Top Benin Republic-based lawyer, Ibrahim Salami, was recruited to secure the release of Yoruba nation agitator Sunday Igboho because of his influence in the country.
This is according to a source close to the leadership of the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua.
Naija News recall that the Department of State Services, DSS, had on July 1, 2021, attacked the home of Sunday Igboho in Soka, Ibadan, killing two of his associates and arresting 12 others.
Igboho who had gone into hiding after the attack was on July 20, arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic while trying to board a flight to Germany alongside his wife, Ropo.
While his wife was later released, a judge in Benin ordered the continued detention of the Yoruba activist as investigations go on.
In a leaked audio that recently went viral, Sunday Igboho was heard bashing his lawyers for failing to get him released.
While accusing his lawyers of taking large amount of money from him, the agitator warned that no one would be able to hold him ones he gets angry.
Sunday Igboho said, “I told him (lawyer) I was hungry and had to eat, and he told me to go. I told him to see me; it wasn’t because of those people that he came here now. I was waiting for him for 15 minutes. If he had told those people to give him time to attend to his client, that one would not have said anything because he knew you came there because of me.
“But he abandoned me where I was. I didn’t know him before now; I wasn’t expecting him at all. I didn’t know it was Salami that lawyer, Falola, would be sending. I’m not a young boy now; I’ll be 50 years by October this year. I might have a small body but God answered my prayers. I’m a man and I know my worth.”
Speaking to PUNCH, a source stated that Salami, who was specifically targeted by Igboho in the audio, understood the legal system in Benin.
According to the source, Salami is also one of the leading lawyers and consultants to the Benin Republic government.
“Beyond being a professor, Salami understands the legal system. He is a government lawyer. He was very instrumental in stopping Igboho’s extradition the moment he was arrested,” the source said.
“We also have some challenges with him, but we are hopeful that he will adjust going forward. For instance, after every sitting, he briefs the press first before his clients. That is wrong for elders and causing confusion.
“Apart from Igboho, he is dealing directly with Professors Banji Akintoye and Wale Adeniran, and they don’t get updates from him immediately.”