The Court of Appeal in Lagos will today deliver judgment on a suit filed two 15-year-old girls against the ban on the usage of Hijab (Muslim Headscarf) by children in public primary and secondary schools, Vanguard Reports.
The government had banned the use of Hijab on the argument that it was not part of the approved school uniform for pupils.
Consequently, two girls (12-year-old at the time) under the aegis of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos Area Unit, filed a suit on May 27 2013 at an Ikeja High Court challenging the decision of the state.
Justice Modupe Onyeabor dismissed the suit on October 17 2014, saying that the prohibition of the wearing of Hijab over school uniforms within and outside the premises of public schools was not discriminatory.
The judge said Section 10 of the Constitution made Nigeria a secular state and that government must maintain neutrality at all times.
The students and the Registered Trustees of MSSN appealed the judgment, and today, a special 5-man panel led by Justice A.B Gumel will give judgment on the case. The panel had previously reserved its judgement on Friday, May 27.
Others on the panel are Justice M. Fasanmi, Justice A. Jauro, Justice J.S. Ikejegh and Justice Jombo Ofor.
This is coming after Justice Jide Falola of the Osun State High Court on Friday, June 3rd ruled that female Muslim students in public schools in the state have the right to wear hijab to school.
Falola ruled in favour of the plaintiff in a legal action instituted by the Osun State Muslim Community and the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in 2013.
Following the judgment, the Osun State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) instituted a stay of execution at the Appeal Court in the state.
The June 3 judgment sparked protests in Osun state where Christian students were ordered by their leaders to put on robes and other church uniforms to school.
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