Malcom Omoirhobo, a Lagos-based human rights attorney, made a stir in the courtroom when he wore the complete traditional dress of a “Olokun priest” to attend court sessions on Thursday, according to a report by Daily Post.
The attorney said that he wore such attire to court in order to enjoy his basic human rights in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing all Nigerians to express their religious beliefs and utilize hijab in schools and other places.
Remember that on Friday, the Supreme Court authorized female Muslim pupils in Lagos State to wear the hijab to school.
Five of the seven members of the court’s panel that heard the issue ruled in favor of the hijab, while the other two dissented.
The attorney, who appeared at court at around 9:05 a.m., caused a scene in the courtroom when other attorneys, who had been seated, were startled to find him dressed as a traditional herbalist.
The attorney who entered the court was barefoot and had feathers affixed to his wig.
In addition, he wore a gourd pendant with cowries and a crimson band around his waist.
In accordance with the ruling, he dared the police officers and security guards who approached him to leave, asserting that he had the right to attend court in his traditional garb without harassment.
The proceedings were abruptly halted when the presiding judge unexpectedly declared a brief recess.
Although it was not immediately apparent what caused the brief interruption.
The incident drew a big crowd, who crammed into the courtroom to catch a glimpse while using their mobile phones to photograph him.
Malcom, speaking to the media, said, “I am really thankful to the Supreme Court for their resounding judgment on Friday to support Section 38 of the Constitution. This is our right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. That we are free to express our religious beliefs in schools and courts. This choice was made on Friday, which has inspired 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.”
Malcom said the implication of the judgement 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 judgement 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.