NIGERIA: Court Fixes Hearing Date on Hijab in Lagos Schools

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Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of an Ikeja High Court has fixed July 10 for further hearing of an out-of-court settlement brought before him over the lingering crisis between the Lagos State Government  and the Muslim Students Society (MSS) over the ban of Hijab in public schools in the state.

The decision of the court, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was sequel to the request by the Lagos State counsel, Muniru Ajanaku, who prayed the court to adjourned the matter on the grounds that the state believed that the matter could be resolved out-of-court.

The lead counsel for the students, Taiwo Hassan Fajimite, said it was unfortunate that the state has not responded on the case until now, but that the Muslim community was willing to meet the state government and consider the terms and conditions being offered on the way out.

The Muslim students, who thronged the court to witness the proceedings, took to the streets to protest and to register their displeasure over the decision by the Lagos State Government to ban the use of Hijab by female Muslim students in public schools.
The students led by Muslim teachers and some clerics, carried different placards with inscriptions such as, “Hijab is Our Right, it Must be Respected,” “Fashola, to be Forewarned is to be Forearmed,” “Lagos State Government, Stop the Discrimination against Our Female Students,” among others.

The students promised to continue their protest as well as explore every available legal means to ensure the rights of Muslim students to wear hijab in public schools is protected.
However, some stern looking policemen immediately mobilised to the scene to avoid miscreants from hijacking the rally.

The female students who wore hijab on their various uniforms vowed to continue  to wear their hijab to school, until the court decides its legality or otherwise.
In his short ruling on the application by the counsel to the government, Justice Oyewole  urged both parties to explore the dialogue option and report back to the court on the next adjourned date.
He adjourned further hearing to July 10.

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