7th Day Adventist Church Drags FG To Court, Seeking To Stop Conduct Of Elections, Exams On Saturdays
A member of Seventh Day Adventist Church has dragged the federal government before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, seeking an order to stop the conduct of the 2023 general election and examinations on Saturdays.
The member, also an elder of the church, Mr Ugochukwu Uchenwa, told the court that the election fixed for Saturday February 25 infringes on their freedom of worship. Accordingly, he prayed the court to declare the day unconstitutional or in the alternative should be allowed to vote or write examination on any day of the week. Defendants in the suit are President Muhammadu Buhari, the attorney-general of the federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, minister of internal affairs, Joint Admission and Matriculation Examinations, National Examination Council, West African Examination Council and National Business and Technical Examination Board.
When the matter came up yesterday, Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Benjamin Amaefule, told the court that all the defendants have been served with the court process except NECO.
According to him, he was at a loss as to why the defendants were not in court.
The judge therefore, adjourned the case to March 15, 2023 for hearing.
In the originating summon, the plaintiff is praying the court for a declaration that the schedule of elections in Nigeria by the respondents on Saturdays, the “SABBATH DAY” is a VIOLATION of fundamental rights of Freedom of (a) Conscience, profession and free practice of Faith and (b) Right to participate freely In the government of the applicant and that of entire members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Nigeria.
*A declaration that the actions of the 5th to 8th Respondents fixing examinations on Saturdays, a “Sabbath Day Of The Lord” is a violation of the fundamental rights of: (a) freedom of conscience, profession and free practice of Faith of the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria and right to freedom of education of the applicant and the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria.
*An order of this Hon Court restraining the 4th respondent from further violating the rights of member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church by holding elections on Saturdays or in the alternative order the 4th respondent to mark out a different day for the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria to participate in their own election if the 4th respondent cannot schedule and hold the elections on a day other than on Saturdays.
An order of this honourable court restraining the 5th to 8th respondents from scheduling and conducting compulsory public exams on Saturdays, without making option for the members of THE Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria to write their exams on days other than Saturday.