A Yaba magistrate court sitting in Lagos state has denied Baba Ijesha, embattled Nigerian actor, bail in the ongoing trial over alleged sexual assault.
The movie star was arrested and detained by the state police after he was alleged to have sexually molested a minor at 7 and 14.
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 in police custody despite the bail.
Recall that we had earlier reported that Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Baba Ijesha might be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty in court.
,“After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued legal advice on the 4th of May, 2021, which is to the effect that a prima facie case has been disclosed against Mr. Olanrewaju James and recommended he be charged under the following provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015,” he had said.
On May 17, 2021, Baba Ijesha was granted bail by magistrates and judicial workers on tour to decongest prisons in the state during the industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria.
However, Baba Ijesha could not meet the bail conditions which include N500,000 and a level 16 civil servant as surety.
Baba Ijesha consequently appeared before the magistrate in Yaba on Wednesday.
Speaking with reporters after the arraignment today, one of the counsel for the suspect, Kayode Olabinran, said he prayed the court to grant his client bail on health grounds.
He, however, said the magistrate declined granting his client bail as the case was already filed at the High Court in Lagos by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in the state.
He said, “He (Baba Ijesha) was not granted bail because the case has been filed at the High Court and that has denied the (Magistrate) Court the power to grant him bail.”
Olabinran also said the date for the hearing at the High Court was not yet known.
Also Baba Ijesha’s colleague, Yomi Fabiyi, who was in court in solidarity with the actor, said “justice must not be dispensed with justice with personal sentiment”.