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Court Joins Education Ministry In Suit To Stop Examinations On Saturdays

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The Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, joined the Federal Ministry of Education in a suit filed by a Seventh-day Adventist member seeking to stop the conduct of examinations and election    on Saturdays.

The Court also joined the Council of Legal Education to the suit following an application by the plaintiff that the two agencies be joined in the suit.

A member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Mr Ugochukwu Uchenwa, instituted a legal action seeking an order of court to stop the conduct of examinations and elections on Saturdays.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Benjamin Amaefule told the court that he had an application for a joinder pending in court.

Amaefule told the court that the application which was filed on March 29 and brought pursuant to the relevant authority was seeking the joinder of Counsel for Legal Education and the Federal Ministry of Education to the suit.

He said that the ministry of education was being joined in the suit since all education institutions were under it to stop universities and other institutions of higher learning in the country from conducting academic activities on non academic days.

He sought six reliefs from the court but the judge, Justice James Omotosho granted only four of the reliefs.

An order of court allowing the applicant to amend the system in support of the originating application in the suit and granting leave to the application to amend the originating motion to reflect the parties joined.

The respondents listed in the suit are: the President, the Attorney -General of the Federation, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the West African Examination Council, (WAEC) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB).

Justice Omotosho adjourned the matter to October 23 for further hearing.

Uchenwa further argued that conducting elections and examinations on Saturdays violated his fundamental right to freedom of worship and education and prayed the court to declare it unconstitutional.

In the alternative, the plaintiff asked the court to order the defendants to allow him and other members of his church to vote or take examinations on any other day of the week including Sundays.

The plaintiff also asked the court for an order restraining INEC from further violating the rights of members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by holding elections on Saturdays.

In the alternative order, he wants INEC to mark out a different day for the members of the church to participate in their own election if INEC cannot schedule and hold the elections on a day other than on Saturdays.

Garry Ochigbo, Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Safiya Wada

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