NewsNigeriaPoliticsActivist Seeks Court Order to Disqualify Peter Obi for Using a Toddler at Lagos Rally

A child rights activist, Wale Ojo-Lanre, has filed a lawsuit to disqualify the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, from the 2023 general elections for supporting the involvement of a toddler during his political rally in Lagos.

The West African Pilot News reports that Chioma Success went viral for her vibrant display during the mega rally for the support of Obi in Lagos on 1 October.

Reacting to Success’s enthusiastic exhibition, Obi described her as the “poster child of this seminal campaign and process of national rebirth” in a tweet.

Ojo-Lanre filed the originating motion on notice on 27 October 2022 before a family court in the Ikeja Division of the High Court in Lagos.

The respondents in the suit marked ID/6332GCM/2022 are the Labour Party, Peter Obi, Queen (mother of the girl), Federal Republic of Nigeria and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The activist, who is suing the respondents as a ‘concerned Nigerian and litigation friend of the toddler’ is seeking the sum of N50 million for damages against the first, second and third respondents for the violation of the child rights of the girl.

He said, “The first respondent allowed the participation and usage of a toddler in an adult political rally, which took place on the street of Lagos on October 1.

“This is contrary to Sections 29 and 33 of the Child Rights Act of Lagos State and Article 36 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Children, 1981.

“We seek an order for the first and second respondents to delete their respective tweets and several other posts on their social media accounts in reference to the underage girl-child.

“We also seek an order mandating the fourth and fifth respondents to withdraw the toddler from the care and custody of the third respondent.

“We are seeking a court order to foster the child to any welfare home under the accreditation and supervision of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs or other appropriate authorities for proper care, education, protection and upbringing until she turns 18 years.”

Ojo-Lanre also said he is seeking a court order to disqualify Obi from contesting in the forthcoming general elections for supporting the use of the girl for his political rally as well as circulating her picture and video on social media.

“In addition, we seek an order to disqualify the second respondent from participating in the 2023 presidential election for condoning, adopting, encouraging and allowing the usage of the toddler for his rally,” he said.

According to him, it is illegal, misleading, unlawful, exploitative and abusive for the presidential candidate to post the video of the toddler on his Twitter page, referring to her as ‘a poster child’.

He further submitted that the fourth and fifth respondents should initiate a criminal complaint, arrest and prosecution of the first, second and third respondents for the exploitation and flagrant violation of the rights of the toddler.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the case has not been fixed for hearing.

By Ezinwanne Onwuka (Senior Reporter)

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