By Sherideen Nazrideen

An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has granted the female Muslim students of the International School Ibadan, ISI, University of Ibadan the relief to wear Hijab on top of their uniforms during school hours.

The court presided over by Justice Moshood Ishola also ruled that the school is a multi-religious public institution and that restraining the female Muslim students in the school from wearing the Hijab amounts to infringement on fundamental human rights, which are inalienable.

Citing judicial precedents, Justice Ishola maintained that forcing female Muslim students to dress against their religious belief is a violation of fundamental human right as contained in sections 38 (1) (a) and 42 (1) (a) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

He however declined the award of damages as compensation as claimed by the applicant in the amended motion.

Reacting to the judgement, the lead counsel to the applicants, Mr. Hassan Fajimite expressed delight at the declarative relief and pronouncement of perpetual injunction restraining the school authorities from preventing female Muslim students from using Hijab.

Efforts to get reaction from the lead counsel to the respondents, Mr. Magnus Ejelonu were not successful.

In an address, the chairman of ISI Muslim Parents Forum, Alhaji Abdurahman Balogun, who described the judgement as memorable, and a testament to the court as the last hope of common man, especially on freedom of religion.

It would be recalled that the applicants, 11 female students of the International School Ibadan, ISI, University of Ibadan, their parents and the Muslims Rights Concern, MURIC had instituted a case of infringement on their right to freedom of thought, religion and right to education in 2019.

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