Monday, June 27, 2022 11:47 am
By Akin Kuponiyi
Justice Tijani Ringim presiding over a Federal high court in Lagos, today, adjourned till the 10th of October, this year to enable a Lagos lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo who appeared in the “Olokun” outfit to come and explain if the law and legal practice permit such dressing.
Omirobo, today appeared at the Federal high court Lagos south-west Nigeria, in a traditional regalia reminiscence of an olokun priest. As Chief Omirhobo was approaching, there was a dramatic commotion as the court security was trying to stop him but after he identify himself as a lawyer and explained his reason for appearing in such strange attire, the security men allowed him to enter the premises.
His appearance on the court premises immediately commanded a huge crowd, comprising lawyers, litigants, court officials and journalists, his picture was taken while others were running after him to catch a glimpse of him.
Thereafter, he made his way to a court presided over by justice Tijani Ringim to attend to a case he came for. When his case was mentioned, the presiding, Judge, Ringim, while querying his mode of appearance, asked him to take a date to come and address the court to justify his mode of appearance.
At this stage, a Lagos lawyer Alhaji Abdullai Tony Dania, who acted as the friend of the court, opposed his mode of appearance. In his words, his appearance was an attempt to ridicule the legal profession.
In the same vein, two other legal practitioners, Festus Afeidyon and Mohammed Adams have also opposed his appearance in the court. Barrister Adams urged the court to allow them to submit written submission about this issue Justice Ringim, while adjourning till October 10, acceded to his request
It was the second time Omirhobo did this. As reported by TheNEWS on Thursday, 23 June 2022, he caused a stir at the Supreme Court, Abuja by dressing the same way. The Delta state indigen and a devotee of ‘olokun’, added feathers and other African traditional outfits to his robe. When many started snapping at him with their phones and others gazed at him with their mouths hanging slack, the judge had to rise and resumed after some time.
When journalists pestered him with questions, the lawyer responded that it was a protest against the Supreme Court’s recent verdict on the hijab. That is, the Apex Court legalized the wearing of hijab in schools and public places in Nigeria. So, why should he, an ‘olokun’ devotee not be free to wear his goddess’ attire to court, a public place?
He added: “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 adherer to the Olookun river goddess injunctions.
“The decision stresses the importance of Section 38 of the 1999 constitution that says all religions are free to wear their religious costume in schools and public spaces.
“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,”
To him, students in Nigeria can also follow his example. “The pronouncement of the apex court is that we can bring religion into the public space and I have just demonstrated the same by joining this proceeding dressed as an olokun devotee,” Omirhobo stated further.