Law

Court asked to stop 2023 polls over alleged infringement on freedom of worship

A member of Seventh Day Adventist Church has dragged the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order to stop the conduct of the 2023 general election. The member, also an elder of the church, Ugochukwu Uchenwa, told the court that the election fixed for Saturday February 25, 2023 infringes on his freedom of worship.

Accordingly, he prayed the court to declare the day unconstitutional or in the alternative should be allowed vote or write examination on any day of the week.

The 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.

Plaintiff’s lawyer, Benjamin Amaefule, told the court that all the defendants have served with the court process except NECO. He added that 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 members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Ni

 

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