There was a mild drama at the Supreme Court on Thursday as a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Malcom Omoirhobo, appeared in court in a full traditional attire of an “Olokun priest” to attend court proceedings.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Olokun deity is associated with wealth, prosperity and abundance.
Omoirhobo 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 was robed in the traditional attire to look like an herbalist, entered the court barefooted 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.
Omoirhobo said he was very grateful to the apex court for the very resounding decision that promotes Section 38 of the constitution.
He said: “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 to Olokun, the god of rivers.”
Omoirhobo 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.