Supreme Court upholds use of hijab in Lagos schools

Supreme Court upholds use of hijab in Lagos schools

Muslims Female Students in Lagos State have rights to wear Hijab to school without harassment or discrimination, the Supreme Court sitting in Abuja ruled on Friday, June 17.

The Supreme court dismissed an appeal by the Lagos State Government; even as it upheld the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The earlier judgment had held that the ban on hijab was discriminatory against Muslim students in the state.

A split decision of five to two of a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court affirmed the July 21, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which set aside the October 17, 2014 judgment by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the hijab restriction.

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Furthermore, the Supreme Court upheld that the ban violated the Muslim students’ rights to freedom of thought; conscience, religion, the dignity of human persons and freedom from discrimination guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.

The Lagos State Government had banned the use of the hijab; arguing that it was not part of the approved school uniform for pupils.

Following the ban, the students filed the suit on May 27, 2015, seeking redress and asked the court to declare the ban as a violation of their rights to freedom of thought, religion and education.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government says it will demolish the remaining buildings on the land where the 21-storey building collapsed on Gerrard Road, in Ikoyi.

Dr Idris Salako, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, disclosed this at a news conference.

He spoke on the handing over of the complex to the contractor for deconstruction on Thursday, June 16, in Lagos.

Salako said that the Ikoyi buildings would take about three months or more, to be demolished; adding that the land on which the structures were situated would be taken over by the state government.

He noted that the taking over of the land was in line with the state physical planning law; while revealing that owners of collapsed buildings would forfeit the land to the state.

 

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