An Ogun state high court sitting in Ipokia Local government area of the state has declared that the imposition of curfew on the people of Ipokia communities to observe Oro festival at daytime is illegal.

In the landmark judgement, Justice Sikiru Owodunni ruled that Oro festival or ritual could only be celebrated between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. in subject to the approval of the state government and an undertaking to maintain peace and orderliness.

The suit was filed by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Muslim community in Ipokia against Oro worshippers.

“When the Oro festival is on, women and men who do not belong to the cult sect are compelled to stay indoors, while business centres, churches, mosques, MDAs, schools and other public places are also compelled to shut down, thereby depriving the applicants of their freedom of movements and lawful assembly,” Kayode Samson, counsel for the applicant had submitted.

In his verdict, the judge ordered a perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents, their privies, agents and cohorts from declaring or imposing a daytime curfew or in any other manner interfering with the fundamental human rights of the applicants to freedom of movements.

“It is hereby declared that Oro festival or ritual can only be celebrated in Ipokia, Idi-Iroko, Ihunbo, Ifonyintedo, Ogosa, Koko, Ilashe, Ibatefin, Agosasa, Oniru, Mede and Ajegunle and other villages between the hours of 12 midnight and 4 a.m. subject to the government’s approval and undertaking to maintain peace,” Justice Owodunni declared.

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