By Haroon Balogun

Pupils in Lagos State primary and secondary schools are now free to wear hijab pending the determination of the appeal at the Supreme Court, Amir (President), of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, Dr Saheed Ashafa, has said.

Dr Ashafa said this against the latest judgment of the Court of Appeal which struck out the motion seeking an injunction to stop the use of hijab in Lagos by the state government.

Ashafa said the implication of the judgment is that pupils can continue to wear hijab to primary and secondary schools in Lagos State unless the Supreme Court gives a contrary verdict.

Dissatisfied with judgements of the Court of Appeal delivered on Thursday, July 21, 2016, which gave approval to Muslim female pupils to wear the hijab on their school uniforms, the state government proceeded to the Supreme Court to challenged the judgment.

It also applied for a stay of execution of the Appeal Court judgment.  The stay of execution was raised by the Government in the case (CA/L/135/15) of Lagos State Government vs Miss Asiyat AbdulKareem (through her father), Miss Moriam Oyeniyi and Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria.

A three-man panel comprising Justices M. L. Garba (presiding), J. S. Ikyegh and U. Ogakwu, gave the ruling, citing a pending appeal by the state at the Supreme Court. The panel agreed with the state that the apex court was the proper place for the application to be heard.

Justice Garuba said: “An appeal has been entered at the Supreme Court, you can’t expect us to transmit it to the Supreme Court. You have to withdraw the application. The application before us has to go. The application is hereby struck out.”

Wearing of hijabto schools

Ashafa in an interview after the hearing said, “We give thanks to Allah for making us victorious again. This simply means that pupils can continue to put on the hijab. “We urge the Government to respect this verdict and warn teachers against further harassment of our pupils for wearing hijab to schools.

Also, MSSN lawyer Hassan Fajimite said the ruling implies that there is no more restriction on the use of the hijab in Lagos schools.

Fajimite said: “Before now, we were conceding to the fact that once an application has been is filed, for instance in terms of an application for injunction pending an appeal or stay of execution of a judgment, we are constrained or obliged to respect that action and refuse to exercise our rights under the judgment that we have won. “That application is now gone and from this moment, no such restriction, nothing is stopping any Muslim pupils from using hijab for now.









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