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– A Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Chief Malcom Omirhobo has dragged the federal government to court
– Omirhobo is asking a Federal High Court in Lagos to declare the rescheduling of public holidays as unlawful
– The Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Interior are defendants in the suit
A Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Chief Malcom Omirhobo has dragged the federal government to court for rescheduling public holidays.
Omirhobo approached a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday, November 1, asking the court to declare as unlawful, rescheduling of public holidays by the federal government.
The defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Minister of Interior, Lt General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd).
According to Vanguard, the plaintiff’s suit is brought pursuant to the provisions of order 3 rules six, seven and eight of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure rules of 2009.
Omirhobo is therefore seeking an interpretation, as to whether in the face of the Public Holidays Act of 1979, it is legal for the defendants to reschedule public holidays from Saturdays or Sundays to Monday.
He also seeks an interpretation whether it is lawful for the government to even extend public holidays beyond the days set out for them.
Omirhobo seeks the following interpretations
1. Whether it is lawful for the defendants to have declared May 2 (Monday) as public holidays for the celebration of worker’s day, instead of May 1 (Sunday).
2. Whether it is lawful to have declared May 30 (Monday) as public holidays for the celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy day, instead of May 29 (Sunday).
3. Whether it is lawful to have extended the Eid-el-fitri celebration beyond July 5 and 6, to July 7, making the holidays three days in a roll.
4. Whether it is lawful to have declared October 3 (Monday) as public holidays for the celebration of Nigeria’s 56th independence, instead of October 1 (Saturday) for which it was originally scheduled.
In summary, Omirhobo seeks a declaration, that the public holidays Act, is the law guiding the declaration of public holidays in Nigeria, and any declaration of public holidays without compliance with the Act, is unlawful and void.
Omirhobo now seeks a court order, compelling the defendants not to declare October 2, 2017 (Monday) as public holidays for the celebration of Nigeria’s 57th independence, in place of October 1, 2017 (Sunday).
Three months ago, the Nigerian government extended public holidays for the celebration of Eid-el Fitr following the announcement of Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, about the continuation of the Ramadan fast.
The decision provoked outrage especially in the southern part of the country, even as economic experts declared that Nigeria lost N138 billion after the three day break.