Ban on Hijab in Lagos: Court fixes September 26 for judgment

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Months after the use of Hijab by female students was
banned in all public primary and secondary schools in
Lagos State, a Lagos High Court in Ikeja has fixed
September 26 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the
Muslim Student Association of Nigeria against the
Lagos State Government.
Counsel to the students, Mr Gani Adetola-Kaseem in
his arguments in court yesterday Friday July 4th
maintained that the essence of wearing Hijab by
Muslim females is to prevent them from tempting
people of the opposite sex or being tempted by them
and also to protect their chastity. Continue…
The lawyer also insisted that it is mandatory for all
Muslims who have attained puberty to participate fully
in the practice of Islam, including Islamic dressing
mode, worship and fasting.
He submitted that from the Islamic point of view,
womanhood is determined not by biological age or
marriage but by the time a person has attained the
age of puberty. This age he says varies between
individual. Some females attain puberty as early as the
age of nine years while others attain puberty at age 13
or more.
The lawyer therefore urged the court to grant the
application because the position of the Lagos State
Government violates the religious rights of the
applicants and it is the duty of the court to protect
them.
In his response, the counsel to the State Government,
Mr Lawal Pedro, argued that the wearing of uniforms in
public primary and secondary schools is for
identification of students from different schools in
Lagos and also to encourage a sense of unity,
discipline, organisation and orderliness amongst the
schools.
He also submitted that the clamour and demand for
the compulsory use of Hijab on top of the school
uniform by Muslim girl students in Lagos is a recent
development.
Two Muslim students, of Atunrashe Junior High
School, Surulere, Lagos State, Miss Asiyat
Abdulkareem and Miss Maryam Oyeniyi, had filed the
suit through their fathers – Alhaji Owolabi Abdulkareem
and Mr. Suleiman Oyeniyi.
In the suit, they claimed that the restriction of the use
of the Hijab, violates their fundamental human rights.
They also argued that banning female students from
using Hijab on or outside the premises of any
educational institution in Lagos State “is wrongful and
unconstitutional”.
The defendants in the suit are the Lagos State
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr.
Ade Ipaye; the Commissioner for Education, Mrs.
Olayinka Oladunjoye; and the Commissioner for Home
Affairs and Culture, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole.

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