Chief Malcolm Omirhobo; a Human rights lawyer and activist stormed the Supreme court on Thursday and caused a mild drama during a proceeding.
The Delta State-born human advocate stepped into the court barefooted and in an unusual attire; matching his lawyer robe with other traditional apparel and also having a white mark on his face.
The lawyer during an interview revealed that his dressing was against the recent verdict of the Supreme Court which legalised the wearing of hijab in schools in Nigeria.
In October 2014, the use of hijabs in schools was ruled against by a Lagos high court. Following this event, the State government place a ban on the wearing of hijabs by students to school; especially students in uniforms.
Contrary to the judgement passed by the court and the state government; some Muslim students approached the appellate court, stating that the ban is a violation of their rights to freedom of thought, religion and education, and pleading that the ban is lifted.
The lawyer maintained a peaceful protest but insisted that the judgement by the court gave him the power to dress however he wishes, as long as it is tagged under religion. In essence, he describes his outfit as his religious attire.
“You can see I am not wearing shoe”- these were his words during his arguments.
“Ifa told me that if I wear shoes I will be dead. So I had no option but to obey the spirit”
“Even my children will dress like this in the school, I encourage them to dress like this because it is always good to be religious. We need to be close to the spirit”
When asked if he will make this kind of outfit his regular fashion, he said – “Sure! This is my outfit. I can stand anywhere; it is my outfit.” He further buttressed his point by asking “What is alien? There is no law in Nigeria or in the Legal Practitioners Acts that dictates how I am going to dress”.
The Supreme court declared that it found no reason to uphold the judgement passed by Justice Grace Onyeabo on October 17, 2014, against the wearing of the hijab.
The Court of Appeal had on July 21, 2016, reversed the High court judgement that caused the ban of Hijab in Lagos State’s public schools.