The President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, has promised that the Association would look into the circumstances in which Amasa Firdaus, a graduate of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) was prevented from being called to the Bar on Tuesday.
Firdaus was said to have been denied entry into the hall where the ceremony held by officials of the Council of Legal Education (CLE) for failing to remove her ‘hijab’ covering as directed.
The prospective call to bar candidate reportedly insisted on wearing her hijab in adherence to her religious beliefs and refused entreaties to do otherwise. She was subsequently locked out and could not participate in the ceremony.
Firdaus’ plight has garnered nationwide attention and has been the subject of a debate about the constitutional right to freedom of worship and the obligation to respect laid out rules. A call for Firdaus to be admitted to the Bar has also been trending with the hashtag #JusticeForFirdaus.
Joining the discussion Friday afternoon, NBA President Mahmoud referred to Olufunke Abimbola, a Nigerian lawyer based in the United Kingdom (UK) who was recently honoured by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to promoting diversity in the legal profession.
Writing on his Twitter handle, @abmtwitt, Mr Mahmoud said Firdaus’ plight would be addressed while also adding that the NBA would embrace diversity.
“UK based Nigerian lawyer recognized for promoting diversity in the legal profession. The NBA will embrace diversity and tolerance in the Nigerian legal profession. The Hijab issue will be addressed,” Mahmoud said.
The NBA President went further to share a picture of his daughter being admitted to the New York Bar while wearing a hijab and declared that the argument over hijab in Nigeria was needless.