Eleven (11) new court cases have been filed by parents of Muslim students at the International School Ibadan, against the school, its principal Mrs. Phebean Olowe, University of Ibadan and UI Vice Chancellor (Academic) for stopping female Muslim students from wearing hijabs.
The parents confirmed this during a peaceful Jummat rally in Ibadan, and further disclosed that they have petitioned the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), and the Executive Secretary of National Human Right Commission (NHRC) over the ”intimidation, molestation and harassment” of female Muslim students in the school.
Addressing newsmen, the Chairman of the ISI Muslim Parents Forum, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun said they took the matter to court after all opportunities they gave the school to resolve the crisis which has been brewing since 2018, wasn’t taken. He said;
“I want to announce to you that we have refiled our case against the University of Ibadan, the management of ISI, the principal, Mrs Olowe, the DVC academics, Prof. E B Ekeola. We have filed 11 different cases in line with the dictates of the courts. I’m sure that they are being served as we speak.
“Our children were molested, not even within ISI now but outside. The principal, Mrs Phebean Olowe claimed that even all the land that leads to ISI belongs to ISI. She said once they wear the uniform, they must not put on hijab, then they went about removing it forcefully, harassing the parents, harassing the children, trying to force them to sign undertaking and all sorts of things.
“We had three meetings to settle out of court. We shifted grounds. We said, okay tell us the mode of dressing you want, the shape, size, colour. But they insisted that status quo remains. I have here the school rules. There is nothing there that says students cannot wear hijab. Even if there is anything like that, the constitution supersedes any other enabling law. They are not ready to shift. We met thrice in d office of Dr. S.P.A Ajibade, their lead counsel” he said.
“It is not really a religious matter,” he posited, arguing that there have been several court judgements n support of hijab rights in Lagos, Ilorin, Osun and others. We expect that any Nigerian in a public owned school, even if it’s a private owned school, you have to obey the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.