Nigeria’s apex court the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the right of Muslim students to wear hijab to school in Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that five out of the seven members of the court’s panel which sat on the case ruled in favour of hijab while the two remaining members dissented.
The court dismissed the Lagos State Government’s appeal and upheld the Court of Appeal’s earlier decision that the hijab ban was discriminatory against Muslim students in the state.
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice Uwani Aji, Justice Mohammed Garba, Justice Tijjani Abubakar, and Justice Emmanuel Agim served on the panel.
The verdict was met with wild celebrations from the Amir (President) of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, and other members of the organisation.
The court ruled that the ban violated the rights of Muslim students to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, human dignity, and freedom from discrimination guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.
The Lagos State Government had prohibited the wearing of the hijab, claiming it was not part of the approved school uniform for students.
Following the ban, the students filed a lawsuit on May 27, 2015, seeking redress and asking the court to rule that the ban violated their rights to free thought, religion, and education.