There was a mild ruckus on 23rd June 2022 at the Supreme Court in Abuja when Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omoirhobo appeared in the full traditional attire of an “Olokun priest” to attend court proceedings.
Malcolm stated that his way of dressing in court was to exercise his fundamental human rights following the judgment of the Supreme Court that allowed the use of hijab in schools and public places as well as all Nigerians to express their way of worship.
About a week ago, the Supreme Court had approved female Muslim students to wear hijab to school in Lagos State. Five members of the court’s panel which sat on the case ruled in favor of the hijab while two other members disapproved.
Malcolm who arrived at court at 9:05 am, created a scene taking other seated lawyers by surprise. It was indeed a sight to behold seeing him clad in traditional attire to look like a herbalist.
The lawyer who walked majestically into the court was barefooted, feathers attached to his wig. He had a red wrapper tied around his waist and was also wearing a necklace draped in cowries.
The police officers and security guards who approached him were confidently asked to move aside by Malcolm, as he stated that he has the right to come to court in his traditional regalia without any harassment in line with the judgment.
Malcolm who spoke to 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 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.”