating summons in this case.”
It will be recalled that in recent times, the leadership of Osun PDP has raised serious alarms about indiscriminate arrests of his leaders and members by hooded officers purportedly from the Inspector-General of Police and to the knowledge of the AIG, Zone XI and the Osun election CP, who are aiding the opposition APC members to clamp down illegally on PDP members, loyalists and supporters so as to help the APC rig the forthcoming Osun House of Assembly elections.
The PDP has been of the strong opinion that the opposition APC have been trying to manipulate the police so as to get some sympathy ahead of the elections in order to treacherous have their way in the forthcoming election after the huge punishment the APC suffered from the Osun electorate in the last National Assembly elections in which they were unable to secure even a single seat.
Known for its respect for due process and rule of law, the PDP through its leaders in Osun State sought refuge with the court which has now granted their reliefs.
To this effect, the police IG, AIG Zone XI, and the Osun CP election have been restrained from tampering or impugning on the fundamental rights of the PDP leaders and members by desisting from going after them on the malice and fabrication of the APC especially as far as the forthcoming State Assembly election is concerned.