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(+VIDEO + PHOTOS) Drama At Supreme Court Of Nigeria As Lawyer Appears In River Goddess Worship Attire 

Muhammed Abubakar, Rita Enemuru, Reporting

A subtle drama played out at the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) in Abuja as human rights lawyer attended the court proceedings in traditional worshippers’ attire.

The appearance of the Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Chief Malcom Omoirhobo, caused a stir in the courtroom when he appeared in the full traditional regalia of an “Olokun priest” to attend the court proceedings.

The lawyer appeared in a white shirt on a red wrapper tied round his waist, a circle drawn with native chalk round his eyes, a feather stuck on his wig and cowries worn on his wrist, neck and ankles with no shoes on his legs.

As the lawyer entered the court room, the air was heavy and because of the unusual appearance, the court was forced to go on recess to reconstitute.

The justices were shocked, but pretended not to see just as they managed to hear an appeal which they struck out for an invalid notice of appeal.

The justices again embarked on another compulsory recess perhaps because of Chief Malcolm, who had invariably sent a strong message without saying a word or putting up any action.

When accosted to explain why he chose to dress so unconventionally to court, Chief Malcom said he did so to exercise his fundamental human rights following the inglourious judgement of the Supreme Court that allowed all Nigerians to express their way of worship and the use of hijab in schools and public places.

Stonix News recalled that the Supreme Court had, last Friday, given approval to female Muslim students to wear hijab to school in Lagos State, an appeal ruled against the state government.

Five out of the seven members of the 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 a.m, 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 a herbalist.

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

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

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

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

Malcom, 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 of “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.

Omirhobo said that was how he would be appearing in court henceforth, adding that he would encourage his children to dress to school in the same way because it was their fundamental right.

“This how I will be coming to court henceforth. By the Supreme Court judgement, we have been given license to dress in our religious attire because it will be an infringement or a violation of my fundamental right to freedom of movement, thought and religion for anybody to stop me.

“Even my children will dress like this to school and I will encourage my fellow traditionalist, those who are serving Olokun, Sango and Sokpono, God of Thunder, God of Iron, I will encourage them to dress like this because it is always good to be religious.

“It is good to be close to the spirits. The spirit told me that if I wear shoes I will be dead that’s why I’m not wearing any shoes; I have to obey the spirits.

“You see the chalk on my eye, I need to apply it, because without it, I won’t be able to see the evil spirits coming to attack me.

“Nobody not even the president. can order for my arrest because I’m dressed in my traditional attire. It’s my fundamental right.

“I will stand with this outfit to argue cases. I can stand anywhere with it. There’s no law in the constitution that derogate the right to freedom of religion,” he averred.

Video: Chief Malcom Omoirhobo

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