Court Fixes Date For Baba Ijesha's Arraignment

 Popular Yoruba actor, James Olanrewaju (also known as Baba Ijesha) will be arraigned on Thursday before a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja on allegations of sexual assault of a minor.

He will be arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on a six-count charge.

Particulars of the charge read: Indecent Treatment of a Child, Sexual Assault and Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration contrary to Sections 135, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law Ch C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 and Sexual Assault by Penetration contrary to *Sections 259* Criminal Law Ch C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

Lawyers to Baba Ijesha had also applied for his bail before the court dated June 21 2021.

Baba Ijesha has been in custody since his arrest on April 22.

He was granted bail on May 17 following an intervention by the Lagos State Judiciary members in collaboration with the State's Ministry of Justice to decongesting Police Stations in the state.

He was, however, unable to meet the bail conditions and remained in custody.

On June 16, Baba Ijesha was arraigned by the police on a five-count charge at a Chief Magistrate Court in Yaba. He pleaded not guilty.

His counsel, Kayode Olabiran, made a fresh bail application.

He said, "Mr. Olanrewaju has remained in police custody because one of the bail conditions is yet to be met".

"On May 17, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, the N.B.A. and the police took an initiative to decongest jam-packed cells across the State. My client was one of the beneficiaries, and the conditions are two sureties. One must be a blood relation and another surety not less than level 16 in the Lagos state government civil service.

"The elder brother to the defendant has appeared as a surety. We have paid the N500,000 bail bond to the account of the Lagos state government but we have not been able to get a level 16 officer to stand as surety," Mr Olabiran said.

Explaining further, the lawyer said they got three different level 16 officers but one turned them down and two others declined upon hearing that they need to get a clearance letter from the head of the service.

"The level 16 officers are afraid of being issued a query.

"We are applying for bail on compassionate grounds and in the interest of justice," Mr Olabiran said, urging the magistrate to consider the visibly ill health of his client.

A counsel from the office of the D.P.P., Mobolaji Owoebute-Okedeji, opposed the bail application.

He said, "The matter has been already filed at the High Court, and he urged the court to refuse bail.

After considering all the submissions, Magistrate Peter Nwaka declined to grant the defendant bail because he no longer had jurisdiction over the matter.

The magistrate said, "I have carefully considered the application of the counsel to the defendant seeking bail for the defendant and the opposition by the counsel from the D.P.P.

"Since there are indications that the matter is before the high court and the defendant will appear before the court, no bail can be given.

"The authorities must accord the defendant full medical attention pending his arraignment at the high court," the magistrate said.

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