Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and counsel to Omoyele Sowore, has claimed Isa Funtua, an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, boasted that the current government cannot be defeated.
Falana also revealed he rejected a request for him to apologize to Buhari, when Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, was in detention.
He disclosed this in a statement released on Thursday.
Sowore was detained in August 2019 ahead of #RevolutionNow, a nationwide protest against the government.
A delegation led by the late Funtua, reportedly visited Sowore while he was in detention, to “negotiate conditions” for his release.
After Funtua died on Monday, Sowore posted a video on Twitter, where he described Funtua as an “arrogant man” who asked him to “abandon the struggle” in exchange for his release.
However, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, who was part of the delegation, accused Sowore of “attacking a dead soul”.
”I don’t know what Sowore wants to achieve by distorting the facts of what transpired, but my advice to him is that he should stop his attacks on a dead, well-meaning intercessor, Shehu tweeted.
In reaction, Falana who is Sowore’s lawyer has accused Shehu of attempting to twist what happened during the meetings.
“I confirm that I held a meeting with the trio referred to by Mr. Shehu even though he did not mention my name. Hence, I am compelled to react to a couple of issues raised in his incendiary account. More so that he did not attend the Lagos meeting. For reasons best known to Mr. Shehu, he refused to inform the Nigerian people that I rejected the gratuitous request to prevail on Mr. Sowore to apologise to President Muhammadu Buhari and write an undertaking to desist from further embarrassing the federal government,” part of the statement read.
He added: “Mr. Shehu ought to have equally disclosed that I demanded for the unconditional release of my client from the unlawful incarceration of the State Security Service. In fact, when the late Alhaji Isa Funtua said rather condescendingly at the Lagos meeting that the regime in power could not be defeated, I was quick to remind him that the Nigerian people had defeated military dictators to pave way for the current civilian dispensation.”