Fiery human rights activist, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo has described as “frivolous and vexatious” the petition brought against him by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
MURIC had written a complaint to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) against Omirhobo “for conducting himself in a manner which is unbecoming for a legal practitioner which has caused a serious disrepute and mockery to the legal profession particularly on social media.”
Noting that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had on June 17, 2022 in a split judgement held that female Muslim students have the right to wear hijab in public schools, MURIC stated that “In protest to this judgment, Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo Esq who is a legal practitioner appeared before the Supreme Court of Nigeria a week after the judgment wearing wig and gown but barefooted, with a red cloth tied around his waist, fetish necklace, and his right eye encircled with white powder, to the extent his embarrassing conduct had to force the Supreme Court to go on recess as reported by different sections of media.”
Signed by Mohammed Mansur Aliyu, MURIC noted that “the conduct of Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo Esq has caused serious embarrassment and disrepute to the legal profession considering the derogatory comments and aspersions made on the apex court justices particularly on social media. His conducts amounted to ‘infamous conduct ‘under the Rules of Professional Conduct.”
But in a verified post sighted by city Lawyer, Omirhobo lampooned MURIC for the complaint, saying: “I have just received a frivolous and vexatious originating application in respect of the allegation of misconduct against me for dressing as prescribed by my religion in exercise of my fundamental right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion by Muslim Rights Concern (Muric) from the Body of Benchers, Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee. I am to file my defence within 24 days.”
The LPDC had directed the human rights activist to respond to the complaint. In a letter by its Secretary, Mr. Daniel M. Tela, the committee wrote: “RE: BB/LPDC/896/2022 MUSLIM RIGHTS CONCERN (MURIC) V. MALCOLM EMOKINIOVO OMIRHOBO, ESQ
“The above subject matter refers, please.
“Please find enclosed a copy of Originating Application against you. By virtue of Rule 10 of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules, 2020, you are to submit an affidavit disclosing a defence to the Originating Application on the merit together with all other affidavits and documents that you intend to rely on within 24 days from the date of your receipt of this letter. (Please find enclosed a copy of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules, 2020).
“TAKE NOTE that you shall state your full name, Supreme Court Enrolment number, your contact address, email, phone number(s) in your response.”