Metro & Crime

Alleged defilement: Court grants Baba Ijesha N2m bail

… bans public commentary on case

An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos yesterday granted bail to Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James Omiyinka aka Baba Ijesha, standing trial for sexual assault by penetration and child molestation. Baba Ijesha, who pleaded not guilty, was arraigned on a six-count charge bordering sexual assault by penetration, indecent treatment of a child and attempted sexual assault.

The state prosecutor, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, said the defendant committed the offence sometime between 2013 and 2014 and in April 19, 2021 around Joseph Harrison Street and No 13, Wegbo Street, Iyawa, Yaba, Lagos. Adeyemi told the court that the defendant sexually assaulted a sevenyear- old girl (name withheld) by penetrating her vagina with his car key and also rubbed his penis on her body. The prosecutor further said that Baba Ijesha also sexually assault same child at the age of 14 years by sucking her finger and touching her body in a sexual manner. However, in a short ruling on bail application filed by the team of defence counsel, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo granted leave to Baba Ijesha to go home.

Taiwo released the defendant to his lawyer, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), pending the perfection of his bail con-ditions. The defendant was granted bail following submissions from both the defence and prosecuting counsel. The judge also gave the defendant seven days to perfect his bail conditions or be remanded in the custody of the Correctional Centre. Taiwo granted bail to baba Ijesha in the sum of N2 million with two sureties each in like sum. She said that one of the sureties must be a relation, resident in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the court and provide evidence of three years’ tax payment to Lagos State government.

Taiwo ordered that the second surety must be a legal practitioner, must have viable means of livelihood and deposed to affidavit of means. While one of his relations shall enter into a bond of N1 million deposited with the Chief Registrar of the High Court of Lagos State. The judge further barred Nollywood actors from making any pronouncement on the matter again. She said: “This case has become sub judice. Nobody must say anything or make any comment about this case again, particularly all actors and actresses.

“Nobody should discuss it. You must leave the work for the court. The court is not going to be swayed by your comments but the facts of the case. “The court will frown at such comments and deal decisively with those making the comments.” Taiwo’s order followed complaints by lead defence counsel, Ogala, that there were too many misinformation about the matter before the court on social media and that the image of the defendant had been battered. Earlier at commencement of trial, Ogala announced appearance of 19 counsel for the defence, including himself and Dada Awosika (SAN). But the court directed him to reduce the defence team to six.

 

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