There was mild drama at the Supreme Court on Thursday, as a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo, appeared in court in the full traditional attire of an “Olokun priest,” to attend court proceedings.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ‘Olokun’, a deity, is associated with wealth, prosperity, and abundance.
Malcolm said he dressed to court in that manner to exercise his fundamental human rights, following the recent Supreme Court judgment that allowed all Nigerians to express their way of worship and the use of hijab in schools and public places.
The lawyer who robed in traditional attire to look like a herbalist, gained entry into the court barefoot with feathers attached to his wig.
He also wore a gourd on his necklace with cowries and a red wrapper tied around his waist.
He said he has the right to come to the court in his traditional regalia without any harassment, in line with the judgment.
The court proceedings were abruptly stopped when the presiding justice suddenly announced that they would be going for a short break.
Though it could not be immediately ascertained what was responsible for the short break.
The situation attracted a large crowd who thronged the courtroom to catch a glimpse, as people were seen using their mobile phones to take his pictures.
Malcom said he was very grateful to the apex court for the very resounding decision that promotes Section 38 of the constitution.
“That is our right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. 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”.
Malcolm said the implication of the judgment 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 judgment, 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.