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Hijab verdict: Court orders Omihrhobo to file address over dressing

By Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo
28 June 2022   |   2:40 am
There was mild drama at a Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday, when a human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omihrhobo stormed the courtroom adorned in a gown and wig with Oluokun traditional dress.

Omihrhobo

There was mild drama at a Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday, when a human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omihrhobo stormed the courtroom adorned in a gown and wig with Oluokun traditional dress.

   
The lawyer also appeared bare-footed with cowries tied on his two legs. His wig had long feathers, while he had cowries in his two hands and tied a red wrapper on his lawyer’s gown.
   
Omihrhobo, who appeared before Justice Tijani Garuba Ringim was greeted with resistance by some lawyers, who argued that he cannot be heard as he was not properly dressed as a lawyer before the court.
 
When his case was called, the rights activist announced his appearance as an applicant, but some lawyers, Abdullah Dania, Mohammed Adamu and Festus Afeyodion told the court that he should not be heard as he was not properly robed. 
 
Dania said: “I am a lawyer, my lord can imagine the way my learned friend appears before the court as a professional. The rules that govern us as lawyers do not allow improper dressing.”
 
Also, Adamu told the court that he would like to furnish the court with his written submission in line with the direction of the court.
     
But the judge said: “You cannot address the court like this as a professional. I will adjourn your matter and you come and address the court if the rule allows you to appear in court like this.”
  
The rights lawyer, who last week caused stir at the Supreme Court, Abuja, for appearing in such dress, however, told the court that it will be a violation of his right if not heard. He also noted that court rules cannot be above the Constitution of Nigeria.
 

He said: “My Lord the rules cannot supersede the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
 
Upon his argument, Justice Ringim directed him to address the court on why he should be heard the way he dressed on the next adjourned date in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/929/2022, which has the Federal Government of Nigeria and others as respondents.
   
The same happened to the case in his suit marked no FHC/L/CS/1392/2021 against the Nigeria Army and two others before the same court.
 
The court also ordered that the address must not be more than five pages citing authorities. And must be filed before the next adjourned date.

Consequently, the judge adjourned his two cases to October 10, 2022.