Court stops Obaseki from effecting compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

Godwin Obaseki

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital has granted an order restraining Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Edo State Government from enforcing a directive that all residents who have not taken COVID-19 vaccines will be prevented from public areas.

Mr Obaseki had announced that residents who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed into churches, mosques, banks, event centres and other public places from mid-September. The governor had indicated the target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the state’s population in 2022.

Charles Osaretin filed the suit with reference number FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 against the governor and five others dated August 30, 2021.

While arguing the motions in the suit, Mr Osaretin’s lawyer Echezona Etiaba (SAN) urged 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 circulating in Nigeria.

Vacation judge Justice Stephen Pam granted the order and adjourned till September 10 for a hearing of the substantive motion.