By Chux Odoh
Sources inside the Chicago police department have said that they have strong reasons to believe that ‘Empire’ Star, Jussie Smollett paid Nigerian brothers Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, to stage the January 29 attack on him which he said was carried out by a two unknown men who hurled homophobic and racist slurs at him.
This is coming after the police released the brothers who they said would not be charged for the case. The brothers are said to be cooperating with the probe and reportedly revealed during investigation that Smollett paid them up to $3,500 to carry out the ‘attack. They told cops they purchased the rope for the noose recovered from Smollett’s neck after the attack, and have turned over to cops the Ace Hardware receipt for their purchase of the rope, Fox 32 reports.
Investigators are now eager to speak again with the actor, who has since hired an arsenal of attorneys including Todd Pugh, Victor P. Henderson, and Michael Monico, a high-powered criminal attorney who also reps Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for US President Donald Trump.
Smollett through his reps has also released a statement concerning the new developments in the case, stating that he was ‘angered and devastated’ to learn that the perpetrators of the attack are individuals familiar with him. His attorneys also denied that he was involved, saying “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
The Nigerian brothers are well known to the actor and have worked as extras on the TV series. They are workout buddies as they use the same gym as Smollett. They travelled to Nigeria on the Night of the attack and were reportedly picked up from the airport when they returned back to the United States.
Read the full statement:
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.
“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.
“Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to ‘unnamed’ sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels.”