There are indications that embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha, who was recently arrested over allegations of molesting a minor, may be released from custody on Friday, April 30. A police source who spoke with Punch said the ongoing strike action by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria has prevented courts in the state from sitting and this has prevented the police from arraigning the suspect. The police source said Baba Ijesha could not be detained indefinitely without trial.
The source added that investigation into the case shows the actor did not defile the victim, adding that when she was questioned, the victim confirmed the same.
The senior police officer said
“There was no case of defilement, people are just talking out of sentiment. They are not talking from the point of law. We interviewed all parties involved in the case for three hours today (Wednesday).
The mother complained that her child was at the age of seven when she was defiled and the child pointed at Baba Ijesha. But the case was not reported until she was 14 years and under the law, the case has become statute-barred. Regarding this new case, the CCTV footage has been assessed and nowhere was it captured that Baba Ijesha defiled her. The footage only showed him touching the victim’s body but it never showed him having any sexual intercourse with the girl. The girl also confirmed the same thing.
So, in law, it is a case of indecent assault and not sexual harassment, and it is open to bail. So, can we continue to keep him when the offence is subject to bail and when there is no court sitting? That is against his fundamental human rights and the police do not work on sentiments. Directives have been given out for his release on bail.”
The source, however, said that despite granting Omiyinka bail, an investigation would continue, adding that the command had also sought legal opinion from the state Ministry of Justice.