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Hijab: Lagos approaches S’Court, seeks stay of execution on enforcement

By Monsur Olowoopejo

lagos—THE Lagos State Government has approached the Supreme Court to appeal judgment approving use of Hijab (Muslim headscarf) in public secondary and primary schools in the state.

It would be recalled that Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos had two months ago granted right of use of Hijab in public primary and secondary schools in the state.

The state government, in an appeal filed by Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, urged Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the lower court (Appeal Court) and uphold that of the trial court (High Court).

In the suit obtained by Vanguard, it was learned that the state government filed the appeal at the Apex Court on September 16th, 2016.

The Court of Appeal Justices – Ali Gumel, Modupe Fasanmi, Adamu Jauro, Joseph Ikyegh and Cordelia Jombo-Ofo unanimously interpreted that sections 38 and 42 of 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees fundamental human right of wearing hijab.

The government stated that Appellate court erred in law when it raised issue of secularity of the country as it related to section 10 of the 1999 constitution.

It further argued that the Appeal Court erred when it said the High Court does not have the jurisdiction to restrict usage of Hijab in Lagos schools.

The state government also argued that the Appellate Court misdirected itself when it relied on Quran chapter 24 Vs 31 and Chapter 33 Vs 59 in interpretation of Hijab before delivering its judgment.

We’re not bothered— Muslim group

In its reaction, Amir of the Lagos MSSN, Saheed Ashafa said, “We are not bothered about the appeal, we know it does not change the current pronouncement of the Court of Appeal.”

“So our members should continue to wear their Hijab without fear but they should do that with modesty as usual. We are always prepared to meet any interested party in the Court of law. I want to re-emphasize that no student should harass or victimize them for exercising their constitutionally granted right”,  Ashafa stated.


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