By Sola Isola
Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups has said it was wrong for its counsel, Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi to annouce 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 the 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 fallaciosuly 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 the 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 perpetrate 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”.
Olajengbesi had earlier in the day announced his resignation as counsel involved in any matter relating to Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known Sunday Igboho and the Yoruba Nation Agitators.
A statement personally signed by him states that “as a firm, we are satisfied with our little best in contributing to providing legal solutions and representations to Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) and associated Yoruba Nation Agitators as far as ensuring the protection and enforcement of their rights in this matter.
“We were able to secure the release of twelve (12) persons brutally and unlawfully arrested by the reckless State Security Service (SSS), and also secured the release of an innocent herbalist unlawfully arrested and detained by the SSS.
“We have two persons with on-going terrorism trials at the Federal High Court and our firm will dutifully continue and close the trial having commenced their matter.
“Olajengbesi thank everyone, particularly Chief Yomi Aliyu SAN for the opportunity, and freehand service, Dr. Olasupo Ojo for his fair leadership and Chief Femi Falana for allowing his industry to be tapped and for the moral support, I most respectfully wish to now step aside.
“I have stated ab initio that the scope of my work will only be within the purview of my professional duty as a lawyer to Sunday Igboho and his aides. I am a strong believer in constitutional democracy, civil liberty and human rights which includes the right to self-determination but I am not a Yoruba nation agitator nor a member of any like organization. My reaction to Prof. Akintoye was not to undermine the Yoruba struggle but is based off my personal convictions which I am entitled to. I do hope my friends in the struggle will allow me enjoy the benefit of my right to such a choice as a person of thought and conscience”.