UI school hijab case: Court adjourn till January

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The International School, University of Ibadan girls barred from entering their school for wearing hijab on Thursday, 15th November, 2018

Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday adjourned the case involving some Muslim parents and students of University of Ibadan International School and the school management over the denial of the students the right to wear Hijab in the school, till 11th January, 2019.

Some parents on behalf of their children had on Monday 3rd December dragged the school management and its Principal, Phebean Olowe, before the Court for banning the use of Hijab in the school.

Also joined in the suit number m/706/2018 are Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, Professor Yinka Aderinto, who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

The Muslim parents among whom were: Taofeek Oyedeji Yekinni on behalf of Moridiyyah Ayoka Yekinni, Idris Badiru on behalf of Ikhlas Badiru, Sikiru Babatunde on behalf of Mahmudah Babarinde, Muideen Akerele on behalf of Faridah Akerele, Bello Dokpesi on behalf of Aakifah and Aakiyah Dokpesi, Rahman Akinoso on behalf of Iman Akinoso, Muhaiminudeen Akinlusi on behalf of Raheemah Akinlusi, Abdulwasiu Moshood on behalf of Faridah Moshood, Dr. Olatunde Olosunde on behalf of Hamdallah Olosunde, Abdulsakur Adebayo on behalf of Aliyah Adebayo and Abdulrahman Balogun, Ridwan Ademola and Bolaji Ajani on behalf of Muslim Parents of the school argued that continued denial of the 1st to 11th applicants the right to use Hijab on their school uniform within the premises of the school is unconstitutional and constitutes violation of the applicants rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

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But Akintola, while speaking on the matter at the court on Friday, said the need to adjourn the case for mention was to give all the parties involved in the case fair hearing.

The judge, after listening to counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Hassan Fajimite and defendants Mr Babatunde Ajibade, adjourned the case till January 11th for mention.

Shortly after the court sitting, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Fajimite, told journalists that his clients were seeking the enforcement of their rights.

“This is about the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of some Muslim students of University of Ibadan International school Ibadan, who have sued the school, the principal, University of ibadan and Chairman of the governing council of the school through their fathers.

“They are seeking order of the court to enforce their right as Muslims to put on Hijab on their various school uniforms.”

Fajimite, while speaking on some people who applied to the court to be joined as interested party, said the law allows them to do so, pointing out that he also has the right to either concede or reject the application.

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“Yes, the law allows anybody who has an interest in an existing matter to apply to the court to be joined and subject to the fact that are made available to the court through their affidavit in suooort. The court could grant such an application.

“Of course, one of the such application, or intended application has been served on me this morning in court, about 9.19 am while the court is sitting. I am obliged to study that application before I can make my response whether to oppose it or to concede,” he said.

But, Mr Ajibade, who represented the defendants, declined to comment on the matter when journalists at the court asked for his comments.

EduCeleb.com reports that a related case in Lagos State schools was delivered in favour of the Muslim girls by the Court of Appeal and the government had since September directed school heads to allow them use their hijab on their school uniforms.

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