A federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has disagreed with Governor Godwin Obaseki on his decision to ban residents of the state who are yet to be vaccinated from entering public places.
The Court in its ruling on Tuesday in a suit with reference number: FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 filed by Charles Osaretin told the Governor to stay action until some matters are settled.
Naija News recalls Obaseki had declared that starting from the second week of September, people in the state will be required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards before gaining access to public spaces.
According to the Governor who spoke during the flag-off of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state, evidence of at least one dose of vaccination will be requested at the gate of such public places before access can be granted.
“Beginning from the second week of September 2021, large gatherings, as well as high traffic public and private places will only be accessed by persons who have proof of taking at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination. People who have not yet been vaccinated at all will depend on remote access to these gatherings.”
“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 at event centers, receptions or parties, without showing proof of their vaccination cards. People will not be allowed to access banking services from the middle of September 2021, if they are not vaccinated.”
“We have made adequate arrangements with security agencies to prevent anybody who doesn’t have vaccination cards to access any of these places. We are doing this to protect our citizens and all these measures will remain until the pandemic passes away,” the Governor had declared.
Obaseki said adequate arrangements have been made with security forces to enforce the order which he added will remain in place until the pandemic is gone.
Following his declaration, Osaretin had taken the matter to court and urged the court through his lawyer, Echezona Etiaba (SAN) to prevail on the Governor to maintain the status quo.
After hearing the argument, a vacation judge, Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam ruled that all parties should maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice, for the enforcement of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
The court also granted the request to serve the respondents by publishing the court’s processes in a national daily newspaper circulating in Nigeria.
The case has now been adjourned till September 10 for a hearing of the substantive motion.
Source: Naija News