NIGERIA: Hijab: Why I Sued The Inspector General Of Police


Malcolm Omirhobo. Image: Facebook

Today , I have filed an action via suit No FHC/L/CS/453 /2022 at the Federal High Court , Ikoyi , Lagos against the Inspector General of the Nigerian police Force, joining the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney of Nigeria as co defendants .

The basis of the action is the impropriety of the IG's approval of a new dress code for female Muslim police officers of the Nigerian police which permits them to wear stud earrings and Hijab (headscarf) under their berets or peak caps as the case may be while in uniform with the tacit support of the FG and AG .

The IG unveiled the new dress code on 3/3/2022 and went on to order the immediate distribution of uniforms, kits and other accoutrements to its officers across the country.

My complain is that Hijab is a traditional scarf worn by Muslim women to cover the hair and neck and sometimes the face and that it is a dress code for Muslim women Worldwide and is associated with Islam and is also synonymous with Islam. Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy that has no bearing with the performance of our Muslim police women in the discharge of their statutory duties and responsibilities.

Nigeria is a multi-religious State inhabited by over 200 million Citizens and that by virtue of Section 10 of the Nigerian 1999 constitution (As Amended), Nigeria is a secular State without any officially recognized religion. The Nigerian police comprises of Nigerian Citizens of different religious beliefs and that the Nigerian police do not have any official religion being a public institution created by the Nigerian constitution and funded with public funds and tax payers money.

It is my contention that it is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for he IG to use public funds/ tax payers money to produce and/or procure Hijab for use as part of the official dress code for female Muslim police officers which gives the impression that Nigeria is an Islamic country contrary to the provisions of section 10 of Nigerian constitution that states that : the government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion .

It is also my contention that said new dress code which allows the use of hijab by female Muslim Nigeria police officers is discriminatory to other Nigerian female police officers of other religious faiths and beliefs and therefore a breach of Section 10 and 42(1)(a)(b) of the Nigerian 1999 constitution. 

The use of Hijab by a public institution like the Nigerian Police which is part of the government of Nigeria is indicative of an attempt by the IG to adopt and/or propagate in a way Islam as a State religion and thereby tacitly foisting Islam as a State religion in Nigeria, through the sub consciousness of the Nigerian citizens and making the international community to view Nigeria as an Islamic State.

For Nigeria to move forward we must detach religion from government. This by implication means that Nigeria must remain a “SECULAR STATE” that is Nigeria shall be a non-religious state.

It is my submssion that Nigeria is a secular State without any official religion. and I further that submit that no religion is superior to the other just as no Nigerian citizen is superior to the other and that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for the IG, FG and and AG to allow the propagation of Islam over and above other religions in Nigeria and thereby giving Nigerian Muslims female police officers some air of importance over other female Nigerian police officers of other religious faiths and beliefs.

Nigeria is a multi religious State with her citizens practicing several religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Daoism, Atheism, Baha’i, Confucianism, Druze, Gnosticism, Jainism, Rastafarianism, Shinto, Skihism, Zoroastrianism, Traditional African Religions, Eckist, Armocs, grail message, Voodism etc. We submit that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for the IG to promote or propagate one religion over the other and that the use of Hijab in official capacity by the police which is a national institution funded by public funds of tax payers by the IG is discriminatory improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The Nigerian police is not a private establishment but one established by the Nigerian constitution to perform statutory responsibilities of the enforcement of law and order of Nigeria and accordingly equipped, maintained and funded with public funds. it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for her female Muslim officers to wear Hijab in violation of the provisions of Section 10.

Unless the IG, FG, and AG are restrained they will continue to violate our constitution and the status of Nigeria as a secular state will continue to be under played and undermined. With the bad precedent laid , in no distant time our Army, Navy, Air Force and other para Military organizations like the customs , correctional centre, immigration, civil defence, road safety corps will join in the use of Hijab for their Muslim female officers as dress code and thereby polarzing our entire security public officers on religious lines.