Nigerian Government Entities Taken to Court Over Saturday Elections
30 October 2018 | A group of Adventists in Nigeria have taken various government entities to court over the fact that national elections are held on Saturday in the country.
Nigeria’s Daily Post named some of the individuals in the Adventist group as Chief Emeka Anyabelem, Elder Asonye, Felix Minikwu and Chinedu Omesurum. The Adventists have taken the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court.
The Adventist group is requesting an injunctive order mandating the INEC to stop holding elections on Saturdays, demanding instead that they be held between Monday and Thursday.
In addition, the Adventist delegation wants the court to award them fifty million naira (approx USD 137,688) as general damages for what the Daily Post describes as “breach of fundamental rights to Freedom of Religion as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act.”
The Presiding Justice M.W Danagogo has adjourned proceedings until December 18.
“Why must they hold election on Saturdays? There are people who worship on that day but anytime elections are held, they cannot go to their place of worship,” said Ahamefule Owurre, part of the Adventist group.
“For us, we believe it is an infringement and must be corrected.”
The Adventist denomination in Nigeria has well over 200,000 members, split into three regional unions.