Meet lawyer wey appear in court dressed as Nigerian traditionalist

Nigeria Legal practitioner wey dress in traditional attire enta Supreme Court last month wangt pipo wey dey fear say dem go punish am to calm down.

Malcolm Omirhobo pictures and videos go viral across Nigeria wen e happun.

Di Human Rights Lawyer for interview wit BBC Pidgin yarn im tori from start to finish.

Omirhobo wey come fron Delta State, South-South Nigeria say im no commit any offence.

And nobodi fit punish am becos e obey di Nigerian Constitution and wetin di Supreme Court tok, di lawyer add.

“Afta di Supreme Court na God na im remain, as e dey today dat decision of di Supreme Court na wetin I dey follow.

“So no bodi go fit stop me say make I no dress like dis in my religious attire enta court”

“I simply dey follo wetin di Supreme Court tok, how pesin go punish me for obeying di order of di Supreme Court.

“After all, even for our Law profession women don dey wear hijab go court, address you, why you dey dey ask me wen I dress in my spiritual attire.

“Why you dey try to stop me, e no work.

Nobodi go punish me, becos before you go punish pesin, e get offence or law wey di pesin don break.

I no break any law, I no commit any offence so I no see who go punish me e no possible”.

How di mata start?

Mr Omirhobo tell BBC Pidgin say naturally e no be pesin wey like to keepmquiet wen somtin wey no koret dey happun.

E say no be di first time e don raise im voice against issue wey resemble dis one.

“Wetin ginger me na wetin oyibo dey call ‘secularity’ e mean say make state no dey involved in religion.

“like our Nigerian Constitution tok say ‘no state or di Federal Goment adopt any religion.

“So wen I see tins wey dey violate dat section my bodi no dey take am, I no go fit keep quiet,.

“For instance now, di logo for di Nigerian Army wey read Arabic inscription and for di Naira note, I say no! we be secular state, we no need am.

“Police wey say dem wan give dia women hijab, I say no! I challenge dat one”.


E add say contrary to pipo views im no hate Islam or muslim at all, wetin im dey fight for na make dem treat all di religions wey dey Nigeria equally.

“Many pipo dey tell me say my own don too much, evritime Muslim, I tell dem say no be so! I no hate Muslim.

“I no hate Islam, my junior brother Akpofure Omirhobo attend Muslim school, wen we dey use Bible dey pray for morning, im go dey recite Sural de Fatiah.

“No bodi stop am, we dey even jealous am say make im teach us becos na Muslim school im go”.

“Di girl I suppose marry before I meet my wife na muslim from Adamawa State, her papa na muslim, her mama na Christain.

“We meet for Port Harcourt, we stay togeda nobody disturb us until somehow distance separate us.

If my daughter or my son come tell me tomorrow say she wan marry muslim, I no go tok no, as long as dem love demsefs”.

‘Wetin I dey fight for’

“Wetin I dey fight for be say make secularity dey, a situation wey court tok say make dem allow Muslim girls to dey wear hijab ontop dia uniform.

“E no correct, becos if dem wear am ontop dia cloth no be Uniform again. Uniform mean say make all of dem dress in di same way.

And di Supreme Court come tok say make dem no disturb dis girls o, say if anybody disturb dem na violation of dia fundamental human right.

Dem get right to exercise dia right for chapter four of di constitution section 38 wey say evri Nigerian get di freedom to dia conscience, thought and religion say:

Any attempt or group of attempt to stop dis girls go be violation of dia fundamental human right.

So wen you interpret dis judgement e mean say evribodi now dey entitled to section 38, di lawyer argue.

Dat means Nigeria wey get many many nationality wey we no know, we reach about 500 kontri wey dey inside dis Nigeria wey come togeda as one Nigeria.

One of di condition wey dem take come togeda be say make all religion be equal.

E no good make dem dey propagate one religion pass di oda.

“If dem don agree now say make evribodi dey wear wetin dia religion tok, den me sef I be Oloku man, I be traditionalists.

I be ‘Egbe man’ make me sef as a lawyer knack my traditional attire ontop my lawyer cloth go di Supreme Court or dey go court, so na so di tin take happun dat day”. 

‘My colleagues wan pick race’

Di human right s lawyer neva tok im tori finish o, e narate to BBC Pidgin how im collegues and oda pipo wey see am for Supreme Court wan ‘pick race’ sake of im dressing.

“Wen I don dey near court, some of my colleagues dem wan take-off, na im I call dey say I no get any problem o, na case I come do o, I dey normal make una no fear, I no go harm una.

“ Di security men wey dey di door before you enta inside di court wan stop me, I get to force my way inside, by di time I sitdown, evribodi just dey take photo of me, all of dem dey surprised, dey ask how I go dress like dis?

By di time I enta di justices of di court don enta inside go rest so dat dem go come back come kontinu dia job for di day, so as di Supreme Court Justices come back sitdown, dem sight me, ah ah n awa o!

Me dey look dem, dem dey look me, me dey look dem dem dey look me, dem come do one small motion come strike am out, e no gree dem na im dem stand up enta inside dia Chambers back, I wait make dem comeout, dem no gree come out, I stand up waka, I find my way.”

Dis one man protest go end?

E say e no go stop, e go kontinu till Supreme Court reverse dia decision.

“I go kontinu to dey dress like dis, one court don tok say I no go fit do my business again, I no go fit appear before am, until I explain to am why I dey dress like dis. But for me, I say wetin di Judge dey do no good, e no follow wetin dey for our Constitution.

Our Constitution say make I exercise my fundamental human right but Judge now dey tok say I no go fit.

I go kontinu until di Supreme Court go reverse dia decision thru any case wey we go take come meet dem again.”

Wetin go make my mind happy for dis whole tin wen I dey do be say if eventually dis mata come do, becos I go go court definitely, I go file anoda case, and if di case come wake from High Court to Court of Appeal to Supreme Court, if e come reach dia.

I beliv say if e reach dia, di Supreme Court go now fit reverse dis decision by making sure say na my own case dem go follo, make pipo no dey dress wit dia religious cloth come public places like Public school, like Police, like Army, Navy, Immigration and all dat, make pipo kep dia religion for house wen dem come public, dem behave in a neutral form, na so I beliv say we fit achieve somtin hia.



Wetin happun for di Hijab case

Afta nine years of legal battle, di Supreme Court for Abuja uphold di use of hijab by female Muslim students for Lagos State goment-owned schools.

Di court tok say di ban on di use of hijab violate di Muslim students’ rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, di dignity of human pesins and freedom from discrimination wey di 1999 Nigerian constitution guarantee.