Lagos State Govt. to Institutions: ‘Obey Supreme Court Judgment, Allow Pupils/Students Wear Hijab in Schools’

The Lagos State Government has directed all state institutions to allow female Muslim students and pupils to adorn the hijab head covering in accordance with the Supreme Court Judgment delivered on the 17th of June, 2022.

In the Judgment, the apex court had declared that pupils and students should be allowed to wear the Hijab if they desired.

The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court affirmed the July 21, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which set aside the October 17, 2014 judgment by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the hijab restriction.

The Supreme Court held that wearing the hijab was an Islamic injunction and an act of worship required of Muslims, and consequently, the banning of female Muslim students from wearing it to school is a violation of their fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, the dignity of human persons and freedom from discrimination. The Court heavily relied on section 38 of the 1999 Constitution, which guarantees every Nigerian citizen the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.    

Below is the full text of the circular:

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT

Ref. No: CIR/HOS/22/Vol.1/068

Office of the Head of Service.

Public Service Office,

The Secretariat,

Alausa-Ikeja,

5th December, 2022

CIRCULAR NO: 068

THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR

THE RT. HONOURABLE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY THE CHIEF JUDGE

SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT

CHIEF OF STAFF

HONOURABLE COMMISSIONERS/ SPECIAL ADVISERS

PERMANENT SECRETARIES/TUTORS-GENERAL

CLERK, STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY STATE AUDITOR-GENERAL

AUDITOR-GENERAL FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CHAIRMEN, LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS/ LOCAL COUNCIL DEVT. AREAS

CHAIRMAN, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, AUDIT SERVICE COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE COMMISSION CHAIRMAN, TEACHING SERVICE COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BERVICE COMMISSION CHAIRMAN, LAGOS STATE PENSION COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, LAGOS STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, STATE SPORTS COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN, STATE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION BOARD

CHAIRMAN, LAGOS STATE PRIMARY HEALTHCARE BOARD SERVICE

EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, LAGOS STATE INTERNAL REVENUE

HEADS OF EXTRA-MINISTERIAL DEPARTMENTS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF PARASTATAL ORGANISATIONS

CHIEF REGISTRAR OF THE HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE

HEADS OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR/MEDICAL DIRECTORS OF HOSPITALS

HEADS OF ADMINISTRATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS/LOCAL COUNCIL DEV. AREAS

SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT ON THE USE OF HIJAB IN LAGOS STATE SCHOOLS

  1. It is hereby notified for general information that the Supreme Court Judgement SC.910/2016 delivered on the 17 of June, 2022 on the use of Hijab as it affects Pupils/Students in Lagos State Schools has declared that Students should be allowed to wear the Hijab if desired.
  2. A Comprehensive Guideline on the use of Hijab in Schools will be issued by the State Government in due course, however you are to note that the judgement is binding on all schools in the State.
  1. As a law abiding administration, all Accounting Officers are to note the contents of this Circular for inmediate compliance and give it the deserved Service-wide publicity.

Signed:

Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Head of Service.


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