All through my life I have never experienced the kind of hatred and disgust towards a fellow human being as what I saw on 12th December, 2017. I arrived the ICC for the call on time, followed the queue and entered the hall.
When the BOB filed in, we all stood up as a sign of respect and followed the instructions as expected of aspirants to the Bar. Every thing was going smoothly until the time a lady approached the podium to receive hand shake and collect her certificates. As she moved down the podium and made to return to her seat, I noticed Mrs. Mevayen Jemialu, a lecturer at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja campus, walking at a very fast pace towards this lady.
Upon reaching the lady, she asked her to remove the hijab and throw it on the floor. Then she stepped on it and kicked it several times while uttering very humiliating words on the lady. As if that was not enough, she asked a guard to stand by the hijab and ensured the lady couldn’t pick it. Few minutes later, Mrs. Jemialu, accompanied by her junior colleague, Mrs. Jennifer Ikwuanusi came to seize her certificates. My seat was close to the scene so I could see with my eyes.
I feel a deep pain in my heart as a human. I couldn’t agree within me that the way the lady was treated is right. I respect Mrs. Jemialu so much, but from that very moment the respect I have for her disappeared. Her action was a strong indication of unwarranted bias against people of other faiths. In a saner society, people like Mrs. Jemialu should by now be on suspension. But this is Nigeria anything goes.
After the programme, the lady went to ask for her certificates. This time, she had lost the courage to put on the hijab the second time. But something more amazing happened .
Mrs. Emetejife Onoriode, attempted to search the lady. Only God knows her mission. She and her colleagues present at the front side of the podium were accusing the lady of a premeditated action. It took the intervention of Mr. Samuel Osamolu to allow the sleeping dog lies. At this point I came to the conclusion that we nigerian christians actually have bias against the Muslims and we are not accommodating.
I left the hall to inquire about the lady. It was then I knew we finished together from the same Abuja campus and that she graduated from University of Ilorin. I was therefore not surprised to hear the next day that another female aspirant to the Bar was denied her right to be called to the Nigerian Bar just because of wearing hijab. This is Nigeria’s most embarrassing story for the year 2017.