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ISI hijab issue: Parents drag UI, ISI, others to court

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Some Muslim Parents and pupils of International School, Ibadan, (ISI) on Monday dragged the management of the International School, Ibadan (ISI) and the University of Ibadan (UI) to the Court over refusal to allow their children to wear hijab.

In the suit No: M/706/2018 filed on behalf of the 14 applicants by Messrs Abdulkareem, Fajimite and Co. at Oyo State High Court, the parents are demanding for the fundamental human rights of their wards in using Hijab.

The applicants who sued the school through their parents are Moridiyya Yekinni, Ikhlas Badiru, Mahmudah Babarinde, Faridah Akerele, Aakifah Dokpesi, Aaliyah Dokpesi, Iman Akinoso, Raheemah Akinlusi, Faridah Moshood, Hamdallah Olusunde and Aliyah Adebayo.

The 12th to 14th Applicants who sued on behalf of ISI Muslim Parents Forum were Abdur-Rahman Balogun (Chairman), Ridwan Ademola and Bolaji Ajani.

The Nation learnt that the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Idowu Olayinka was served yesterday

Others who were said to have received their services were the Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Academic) and Chairman, Board of Governors of ISI Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto and ISI Principal Mrs Phebean Olowe.

The suit is asking for Court’s declaration that the continuous denial of the 1st to 11th applicants’ right to use Hijab on their school uniform within the premises of the ISI is wrongful and unconstitutional.

It further reads: “It constitutes a violation of the applicants rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom from discrimination and right to dignity of the human persons and right to education as guaranteed by section 38(1) (a) and (b) and 42 (1) (a) & (b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,

“And Articles 2, 5, 8, 10, 17 and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP A9, Laws of the Federation, 2004).

“The suit is also seeking for a declaration of the Court that the locking up or humiliation of the 1st-11th Applicants by the 1st-4th Respondents by themselves and /or agents or privies as a result of the use of Hijab by the 1st-11th Applicants  is a violation of the Applicants’ Fundamental Human Rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom from discrimination and right to the dignity of the human person, right to education and right to free association as guaranteed under Section 38 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

Other prayers of the suit include an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents either by themselves, their  officers, agents, privies or servants from further interfering or infringing in any manner with the fundamental rights of the 1st -11th Applicants and other female Muslim pupils of ISI who have resolved or are obliged to use or are using Hijab on their school uniforms in the exercise of the Applicants rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom from discrimination and right to the dignity of the human person, right to education and right to free association.”

The case has been slated for hearing for Friday December 21, 2018 before Justice Ladiran Akintola of State High Court, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State.

It will be recalled that sequel to letter of notification by the ISI Muslim Parents Forum which was served on ISI Principal and other management Staff on November 9, some female Muslim pupils adorned Hijab to the school on November 12, 2018.

Disturbed by the development, the School Principal, Mrs Olowe, refused to conduct the school Assembly and directed that all classes be locked for any academic activities.

The school was eventually closed for one week following the insistence of the Muslim girls to wear their hijab as it did not contravene the school dressing code and in line with their fundamental human rights.

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