Abel and Ola Osundairo will testify against Jussie Smollett

The two brothers at the heart of the hate crime saga Jussie Smollett are backing down on their decision not to testify against the dishonored actor, saying Thursday that they plan to continue cooperating with investigators.

Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who claim Smollett paid them to organize a hate crime, announced Wednesday night that the Chicago Police Department was unable to locate the belongings seized during a 2019 raid and, for that reason, no longer they were willing to help investigators.

His lawyer, Gloria Schmidt Rodríguez, issued a statement on his behalf on Thursday afternoon saying that they have changed their minds now that the belongings have been found.

“Due to the intervention of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb and his team, we were informed earlier today that a properly registered 9mm pistol was found missing from a locked safe seized by the Chicago Police Department on February 14, 2019 Schmidt Rodriguez’s statement says.

“The missing weapon was a reason for Abel and Ola’s decision to cease voluntary cooperation, in addition to the unnecessary complication that the CPD Corporate Council brought to this situation by treating them as suspects. Abel and Ola will resume their cooperation in the Smollett case now that the gun has been produced by the Special Prosecutor’s office. ”

Last winter, CPD investigators focused on Abel and Ola, as the two main suspects wanted in connection with a hate crime that Smollett allegedly suffered.

Jussie Smollet
Jussie SmolletAP

When the two brothers were questioned, they told investigators that they were friends of Smollett and asked them to help him organize a hate crime because he was dissatisfied with his treatment on the set of the hit Fox show “Empire”, where Smollett played a supporting role.

Before the brother’s testimony, their home had been raided and they had been treated as suspects until CPD detectives brought the case against Smollett and decided not to press charges against the brothers.

For “more than a year,” the brothers have been trying to recover the items seized during the raid, and on June 5, Abel filed a motion in court asking to inspect all the items seized, his lawyer said.

Judge Richard Linn accepted the request, but during the inspection, Abel realized his legal handgun was missing, along with ammunition, Schmidt Rodríguez said.

“Although the Brothers continually made themselves available to CPD, the CPD Corporate Council, and the Special Prosecutor’s office, 24 hours after the gun was discovered to be missing, the CPD Corporate Council office sent an email directly to Abel essentially blaming him for not including the second search warrant for the weapon in his motion and refusing to produce the weapon for inspection on that basis, “the brothers’ attorney wrote in a statement.

“Abel and Ola believe that the CPD Corporate Advisor invented this excuse to distract himself from the fact that the police were unable to produce the gun on June 23. He simply said, the inability of the CPD Corporate Advisor to facilitate logistics in getting all the parties inspecting all of the seized assets made Abel and Ola Osundairo feel alienated and uncomfortable with the lack of transparency in this process. ”

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, who was appointed to re-investigate Smollett, intervened and was able to obtain the produced pistol.

“The Osundairo Brothers at no time lost faith in the Special Prosecutor’s case against Mr. Smollett and have stated that their complaint was directly with the CPD and their Corporate Advisor. Abel and Ola Osundairo continue to defend 100 percent of their previous statements and testimonies about their participation in the organized attack and, thanks to the problem that was resolved today, they will continue to work in cooperation with Special Prosecutor Dan Webb and his team. ”

Smollett was arrested last winter on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, but the charges were suddenly dropped against him in March after he agreed to lose a $ 10,000 bond without admitting wrongdoing.

Judge Michael Toomin later ruled on the case, and the decision to abandon it was void after Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx made a series of ethical errors. Toomin appointed Webb to conduct a new investigation against the actor, and in February this year, six new felony charges against the actor were announced.

Smollett has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence.