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Legal fireworks over UI hijab crisis heightened

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Legal fireworks over UI hijab crisis heightened
  • Court fixes June 25 for hearing of preliminary objection

 

An Oyo State High Court in Ibadan has fixed June 25 for hearing of preliminary objection in a fundamental human right suit filed by Muslim parents of female students of University of Ibadan (UI) International School Ibadan (ISI)’s over the school’s refusal to allow their children wear Hijab on their uniform. The preliminary objection was filed by Mr Tunde Olutayo, one of the respondents in the matter. Other respondents in the suit are the University of Ibadan, School Principal, Mrs Phebean Olowe, the Chairman, Board of Governors, Prof. Abideen Aderinto and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) and three others. Olutayo, through his counsel, Mr Jide Owoyemi, also filed an application for extension of time to allow him file his processes and urged the court to grant it.

In his response, Counsel to the applicants, Mr Hassan Fagimite, told the court that he was not opposed to the application for extension of time. Fagimite, however, said that he was recently served with the application for extension of time and the preliminary objection and was yet to respond to it on point of law.

He told the court that he intends to respond to the processes of all the respondents at the same time. Justice Laniran Akintola granted the application for extension of time and adjourned the hearing of the preliminary objection till June 25. It would be recalled that ISI had banned female Muslims students in the school from wearing hijab on their school uniform and the female Muslims student protested against the decision as a violation of their fundamental human right. Some Muslim parents instituted legal action against the institution on behalf of their children and they include: Taofeek Yekinni, Idris Badiru, Sikiru Babarinde, Muideen Akerele, Abdur-rahman Balogun and nine others.

The applicants counsel, Fagimite, in his originating summon had said that the action of the school authority violates the applicants’ right to freedom of thought, religion and right to education as contained in section 38 (1) (a) and 42(1)(a) of the constitution. He urged the court to declare the continuous refusal of the authority of ISI to allow the female Muslim students wear hijab on their school uniform as wrongful and unconstitutional.

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