Child rights activist sues Peter Obi for involving a toddler in rally

Amb. Wale Ojo-Lanre, an advocate for children’s rights, has sued the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for N50 million in damages for allegedly including an underage girl in his Lagos political event.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Ojo-Lanre filed the originating application on notice before a family court in Ikeja High Court on October 27.

Ojo-Lanre is suing the defendant on behalf of the child as a “Concerned Nigerian and litigation friend.”

Other defendants in the ID/6332GCM/2022 lawsuit included the Labour Party, Queen (mother of the minor), the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (SAN).

The petitioner is seeking N50 million in damages from the first, second, and third defendants for violating the child rights of a minor girl.

According to him, it is illegal, misleading, unlawful, exploitative, and abusive for the presidential candidate to have posted the image and video of the youngster as a “poster child” on his Twitter account on October 2nd.

He said, “The first defendant allowed 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 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.

“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.”

Ojo-Lanre also sought the court to prohibit the first, second, and third defendants from posting, distributing and printing the toddler’s image.

In addition, he argued that the fourth and fifth respondents must file a criminal complaint, arrest, and prosecute the first, second, and third respondents for alleged exploitation and gross violation of the toddler’s rights.

The case has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

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