Firdaus triumphs as Law School calls her to bar

The law graduate, Firdaus Amasa who was denied being called to bar, on account of wearing a hijab (headscarf) in December 2017, was eventually called to bar in her hijab on Tuesday.

Barrister Firdaus Amasa (M), after being called to ba on Tuesday in Abuja

Barrister Firdaus Amasa (M), after being called to ba on Tuesday in Abuja

The Renaissance recalled that Amasa was denied entrance to the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Dec. 12, 2017, where the call to bar programme took place, for refusing to remove her hijab.

The Body of Benchers and Nigerian Law School claimed that her hijab broke their dress codes and was not call to bar.

The University of Ilorin law graduate objected to removing her hijab, claiming that was an infringement on her human right, leading to her been denied from being inducted as a barrister with her other colleagues.

The episode stirred intense controversies in Nigeria. Dr Joe Abah, a former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms in Nigeria and past president of the Nigerian Bar Association Mahmoud Abubakar said Amasa should have been called to bar regardless of her hijab.

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Abah celebrated Amasa’s victorious outcome and induction into the Nigerian bar association on his official Twitter account @DrJoeAbah.

“Congratulations to Amasa Firdaus who has now been called to the Nigerian Bar with her hijab. I am proud to have stood on the side of honour in her case.

“I am proud that I don’t bay with the mob or run with the herd. The truth will always prevail,” Abah tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Law School said 1,550 students were successful after the April 2018 Bar final examinations, putting their success rate at 68.6 per cent.

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The school also called to the Bar 12 other graduates from the previous 2018 final examinations, among which is Amasa.

The recent development attracted commendations and jubilation from Islamic organisations, among which is The Congress (TMC) and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit among others.

In a statement by its Amir (President), Saheed Ashafa, the MSSN said that allowing Amasa to be called to the bar would encourage Muslim females to be dedicated to their academics.

“This is a welcome development. We hope that as time goes on, we will get something better. The use of hijab is not only constitutional but also mandatory for all Muslim females.

“The law school has shown enough maturity in this matter by calling Amasa to bar with her hijab. Not allowing her would have been a breach of her right, an injustice and would send a bad signal that the justice house is ill.

“It will also be counterproductive to the agenda of the federal government to encourage girl-child education. The victory of Amasa would encourage other females to pursue any course of their choice without of being victimised.

“We urge other institutions having cases to determine relating to hijab to follow this step, it is practical enough. The hijab is not a harmful outfit.

“It is mandatory for every female Muslim. Denying it means the denial of the Muslim females of their fundamental human right, which is against the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended),” the MSSN statement read in part.

It would be recalled that The Muslims Right Concern (MURIC) had through a Whatsapp message in June broke the cheering news that the Body of Benchers — the professional body concerned with the admission of prospective students into the Nigerian Law School — had approved the use of the Islamic apparel for the annual ceremony for new legal profession entrants.

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It said that in addition, Firdaus had been invited to attend the July Call to Bar.

“We like to express our sincere gratitude to the Body of Benchers for painstakingly reviewing the case and for allowing professionalism to be the deciding factor,” MURIC had said.

“MURIC thanks all Muslim leaders who intervened on behalf of Firdaus Amasa. We are also grateful to the House of Representatives for the positive role it played in this matter.

“We felicitate with all Islamic organizations as well as Muslim brothers and sisters who stood with us all these days, particularly during the aborted public hearing in the National Assembly,” MURIC had said in the platform. Congratulations.”


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