Restriction of Movement during Elections Illegal, Says Adegboruwa


•   SERAP blames election postponement on govt

Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has warned the police against restricting human and vehicular movements on election days, saying it is unconstitutional.

This is coming as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said the postponement of this year’s general elections should be blamed on successive governments since return to democracy in 1999.

According to Adegboruwa, the Federal High Court in Lagos had in 2014 pronounced that such movement restriction was unconstitutional.

The lawyer noted that despite the constitutional provisions and the pronouncement of the court, the Inspector General of Police had on Friday, February 15, ahead of the postponed presidential election, announced the restriction of human and vehicular movements for 12 hours.

He complained that despite that the movement restriction was illegal, the police did not consider it needful to lift the movement restriction even after the election was postponed.

Adegboruwa warned the police against a repeat of the movement restriction order on the new election dates.

He said, “The Inspector General of Police did not appeal against this judgment of the court and yet he proceeded to hold people down at home on February 16, 2019, contrary to the express order of injunction granted by the court in this case against any repeated illegal practice of keeping citizens indoors.

“We will, therefore, not condone or agree with any attempt to restrict people’s movement illegally on February 23, 2019 or indeed any other day, by reason of elections.”

Meanwhile, SERAP has said the postponement of this year’s general elections should be blamed on successive governments since return to democracy in 1999.

In a statement yesterday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said, “Given the increasing tendency to postpone elections and the cumulative failures and corruption over the years, SERAP would, after the elections, pursue appropriate legal action against the government in power and the National Assembly leadership for the catalogue of breaches of constitutional and international obligations, and seek effective remedies for the citizens.”