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LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT  LOSES BAN ON HIJAB BATTLE AT SUPREME COURT

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT  LOSES BAN ON HIJAB BATTLE AT SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court has approved the use of hijab by female Muslim students in government-owned schools in Lagos State.

The seven man  panel of justices led by  Justice Olukayode Ariwoola  dismissed the  appeal by the Lagos State Government and upheld the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal which held that the ban on hijab was discriminatory against Muslim students in the state.

Other Justices on the panel were Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice Uwani Aji, Justice Mohammed Garba, Justice Tijjani Abubakar, and Justice Emmanuel Agim.

In a split decision of five to two of a seven-member panel, the Supreme Court affirmed the July 21, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which set aside the October 17, 2014 judgment by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the hijab restriction.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who wrote the lead majority judgment, which was read on Friday by Justice Tijani Abubakar, dismissed the appeal filed by Lagos State against the 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, on the grounds that the appeal was without merit.

The court upheld that the ban violated the Muslim students’ rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, the dignity of human persons and freedom from discrimination guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.

The Lagos State Government had banned the use of the hijab, arguing that it was not part of the approved school uniform for pupils.

Following the ban, the students filed the suit on May 27, 2015, seeking redress and asked the court to declare the ban as a violation of their rights to freedom of thought, religion and education

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