Friday, 22 June 2018

Call to bar approved for hijab wearing lawyer who wasn't called to bar with her set, but there are conditions and hijab has still not been approved for call to bar

Law graduate, Firdaus Amasa made news headlines last year when she wasn't called to bar with her set because she refused to remove her hijab. It has now been revealed that she will be allowed to be called to bar, but there are conditions, including that she must write an apology letter for being rude.

A report has been making the rounds online that hijab has now been approved for call to bar by the Body of Benchers due to Firdaus' protest. Well, this claim has been debunked by the Body of Benchers. According to The Nigeria Lawyer, TNL, the Body of Benchers stated that the correct position is that a decision was taken to allow Firdaus Amasa to be called to the Bar wearing a small covering over her hair, The Honourable Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa style, not the hijab.

The body of benchers is yet to formally decide on the mode of dress code for call to Bar as this has generated much controversy in the legal community.

But, with regards to the case of Miss Fidaus Amasa, the Body of Benchers released a report stating the decision they reached and the conditions attached.

It states:

However in view of the imminent Call to Bar ceremonies in July 2018 and Miss Fidaus Amasa’s petition, a position was taken on the applicant’s current petition on the subject. It was decided that:

– the applicant was indeed rude and impolite to a former CJN Belgore JSC who had intervened at the Call ceremonies but rebuffed by the applicant, and therefore must tender a written apology.

– It was recognized that moslem Judges while sitting wear only head scarf to cover their hair and not partial face covering of any sort, as exhibited by the applicant’s attire. If she will be called therefore, she cannot use more than the hair covering scarf, similar to what female Judges from lower courts to Supreme Court use.

So the reprieve is conditional on the above limitations, not a blanket approval as falsely being circulated.

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