The Coordinator of Legal Affairs for the imprisoned Yoruba Nation seccesionist, Sunday Adeyemo (Sunday Igboho), Olasupo Ojo, has said Igboho has no plan to change his Benin-based lawyers.
Igboho, had in a leaked audio, expressed anger with his team of about 10 lawyers in Benin Republic for failing to secure his release after about 50 days in detention.
In the leaked audio, Igboho had lambasted all his Benin Republic-based lawyers, led by Ibrahim Salami and also complained about his alleged maltreatment and abandonment in prison by Salami and the other lawyers despite receiving about N5m each.
But Ojo, in a chat, according to PUNCH on Tuesday, said,
“He (Igboho) is not changing any of the lawyers in Benin Republic. We know the lawyers that are working, we know those are not working and we have adjusted according. For the sake of goodwill and everybody concerned, we are not removing any lawyer because each of those lawyers has their good sides and added advantages and we also need their goodwill. It is a foreign country.
“So, we have decided to continue working with all of them. We can manage them. They are all contributing. He may not know what the lawyers are contributing outside; he is only concerned about who he is seeing. All the lawyers cannot be coming to the prison all the time.”
However, speaking with The PUNCH, a member of Igboho’s legal team in Nigeria, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said the leaked audio was a regretted development, adding the head of the entire legal team, Yomi Aliyu (SAN), had once fired all the Benin-based lawyers for related matters the activist accused them of in the leaked audio.
Olajengbesi said, “There is no confusion in the Igboho legal team. Of course, it is a big legal team but it is well-structured. The Igboho case is not a small matter because we are dealing with two nations and the Federal Government of Nigeria is determined by all means to take down Igboho.
“Chief Sunday Igboho is not satisfied with the way in which the matter is handled in Benin Republic. Of course, he is aware of the progress made in Abuja, he is aware of the progress made in Ibadan, Abuja and Lagos.
“The head of the entire legal team of Chief Sunday Igboho is Chief Yomi Aliyu and there was a time he sanctioned the entire team of lawyers in Benin Republic. As a matter of fact, he sacked all of them. It took the understanding of senior lawyers involved in this matter who have always been giving guidance and advice like Chief Femi Falana (SAN), Ojo Olasupo and others to salvage the Benin-based lawyers.
“The legal team in Nigeria is intact, there is an understanding and the matter is going on well.”
The Cour De’appal De Cotonou had on July 26 granted Igboho access to medical care and ordered that he be remanded in a prison facility.
Speaking on the next date of court appearance, Ojo saidthough no date had been fixed for resumption of Igboho’s trial but the court in the West African country would resume later this September.