Alleged Rape: Baba Ijesha released on bail on health grounds

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Embattled Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha who is enmeshed in a rape allegation has been granted bail on health grounds.

His lawyer, Adesina Ogunlana, revealed this on Monday evening via a live broadcast on his Facebook page.

He said Baba Ijesha was released by Chief Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghre around 5 p.m. on Monday.

Mr Ogunlana, a former chair of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, had raised an alarm on Baba Ijesha’s deteriorating health in a letter addressed to the Lagos Commissioner of Police seeking the actor’s bail on Friday.

He also revealed that “the actor was traumatised and walks with difficulties in police detention”.

Baba Ijesha is under investigation by the Lagos State police command for allegedly raping a 14-year-old-girl in the home of comedienne Adekola Adekanya, popularly called Princess, since April 22.

The comic actor has been detailed for over three weeks without arraignment due to the ongoing strike by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

Bail

In his remarks on Monday evening, Mr Ogunlana said Baba Ijesha’s release on bail was a welcome development.

“Our client, Olanrewaju James Omiyinka popularly known as Baba Ijesha, who has been in detention for more than 30 days has been granted bail at the facility of his detention.

“The chief Magistrate Toyin Oghre of the Lagos state judiciary and the chief magistrate in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and in partnership with a private organisation led by a former NBA, Bayo Akinlade, Ikorodu (branch) visited Panti this afternoon, under the decongestion scheme.

‘‘They met Baba Ijesha. And the chief magistrate being very bold and experienced noticed something curious. Baba Ijesha’s name was not even on the list of those whose case(s) would be intervened (sic), the chief magistrate demanded to see him, and as we have said before, bail was granted to him, when he was brought before them, he was limping, and bail was granted to him because of his deteriorating health condition.”

He said the conditions of his bail including bringing two sureties “with one being his relative and an N500,000 bond bail”.

“The idea of mob lynching, the idea of ‘loop sided’ actions when it comes to rights of fellow citizens must be decried. On behalf of the counsels in this matter, I want to appreciate the chief magistrate,” he said.

The Attorney-General of Lagos and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, recently revealed that the actor would be tried under five provisions of the criminal law of Lagos State based on the advice given by the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

Since April 22, 2021, when PREMIUM TIMES reported Baba Ijesha’s alleged rape incident, he has faced some serious backlash and lost his goodwill.

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