Home Analysis Omirhobo’s dress ‘invasion’ of Supreme Court is a loud statement

Omirhobo’s dress ‘invasion’ of Supreme Court is a loud statement


Malcolm Omirhobo, a lawyer, caused a stir at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
He sent a message to the judiciary, especially that apex court.
He dressed in the peculiar way he did to the courtroom as his loud response to the recent decision of that court on the right of people to dress according to their religious persuasion to public places.
That was actually in respect of the right of Lagos Muslim students to dress to school in hijab, an Islamic religious attire.
In the US in 2019, a lady footballer, Jaelene Hinkle refused to wear LGBT colours to play and after the abuses and supports, she stood her ground.
Haneen Zreika, a woman rugby player in Australia also took that decision for her Islamic religion in January 2022.
A player, a male, in Australia waded through such rights controversy and didn’t care about the suspension he faced. He stood his ground against being forced to wear LGBT colours against his Christian faith.
May 2022, French black footballer for the PSG, Idrissa Gueye caused another stir for refusing to wear LGBT colours for a match as it was against his faith.
The world got divided. Some against him. Some for him.
But the question in the whole drama I have always asked is – do the sports teams on any day wear the colours of the sexually straight players or citizens?
The colours they wear everyday, have they any sexual leaning? If not, why discriminate against the rest in favour of the LGBT?
Here in Nigeria, an issue arose in Kwara State about Muslim students wearing hijab to a Christian mission school in 2020. The school insisted it belonged to the church and its rules must be obeyed.
But on a general scale, is there any school in Nigeria that wears or dresses in the identity or attire of the Christian, traditional, or any other religion?
If no school dresses in any religious colours, why should our court issue a judgment to grant Islamic religious attire as exclusive right?
Since no school goes in an attire aligned to any religion, I have a strong persuasion that granting Islamic dressing is discrimination against people or students of other religions.
Certain things should be rather left neutral.
If for instance a Muslim student chooses to come to school in hijab, the school may not stop her on grounds of neutrality and accommodating every one. But granting that as a compelling right for one group is discrimination against the rest.
Now, Omirhobo has taken that decision to a different level.
The major issue we face is the insensitivity of our leaders. If one must insist on exclusive rights, then we should rather not be in a country of mixed belief systems.
Let us carve out countries where people of same religious belief belong to in order to live strictly by their exclusive rules.
A Supreme Court where the justices, for the first time in history, wrote a public petition against their CEO, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, over very serious issues that touch on the essence of the operation of the court rather prioritised
special rights to Muslim students in Lagos and other states to dress in a special religious way without considering the discrimination that entails on students of other religions.
Nigeria is in its worst fix.
Maybe, Omirhobo would have also triggered a movement that erodes the funny and heavily colonial attire of the Nigerian lawyers which so many countries that also borrowed the English legal system had dropped ages ago.


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