By Romanus Okoye and Lukman Olabiyi
Yaba Chief Magistrate Court, yesterday, denied Nollywood actor, Omiyinka Olanrewaju, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, bail, on the ground that the same charge was already before a Lagos State High Court.
Magistrate P.E Nwaka, thereafter, adjourned the matter till July 13 for mention. This sets the stage for trail of the actor at the High Court on charges bothering on rape, sexual assault and abuse of a minor.
The magistrate, while turning down Baba Ijesha’s application for bail, 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 Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“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 defendant must be accorded full medical attention by the authorities, pending his arraignment at the high court.”
A source in the Ministry of Justice, confirming the Chief Magistrate’s assumption, said the file was already before the High Court.
“We are only waiting for the case to be transferred, so that we can know the exact judge that will handle the matter.”
Before Baba Ijesha’s appearance in court, yesterday, Chief Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghre had granted him bail on May 16, 2021, on the condition of providing two sureties, one of whom must be a Level 10 Officer with government, while the other must be a blood relation, The bail was set at N700,000 for each surety.
Baba Ijesha was brought into the magistrate court premises around 12 noon, alongside other suspects. The actor was limping and visibly shaking – an appearance which suggested a bad health condition.
The court clerk read out five count charges of indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a Child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault-which contravenes sections 135, 137, 261, 202, 262 and 263 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2015.
The actor pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
While in the dock, Baba Ijesha showed signs of discomfort as he kept bending intermittently. The concerned magistrate, noticing the stress of the defendant, asked if he was fine.
“Are you okay? Do you want to sit down? Give him a chair to sit on,” the magistrate said.
The actor was arrested in April over alleged defilement of a 14-year-old foster daughter of actress/comedienne, Princess.