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UIIS Hijab Crisis: Judge Suggests Out Of Court Settlement

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An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan yesterday advised parties involved in the legal tussle on ban of use of Hijab at the University of Ibadan International School to seek out of court settlement.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, counsel to the respondents, Dr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), told the court that he was informed that other students had filed applications seeking to be joined as parties in the matter.

Ajibade then urged the court to adjourn the matter to allow the students ample time to properly file their applications before the next hearing date.

Justice Akintola, while granting the request for adjournment, advised the parties to try and leave in harmony as one family irrespective of religious affiliations.

“As Nigerians, be you Christian or a Muslim, you must learn to live in harmony and allow the nation to be peaceful at all times,” he advised.

“We must not create unnecessary tension or heat up the polity to further divide this country.

“It will be proper if you can resolve this matter amicably and relate with one another as human beings.

“We will all regret it if we turn ourselves and the nation into such a state that we cannot sleep with our two eye closed.”

The judge however, adjourned the matter till February 20 for mention.

Some female Muslim students of ISI had protested the institution’s ban on the wearing of Hijab over their school uniforms within the school premises.

The students’ parents, who filed the suit on behalf of their wards, are Taofeek Yekinni, Idris Badiru, Sikiru Babarinde, Muideen Akerele, Abdurrahman Balogu and nine others.

The respondents in the suit include the University of Ibadan, the Principal of International School, Ibadan, Mrs Phebean Olowe, Chairman, Board of Governors, Prof. Abideen Aderinto and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) office.

The applicants, through their counsel, Mr Abdulwahab Egbewole (SAN), had filed the suit via originating summons.

They were asking the court to declare as illegal, wrongful and unconstitutional the school authority’s declaration that Muslim female students could not wear the hijab over their school uniforms during school hours.

They alleged that the order violates their right to freedom of thought, religion and right to education as contained in section 38 (1)(a) and 42(1)(a) of the constitution.


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