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Just In: Police may release Baba Ijesha after meeting bail conditions

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly called Baba Ijesha, may be released by the Nigerian Police, Lagos Command tomorrow (Monday) after allegedly meeting his bail conditions set by a Chief Magistrate, Toyin Oghre after allegedly sexually molesting a child in the state.

Baba Ijesha, who was granted bail on health grounds, was said to have met all bail conditions including N500,000 bail bond and two reliable sureties with one expected to be a level 10 officer with the Lagos State Government and the other a direct blood relation, that was set by the magistrate.

The actor, who was granted bail barely a week ago, is set to be released from the State Crime Investigation Department (SCID) in Panti, Yaba, custody where he had been detained over alleged sexual molestation of a foster child of Nigerian comedian-cum-actress, Damilola Adekoya, popularly called Princess.

Baba Ijesha’s expected release was disclosed by his lawyer, Adesina Ogunlana, on Sunday, while debunking claims that he was not the lawyer representing the thespian after been detained by the law enforcement agency without trial since April 22nd, 2021.

In the statement titled: BABA IJESHA’S ALLEGED DISOWNMENT OF MY GOOD SELF, ADESINA ADEMOLA OGUNLANA , ESQ AS HIS COUNSEL, the legal practitioner urged Nigerians to disregard the Lagos Police Command spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi’s claim that his client has not been granted bail.

He said: “There are news from some of those known to BABA IJESHA and my good self(that contrary to the claims of the Lagos State police command public relations officer,) that he, BABA IJESHA has fulfilled the terms of his bail conditions and that he would be released tomorrow (Monday) by Chief Magistrate Toyin Oghre at the SCID Panti”.

Meanwhile, he debunked allegations raised against him particularly that he was not directed by the actor to represent him, saying, Monday is less than 24 hours away. Let us wait, just for a little while . . the truth will come out”.

The statement reads in part: “I wish to thank all those who have risen so robustly to the defence of my integrity in the past twenty-four hours. I deeply appreciate your support and understand your anxiety to hear from me fully on this issue. However, I urge you to exercise patience, joining me to respect the wishes of the concerned friends and well wishers of BABA IJESHA who had reached out to me”.

It would be recalled that last Monday, magistrate Ogrey granted the artiste bail even when the court staffers were on strike, an action that was made possible following the amended criminal Justice law administration in the state that allowed a magistrate to unilaterally determine the 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.”

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