The Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly called Baba Ijesha, has been granted bail, barely a month after he was detained by the Nigerian Police over alleged sexual assault on a minor in Lagos State.
Baba Ijesha, who was granted bail on health grounds by Chief Magistrate Toyin Ogrey, was yet to be released by the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) in Panti, Yaba.
As gathered, the magistrate has mandated the Nigerian Police to release the actor after meeting his bail conditions which include N500,000 bail bond and two reliable sureties and that one of them must be a level 10 officer with the Lagos State Government and the other must be a direct blood relation to the suspect.
Confirming the development, his lawyer, Adesina Ogunlana, who confirmed this in a video obtained by The Guild, said that the actor was granted bail by the magistrate on Monday.
Ogunlana added that the actor was granted bail after the magistrate visited the SCID and assessed his health condition which further indicated that his health condition was deteriorating.
“He has been granted bail about one hour ago. We are working to perfect the bail. He was granted bail on health grounds. He has not been released. He will be released after his bail conditions have been perfected,” his counsel said.
Although the court staffers were on strike, the amended criminal Justice law administration allow a magistrate to unilaterarily determine fate of minor offenders under detention.
To determine minor offenders’ fate, the magistrate has to visit Nigerian police stations or other places of detention within their jurisdiction and grant bail to offenders earlier denied by the law enforcement agency.
Earlier, Ogunlana had in a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Police seeking Baba Ijesha’s bail, argued that the actor was looking abnormally weak and lean and should be granted bail to avoid his health condition from deteriorating.
In the letter dated, May 14, 2021, and titled ‘Re: Olanrewaju James Omiyinka application for immediate grant of bail’, the legal practitioner advised that the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, approve his release, but the request was turned down.
Part of the letter read, “We are aware that a piece of legal advice on our client’s matter has been issued about two weeks ago, disclosing prospective charges of bailable character.
“From all indications, the investigation has been concluded in his matter and it is inconceivable that the issuance of legal advice will now be a basis for the denial of bail as you have been widely reported in the press to have claimed.
“We submit that the continuous detention of Mr. Olanrewaju James Omiyinka at your SCID Panti Yaba facility, for about thirty days now, in our respectful view, is in gross breach of his fundamental human rights as cognisable under the 1999 constitution the grand norm of the nation’s legal architecture.
“As of today when I met with Omiyinka in the company of his thespian colleague and ready surety, Mr. Yomi Fabiyi, he appeared traumatized, emaciated, and walked with a limp in his right leg. May I assure you, sir, that Mr Omiyinka is not a flight risk and he is prepared to face trial.”
It would be recalled that Nigerian comedian-cum-actress, Damilola Adekoya, popularly called Princess, had narrated that the actor allegedly raped her foster child while at age 7.