Court upholds ban on use of Hijab in Lagos public schools

An Ikeja High Court on Friday upheld the ban on the wearing of Hijab (Muslim head scarf) in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos state.

Justice Modupe Onyeabor dismissed the suit instituted against the Lagos State Government by two 12-year old girls under the aegis of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit.

The government had banned the use of Hijab on the argument that it was not part of the approved school uniform for pupils.

Following the ban, the students filed the suit on May 27, 2013, seeking redress and asked the court to declare the ban as a violation of their rights to freedom of thought, religion and education.

In her judgment, Ms. Onyeabor held that the prohibition of the wearing of Hijab over school uniforms within and outside the premises of public schools was not discriminatory.

According to her, the ban does not violate sections 38 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution as claimed by the plaintiffs.

The judge said Section 10 of the Constitution made Nigeria a secular state and that government must maintain neutrality at all times.

Ms. Onyeabor said the government, therefore, had a duty to preserve the secular nature of the institutions concerned as argued by the Lagos State Solicitor-General, Lawal Pedro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

She noted that since the public schools were being funded by the government, it was therefore competent to issue dress codes and other guidelines to the students.

According to her, the use of uniforms engenders uniformity and encourages students to pursue their mutual academic aspirations without recourse to religious or any other affiliations.

The judge, however, observed that the uniformity sought by the government in the issuance of the dress code would be destroyed, should the prayers of the plaintiffs be granted.

“The non-Hijab wearing students will feel inferior to those who are putting on Hijab.

“The values of plurality and the respect for the rights of others who have subscribed to a non-faith based educational system cannot be breached.

“In that effect, the issue is resolved in favour of the respondents and the suit is accordingly dismissed,” Ms. Onyeabor said.

Reacting to the judgment, the plaintiffs’ counsel, Gani Adetola-Kazeem, said his clients would file an appeal against the judgment.

“Well the court has spoken but there are still very many issues to be considered which invariably means that we will appeal the judgment.

“We are simply not satisfied with the court decision.

“The angle through which the court has looked at the issue is quite at variance with the provisions of the constitution. We will definitely appeal” he said.

(NAN)


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  • Mr. Abdin

    The appeal on the judgment will be the best option.

    • Denis_NG

      The appeal too will be roundly defeated. As the learned judge rightly observed, Nigeria is a secular State and allowing the use of hijab as these Muslim students are demanding would amount to setting a very dangerous precedent. South-Western Nigeria has always been a religiously conflict free zone and we would like to keep it that way. Anyone that wants to wear hijab or whatever can relocate to any of the Sharia-practicing Northern states.

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    Valley Estate, Ojodu Berger.

  • Chief Thomas

    WELCOME THE ISLAMIC STATE OF LAGOS!

    We have been saying it. So, here we are, Welcome to the ‘Islamic State of Lagos’.
    The plan was on all along. Contributors here shouted themselves hoarse in warnings.
    They warned that Oshun state Islamisation policy was the ACN/APC guinea-pig trial.
    And they also told us that Lagos state was going to follow after the Oshun state polls.

    The contributors have now been proved dead right. Lagos races rapidly to Islamic state.
    Lagos’ Christians have themselves to blame – they failed to reason and connect the dots.
    The Lagos Muslims, though fewer, now fully dominate the entire, larger Lagos Christendom .
    It is a voluntary form of apartheid, with Christians now formalized as voters only, from now on.

    The Lagos state secretariat at Alausa already brims with Waheeds, Wahaabs, Basirs, and Rajis
    And that way the Lagos’ bureaucracy is taken over by Muslims, in addition to state governorship.
    Ditto, post of attorney-general in Lagos state has been out of bounds to Christians since 2002.
    Bigamy in marriage has also been ‘Islamised’ by law in Lagos state compliant with Islam.

    Now, public education is to be Islamized in Lagos state for the first time in Nigeria’s history.
    With the Islamic Hijab now legalized, and made compulsory in Lagos state, an Islamic state arrives.
    There is no way Islamic Hijab can be legal without bringing public education into Koranic compliance.
    What a steep price the emollient and supine Lagos Christians are paying for self-inflicted naivety?

    • Biodun Janehiro

      Haba! Chief, ha, ha. Hijab has not yet been legalized in Lagos schools now! Or, is there something else you know that you don’t want to tell us here or what? Yes, it is true the case is going on appeal, but how do you know what the verdict will be? I am sorry, Chief, but i think you may be jumping the gun on this Hijab issue.

      But your other points on bigamy and monopoly of governorship and attorney-general posts, are true.

      If you know something else, please tell us. Delay may be fatal. I am willing to agree with you that Lagos Christians have not shown keen understanding of the effects of the political events around them, but i do not quite agree that what you call ‘Chrsitians’ naivety’ is tantamount to ‘a voluntary form of apartheid’. The Lagos Christians are actually now fighting to roll back Islamism.

    • Weydem

      “If Nigeria were to fissure along religious lines, the Yoruba would become a
      minority in a Hausa-dominated North and in an Igbo-dominated South and will
      also likely face the prospect of internal fratricide if Yoruba Muslims and Christians
      fought each other.”

      “The Yoruba recognize that they would suffer from inter-religious conflict more
      than any other ethnic group in the country since they are religiously mixed, while
      two other large ethnic groups – the Igbos and the Hausas – are almost uniformly
      Christian and Muslim”.

      ……………Jacob Zenn

      Public Analyst Washington D.C

      (August, 2012)

      • Damilola Coker

        Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Raji Fashola are the Muslim Mujahedeens who destroyed Yoruba unity.

        • Deacon Ademilure

          “We are fighting a religious war. We are fighting against the Christians in
          Nigeria. We are fighting against Christian President – Goodluck Jonathan – and
          his Christian brethren”.

          “We are not fighting any ethnic war. Those saying we are fighting an ethnic war are
          telling lies to the public. They try to brainwash the people. No, we are
          fighting a religious war. We are fighting against Christians. We are fighting
          the Christian President Jonathan and his Christian brethren”.

          ……….………..Abubakar Shekau (Leader of Boko Haram)

          [December 28, 2013]

      • Dr Adepite

        @ Weydem:

        Islamism is deadly, Islamism is dangerous, it is to be avoided. Islamism is an invidious mindset,
        percolating the thoughts of a huge swathe of Nigerian Muslims, sometimes superciliously,

        other times as overcompensation for low esteem. At all times, Islamism involves the breaking

        of all rules of fair dealings, to assure the dominance of Muslims in public office.

        As it is, Islamism has very nearly torn apart Yoruba society under the mis-direction
        ofAlhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Raji Fashola, both of whom have set the
        teeth of Yoruba non-Muslims on edge. Islamism is the most dangerous political
        ideology fanned wholly by Nigerian Muslims.

    • Dr. Kay

      Are you a retard or you are still in ogogoro induced stupor. Your knowledge of English comprehension is so poor that you don’t know that the Lagos state government is the plaintiff in this case or your partisan goggles is so hazy that you are already the judge and jury in this case,Biko go back to school and learn comprehension….. Comprehendo?

      • Remi

        @ Dr. Kay:

        Please get serious. Hijab is a party policy. It is a policy of the All Progressives Congres [APC].
        How can Alhaji Raji Fashola ever be opposed to the Hijab – as a Muslim and as APC member?
        Just think back: has Raji Fashola ever said he is opposed to the Islamic Hijab in all schools?
        Of course not! All he said is that the Lagos State Assembly (of 90% Muslims) is to decide the issue.

        • Denis_NG

          Why don’t you stop this fear mongering and spurious assertions? Who pronounced the ban on hijabs in Lagos, Fashola or not? C’mon now!!

          • Funsho P.

            Dennis:

            I beg, stop this spinning, my brother. When did Raji Fashola ever ‘pronounce a ban on Hijab’?
            Fashola never ever pronounced any ban of Hijab. Lagos State Assembly has the jurisdiction.
            The bill to legalize Hijab into law is still pending votes in the Lagos state House of Assembly.
            How can Raji Fashola lawfully ban Hijab bill under consideration at the Lagos state parliament?

    • Denis_NG

      I think you need your head examined.Is it not the same Raji Fashola you are spuriously castigating here that imposed the ban on hijab wearing in all Lagos State public schools in the first place? If He were to be a Muslim fanatic, would he have proscribed hijab or defend the lawsuit against the state to achieve this outcome? I wonder how some of us just take to the net to spew nonsense, engaging mouth before brain, and you call yourself a chief!

    • Segun Olaitan

      Chief,

      What are you really saying, sir? I don’t understand it. You mean there’s a plan to legalize Hijab anyway?
      You mean this phase of the litigation is just a make-believe by Alhaji Raji Fashola to pretend as opposing?
      In which case, is it to get Christian votes for APC and then Hijab will follow next year by a bill in the Assembly?

    • Public Records

      “Nigeria declares itself a multi-religious secular state.
      That means religious political parties can’t be valid. If Nigeria should let
      go APC as an Islamic party, an open season is declared for religious
      parties to emerge. Nigeria could then be worse for it. Religious politics
      necessarily breeds conflicts – as different faiths will struggle to impose
      their religious tenets on all non-adherents as the law of the land.”

      …………….Ishani

      [April 22nd, 2014]

  • Adepite

    Dear Editor Premium Times:

    Islamism is deadly, Islamism is dangerous, it is to be avoided. Islamism is an invidious
    mindset, percolating the thoughts of a huge swathe of Nigerian Muslims,
    sometimes superciliously, other times as overcompensation for low esteem. At
    all times, Islamism involves the breaking of all rules of fair dealings, to assure
    the dominance of Muslims in public office.

    As it is, Islamism has very nearly torn apart Yoruba society under the mis-direction
    of Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Raji Fashola, both of whom have set the
    teeth of Yoruba non-Muslims on edge. Islamism is the most dangerous political
    ideology fanned wholly by Nigerian Muslims.

    • By popular demand

      “The Action Congress (AC) party in Yorubaland – now morphed as APC,
      is an on-going insult against Yoruba Christians. Since its formation in 2002,
      the ACN/APC party has NEVER fielded a Christian as governorship candidate
      in any of the six (6) Yoruba states of the South-West.”

      ……Deacon Rotimi Ayanlaja
      (October 16, 2014)

      • Desmund

        The crass fellows even have the audacity to say their all-Muslim candidates are chosen ‘on the merits’. That is another way of saying that ACN/APC usually assesses all Christian candidates but finds Christians utterly useless and laden with ‘demerits’. What an insult! But it is not their fault. The Christians accepted the insult, and kept waving brooms in the afternoon like lunatics without self-respect.

        • Rogbodiyan

          “A Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket violates the spirit of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.

          It defies the implicit assumption behind the federal character of a multi-religious Nigeria.

          It pokes the eyes of the Christian half of the country into anger. It is blind and brainless”.

          ….Laizabella
          (July 7th, 2014)

  • Funso Famuyiwa

    People, please come and let us reason together. Opinions are Free, but Facts are sacred. This Article we have all read is in ENGLISH Language and Not YIDDISH. Why all the Diatribe against Gov. Fashola ? Quoting just a few sentences :

    “…..Justice Modupe Onyeabor dismissed the suit instituted AGAINST the Lagos State Government by two 12 – year old Girls under the aegis of Muslim Student Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit…..”
    “….Ms Onyeabor said the Government, therefore had the duty to preserve the secular nature of the institutions concerned as ARGUED BY the Lagos state Solicitor General, Lawal Pedro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN…..”
    “…..The judge however observed that the uniformity sought BY THE GOVERNMENT in the issuance of the dress code (ie. No Hijab) will be destroyed, should the prayers of the PLAINTIFFS (Two 12 year old Girls) be granted…….”
    Do some readers know who are the Plaintiffs and who are the Defendants in this case ?
    Or are we just sacrificing TRUTH on the altar of blind Political and Religious fervor ?

    Now, I am a Yoruba Christian , but as I argued elsewhere, if there should ever be a full blown Sectarian Christian-Muslim conflagration in this country, The Southeast, South-south and most of core North will be spared from most of the internal strife that will ensue, especially if we all gravitate to our respective enclaves. But the Southwest as well as North central regions will experience serious internal destruction that will be lasting.
    So those who are fanning the embers of Sectarian divide through their utterances – Christians of the ilk of Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, radical Muslim organizations such as MURIC in southwest as well as PDP acolytes of various stripes should cease and desist because this is an “ill Wind” that does Not blow anybody, any Good.

    • Olu Magregor

      Mr. Funso Famuyiwa

      You miss the point. Your advice should be addressed ONLY to the un-thinking Lagos Muslims.
      They alone are the beginning and the end of the cause of the political crisis in Lagos today.
      If Yoruba unity breaks on religious grounds, the Lagos Muslims shall be held solely responsible.
      Alhaji Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Raji Fashola are the pivot of irresponsible Islamism in Lagos today.
      But the duo are not the sole guilty ones. For it is now clear Lagos Muslims have a bad agenda.

      No Muslim in Lagos has shown common sense prudence to caution against violating Christians’ trust.
      Lagos Christians who supported Action Congress – despite its covert Islamism in 2002 – feel duped.
      Because Lagos Muslims instead took liberty for license and started warming up a slew of Muslims, again,
      for Christians to line up and choose one Muslim liege to rule Lagos for another 8 years, making 22 years!
      Only un-thinking persons would attempt what these irresponsible Muslim apparatchiks endeavour in Lagos.

      • No Comment

        “Yoruba Christians have no stake in APC anymore than Biblical Prophet Elijah
        could have had a stake in aiding an Islamic state in old Israel. As a divisive Islamic
        party in a multi-religious Yoruba society, APC is the worst political mistake the Yoruba
        ever made.”

        …….Dr. Adelaja
        (September 23rd, 2014)

        • ‘Femi Macaulay

          Except in name only there is no difference between the AC/APC Islamic government in
          Yorubaland, and, Boko Haram. They are both joined in the hip on the same
          ideology of excluding Christians from command levels of government.

          When Yoruba Christians wake up from slumber they will realize they are surrounded by
          the most virulent and militant Muslims. I pity Yoruba Christians because they
          are un-armed and defenceless even though in trouble.

          They assume that Boko Haram is just a Hausa/Fulani murder machine. They do not fully
          understand the concept of global jihad underway. Yoruba Christians do not connect the dots
          that since Yoruba Muslims are active cells in Al Qaeda, those cells are invariably
          allied to Boko Haram – whose stated aim is the ‘mass killings of all
          Christians’.

          • Seemeseetrouble

            “The fact is that we are the warriors of the Almighty and even the security forces
            are finding it difficult to contain our activities. We want to stress that in our struggle,

            we only kill government functionaries, security agents, Christians, and anyone who

            pretends to be a Muslim but engages in assisting security agents to arrest us.”

            ……………Boko Haram

            (Statement Issued by Abu Qaqa,

            August 1, 2012)

      • Paulo

        Yes o! They are now asking us to line up and choose between Alhaji Ikuforiji or Alhaji Hamzat or Alhaji Ganiyu Solomon. They have no sense of community at all – these Muslims! But now they have come to the end of the road. These are half-illiterates who cannot string a simple logical sentence today in English language but were merely tolerated by the Christians for communal peace. Rather than eat humble pie and be modest, they now see themselves as the ideal ruling class the world has ever known – despite their common affliction with Bola Tinubu’s type of dubious and stuttering education. Insult upon injury!

        • Sesan Adebiyi

          Raji Fashola and Raji Rasaki are like an apple cleft in two; both utterly in-articulate fellows.

          • Ms. Dunni Macarthy

            @ S. Adebiyi,

            You are on point. I myself find it difficult to believe Raji Fashola is a lawyer.
            How can a man who can’t express himself in straight good English be a lawyer?
            I always see a frown on his face when he’s interviewed. He struggles with words.
            I pity him a lot because he does not have governing abilities at all – and it shows.
            With Islamism, he’s riven the sense of community in Lagos state, perhaps forever.

      • sharp shape

        Thanks may Allah (saw) continue to increase you and make your dependants kings ! Insha Allah the political sharia fanatics have desecrated islam ! They have caused tension with the people of the scriptures (christian) and have brought the ulama to disrepute ! May Allah turn their day to night ! May they grope in darkness during the day ! The blood of innocent nigerians lost to their inordinate ambition will hunt them in this life and the hereafter ! In the name of Allah the most merciful Subuanatallah Jonathan will continue to rule over the vampires in the APC Amin

    • Biola Johnson (Lekki)

      @ Famuyiwa:

      You have no right to stop Lagos Christians from reacting to invidious discrimination by Muslims. The right to react as they choose (against discrimination on the basis of faith) is a fundamental human right. The Muslims have lost respect and forfeited trust by behaving badly. Christians are thus on perfect wicket to vote en masse against the APC in Lagos state; to vote the party out for violating the protocols of Lagos’ community, besides being a den of thieves; comprising dullards who’ve proved incompetent on the job after 14 years of trying and failing. Besides stealing, APC in Lagos has succeeded at nothing but has instead destroyed the educational legacy of the Yoruba people and turned Lagos state into a wasteland of illiterates.

      • Toun

        ‘LAGOS NOW 3RD WORST CITY IN THE WORLD’ –
        SAYS BRITISH ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE UNIT

        “The January 2014 global study of cities in the world done by the British Economist
        Intelligence Unit has ranked Lagos, Nigeria, as the 3rd worst liveable city in
        the world. Lagos has degraded further from its awful status in 2012 as the 4th
        worst city.”

        “On a scale of 100 Lagos now has the third poorest score of 39.0 of all cities in
        the world assessed. The study titled ‘livability’ assessed particular
        characteristics of each city, such as its crime levels, the threat of conflict,
        the quality of medical care, the levels of censorship, the city temperature, the
        quality of its schools and its transport links.”

        ………Reported by British Telegraph

        [January 2014]

        • Bamodu

          The only enduring legacy of Alhaji Raji Fashola is illiteracy in Lagos state.
          With 80% school cert failure every year, since 2007, Lagos is now done for.
          The millions of illiterates created will depress Lagos into a swirl of violence.

          • F. Atitebi

            @ Toun:

            Between 2007 and now, Raji Fashola has received about seven [7] billion U.S dollars
            in federal revenue allocation. He’s also received another 11 billion U.S dollars in internally
            generated revenue in the same period; totalling 18 billion dollars.

            All this money without a single functioning public school or a running city transport to show for it today, as the state’s BRT bus system (a pilfered idea) has all but collapsed with barely 15% of the BRT bus fleet left, due to ruinous official thefts – all within three years of the shambolic BRT operation.

            Raji Fashola sank Lagos state by his financially un-accountable governance.
            Despite the 18 billion dollars he’s received from 2007 till date, and without making
            Lagos state public accounts available to the people, Alhaji Raji Fashola said he’s
            incurred a whopping 3.7 billion dollars in debts on behalf of all Lagosians as at today. What a terrible legacy to leave behind for posterity!

          • Hafeez

            Nothing has changed from the old Fulani marauders led by Uthman Dan Fodio. To try to
            see this latest Jihad by Boko Haram as an isolated event means one is either
            blind to reality or lacks a sense of history. Al Qur’an urges its followers to
            ‘overpower’ the unbelievers. By so doing they are promised Islam’s imaginary
            paradise. In what way are these “infidels” to be overpowered besides
            violence?

            Christians in the South of Nigeria would have themselves to blame if they are lulled to
            sleep over the mere “wish” expressed by liberally minded Muslims from
            mostly the South-west who ignore the call for “Jihad” in their holy
            book and instead try to misinterpret their holy book to manufacture evidence
            for a violent-free Islam. Southern Christians, by not preparing deterrent
            measures, you will have yourselves to blame if this Religious War escalates!

        • Ibraheem Aruna

          In spite of those scattling description of Lagos. lt has the business hub that translated Nigeria to one of the functional and biggest economies in Africa and one of the fastest growing on the planet, Lagos it was that has so far been able to contain Ebola and has become something of a case study, this is also inspite of its inlivability and “none existent” health facilities. Better still the the Doctor to patient ratio is better than several other countries.The Nigerian press is possilby one of the freest on the planet, the only problem is that they are easily bought over, hence the issue of levels of censorship is a non starter,if you are objective enough to admit it. Finally when was the last time something good ever came out of the British Press about Nigeria anyway?.

  • Buhari is an Islamist

    Say no to Sharia rule. Say No to Hijab. Say No to Islamic terrorism. Say No to ISIS. Say No to Boko-Haram Muslims.

    Buhari is here to implement sharia rule. Christians and non- Muslims population are threat to Islam. Buahri and his Muslims element have concluded to reduce Christian and non-Muslim population.

    A vote for Buhari is a vote for sharia. Boko-Haram represents what northern Muslims stand for.

    Boko-Haram are not animals but advocates of sharia . They are here to implement sharia as they were told by elite Muslims that non-Muslims are threat to Islam.

    Chibok girls are victims of Sharia and Islam. GEJ did not invent sharia. A group of Muslims decided to implement sharia which abhor Western education. Chibok girls were abducted while attending a western school as against Islamic school( a crime in Sharia).

    Again, Say no to Sharia rule.

    • Abraham

      “In the 1999 Constitution, Sharia was mentioned 73 times, Grand Khadi 54 times,
      Islam 28 times, Muslims 10 times, and there is no single mention of Christ,
      Christian, Christianity, or, church.”

      “Some mischievous elements are taking these lapses in the (Nigerian) Constitution to
      come to the ungodly decision that probably that the (Nigerian) state is an
      Islamic state.”

      ……………………….Bishop Joseph Bagobiri
      Kafanchan Diocese of Catholic Church

      (March 31st, 2014)

  • Christian Youth League

    WHY A CHRISTIAN GOVERNOR OF LAGOS IN 2015 IS NON-NEGOTIABLE

    After 16 years of un-interrupted Muslim rule of Lagos state – from May 1999 till May 2015 – a successive Christian governor of Lagos state shall become mandatory and non-negotiable to avoid creating by default an Islamic caliphate of Muslims in Lagos state.

    But just as it is un-acceptable for the Leader of Boko Haram (Mujahedeen Shekahu Abubakar) to select the Archbishop of Lagos, so it is un-acceptable for Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, or his thick as thieves Islamist satrap – Oba Akiolu of Lagos – to endorse or select that successive Christian governor.

    All ploys by both men to personally make the choice of a successive Christian governor is a clever by half exercise in futility that should be ignored by all right-thinking Lagosians. To start with, just as no member of Boko Haram (as an Islamic organization) is acceptable to Christians for any purpose, so is any member of the All Progressives Congress (as an Islamist party) un-acceptable to the Christian community in Lagos state for 2015 governorship.

    The choice of a successive Christian governor of Lagos state must be on a non-Islamist party platform. All Christians in Lagos state shall proceed from this first principle. If it will mean voting en masse for the preferred Christian candidate on the party platform of a completely new political party, so be it.

    The coming governorship election in Lagos state is NOT about political parties. Rather it is first of all to remove the cancer of insidious Islamism injected into Lagos politics by Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his side-kick; Alhaji Raji Fashola, and secondly, to bring both dubious men to justice for theft of portions of the $40 billion dollars that Lagos state earned as gross revenues from 1999 till date.

    • By Popular Demand

      “The Action Congress (AC) party in Yorubaland – now morphed as APC,
      is an on-going insult against Yoruba Christians. Since its formation in 2002,
      the ACN/APC party has NEVER fielded a Christian as governorship candidate
      in any of the six (6) Yoruba states of the South-West.”

      ……Deacon Rotimi Ayanlaja
      (October 16, 2014)

      • Lediju

        Wow, this is the end of discussion. That simply means ACN/APC is an Islamist party by definition.
        No Yoruba Christian has any business with Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Islamic APC party.
        It’s as simple as that. But why did Yoruba Christians wait for 15 years to wake up to this obvious fact?

      • sam

        keep quiet with ur PDP bear palour analysis. can u be more christian than Jesus Christ?
        Deacon or a PDP bigot

    • sam

      keep quiet with ur PDP bear palour analysis. can u be more christian than Jesus Christ?