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Rights Lawyer Appears In Supreme Court Wearing Traditional Worshippers’ Attire



A human right lawyer, Malcom Omoirhobo, on Thursday caused a stir as he appeared in the Supreme Court courtroom in a full traditional attire of an “Olokun priest” to attend court proceedings.

The Lagos-based lawyer, who was protesting against the last Friday judgment of the apex court which okayed the use of hijab in all state owned schools in the country as a way to allow people exercise their fundamental human rights, said he had the right to show up in a way that pleases his religion.

Five out of the seven members of the Supreme Court’s panel which sat on the case ruled in favour of hijab while the two remaining members dissented.

The lawyer, who arrived at the court at about 9:05 am, created a scene in the courtroom when other lawyers who had been seated were taken by surprise to see him robed in traditional attire to look like an herbalist.

The lawyer was wearing a gourd on his necklace with cowries and a red wrapper tied around his waist and appeared barefooted with feathers attached to his wig.

He dared the police officers and security guards who approached him to go out saying that he has the right to come to the court in his traditional regalia without any harassment in line with the judgment.

The court proceedings were abruptly stopped when the presiding justice suddenly announced that they would be going for a short break.

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Though it could not be immediately ascertained what was responsible for the short break.

The situation attracted a large crowd who thronged the courtroom to catch a glimpse as people were seen using their mobile phones to take his pictures.

The lawyer who addressed journalists said, “I am very grateful to the Supreme Court just last week Friday they made a very resounding decision that promotes Section 38 of the constitution. That is our right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. That we are free to express our way of worship in our schools and in our courts. That decision was reached on Friday and that has encouraged me.

“Because I am a traditionalist and this is the way I worship. Based on the decision of the Supreme Court this is how I will be dressing henceforth in court because I am a strong adherent to ‘Olokun’ the god of rivers.”

Omoirhobo said the implication of the judgment was that every Nigerian, including doctors, police, military students, and journalists, can now wear their mode of worship in public places.

He added that he was not against the judgment rather he was happy with the decision because it strengthened and enriched the rights of all Nigerians as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

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