A/Court up­turns ban on hi­jab in La­gos schools

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Ya­haya Ibrahim, La­gos

The La­gos Di­vi­sion of the Court of Ap­peal yes­ter­day set aside the judg­ment of a La­gos State High Court which banned the use of hi­jab in pub­lic pri­mary and sec­ondary schools in the state.

In a unan­i­mous judg­ment by a five­man panel headed by Jus­tice A.B. Gumel, the Ap­pel Court held that the ban on hi­jab was a vi­o­la­tion of the fun­da­men­tal rights of the stu­dents.

The Mus­lim Stu­dents So­ci­ety of Nige­ria (MSSN), La­gos Area Unit, had on May 27, 2013 dragged the La­gos state gov­ern­ment be­fore the State High Court over the ban on hi­jab in schools.

The suit was in­sti­tuted by the so­ci­ety on be­half of two 15-year-old stu­dents who said the ban vi­o­lated their con­sti­tu­tional rights to free­dom of thought, re­li­gion and ed­u­ca­tion; but the pre­sid­ing judge at the lower court, Jus­tice Modupe Onye­aboron, on Oc­to­ber 17, 2014 dis­missed the suit, say­ing that the pro­hi­bi­tion of hi­jab over school uni­forms within and out­side the premises of pub­lic schools was not dis­crim­i­na­tory.

Not sat­is­fied with the de­ci­sion, the stu­dents filed an ap­peal.

In a lead judg­ment yes­ter­day, Jus­tice Gumel held that the use of hi­jab is an Is­lamic in­junc­tion and also an Act of wor­ship, hence it would con­sti­tute a vi­o­la­tion of the ap­pel­lants’ rights to stop them from wear­ing hi­jab in pub­lic schools.

Other mem­bers of the five-man panel are Jus­tice M. Fasanmi, Jus­tice A. Jauro, Jus­tice J.S. Ikyegh and Jus­tice I. Jombo Ofor.

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