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20 Dec 2017

Hijab Controversy: House of Representatives Intervene Over Firdaus Amasa's Case

Following the raging controversy generated by the Nigerian Law School's refusal to call Amasa Firdaus to bar as a result of hijab, lawmakers in the lower chamber have reacted.
House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara
The House of Representatives on Tuesday weighed into the controversy over the refusal of the Nigerian Law School to call a graduate Law student, Amasa Firdaus, to the Bar.

Firdaus, a University of Ilorin graduate was due to be called to the Bar on December 12 but was stopped after she insisted on wearing the Hijab.

The school insisted she must adorn a wig, the conventional head cover worn by lawyers which she refused. Firdaus reportedly was quoted as saying that she opted to wear the Islamic head scarf to challenge the status quo.

However, after the issue was raised in the House, the House of Representatives today directed its Committees on Justice and Judiciary to investigate the matter and make appropriate recommendations to the floor. The resolution was adopted following a motion by a member from Kano State, Mr. Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Danburam-Nuhu faulted the Law School on the grounds that it infringed on the fundamental rights of Firdaus. On Tuesday, Danburam-Nuhu, while arguing his motion, told the House that under Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution, Firdaus was entitled to dress the way she liked.

“The section supersedes any provision by any government agency or institution”, he stated.

He said the wig or the dress code of lawyers was borrowed from the West, adding that Nigeria must not impose it on its citizens because it came from the West.

Danburam-Nuhu claimed that in the UK and some African countries, including Kenya, graduates were allowed to use the Hijab during graduation or other similar ceremonies.

The session was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara

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