Lagos Lawyer Sues FG Challenging Public Holidays

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Davidson Iriekpen

A Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Chief Malcom Omirhobo, monday asked a Federal High Court in Lagos, to declare as unlawful the extension of public holidays beyond the days set out for them.

In the new suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1450/16, the defendants are: The Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Interior.

The plaintiff’s suit is brought pursuant to the provisions of Order three, Rules six, seven and eight of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure rules of 2009

Omirhobo is 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.

The plaintiff seeks an interpretation whether it is lawful for the defendant to even extend public holidays beyond the days set out for them.

Omirhobo seeking the following interpretations:
• 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).
“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).

•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.
• 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,.

The plaintiff therefore, 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).

Besides, he wants an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants from rescheduling public holidays that are set out by law to fall on weekends, to Monday.
He also wants an order, restraining the defendants from extending holidays beyond the time set out for them.

The plaintiff seeks further order or orders as the court may deem necessary to make in the circumstance of the case.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit