As the Lagos State Government opens investigation into circumstances surrounding the snatching of hijab from the head of a female Muslim student in a Lagos school, an Islamic human rights association, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has demanded transparency, firmness and speedy delivery of justice.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday, 29th December, 2022 by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads: “As the Lagos State Government (LASG) opens investigation into circumstances surrounding the snatching of hijab from the head of a female Muslim student, Mujeebah AbdulQadri, a JSS 2 student by the principal of Eletu Odibo Junior High School, Mrs. Christiana Sofuye, we remind the state government of the need for transparency, firmness and speedy delivery of justice.
“The outrage which greeted the principal’s action on both social and conventional media led to the setting up of a probe on the ugly incident. It must be observed that the ongoing probe has generated immense public interest particularly among Muslims in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole (https://dailytrust.com/lagos-probes-school-principal-for-violating-hijab-judgement/; https://edutorial.ng/hijab-lagos-govt-probes-school-principal-for-violating-court-judgement/; https://muslimnews.com.ng/2022/12/22/lagos-sanctions-principal-for-disobeying-circular-on-hijab/
“This is why LASG must ensure that the investigation is transparent. Nigerians have little faith in probes since most probes in the country end up being swept under the carpet. Therefore the state government cannot afford to send the wrong signal to the public on a probe set up by itself.
“While laying emphasis on giving the principal and others involved fair hearing, we opine that this is the time to exhibit firmness in order to assure the public that those handling the investigation will not allow themselves to be swayed by sentiment. Neither would they allow undue interference or any external influence. We must work towards sustaining public confidence in the probe as well as in the state government.
“MURIC asserts that the findings of the probe panel must be made public because only thus will the process act as a form of deterrent to other school principals and teachers who are in the habit of exercising arbitrary power and sow the seed of religious hatred among our young ones.”
“We demand speedy justice. We reiterate that procrastination is the thief of time. Justice delayed is justice denied. It was J. F. Kennedy who said, ‘The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are trampled’.
“It is the rights of Mujeebah AbdulQadri today. She is just one innocent girl child. But no establishment should, in good conscience, joke with the rights of and justice for a single citizen. Justice is the soul of peace. No one can deny one and enjoy the other.”