There was mild drama at the Supreme Court, Abuja, on Thursday as a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Malcom Omoirhobo caused a stir in the courtroom when he appeared in the full traditional attire of an “Olokun priest” to attend court proceedings.
The lawyer said he dressed to court in that manner to exercise his fundamental human rights following the judgment of the Supreme Court that allowed all Nigerians to express their way of worship and the use of hijab in schools and public places.
It would be recalled that the Supreme Court had on Friday given approval to female Muslim students to wear hijab to school in Lagos State.
Five out of the seven members of the court’s panel which sat on the case ruled in favour of hijab while the two remaining members dissented.
The lawyer, who arrived at the court at about 9:05 am, created a scene in the courtroom when other lawyers who had been seated were taken by surprise to see him robed in traditional attire to look like an herbalist.
The lawyer who gained entry into the court was barefooted with feathers attached to his wig.
He was also wearing a gourd on his necklace with cowries and a red wrapper tied around his waist.
He dared the police officers and security guards who approached him to go out saying that 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.
Malcom who addressed journalists said, “I am very grateful to the Supreme Court just last week Friday they made a very resounding decision that promotes Section 38 of the constitution. That is our right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. That 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.”
Malcom 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.
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Fashola: How Asiwaju Bola Tinubu discovered me
The minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola was 59 years old last Tuesday. The two terms Governor of Lagos State from 29 May 2007 to 29 May 2015 was born on 28 June 1963 in Lagos.
In an interview, Fashola revealed how Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu discovered him.
“That is an invitation to walk down memory lane. I think it must have been 1990 or 1991. He was treasurer in Mobil, then. His office was at the Bookshop House at CMS on Odunlami Street. I didn’t directly meet him. I had seen him at parties, but we never met. At that time, I was a senior associate at the law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe and Belgore, where I was practising. Wale Tinubu, his nephew, came to join the law firm, then. He was always mentioning “Uncle Bola”, and one day, he said: ‘’let’s go and see my uncle.” We got there and went out to lunch with him. That was then I could say we formally met.
From then on, he would consult us on legal issues and we would help and give him advice. Sometimes, he would just come and say. “See we have this issue, what do you lawyers think?” We ran around and he would always give us pocket money. I think one thing that left some impressions on me was his commitment to his staff and that was symbolized by what I witnessed on a particular day after the Sallah celebration.
He brought Sallah meat to the office and supervised its sharing from floor to floor. As exalted as his office was, he was concerned to ensure that those who could not come to his house, even to the lowest driver, got part of the Sallah meat. I recalled that after the sharing of the meat, he sent someone to aggregate how much it would cost to buy a soft drink for everybody and equally distributed money to them.
The incident left an impression on me and what became a practice when I started observing the killing of rams for Sallah. For me, it speaks of his concern about those working for him,” said Fashola.
“Well, there are many ways to look at it. For me, that kind of statement coming from him puts more pressure on me. I thought that I had seen all the pressure that could come from this experience to be governor of Lagos State. That adds pressure on me in no small measure.
I think how I became governor is public knowledge. Nothing could put pressure on me than the commitment in pursuit of his decision in 2006 that I was the candidate he was endorsing for governor and the cost in terms of stress, disagreement, fights and long-draw emotional arguments. Of course, immediately after I won the election, the biggest pressure was to ensure that I didn’t regret the decision.
One, the people of Lagos State could have said: “We didn’t know the man you have brought and he has turned the state upside down.” There are other sides to it that I would want to keep to myself. As I have said time and time again, he should sit down and write his memoirs so that people may know the story of that election. This is what he should use to explain to Lagosians the offers, the counter offers, and choices he made and why he, as it were, went for broke.
The question to ask is: What was his abiding commitment after eight years as well as questions on who became governor, and who did not? But, in terms of the next step from there, it is to say that it is an enriching experience for our democracy, and not simply about me. It is also about institution building in the sense that I have continued to compare our 13-year journey despite its twists and turns with those that we seek to benchmark ourselves against.”
Sexagenarian dies as friend steals ATM card, withdraws N700,000
The family of a 60-year-old man, Isak Wahab, has been thrown into mourning after he reportedly died from shock after an unauthorised withdrawal of N700,000 from his bank account.
His wife, Monsurat, accused his friend, identified only as Ola, of making the withdrawal, which she said led to the death of the sexagenarian.
Monsurat, while speaking to our correspondent during a visit to their residence in the Ikotun area of Lagos State, said Ola stole her husband’s ATM card.
She said, “Ola was a close friend to our family, particularly my husband. He had financial difficulties with his rent and he came to my husband to tell him that he wanted to sell his generator so that he could raise money to pay his rent. My husband told him not to do that and said he (Isak) was expecting payment from our tenants and he could help. My husband then gave him N10,000.
“Meanwhile, we did not know that Ola had taken my husband’s ATM card and he withdrew money from it amounting to N700,000. He withdrew the money in tranches of N200,000, N300,000 and another N200,000.”
The deceased’s son, Ajibola, alleged that Ola stole his father’s ATM card after he (Isak) became intoxicated while they drank alcohol together.
He said the case was reported at the Ikotun Police Station for investigation, adding that the suspect disappeared after he was accused of being responsible for the death.
He said, “Last week Thursday, my dad was not alright, but I felt it was just ordinary malaria or a small illness. But later, I was told that it was serious and I had to call my siblings. We later learnt from our mother that our father was defrauded by Mr Ola.
“My father died on Friday and we buried him on Saturday. After his burial, we went to his friend’s house, confronted him and while arguing with him, we seized his phone. Since that day, we have not seen him.
“As I speak to you, I have his phone with me and we have reported the case at the Ikotun Police Station. He had issues and needed money and our father promised to help and gave him N10,000.
“Now, Mr Ola took our father’s ATM card, went to a PoS operator, and transferred about N700,000 from his account to other accounts. When our father saw it, he was deeply sad and he died because he never expected that his best friend would do that to him.”
Our correspondent visited Ola’s house in the community, but he was nowhere to be found.
However, his younger brother, identified simply as Ifa Dollars, absolved the suspect of blame in the incident.
He said, “I heard what they said my brother did, but I don’t know anything about it. If my brother was involved in any way, they are the ones that know what they have been doing. But he has no hand in the death.”
Asked the whereabouts of Ola, he said, “I don’t know his whereabouts.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said nobody reported the incident to the police.
He said, “I have not heard anything about the case but as soon as we get information on the matter, I will contact you.”
He had yet to get back to our correspondent as of press time.
However, the deceased’s family insisted that the case was reported at the Ikotun Police Station on June 23, 2022.
Policemen allegedly kill driver, motor boy in Ogun
Many travellers plying Abeokuta-Papa-Sango-Lagos road on Monday were stranded when some yet-to-be-identified men of the Nigeria Police Force, Ogun State Command, shot dead a truck driver and his motor boy.
The incident reportedly occurred along the Itori area of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
Our correspondent gathered that the policemen in their patrol van met the victim driving against traffic to avoid the bad portion of the road in Ewekoro Local Government, the same offence the cops were also said to be guilty of.
An eyewitness said, “When they saw the truck driver, they told him to turn back. The driver was reluctant and they shot his tyres.
“This led to an altercation and at the end of the day, the policemen shot dead the truck driver and his motor boy.
“That was why the youths of Itori blocked the road to protest the unjust killing of the driver and his colleague.”
The development made some motorists and commuters stranded for hours while commercial activities in the area were brought to halt.
It was gathered that for hours, commuters were held in traffic which started building up around 4pm.
Many motorists resorted to using bushy alternative routes, where they were compelled to pay some money to the area boys in the area for access.
When contacted, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed that there was an incident in Itori.
Oyeyemi, however, said he was yet to be fully briefed about the incident by the Divisional Police Officer in Itori.
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