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Lawyer asks court to disband Christian, Muslim commissions

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Malcolm Omirhobo


Another sues JAMB, others over plan to probe alleged exam cheats

Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo has filed a suit before a Federal High Court, Abuja praying for the disbandment of Christian and Muslim commissions in Nigeria and declaring them illegal.
   
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ is between Omirhobo and five defendants.The plaintiff is calling for the interpretation and/or construction of sections 1(1) (3) and 10 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) of the federal republic of Nigeria vis a vis sections 1(1), 2(1) (d), 2 (2) (4), 4 (2) (3) (4), 7 (2) (4), 9, 10 (1) (2), 11(2)(3)(4) and 16 of the Nigerian Christian pilgrim commission Act, 2007 and sections 2(1), 3(1)(c)(d) (2)(3)(4), 5(2)(3)(4), 9(4)10(1)(3), 12, 13, 14 and 22 of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria Act, 2006.
   
The defendants are the federal government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, the National Assembly, the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission and the National Hajj Commission.He wants the court to determine: “Whether by virtue of the provisions of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) Nigeria is a secular State?

   
“Whether it is proper, legal, lawful and constitutional, for the 1st and 3rd defendants to establish the 4th and 5th defendants which are religious bodies’ taking into cognizance the fact that Nigeria is a secular State?
   
“Whether it is proper, legal, lawful and constitutional for the President and the Senate of the 1st defendant and the official of the Central Bank of the 1st defendant, and officials of the 1st defendant’s Ministries of Aviation, Health, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs, Accountant-General and Auditor-General to be involved in the affairs of the 4th and 5th defendants taking into cognizance the fact that Nigeria is a secular State,” he prayed.
   
“He further questioned whether it is proper, legal, lawful and constitutional, for the 1st defendant to sustain, maintain and run the 4th and 5th defendants with public funds taking into cognizance the fact that Nigeria is a secular State?”He therefore urged the court to declare that Nigeria is a secular state and that it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the 1st and 3rd defendants to establish, fund, sustain, maintain and/or run the affairs of the 4th and 5th defendants with public funds.
   
The plaintiff also wants the court to declare that certain provisions of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission Act, 2007 and some sections of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria Act, 2006 are inconsistent with the provisions of Section 10 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

Meanwhile another Lagos-based lawyer, Chief Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara has sued the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and two others to court over plan to publish names of candidates, who allegedly cheated in the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) between 2009 and 2019.
   
The lawyer in a suit marked FHC/2/CS/980/19 before Justice Saidu of a Federal High Court, Lagos wants the court to stop JAMB and others planning to probe the credentials of candidates and declare such action as unconstitutional and violation of right to fair hearing.
   
The lawyer filed the suit on behalf of UTME candidates of 2009 to 2019 against JAMB, Federal Minstry of Education and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).His originating motion was brought pursuant to Section 36 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right Act and the Fundamental Rights Procedure Rules 2009.

   
The Lagos lawyer is therefore asking the court to declare that first respondent having screened and cleared the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates who partook in the examinations over the period 2009 to 2019 for university admission cannot now probe their university admission pre-qualification credentials and or take any other steps and or actions that may be injurious to the interest of all such persons.
  
He prayed the court to restrain the respondents from carrying out their decision or an action against the said candidates by way of probing the credentials of UTME candidates from 2009 to 2019.
    
“An order nullifying any decision or step already taken in execution of the respondents decision and or action to probe credentials of the UTME candidates from 2009 to 2019 and to publish names of those who may have cheated as same is discriminatory, unconstitutional null and void and infringement of the constitutional right to fair hearing of the said candidates,” he prayed. The matter has been fixed for hearing February 12, 2020.


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Malcolm Omirhobo
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