Hijab crisis: Court grants UI International School extension of time

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An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday granted an application for extension of time filed by the University of Ibadan (UI) International School Ibadan (ISI) in a suit filed against it over ban on wearing of Hijab by female Muslim students.

Our correspondent reports that the suit was instituted by some Muslim parents on behalf of their daughters after an initial protest that led to the brief shutdown of the school.

Other respondents in the suit are the School Principal, Mrs Phebean Olowe, the Chairman, Board of Governors, Prof. Abideen Aderinto and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the university.

It was reported that the Muslim parents that sued the school on behalf of their children are Taofeek Yekinni, Idris Badiru, Sikiru Babarinde, Muideen Akerele, Abdurrahman Balogun and nine others.

At the resume hearing of the suit on Friday, Counsel to the respondents, Dr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) informed the court that he was out of time in responding to the originating summon of the applicants.

Ajibade said he has filed an application for extension of time and urged the court to grant his application.

The counsel to the applicants, Mr Hassan Fajimite, said he was not opposed to the application for extension of time filed by the respondents’ counsel.

Justice Laniran Akintola granted the application and adjourned the matter till Jan. 11, 2019, for mention.

It was reported that three parties seeking to be joined as co-respondents in the matter where present in the court, but yet to file any processes.

In the originating summon, the applicants are contending that the action of the school authority violates their rights to freedom of thought, religion and education as contained in Section 38 (1)(a) and 42(1)(a) of Nigeria’s Constitution.

Their counsel had urged the court to declare the school’s continuous prevention of female Muslim students from wearing Hijab as wrongful and unconstitutional.