Lawyers clash in court over Ogun hijab crisis

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* * As Court Adjourns Hearing
Two lawyers were on Tuesday locked in a war of words at an Ogun State High Court in Isabo, Abeokuta, during the hearing of a suit on the use of hijab in public schools in the state.
A nine-year-old female pupil of Gateway Junior Secondary School, Aisha AbdulAleem, in December last year sued the state government for allegedly violating her fundamental human right to use hijab, demanding N1m as damages.
During the second hearing of the case on Tuesday, counsel for the defendant and the claimant, Israel Awofeso and Sulaiman Akinbami, respectively, traded words over the call for the adjournment of the case.
The Tuesday hearing attracted scores of Christian and Islamic faithful to the courtroom.
During the proceeding, there was a heated argument between the two counsel, following the statement made by the defendant’s lawyer claiming he received the process filed by one of the lawyers for the claimants, Mr Abass Nurudeen, on December 27, 2018, late on Tuesday.
Awofeso, who based his argument on his late receipt of the process, sought an adjournment of the case in order to respond to on point of law.
But Akinbami described his claim as “administrative incompetence”.
He prayed the court to hear the case expeditiously because of the pupil who he said could not return to school because she was denied her right to exercise freedom of religion.
Akinbami added that the case was in the interest of the majority of the people in the state.
Awofeso angrily responded, saying the accusation of “administrative incompetence” was “absolutely incorrect and rude”.
But, the presiding judge, Justice Bamgbose Alabi, restored calm by promising to ensure the speedy hearing of the case.
Bamgbose, however, adjourned the case till January 16.