A coalition of Muslim organizations, yesterday staged a protest at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, over the decision of House of Representatives Committee on Justice and Judiciary to cancel a public hearing on the hijab controversy between the Nigerian Law School and Miss Amasa Firdus, the Law School graduate who was sent out of the call to bar ceremony in December last year because she refused to take off her Hijab.
The House committee cancelled the public hearing following an injunction it received from a high court directing it to stay action.
The public hearing, which was scheduled to hold at Room 236 of the House of Representatives Wing, was cancelled immediately after the Chairman of the Committee, Rasak Atunwa, announced that the Committee had received an interlocutory injunction from a High Court restraining it from proceeding with the hearing.
Leader of the Muslim group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who is a Muslim scholar and Director of the Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC), started to shout, insisting that the hearing must continue. According to Akintola, the injunction was from a ”Kangaroo” court and so should not be obeyed by the committee members.
We reject this and we are saying that the injunction is a travesty of justice. We have come here in peace. These people do not want freedom of expression and they don’t want freedom of speech. If the constitution and government fail to protect us, then we will liberate ourselves using every constitutional mechanism that will not cause violence and crisis. Amasa Firdus has challenged the status quo and she is the heroine of today. Nigerian Muslims are saying: ‘You kill one hijab, you have killed all hijab. You bar one Muslim sister, you bar all Muslims. So, this issue is not for Amasa Firdus alone. It is between the Nigerian Law School and all Nigerian Muslims,” the enraged professor said
The house said it would announce a new date for the hearing.
Amasa was barred from participating in the December 2017 call to bar ceremony after she refused to take off her Hijab during the ceremony.