- Yet again, a human rights lawyer, Barrister Malcolm Omirhobo has been criticized for donning a traditional robe to the Supreme Court
- According to another legal practitioner, Ahmad Adetola-Kazeem, he said Omirhobo action was targeted at embarrassing the court for ruling in favour hijab
- Meanwhile, he stated that Nigeria is not a secular state as posited generally by people, rather it is a state suffering from religious tolerance
Barrister Ahmad Adetola-Kazeem has slammed the actions of human rights lawyer Malcolm Omirhobo for donning a traditional attire to court.
According to Adetola-Kazeem, it was a deliberate attempt to ridicule and embarrass the court.
The human rights lawyer Chief Malcolm Omirhobo cited the judgement allowing hijabs to be used in schools and public places as the reason for his dressing.
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Reacting to these claims, Barrister Adetola-Kazeem in an interview with Legit.ng said Omirhobo's action was intended to embarrass the courts because they held in favour of the Muslim female whose wearing the hijab is a way of life and who wears it at all times in the public.
"He (Omirhobo) criticized the Judgment immediately it was given even before seeing the content. He has a series of cases in court against anything he perceives is Islamic.
"I am aware he is a Christian who attends a Baptist church somewhere in Isolo and only used his ‘Olokun display’ in court as an aphorism to drive home a needless point. He has never appeared like that in public, even the priests only dress like that on their shrines or during traditional festivities and not in public spaces.
"He went inside the court took pictures for Social Media and went out to grant press interview, he didn't announce appearance nor gave the judges opportunity to see him. It was a joke taken too far."
"Even UK recognises hijab" - Adetola-Kazeem
While still reacting to Omirhobo's outfit in court, he made reference to judiciary in the United Kingdom.
He stated that Muslim lawyers and judges were allowed to don their hijab, while the Christian colleagues are also allowed to wear heir religious symbols, while Sikh are allowed to wear their turbans- that is diversity and inclusion at play.
Scularism in Nigeria is hypocritical
When asked if there should be a boundary between between religious intolerance and religious imposition given the secular nature of the Nigerian state, he simply said, "the argument about secularism is hypocritical".
He stated that secularism simply means that no religion shall be recognized by the state.
"Those who claim that Nigeria is secular and should have nothing to do with religion always observe religious public holidays like Easter breaks, Eid-Fitr/Kabir breaks, Christmas breaks etc., they approve starting official programmes with religious prayers, legal years start with Mosque and Church services.
"What we suffer from is intolerance and undue competition. We want everyone to look and act like us, we want them denied of what we don't need. We are at daggers drawn at every given opportunity and unduly suspicious of one another.
He further stated that it will be extreme for a Muslim to ask for a holiday on Friday just because other faiths have same. He cited the Quran 62 v 10 that encourages Muslims to be back at work after the Jumah prayers.
"We all must learn to be reasonable and not be childishly competitive. More secular countries and the countries we like to call saner climes e.g US and the UK, have normalized inclusion and specifically the use of the hijab in all spheres of their lives (School, Court, Police, Army etc)."
Supreme Court approves female Muslim students to wear hijab in Lagos schools
In a split decision of five to two on Friday, June 17, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court affirmed the July 21, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which set aside the October 17, 2014 judgment by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the Hijab restriction.
Legit.ng gathered that Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who wrote the lead majority judgment, which was read by Justice Tijani Abubakar, dismissed the appeal filed by Lagos state against the 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, on the grounds that the appeal was without merit.