The Court of appeal ruled yesterday that female Muslim pupils in Lagos State can now wear hijab to school. This nullifies the 2014 verdict of a Lagos High Court, which banned the wearing of hijab by the pupils.
According to a five man panel presided over by Justice A.S. Gumel ,banning the wearing of hijab would amount to discrimination on religious ground.
The appeal was filed by two female pupils of Atunrase Junior High School in Surulere, Asiyat Kareem and Mariam Oyeniyi, under the aegis of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit.
In the lead judgement Justice Gumel held:
“The wearing of hijab is an Islamic injunction and also an act of worship,” hence it will constitute a clear violation of the appellants’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to stop them from wearing the hijab in public schools.”
Resolving all the five issues raised in favour of the appellants, the appellate court held that the lower court erred in law when it held that the hijab ban is the policy of Lagos State Government (respondent).