Updated: Baba Ijesha granted bail, his lawyer slams Lagos AG, police, others
Adesina Ogunlana, counsel for embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, has slammed the Lagos State Police Command, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), and other persons who were opposed to the release of the actor on bail.
Ogunlana in a Facebook Live on Monday evening shortly after the actor detained by police for alleged sexual assault, was granted bail, took turn to lambast all those who allegedly trampled on the fundamental human rights of Baba Ijesha.
Baba Ijesha has been under fire since April 22, 2021, when the Lagos State Police Command announced his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the care of popular comedienne, Adekola Adekanya, otherwise called Princess.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, had said there was substantial evidence against the actor as he was caught in the act on Closed Circuit Television.
The police had moved to release the actor on bail as the strike by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria lingered but Princess and some Nollywood stars including actress Iyaba Ojo, had protested the release of Baba Ijesha.
Lagos Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, had also said Baba Ijesha might be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty in court.
“After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued legal advise on the 4th of May, 2021, which is to the effect that a prima facie case has been disclosed against Mr. Olanrewaju James and recommended he be charged under the following provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015:
“Section 135, Indecent Treatment of a child- punishable by 7 years imprisonment, Section 137- Defilement of a Child-, punishable by life imprisonment, Section 261- Sexual Assault by Penetration- punishable by life imprisonment, Section 262- Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration, punishable by 14 years imprisonment and Section 263, Sexual Assault-punishable by 3 years imprisonment,” Onigbanjo had said.
Baba Ijesha’s lawyer later wrote the police to grant Baba Ijesha bail on health ground as he said the actor appeared traumatised, emaciated, and walked with a limp in his right leg when visited in police custody. However, his client was not granted bail.
But speaking on Monday, the lawyer said Baba Ijesha was granted bail when magistrates went around police stations across the state, hearing cases of some suspects.
Ogunlana subsequently lambasted all those who opposed the release of the actor on bail despite his deteriorating health.
He said, “How could somebody who is not biased, who is not malicious, how can that person, and I am talking about the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo. He is a fine learned gentlemen but for goodness sake, how could anybody say a prima facie case of defilement has been disclosed upon the fact of this case?
“We will look into that and take that up because this gentleman, Baba Ijesha, his rights have been brazenly brutalised.”
“As far as we are concerned, both the police and the ministry of justice are to be indicted for this unnecessary brutalisation and oppression of Baba Ijesha’s right. If a person is entitled to a right, you give it to him; you don’t need to say whether it conforms with your idea of morality or not. When you know the right thing to do and you refuse to do it, that is a sin,” the lawyer added.
Among the bail conditions listed by the lawyer for Baba Ijesha’s release are two reliable sureties – one of them must be a level 10 officers, a direct blood relation, and N500,000 bail bond in like sum.
“After this has happened, it is possible that some other people will still be pandering to some sinister forces and may give one reasons or the other. These sureties will be produced and the verification done has soon as possible. No need for foot-dragging,” Ogunlana said, adding that the ball was in the court of the police to process the release of the actor.