The ongoing court battle over the use of hijab in public schools in Lagos State will end on October 17 as Justice Grace Modupe Onyeabo of an Ikeja High Court reserved the judgment till October 17, 2014.
It was learnt that the adjournment came following the ongoing activities marking the 2014/2015 legal year by the state judiciary.
The Muslim Student Society of Nigeria (MSSN) had dragged the state government to court over the ban placed on the use of the Muslim headscarf, maintaining that it violated their fundamental human rights.
The association through its counsel, Adetola Kazeem (SAN) has described the ban on the use of hijab in or outside the premises of any educational institution in Lagos State as “wrongful and unconstitutional.”
According to Kazeem, the use of hijab is a compulsory religious obligation for Muslim ladies who have reached puberty.
“We are not demanding full hijab, we have exhibited a photograph of a sample of hijab which still represents their school identity.
“The colour of the hijab can conform to the school uniform. All we want is for the students to be allowed to use hijab. If beret and caps are allowed for female students, hijab shouldn’t be an exemption,” he said.
Counsel to the Lagos State government, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), in his reaction however argued that the compulsory use of hijab as stipulated in the Holy Quran specifically refers to Muslim women in public and not female students enrolled in public schools, who are not adults.
Pedro said the ban does not mean religious discrimination, but a way of ensuring standard uniform among students in public and secondary schools in Lagos, as the hijab was no part of the approved school uniform.
The students, who gathered in court as early as 8.00am, not knowing the judgement had been postponed, on hearing the new date, staged a peaceful protest outside the court to express their disapproval over the ban.
The protesters urged the state government to rescind its decision on the ban.