The crisis rocking University of Ibadan International School, Ibadan over hijab wearing took another dimension as the school authority suspended a female Muslim student, Miss Ikhlass Olasubomi Badiru, who was found by the school authority for wearing Hijab (headscarf) in July this year for two weeks.
The two weeks suspension was contained in a letter of suspension, signed by the School Principal, Phebean Olowe, a copy of which was obtained by journalists on Thursday takes effect between 7th and 18th October, 2019.
It could be recalled that Badiru father, Dr. Idris Olabode Badiru, had in July, raised alarm over what he termed as molestation and inhuman treatment of his daughter, Ikhlas Badiru, by the Principal of International School, Univerity of Ibadan, Mrs. Phebean Olowe, the School Accountant identified as Mr. Odewale and other staff of the school for wearing Hijab on top of her school uniform outside the school premises.
The Muslim parents forum in the school through its Chairman, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun and Secretary, Hajia Bilkis Badiru, wrote petitions to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) urging them to investigate the matter and call those molesting the students to order.
It was gathered that the school later set up a committee to look into the matter and subsequently came out with a report to suspend the student for wearing the Hijab on top of her school uniform outside the school premises, despite the fact that there are 11 cases at Oyo State High Courts, which were filled by the Muslim parents against the school for its refusal to allow their daughters wear Hijab.
It was gathered that the use of Hijab has since November 2018, been generating a lot of controversies and crises, which made parents of some Muslim students to jointly sue the school, its principal, University of Ibadan and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school who also doubled as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university.
An Oyo State High Court under the leadership of Justice Ladiran Akintola, however on 26th June 2019 struck out the suit filed by the parents on the basis that the petitioners are not supposed to file the case jointly.
The Muslim parents had since then returned to the courts to file fresh eleven cases individually against the school, its principal, University of Ibadan and its Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic). The cases are still at the Oyo State High Courts as at the time of writing this report.
But, despite the fact that the cases are still at the courts, the school, said it suspended Badiru for a period of two weeks for violating the school’s rules.
Principal of the school, Phebean Olowe in the letter entitled, “Letter of Suspension”, signed on Monday, 30th September 2019 and addressed to Badiru, insisted that the disciplinary committee looked into Badiru’s action and found her guilty of act of impudence to the school authority.
Olowe in the letter said, “At the meeting of the Students Disciplinary Committee (SDC) looking into students’ misconduct held on Wednesday 28th August, 2019, you were found guilty of act of impudence to school authority.
“Your action contravenes the school’s rules and regulations. Therefore, you are to serve two weeks full suspension effective from 7th September 2019 to 18th September, 2019.
“Also, you and your parents shall be expected to report to the counsellor on Monday 21st October 2019 to present a written undertaking to the school to obey rules and regulations throughout your remaining days on the school.”