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Drama as lawyer dressed as traditionalist appears in S’Court

There was a mild-drama at the Supreme Court yesterday as a Lagos-based human lawyer – Malcom Omoirhobo – appeared in the full traditional attire of an “Olokun priest” to attend court proceedings. Omoirhobo said he dressed to court in that manner to exercise his fundamental human rights, following the judgment of the Supreme Court that allowed all Nigerians to express their ways of worship, and the use of hijab in schools and public places.

The Supreme Court had in a split decision of five to two last Friday given approval to female Muslim students to wear hijab to school in Lagos State. The lawyer, who arrived at the court at about 9:05am, created a scene in the courtroom when other lawyers who had been seated were taken by surprise to see him robed in traditional attire, looking like an herbalist. The lawyer entered the courtroom barefooted, with feathers attached to his wig. He also wore a gourd as necklace with cowries, and a red wrapper tied around his waist. Proceedings were abruptly stopped when the presiding justice suddenly announced that they would be going for a short break.

The situation, however, attracted a large crowd which thronged the courtroom to catch a glimpse as people used their mobile phones to take photographs. The lawyer told journalists: “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. “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.”

Reacting to the lawyer’s attire, Omoyele Sowore said: “I totally support and commend Malcom Omoirhobo over the regalia he wore to the Supreme Court today; our lawyers also need to get rid of the White man’s wigs and wear attires traditional to our environment!” But, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), while reacting said: “He appeared dressed as shown above, but he did not disrupt the proceedings or announced appearance for any party in any of the cases listed on the cause list for today. “He would have earned my respect if he had stood up to announce appearance and appear in any of the cases or if he has a case there and he appeared like that and draw the attention of their lordships to his presence. “I think he just came to seek for social media publicity.”

 

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