Respite has come for agitated people of Edo State as a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt a few hours ago granted an Order Restraining the Governor of Edo State and the Edo State Government from enforcing the order of Governor Godwin Obaseki, mandating all the residents of Edo State to compulsorily get vaccinated for Covid-19 or risk denial of access to Church, worship centres, Banks and other public services in the State, National Daily can reveal.
This development is coming on the heels of a massive protest yesterday in Benin City by hundreds of residents of the state who took to the streets to register their displeasure over the threat from Obaseki to enforce forced vaccination despite global outcry against the adverse effects of the covid-19 vaccine. The petition from the protesters who were mobilized by Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSOs) led by the Interim Chairman Bishop Osadolor Ochie and Executive Director of Equity International Initiative Dr. Chris Iyama, were received on behalf of the governor by the Chief of Staff Mr. Iyoha Osaigbovo.
National Daily further gathered that in arguing the Motions in Suit No. FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 filed by Mr. Charles Osaretin against the Governor of Edo State and 5 others and dated the 30th of August, 2021, the Senior Counsel, 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 Rights and for the leave of Court to serve the Respondents by publishing the Court processes on a national daily circulating in Nigeria.
National Daily gathered that the Orders were granted as prayed. Court adjourned to the 10th of September, 2021 for hearing of the Substantive Motion.
Recall that the International Human and Civil Rights, non-governmental, non-Religious and nonpolitical organization, with membership across the world including Edo State, Equity International Initiative, on Monday petitioned Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State demanding the governor to reverse the state policy imposing mandatory coronavirus vaccination on residents of the state. Equity International Initiative, in a letter to the governor titled: “Request for you to revisit your recent pronouncement on mandatory vaccination in Edo State,” signed by the Convener of the protest, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, a renowned human rights activist, requested Governor Obaseki to reverse the order or directive on mandatory vaccination, which he issued on 24th August 2021, and the flag off of the Edo State 2nd Covid-19 Vaccination Exercise.
The governor had ordered the restriction of people who do not have covid vaccine certificate would not be allowed access to Churches, Mosques, banks, and other public places.
The group argued that “no one should be restrained or restricted to any public or private place or activity on the basis of non-vaccination or non-presentation of vaccination certificates.”
Equity International Initiative decried that the Edo State government had on August 24, 2021, announced mandatory vaccination of citizens and residents of the state with the covid-19 vaccines. The group noted that the state government threatened that it would forcefully restrain persons who had not taken the covid-19 vaccine from public gatherings.
“Initially, the story was thought to be a rumour, or a fake news, until the live videos of the story emerged on some mainstream regular Television Stations. Alas, it was not fake news.