Child rights activist, Amb. Wale Ojo-Lanre, has sued the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, for N50m as damages for allegedly involving an underage girl-child in his political rally in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ojo-Lanre had on October 27 filed the originating motion on notice before a family court in Ikeja High Court.
Ojo-Lanre is suing the respondent as a “Concerned Nigerian and litigation friend” of the toddler.
Other respondents in the suit marked ID/6332GCM/2022 included: the Labour Party, Queen (mother of the underage), Federal Republic of Nigeria and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The petitioner is seeking an award of N50m damages against the first, second and third respondents for the violation of the child rights of the underage girl-child.
According to him, it is illegal, misleading, unlawful, exploitative and abusive for the presidential candidate to post the picture and video of the toddler via his Twitter handle dated October 2 to refer to her as “a poster child.”
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 urged the court to prevent the first, second and third respondents from posting, circulating and printing the picture of the toddler.
He further submitted that the fourth and fifth respondents should initiate criminal complainant, arrest and prosecution of the first, second and third respondents for alleged exploitation and flagrant violation of the right of the toddler.
Meanwhile, the case has not been fixed for hearing.