Non reopening of Churches: Court hears Suit against Lagos and Ogun Govs, 11th August

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The fundamental rights suit against the Lagos State Governor and Ogun state Governor comes up today, 11th August, 2020.

Recall that Lawyers in Lagos had on the 14th of July, 2020, dragged the Governors to court over their fundamental rights to freedom of thought conscience and religion and the rights to peaceful assembly guaranteed under sections 38(1) and 40 the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

The Applicants sought the following reliefs;

A DECLARATION that the refusal of the 1st and 2nd Respondents to allow the reopening churches within Lagos and Ogun States despite the directives given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 and the issuance of the guidelines e the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control for the reopening of all churches in Nigeria is illegal, oppressive and unconstitutional and amounts to a violation of the Applicants’ fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and the rights to peaceful assembly guaranteed under Sections 38 (1) and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 ( As Amended); and Articles 8 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act CAP T9 LFN 2004 .

AN ORDER directing the 1st and 2nd Respondents to immediately lift the ban on the opening churches within Lagos and Ogun States respectively in line with the directives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 and the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

AN ORDER directing the 1st and 2nd Respondents to tender an unreserved apology to the 1st and 2nd Applicants and the 3rd and 4th Respondents for the refusal to allow the reopening of the churches in Lagos and Ogun States.

GROUNDS UPON WHICH THE RELIEFS ARE SOUGHT:

The refusal of the 1st & 2nd Respondents to allow reopening the churches in Lagos and Ogun States respectively constitute an infringement of the 1st & 2nd Applicants’ fundamental rights to freedom of thought conscience and religion; and peaceful assembly as enshrined in Sections 38 and 40 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 8, and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

The reasons given by the 1st and 2nd Respondents that churches in Lagos and Ogun States should remain closed is untenable in the light of the directives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 and the issuance of guidelines by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and constitute selective and arbitrary exercise of power by the 1st and 2nd Respondent and is a violation of the provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Recall further that On the 16th of July, 2020, the Federal High Court Lagos Judicial Division granted the motion for substituted service.

According to Joseph Siyaidon Esq., the Court also ordered for accelerated hearing of the suit via the use of virtual technology.

 


Call Bridget Edokwe Esq on 08060798767 or send your email to ngbarrister@gmail.com


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