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Lawyers fault Baba Ijesha’s continued detention, police justification

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

A league of lawyers under the aegis of Radical Movement in The Nigerian Bar Association (RAMINBA) has faulted the continued detention of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly called Baba Ijesha, by the Nigerian Police over alleged defilement and demanded that the actor be granted bail immediately in accordance with the law.

RAMINBA said that it was not the fault of Baba Ijesha that courts were shut down over autonomy issues, frustrating any attempt to arraign the actor before the court, saying, this grossly dysfunctional situation was not caused by him and should not be made to suffer for an act that was not his doing.

The lawyers argued that, contrary to 1999 constitution, Baba Ijesha has allegedly been made a hostage of sort by the Police, an act that had override duties of the law enforcement agency that includes promotion and protection of the rule of law in the country’s law, particularly in Lagos State.

This demand came barely 24 hours after the Lagos state government announced plans to drag the actor before a court over defilement and four other sexual related cases in others,

The lawyers’ stances were contained in a letter, Re: Failure of Police to release Olanrewaju James (AKA Baba Ijesha) pedophile suspect on bail; which was written to Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, Lagos State and submitted on Wednesday for enforcement.

Through the letter signed on behalf of the legal practitioners by their chairman, Adesina Ogunlana, stressed that their grievances were that the suspect has been detained by the law enforcement agency for over three weeks and was yet to grant him bail or drag him before the court as stipulated by the law.
The lawyers argued that they were earlier relieved after reports emanated that the Nigerian Police was already considering granting the actor’s bail but was surprised that the law enforcement agency, after a protest against the move, has kept quiet over the plan since.
“Our concern here is the legality of the extended detention of the actor who under the law, no matter the quantum of judicially untested facts against him is presumed innocent. This is a constitutional guarantee that appears to be lacking in the actor’s case so far, as your custody of him is concerned.
“From all indications, your department has concluded all necessary investigation into the matter hence the issuance of the legal advice. Respectfully, the legal advice which has been issued in our humble and respectful view does not include any allegation or charge which obviate the grant of bail or in any way shackle the hand of the police in the consideration of same for him”, they added.

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