Court sets March 20 for the Adventist Church's case against Saturday elections and exams

The Federal High Court in Abuja will rule on March 20 on a lawsuit filed by a Seventh-day Adventist, Ugochukwu Uchenwa, seeking to ban the holding of examinations and elections on Saturdays.

After hearing lawyers' arguments for and against the complaint on Wednesday, Judge James Omotosho set March 20 to decide the case.

He asks the court to rule that it is unconstitutional for elections and exams to take place on Saturdays.

Alternatively, the plaintiff requests that the defendants allow him and other churchgoers to vote and take exams on any other day of the week, including Sundays.

The President, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Minister of Home Affairs are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The Joint Entrance and Matriculation Examinations, JAMB, National Examination Council, NECO, West African Examination Council, WAEC, National Business and Technical Examination Board, Council of Legal Education and Ministry of Education were also joined as defendants in the suit.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Benjamin Amaefule, informed the judge that his client only wanted his fundamental rights to electoral participation and education to be freely enforced.

A declaration that the Nigerian election, which takes place on Saturday, the 'Sabbath day', violates, among other things, his fundamental right to freedom of worship, was among the requests made by Amaefule's client to the court.

“It is also a violation of the conscience, profession, free practice of religion and the right to participate freely in the government of the applicant and that of entire members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Nigeria,” he said.

He alleged that fixing examinations and elections on the “Lord's Sabbath Day” was also a violation of the right to freedom of education of the applicant and the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Nigeria.

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According to him, scheduling examinations and elections for the “Lord's Sabbath Day” violates the right of both the applicant and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Nigeria to free and compulsory education.

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