A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State has ruled that provision of legal services are essential services
Delivering the judgment on 4th December 2020, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Watila, in suit No. FHC/AB/FHR/57/20 between Olumide Babalola and Attorney General of the Federation, the court held that:
“Having stated this, I have no choice but to firmly hold that Article 1(7) of the COVID-19 Regulation is plain and unambiguous as to what are and what not essential services is. Legal service with the context of the Regulation is essential service”.
The court arrived at the above decision in respect with the first issue raised by the Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff had posed two questions for determination thus:
1. Whether or not by the interpretation and construction of paragraph 1(7) of the COVID-19 Regulation 2020, legal services are essential services?
2. Whether or not by the interpretation and construction of Section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended), the respondents restriction of the applicant’s movement violated his right to movement?
On the second issue, the Court ruled that the Applicant has not established that his fundamental right was violated in the circumstances, or that “on the 20th June, 2020, he was going to render any legal service to a known client, as the applicant was on a frolic of his own when he claimed he was deprived entry into Ogun State” and dismissed the application as it relates to enforcement of fundamental rights.
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