Malcolm Omirhobo, a Lagos-based lawyer and human rights activist has taken the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari to court.
Omirhobo sued the Emir for allegedly stopping traditional religious worshippers from holding their Isese festival in Ilorin, Kwara State.
In the suit filed before the Kwara State High Court, Omirhobo, who described himself as an Olokun worshipper, wants to court to declare that the alleged action of the Emir was an affront to the constitutional rights to“freedom of dignity of the human person, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly.”
We had reported that a Muslim group, Majlisu Shabab li Ulamahu Society, in Ilorin, Kwara State, went to the house of a traditional religion priestess to warn her against going ahead with her planned Isese festival in Ilorin.
The priestess, Yeye Ajesikemi Olokun Omolara Olatunji, an Osun devotee, had earlier reportedly released fliers announcing a three-day traditional event aimed at celebrating certain Yoruba deities.
But the Muslim group, which described Isese festival as idolatry, said they recalled that the Emir of Ilorin had made a public declaration against such events.
Omirhobo, in his suit, is asking the court to declare that Ilorin, like every other part of Nigeria, is a multi-religious and multicultural society/city, hence, “the respondent has no constitutional powers or authority to ban and/or prohibit Isese festival in Ilorin, Kwara State, which made it impossible for the applicant to commune, felicitate, celebrate, merry, bond and worship with the community of African traditionalist/Olokun worshippers.”
He wants the court to make an order of“perpetual injunction” restraining the Emir and his agents “from embarrassing, coercing, bullying, harassing, intimidating, tormenting, torturing, dehumanising, debasing, and frustrating the applicant from enjoying his fundamental rights to dignity of his human person, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of movement with other Olokun worshippers in Ilorin, Kwara State in private and in public.”
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