7TH Day Adventist Church sues Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, for conducting elections on Saturday

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Some members of Seventh Day Adventist Church have reportedly dragged the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over alleged violation of their fundamental rights.

The applicants in the matter include Chief Emeka Anyabelem, Elder Asonye Onwudebe, Felix Minikwu and Chinedu Omesurum.

According to the source, the applicants in the lawsuit said conducting elections on Saturday constitute a violation of their rights to worship and disenfranchisement of other members of their church.

In the suit, PHC/2836/2018, the applicants prayed the court to declare that holding elections on Saturday, the worship day for the denomination, is a violation of the Seventh Day Adventist Church members rights.

They are asking the court for an injunctive order mandating INEC to stop holding elections on Saturdays. The Church members are demanding that election should be held on weekdays between Monday and Thursday. The demand the following:

“A declaration that the applicants’ known day of worship being Saturday, they are entitled to their freedom of religion and worship on Saturdays unhindered or by any means, whatsoever, under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that the fixing/scheduling of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 16, 2019, and the governorship and state Assembly elections/Federal Capital Territory (FCT) council elections on Saturday, March 2, by the first respondent, in concert with the second and third respondents, constitute a violation of the applicants’ fundamental rights to freedom of religion.”

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