Lagos Court of Appeal has on Thursday in a unanimous judgment reversed the ban on the use of hijab in Lagos State public primary and secondary schools against Muslim students in the state.
In October 17, 2014, an Ikeja High Court in a judgement delivered by Justice Grace Onyeabo had banned the use of hijabs in primary and secondary schools in the state.
Justice Onyeabo dismissed and ruled against the use of hijab in schools, claiming it would affect the secular nature of Lagos State.
However, on May 27, a special panel of the Court of Appeal set up to hear the case reserved its judgement on the matter.
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During the panel hearing, the presiding justice, A.B. Gumel, had asked parties involved in the case to update their defence documents.
Other Justices in the five-man panel set up by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, are Justice M. Fasanmi, Justice A. Jauro, Justice J.S. Ikejegh and Justice I. Jombo Ofor.
The case is between Asiyat Kareem (minor) suing through AbdulKareem Raji; Mariam Oyeniyi through Mr. Sulaimon Oyeniyi; and Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, and Lagos State Government (LASG) and others, who were the respondents.
Justice Amina Augie had on May 3 ruled that granting Muslim students the right to wear Hijab in Lagos State schools needed constitutional interpretation.
Justice Augie therefore asked the appellants to write the President of the Appeal Court to set up a full court (of five justices) to hear the case.
In the case, the appellants want the judgement of the lower court to be reversed, while the defendant wants it to be upheld.
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, however, expressed optimism over the outcome of judgement.
Mr. Ashafa said the position of the constitution was clear on Freedom of Religion, Conscience and Thought.