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Court turns down Baba Ijesha’s bail application

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has turned down the bail application from Nollywood actor, James Olarewaju, popularly called Baba Ijesha, pending an appeal filed by the convicted before the Appellate court sitting in Lagos.

The court rejected Baba Ijesha’s bail application on the ground that he did not meet exceptional circumstances and criteria that could have warranted him to be granted such opportunity.

Delivering the ruling on Wednesday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo said that the application could only be accepted when the actor had some exceptional challenges.

“The applicant must show special and exceptional circumstances because the term given to him is five years which is to run concurrently.

“There is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication before this court that the court will not treat the case expeditiously.

“It is in the view of this court that the applicant has failed to show special circumstances to warrant him bail because he is facing a serious crime. In view of this case, I  am inclined to refuse the bail application of the applicants pending appeal,” Taiwo held.

Baba Ijesha had come before the court, asking that the judge grant him bail pending when the Appeal Court would commence hearing on his case before it.

The actor was sentenced after been convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year- old girl of his colleague in the state.

Earlier, Baba Ijesha’s counsel, Gabriel Olabiran, had recently informed the court of a notice for bail pending appeal has been submitted  in pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 51 of the High Court law of Lagos State, administration of criminal justice law.

Olabiran, who argued that the application admitted the applicant to bail, either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, said the application was brought before the court due to difficulty in getting a date at the Court of Appeal.

The state prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, however, in a counter affidavit, argued that the defence failed in its address to establish the special circumstances which might grant the convict bail.

“My lord, the defence has failed woefully in addressing the special circumstances which can be used to grant the convict bail.

It would be recalled that the court had barely over two months ago sentenced the embattled actor to five-years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

The court held that the prosecution had successfully proven the charge of sexual assault of a minor and indecent treatment of a minor against the convict.

The judge, however, discharged and acquitted him of count one and six which were sexual assault by penetration (which took place in  2014) and attempted sexual assault by penetration, which took place in 2021).

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