A child rights activist, Wale Ojo-Lanre, has filed a N50 million lawsuit against Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi for bringing a toddler to a campaign rally in Lagos.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Ojo-Lanre filed the initial motion on notice before a family court in the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court on October 27.
He is suing the respondents on behalf of the toddler as a “concerned Nigerian and litigation friend.”
The Labour Party, Queen (mother of the underage), the federal government, and the federation’s attorney general were among the other respondents in the suit marked ID/6332GCM/2022.
The petitioner is requesting N50 million in damages from the first, second, and third respondents for violations of the child’s rights.
Mr. Ojo-Lanre contended that it was illegal, deceptive, unlawful, exploitative, and abusive for the presidential candidate to post a photo and video of the toddler on his Twitter account on October 2 and refer to her as “a poster child.”
“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,” the activist explained.
He added, “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.”
Mr Ojo-Lanre said he was 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.”
“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,” stated Mr Ojo-Lanre.
The activist also requested that the court prohibit the first, second, and third respondents from posting, circulating, and printing the toddler’s picture.
He also suggested that the fourth and fifth respondents file criminal complaints against the first, second, and third respondents, as well as arrest and prosecution, for alleged exploitation and flagrant violation of the toddler’s rights.