Hijab wearing has been approved for interested female students across Lagos State secondary schools.
Naija News reports that the Supreme Court sitting in Abuja gave the approval on Friday, June 17, barring all school management from discrimination and harassment of the female gender from wearing the religious outfit.
Wearing Hijabs in Nigerian schools has become an issue lately as some stakeholders argue about the secular status of the country.
The issue was, however, debated among a panel which include Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice Uwani Aji, Justice Mohammed Garba, Justice Tijjani Abubakar, and Justice Emmanuel Agim.
Naija News understands while five ruled in favour of the use of hijab, two dissented.
It could be recalled that Lagos high court in October 2014, ruled against the use of hijabs in schools, a judgement that was upturned by an appeal court in July 2016. In a unanimous judgment, the appeal court noted that the ban was discriminatory against Muslim pupils in Lagos state.
Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s judgment, the state government took the case to the supreme court.
Subsequently, a ban was placed on the use of hijab in August 2018. However, in a circular, the state government asked that the status quo be maintained in order to avoid contempt of court.
The court however directed that the hijab must be in moderate sizes, short, smart, neat and in the same colour as the uniform (skirt).
“Since the case of the use of Hijab in Lagos State is still pending in the Supreme court of Nigeria, status quo be maintained, to avoid contempt of the court, that is students be allowed to wear Hijabs on school uniforms but same must be short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt),” the circular read.
“Furthermore, schools management are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart Hijabs until the final determination of the case by Supreme Court.
“No student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion,” it added.