Umbrella body for Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, has reacted to the resignation of human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi.
The legal practitioner is one of the counsels to Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Olajengbesi withdrew from representing the self-determination leader in any legal capacity.
In a statement on Sunday, Olajengbesi said that the decision was reached after careful consideration of certain factors.
Reacting in a statement by its spokesperson, Maxwell Adeyemi, Ilana Omo Oodua said it was not ideal for the legal practitioner to resign on social media as he was not hired via the platform.
The group said Olajengbesi’s choice of resignation online shows that the lawyer lacked understanding of the ethics of his profession and raises questions on his integrity and honour.
Ilana Omo Oodua said that it will not allow Olajengbesi to continue with the legal defence of two Igboho aides owing to the fact that the legal practitioner said he was resigning from anything that had to do with Igboho.
The group said, “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, a lawyer retained and paid to defend aides of Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) against the Department of State Services at the 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, Prof 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, Olasupo Ojo and Mr Maxwell Adeleye respectively, expressed regret of his action against Prof 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.
“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 apologised.
“This we accepted and called everyone concerned within the homeland and Diaspora to stop releasing further statements against him forthwith.
“Olajengbesi admitted that he was misled by PUNCH Newspaper’s “ambiguous” report. He admitted that he hadn’t read the full statement of Prof 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 Ighoho 12 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 Ighoho two 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 New Year message on behalf of Sunday Adeyemo to President Muhammadu Buhari without authorisation, impersonating and painting the image of a tired and suffered Ighoho.
“When the statement of Prof Banji Akintoye on Ekiti and Osun elections overshadowed his Abuja-teleguided and self-serving statement, he got angry and went to the social media to attack Prof Akintoye.
“He later confirmed to us on the phone that it was the DSS who sent him the PUNCH report of Prof 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 Prof 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 Prof Akintoye, not because he truly loves Chief Sunday Adeyemo. Igboho 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.”