Entertainment

Baba Ijesha charged with sexual assault, court denies bail

Embattled Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James Omiyinka popularly known as Baba Ijesha has been arraigned before a magistrate court and slammed with a four-count charge of sexual assault and indecent treatment of a child.

Baba Ijesha, arrived at the Yaba Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, in the company of his colleague Yomi Fabiyi and other supporters, as well as family members.

The judge, however, denied him bail and remanded him in the police custody where he has been since April, 2021.

The actor was arrested by the Lagos state police after he was alleged to have sexually molested a minor serrially for seven years, from the age of seven.

He was later granted bail on May 17 — after spending about 25 days in police detention by magistrates in charge of prison decongestion.

But he has remained at the Gender Unit of the State CID, Panti, Yaba Lagos despite the bail.

During the trial on Wednesday, Kayode Olabiran, his counsel, prayed the court to release his client, citing his deteriorating health.

He said the controversial nature of the case has made it difficult to secure his release despite his bail as intending sureties were scared of the likely consequences.

But in his ruling, Magistrate P. E Nwaka, held that the court could not grant the actor bail because the matter is beyond its jurisdiction.

The judge also explained that the case has already been filed before the high court.

Baba Ijesha with his number one supporter, Yomi Fabiyi, his lawyers and others at the Yaba Magistrates’ Court, in Lagos State

Baba Ijesha with his number one supporter, Yomi Fabiyi, his lawyers and others at the Yaba Magistrates’ Court, in Lagos State

Also speaking, Yetunde Cardoso, the superintendent of police in charge of the case, said the matter is now beyond the police.

“Mr Olanrewaju was actually granted bail during the JUSUN strike and based on the conditions given, he couldn’t meet them and he was properly charged today (Wednesday),” she said.

“Just like the court stated, the case has already been filed before the high court and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Lagos State Ministry of Justice has taken over the matter from the police.

“So presently, we have handed over to the DPP so the case is before them (DPP). It has nothing to do with the police anymore, it’s now left for the DPP to handle it.”

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