Drama As Human Rights Lawyer Storms S’Court In ATR Outfit To Protest Against Hijab Verdict

Drama As Human Rights Lawyer Storms S’Court In ATR Outfit To Protest Against Hijab Verdict

By Deborah Musa, Abuja 

Drama and stirs followed suit as Lagos based Human rights activist and constitutional lawyer , Chief Malcolm Omirhobho, Thursday, made an appearance in an African Traditional Religion (ATR) attire for a Supreme Court proceeding in Abuja.

The Delta State born lawyer made his entrance into the court in an Olokun worshipper outfit attached to his Robe.

He walked bare footed into the Apex court building while he matched his lawyer robe with feathers on his wig, gourd and cowries on his necklace and a red wrapper tied around his waist.

His unusual outfit for a court outing temporarily disrupted the day’s proceedings as stares were upon him, some stood up from their seats to get a better view of him while others took snap shots of him.

Probably discomforted by the sight, the presiding judges rose to go on a break for five minutes and resumed back to the chamber where they commenced siting. 

Although the reason for the judge’s action could not be immediately ascertained, but as soon as they exited the court room, the activist lawyer also stepped out of the courtroom. 

With cameras and newsmen gathered around him, the protesting lawyer was accosted by a team of journalists to explain why he dressed the way he did. 

Omirhobo told newsmen that he is an ‘Olookun’ devotee ‘River goddess’ and that his outfit was against the backdrop of the recent verdict of the Supreme Court which legalized the wearing of hijab to schools and public places in Nigeria. 

Speaking further, Omirhobo said,” I am very grateful to the Supreme Court for taking a resounding decision that promotes section 38 of the 1999 constitution. 

“Henceforth, this is how I would be dressing as I am an strict adherer to the Olookun river goddess injunctions. 

“The decision stresses the importance of Section 38 of the 1999 constitution that says everyone is free to wear his/her religious costume in schools and public space. 

“After all, Nigeria is a multi religious country. So anyone that tries to stop me from dressing like this is infringing on my constitutional rights”.

Chief Omirhobho

On whether students can also wear the same traditional costume, he answered in the affirmative, saying it would be discriminatory for teachers or anyone to stop or harass my children for instance if they choose to dress like this. Not even a policeman can stop them. 

“The pronouncement of the apex court is that we can bring religion into the public space and I have just demonstrated that by joining this proceeding dressed as an olokun devotee,” Omirhobo stated further. 

Recall that the Supreme Court in its verdict on Friday, June 17, prepared by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, and read by Justice Tijani Abubakar, had given its approval to female Muslim students to wear hijab to school in Lagos State.

Five out of the seven man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court which sat on the case ruled in favour of female Muslim students in Lagos primary and secondary public schools to be allowed to wear the veil head covering called hijab on their school uniform to school while the two other members dissented.

The Apex Court upheld the July 21, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which vacated the October 17, 2014 judgment by Justice Grace Onyeabo, of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the hijab restriction.