OPINION: Supreme Court Judgment on Hijab: Rejoinder to Chief Malcolm Omirhobo

Hijab can be considered as head coverings worn by Muslim women. Hijab often specifically refers to a cloth wrapped around the head and neck, covering the hair but leaving the face visible. The term hijab was originally used to denote a partition, a curtain, or was used generally for the Islamic rules of modesty and dress for females.

The recent decision of the apex court on wearing hijab by female Muslim students in Lagos has generated hullabaloo where some commentators like Chief Malcolm Omirhobo think the Supreme Court was not right by approving the use of hijab in Lagos schools. I have read his write-up wherein he stated that the Apex Court erred by delivering the judgment and will have to review same.

Sincerely, I consider his statement as unguarded and unfortunate, with no justification. As a senior lawyer, he is expected to follow the due process of law in challenging the decision of the court not to come on media and start saying gibberish.


Supreme Court Upholds Hijab Wearing in Lagos Schools


The right to religion is obviously stated in section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). If women police officers can wear hijab to work in Nigeria, a lawyer can wear hijab and appear before the court then, why do you think a student in secondary school cannot wear hijab to school in the same country? What message are you trying to deliver as a minister in the temple of justice?

The point is that, no school authority can prevent female students from wearing hijab, the intention of the Supreme Court is not to encourage the adoption of any state of the federation as Islamic state but to allow the citizen to enjoy their freedom.

The provision of section 10 of the CFRN cited by Chief Omirhobo has nothing to do with this decision, the Supreme Court did not impose hijab on women of other religions. It is only for female Muslim students who wish to do so. Other religion’s followers can wear whatever they think is part of their belief if it is not contrary to the law.

Mohammed Ibrahim Abdul
Bayero University, Kano


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