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Baba Ijesha may be released Friday - Police source

A senior officer at the Lagos State Police Command has confirmed to Punch Metro that a directive had been given for the release of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha, from custody.

The source said due to the ongoing strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, courts had ceased from sitting and the suspect could not be detained indefinitely without trial.

The source, however, said investigation into the recent allegation against Omiyinka revealed that he did not defile the victim, adding that when she was questioned, the victim confirmed the same.

The senior police officer stated, “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 s3xual intercourse with the girl. The girl also confirmed the same thing.

“So, in law, it is a case of indecent assault and not s3xual 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, investigation would continue, adding that the command had also sought legal opinion from the state Ministry of Justice.

The source added, “A test was recently done on the victim and it was discovered that she had penetration. Is it the penetration of seven years that is still evident now, and who penetrated her then? Is there any medical report linking the man (Omiyinka) to the crime?

“The CCTV footage never showed Baba Ijesha defiling her, but he confessed to touching her body indecently and apologised, and the girl confirmed the same.

“Investigation is still ongoing and we have instructed them to conduct a medical examination on the victim at a government recognised medical facility. We are not specialists in the field and we have also sought legal opinion from the Ministry of Justice.”



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