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Magistrate ends proceedings abruptly after lawyer appears in priestly attire

Drama at a magistrates’ court in Anambra on Thursday as proceedings were disrupted when a lawyer appeared in court dressed as a Christian cleric.

According to the Punch report, the court’s proceedings were in progress smoothly when a case was called for hearing. Ogbachalu Goshen, a lawyer, reportedly stepped out and announced himself as the defence’s counsel — dressed in priestly attire.

It was learnt that the magistrate, CB Mbaegbu was reported to have said Goshen cannot appear in the courtroom dressed in an attire different from what the profession demands.

The lawyer reportedly objected, citing a recent ruling by the supreme court that permits hijab use in Lagos schools.

The magistrate was said to have declined to hear the lawyer’s case as the back and forth argument went on.

Subsequently, Mbaegbu reportedly got up and left the courtroom, compelling the court’s proceedings to end abruptly.

Recall that a similar incident occurred days ago in Lagos when a judge of a federal high court, Tijani Ringim refused to hear the cases filed by Malcolm Omirhobo for appearing before the court dressed as a ”juju priest”.

Omirhobo attributed his decision, which he said is his fundamental right, to the apex court’s ruling affirming the wearing of hijab in schools.

In October 2014, a Lagos high court ruled against the wearing of hijab in schools, a decision that was overturned by an appellate court in July 2016.

However, in a judgment in June, five out of a seven-member panel of the apex court held that banning the use of hijab in Lagos schools was discriminatory.

The court’s judgment has elicited mixed reactions from Nigerians.

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