Set to design collaret for practitioners
Says FCT H/Court dress code order is draconian, illegal
Blames FG for not insisting on release of Leah Sharibu
Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, MULAN, has vowed to design a hijab-compliant collaret with bib for use by Muslim female Legal Practitioners to conform with the tradition of the legal profession in Nigeria.
The association also condemned the directive of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, recognizing the use of certain outfit for lawyers who will be appearing in all the High Courts of FCT, saying it’s unfortunate, draconian, illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful.The association reached these decisions among others at its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting held at the NBA Benin Branch secretariat, High Court Road, Benin City, Edo State last Saturday.
On the Firdausa Amasa hijab impasse, MULAN reasoned that by Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, every Nigerian has the constitutional right to observe his/her religion. It stated that this constitutional provision has enjoyed several judicial interpretations by superior courts to the effect that this right is inalienable provided it does not go against public interest. “The use of hijab in public institutions in particular has enjoyed affirmative judicial interpretation. For this reason, MULAN NEC wonders why this issue is generating this avoidable furor especially in the echelons of justice. MULAN NEC therefore supports the use of hijab by female Muslims in the Nigerian Law School, the Nigerian Bar and by female legal practitioners, Judges and Justices in accordance with the provisions of Section 38. In view of this, MULAN NEC has resolved to design a hijab-compliant collaret with bib for use by Muslim female Legal Practitioners so as to conform with the tradition of the legal profession in Nigeria.
FCT High Court directives on dress code
The association stated that on March 28th, 2018 the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory issued a press release recognizing the use of certain outfit for Lawyers who will be appearing in all the High Courts of FCT; adding that this directive directly prohibits the use of any apparel underneath wigs by Lawyers and by extension the hijab by female Muslim Lawyers.
“MULAN NEC observed that this directive runs contrary to the 2004 resolution of the Body of Benchers which allows female Law School students and Legal Practitioners to use head cover underneath their wigs.
“On this ground and by the provisions of Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this directive is unfortunate, draconian, illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful. MULAN NEC condemns the directive in the press release in the strongest terms and urges the FCT High Court to reverse its decision contained in the press release forthwith.
On national integration
“The much touted Fiscal Federalism, as laudable as the concept may sound, is a serious threat to national integration and thus will not solve the country’s problems. A robust, visionary and mentally proactive leadership is the desideratum needed in this country to drive the much needed national integration. African countries such as Tanzania which had similar problems have successfully used national integration which entails promotion of common language; improvement of educational curriculum by teaching history of the country from primary school; equitable allocation and distribution of national resources and the indoctrination of the citizens to identify themselves as Tanzanians rather by their ethnic origin.
On release of Dapchi girls
MULAN NEC commends the Federal Government for the safe return of 104 Dapchi Girls and urges the Federal Government to use every means available to it to secure the release Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl still in captivity. MULAN NEC condemns CAN for making the issue of the kidnap of the Dapchi girls a religious issue and blaming the Federal Government for not ensuring the release of the girl because she is a Christian.