MSSNLAGOS PRESS RELEASE ON HIJAB COURT CASE ADJOURNMENT

Again, Lagos govt seeks further adjournment on Hijab case, to come up on December 19. Justice G.M Onyeabo of the Ikeja High Court has adjourned the Lagos Hijab case to December 19, 2013. The case was formerly being handled by Justice Joseph Oyewole before it was transferred to Onyeabo.

At the resumed hearing today, counsel to the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Barrister Adetola Kasim (SAN), asked the court to set down the case for hearing since the Lagos State Government had not responded to a proposal for terms of settlement sent since July, 2013.

But counsel to the State Government, Samuel Ajanaku, pleaded for further adjournment claiming that bureaucratic bottlenecks in the civil service had prevented the government from responding on time.

He explained that the terms are currently at the office of the governor saying more time should be given.

However, Adetola urged the judge to let the case proceed as it is of high public interest which cannot wait any longer.

Thereafter, Justice Onyeabo granted the application and adjourned the case till December 19, 2013.

Speaking shortly after, the Naibul Amir (Vice President) of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit Saheed Ashafa, described the attitude of the state government as unfortunate.

He said the government was only whiling away time to execute a plan that is not yet known to the people.

“It is obvious that the state government is using delay tactics. From the first day in court they had told the court that they want to settle out of court and this is about the third time and they are still saying the same thing.

“This is portraying that they are not interested in resolving the matter to the favour of the law but just to while away time so that they can probably do what we don’t know yet,” he said.

Ashafa said no matter how the government tries to delay the case, the MSSN Lagos State Area Unit, would not relent until it is pursued to a logical end.

Also speaking, General Secretary of the society, Tajudeen Balogun, lamented that while the state government continues to seek endless adjournments in the case, some school principals persist in harassing and victimising Muslim students using Hijab in secondary schools.

The MSSN had taken the case to court after series of harassment on Muslim students wearing the hijab by secondary school principals in Lagos state.

The case first came up on May 27, 2013 but was adjourned till July 10 after the state government said it had no defence and sought for adjournment.

It was further adjourned till October 28 as judges in Lagos State were attending a conference.

The case could not come up again as Justice Oyewole who was formerly handling the case was transferred to another division.

Signed:
Idris Qasim
Public Relations Officer
MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit

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