By G9ija

The war of words between Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups has alleged that its Abuja based lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, traded Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, currently being detained in Republic of Benin and its struggle for financial and political gains.

The group said this while reacting to the resignation of the lawyer from the legal team of Igboho earlier on Sunday.

Olajengbesi, who helped get 12 associates of Igboho arrested by Department of State Services, DSS during a raid on the Ibadan Oyo State home of the secessionist last July had in a statement on Sunday announced his resignation from the legal team.

Olajengbesi had in the statement washed his hands off any matter relating to Igboho and the Yoruba Nation Agitators except the cases currently in court related to two of the associates of the agitator.

The lawyer resigned after he was attacked by Ilana Oodua following his criticisms of a statement by the group’s leader, Banji Akitoye that Osun and Ekiti governorship elections scheduled for later this year may not hold if Igboho was not released from prison.

The group had also condemned a statement issued by Olajengbesi in which he appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to release Igboho from prison.

But Ilana Omo Oodua said it was wrong for Olajengbesi to announce his resignation through social media since he wasn’t hired through social media in a statement signed by the Communication Manager to the Group Chairman, Maxwell Adeleye.

It also noted that Olajengbesi’s resignation is a contradiction and full of paradox. The group accused the lawyer of falsely claiming to be a lawyer to Igboho to hobnob with the Nigerian government for financial gains.

“Lastly, it should be on record that contrary to the claim of Olajengbesi, he is not a personal lawyer to Sunday Igboho, but a Lawyer to the Yoruba Self-determination struggle.

“He was introduced to us by Chief Yomi Aliyu, SAN. The Self-Determination Struggle hired, retained and paid for the services of Pelumi Olajengbesi, not Chief Sunday Igboho. Olajengbesi, perhaps, looking for fame and popularity, used the media to brand himself as Ighoho’s Lawyer. We chose to allow him to enjoy the fame to avoid distraction.

“Now having appropriated some fame, he turns to hobnobbing with the Nigerian Government to trade Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho and our self-determination struggle for financial and political gains,” the group said.

It also said it will no longer allow the lawyer to represent two members of the group being tried for terrorism.

Read the full statement below

Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups has said it was wrong for its counsel, Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi to announce his resignation through social media since he wasn’t hired through the Social media.

In a statement signed by the Communication Manager to the Group Chairman, Maxwell Adeleye and made available to Vanguard in Ibadan on Sunday, the group noted that Olajengbesi’s resignation is a contradiction and full of paradox.

The statement reads “the Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO) Worldwide, the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups all over the world has received the media report of the resignation of Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, the Lawyer that the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Groups worldwide retained and paid to defend the aides of Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) against the Department of State Services (DSS) at an Abuja High Court.

“We want to state very expressly that we did not hire Mr Olajengbesi through the social media and it is not ideal for him to have resigned through the social media. Choosing the social media to resign is an indication of his lack of understanding of the ethics of his profession. It clearly raises questions on his integrity and honour.

“We want the whole world to know that Mr Olajengbesi resigned over the response of the Yoruba people worldwide to his provocative and unnecessary attack on social media against our revered leader, Professor Banji Akintoye on 31st December 2021. The attack was over the statement of the renowned scholar declaring that there will be no Governorship Election in Ekiti and Osun States in 2022.

“Olajengbesi, in a conversation with IOO Directors of Legal Affairs and Communications, Barrister Olasupo Ojo and Mr Maxwell Adeleye respectively, expressed regret of his action against Professor Banji Akintoye, stating that he had realised that he dabbled into an issue that does not concern him.

“He agreed to make clarifications and apologise for misleading the public and misrepresenting the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Struggle. Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi admitted to us that he reacted too quickly to Prof. Banji Akintoye’s statement and that he was wrong, erred and thereby verbally apologized. This we accepted and called everyone concerned within the Homeland and Diaspora to stop releasing further statements against him forthwith.

“Mr Olajengbesi admitted that he was misled by The Punch Newspaper’s “ambiguous” report. He admitted that he hadn’t read the full statement of Professor Banji Akintoye before he reacted through his Facebook timeline.

“We, therefore, want to state that Mr Olajengbesi’s so-called social media resignation is full of contradictions and a paradox. He said he was quitting every case that has to do with Sunday Igboho and the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Struggle, at the same time he said he will continue with the case of the Ighoho2 charged for terrorism by the DSS.

“You can’t approbate and re-approbate. You can’t be out attacking us on social media and still want to handle the Ighoho2 case. You can’t eat your cake and have it. The public embarrassment, humiliation and opprobrium that has been brought to the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Struggle by Olajengbesi in the last 24 hours is enough. With the way he has conducted himself in the last 24 hours, we are of the opinion that if allowed to continue with the Ighoho2 case, Pelumi Olajengbesi will sabotage us and trade the two innocent people to the Nigerian Government. We do not want him anywhere near our struggle anymore. He has clearly indicated that he lacks honour, integrity and decency.

“Olajengbesi fallaciously wrote a happy new year message on behalf of Sunday Adeyemo Igboho to President Muhammad Buhari without authorisation, impersonating and painting the image of a tired & surrendered Ighoho. When the statement of Professor Banji Akintoye on Ekiti and Osun State Elections overshadowed his Abuja-teleguided and self-serving statement, he got angry and went to social media to attack Professor Banji Akintoye. He later confirmed to us on the phone that it was the DSS who sent him the Punch report of Professor Banji Akintoye’s statement which prompted his social media virulence against our struggle.

“While Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi has a right to do whatever he likes in his personal capacity, we are however surprised that he could be wildly unethical in his professional approach by choosing to use social media to attack Professor Banji Akintoye’s New Year Statement on behalf of the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Movement. We at Ilana Omo Oodua, being the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, consider Olajengbesi’s action as a betrayal of trust that we reposed in him and an abuse of the ethics of his legal profession. He took advantage of his association with our movement to perpetuate his personal agenda to our own detriment which is against the run of play.

“We acknowledge Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi’s fundamental human rights, the right as a Politician from Osun State and his strong interest in this year’s Governorship Election in his home state for the 2023 general elections, a fraudulent process which Ilana Omo Oodua seeks the Instrumentalities of the law to stop, hence, his decision to attack Professor Banji Akintoye, not because he truly loves Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho. CSI had before his arrest, made it clear to the world that it is #NoReferendumNoElection.

“Lastly, it should be on record that contrary to the claim of Olajengbesi, he is not a personal lawyer to Sunday Igboho, but a Lawyer to the Yoruba Self-determination struggle. He was introduced to us by Chief Yomi Aliyu, SAN. The Self-Determination Struggle hired, retained and paid for the services of Pelumi Olajengbesi, not Chief Sunday Igboho. Olajengbesi, perhaps, looking for fame and popularity, used the media to brand himself as Ighoho’s Lawyer. We chose to allow him to enjoy the fame to avoid distraction. Now having appropriated some fame, he turns to hobnobbing with the Nigerian Government to trade Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho and our self-determination struggle for financial and political gains”.