You Can’t Force People to get Vaccinated – Court Tells Obaseki

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A federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, granted an order restraining Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the state government from restricting unvaccinated persons from attending mass gatherings as from mid September.

Governor Obaseki had last week gave an order mandating the people of the state to take the vaccine, warning that, as from September 15, anyone who has not been vaccinated will not be allowed into public places such as banks and worship centres.

“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 government had warned.

However, one Charles Osaretin filed a suit marked FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 to counter the governor and five others. The applicant, through his counsel, Echezona Etiaba (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.

The judge, Stephen Dalyop Pam, granted the orders and adjourned the suit till September 10 for a hearing of the substantive motion.

Earlier on Monday, civil servants in Edo Ministry of Health were given a seven-day ultimatum to get vaccinated against COVID-19 pandemic. The ultimatum was contained in a memo dated August 30, with reference number: HA.429/1/16 and issued by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Frederick Irabor.

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