Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos state commissioner of police (CP), says Baba Ijesha would not be released from detention until the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) suspend its nationwide strike.
Odumosu spoke on Wednesday while reacting to a protest led by Yomi Fabiyi to demand for the release of the embattled actor, whose real name is Olarenwaju James.
TheCable Lifestyle had reported how the 48-year-old actor was arrested by the police for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl.
JUSUN had on April 6 embarked on a nationwide strike in protest of the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
The industrial action had prevented courts from sitting — thereby making it difficult to arraign the Yoruba actor.
But the protesters had stormed the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti in Yaba to demand his release on bail.
According to Odumosu, Baba Ijesha’s continued detention is due to a directive of the directorate of public prosecutions (DPP) in the state ministry of justice.
“When they got the SCIID today (Wednesday), they were advised by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the SCIID, and he told them that we have done our work and sought legal advice from the Ministry of Justice and the advice was that we should still keep him in our custody,” he said.
“When we concluded our investigation, we forwarded our report to the ministry for legal advice. The ministry advised us through the Office of the Public Defender. The legal advice was that there was a prima facie case established against him and some sections of the law were quoted in the advice. So, the advice was that he should still remain in our custody and to be charged for that.”
He also disclosed that the ministry might review its stance on the movie star’s detention if the JUSUN strike continues to linger.
The CP added that an arrangement had been put in place in the state to enable courts to sit three times a week.
“Regarding the JUSUN strike, they agreed to be working for three days and striking for two days. They will go on strike on Monday and Tuesday, while the courts will sit on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” he added.
“It was our hope that they would work on Wednesday, but coincidentally, Wednesday and Thursday are public holidays. But if the courts continue to remain shut, the Ministry of Justice may further review the report. But right now, we are relying on the advice of the ministry.”
On his part, Adegoke Fayoade, who is in charge of the SCIID, urged the protesters to remain calm, adding that the actor’s arraignment was delayed by the JUSUN strike.
“Baba Ijesha’s case, as we are aware, has gone to the DPP. And the DPP has advised us on what to do. What we are waiting for is for the courts to resume; as soon as the courts resume, we will arraign him,” he said.
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