UI School: ‘Muslim girls can wear hijab’ – Court

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

An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, on Wednesday, declared that the decision of the management of International School Ibadan (ISI), owned by the University of Ibadan (UI), to prevent female Muslim students from wearing hijab on their uniform as unconstitutional and illegal.

Justice Moshood Ishola stated this while delivering judgement on an infringement of fundamental rights suit filed by 11 female Muslim students of the school and Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

Justice Ishola held that ISI is a multi-religion public school, adding that any female Muslim student who wishes to wear hijab on her uniform should not be denied the opportunity.

He said that denying them their right to wear hijab on their school uniforms would amount to violation of their rights to thought, religion and education as contained in section 38 and 42 of the constitution.

The judge also said that the court was bound to abide by the decision of a superior court, which had made pronouncement on the matter, when the facts are the same.

“The suit succeed in its entirety and I make no order as to damages as prayed by the petitioners,” the judge said.

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Recall that 11 female Muslim students of ISI had sued the school for not allowing them to wear hijab over their school uniforms.

The petitioners are Fariidah Akere, Aaliyah Dokpesi, Akhifah Dokpesi, Imam Akinoso, Hamdallah Olosunde, Aliyyah Adebayo, Moriddiyah Yekinni,Ikhlas Badiru, Mahmuda Babarinde and Fareedah Moshood.

They were later joined by Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) as petitioners in the suit.

The petitioners filed an infringement on fundamental rights suit before the court against the school for banning them from wearing hijab on their school uniforms.

The respondents in the suit are ISI, UI, the school principal,the school governing board among others.

The petitioners prayed for an order of the court to declare as illegal, wrongful and unconditional the refusal of the school to allow them wear hijab on their school uniforms.

They argued that denying them amounts to violation of their freedom of thought,religion and education as contained in section 38 and 42 of the constitution..

Counsels to the students and MURIC, Mr Hassan Fajimite and Mr Yusuf Anikulapo respectively, commended the judge for the judgment

Counsel to the 1st to 5th defendants, Mr Magnus Ejelonu, also appreciated the judge for the judgement.

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The management of the school had in 2018 banned female Muslim students from wearing hijab on the uniforms. The development prompted the students through their parents to approach the court for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

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