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Hijab ruling: Human rights lawyer storms court, dresses in traditional worshippers’ attire

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IKPO CHIGOZIE

Lagos-based human rights lawyer and activist, Malcom Omoirhobo, on Thursday, caused a stir at the courtroom as he appeared at the Supreme Court, Abuja in a traditional worshiper.

The Delta State born lawyer appeared for proceedings at the apex court dressed in the full attire of an “Olokun” priest, causing a mild drama in the courtroom.

In an interview, the lawyer revealed that his dressing was in relation to the judgement of the Supreme Court that allows Nigerians to express their fundamental human rights, especially as it regards worship, approving the use of Hijabs in schools and public places.

The lawyer made reference to the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, allowing female Muslims to wear the hijab to school in Lagos State. Five out of seven members of the panel set up for the matter ruled in favour of the hijab while two were against it.

Malcom, who was dressed in his Law attire and wig, applied a native white chalk around his eye, branded his wrist with cowries, with a red wrapper around his waist and a gourd hanging on his neck, then crowned it up with feather attached to his wig.

His dressing was a huge surprise to fellow lawyers who were already seated when he arrived. He challenged the security to stop him, insisting that it was his fundamental human rights to dress the way he wants in relation to the ruling on Friday.

His appearance was a huge distraction for everyone as people tried to get a photograph of him. It could also have affected court proceedings as the Presiding justice stopped proceedings suddenly, announcing that the court will be going on a short break.

Addressing journalists, Malcom 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.”

Malcom clarified that he was not against the judgment, because it strengthened the fundamental human rights of every citizen enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He added that this judgement wouldl have implications on the way people dress in various institutions and places, as they are now free to dress as it pertains to their mode of worship.

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