Hijab: Court strikes out suit against UI school

A judge, Ladiran Akintola of an Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, on Tuesday struck out a fundamental human rights suit challenging the refusal of the University of Ibadan International School to allow female Muslim students wear hijab on their school uniforms.

The suit against the school, UI, its Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), who also doubles as Chairman of the Board of Governors in the school and the school’s principal, Phebean Olowe, was filed by some parents of female Muslim students in the school on behalf of their children and wards.

The plaintiffs argued that the continued refusal of the defendants to allow the students use hijab on their school uniform within the premises of the school was unconstitutional and constituted violation of the applicants’ rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

But, Mr Akintola in his ruling on Tuesday, maintained that the originating summon of the applicants contravened the provision of the constitution of Nigeria.

Mr Akintola said that the provision of the constitution does not allow filing of a joint action in a fundamental human right suit.

He said that the section of the constitution on fundamental human right allows ”separate filing of an action on the matter”.

Mr Akintola upheld the preliminary objection filed by Abdul-Aziz Jimoh, one of the counsels to respondents in the matter, and struck out the suit.

Mr Jimoh had earlier moved preliminary objection which was not objected to by the applicants’ counsel, Sulayman Alabi.

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