Female Corps Members Can Now Wear Skirts As Official Uniform -Court Orders 

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JUSTICE H.A. Nganjiwa of a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State has ordered the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to allow female corps members to wear skirts as part of their official uniform if it aligns with their religious beliefs.

The order is contained in a judgment delivered on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 in suit number FHC/AI/CS/12/2023 filed by Miss Ufumaka Glory Ukpanken (Corper No. EB/A221514) against the NYSC, its Director-General, and the State Coordinator.

Miss Ukpanken had challenged the NYSC’s refusal to recognize and allow skirts as part of the corps uniform, arguing that it violated her fundamental right to freedom of religion and freedom to manifest her Christian faith as enshrined in Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

In a series of declaratory reliefs, the court held that the use of skirts by Miss Ukpanken as her official NYSC uniform forms part of her fundamental rights to freedom of religion and freedom to manifest her beliefs in practice and observance.

The court also declared that the harassment, embarrassment, humiliation, and disciplinary proceedings instituted against Miss Ukpanken by NYSC agents for wearing a skirt amounted to an infringement of her fundamental rights to freedom of religion, dignity, and freedom from degrading treatment.

Consequently, the court issued a number of orders including mandating the NYSC to recognize, allow, and provide skirts for female corps members wishing to exercise their religious rights.

It also issued a perpetual injunction restraining the NYSC from further abducting, arresting, detaining, or subjecting female corps members to harassment or disciplinary proceedings for wearing skirts.

Furthermore, the court awarded general and exemplary damages of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) to Miss Ukpanken for the violation of her fundamental rights and ordered the NYSC to allow her to complete her service year and issue her certificate upon completion.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

 

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