Olarenwaju James, Nigerian actor better known as Baba Ijesha, may be released from detention on Friday due to the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
TheCable Lifestyle had reported how the 48-year-old actor was arrested by the Lagos state police command for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl.
But PUNCH quoted a senior officer in the command as saying that a directive had already been given for the movie star’s release from custody.
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 — which means the Yoruba actor could not be in detention indefinitely without trial.
The source also explained that after examination of the CCTV footage, there was no evidence that Baba Ijesha actually defiled the minor.
The source added that the actor was only spotted touching the teenager in an inappropriate manner in the footage, not having sex with her as claimed in some quarters.
“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 source said.
“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 sexual intercourse with the girl. The girl also confirmed the same thing.”
The source said the matter was that of “indecent sexual harassment” which is subject to bail, adding that investigation into the matter continues.
“So, in law, it is a case of indecent assault and not sexual 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 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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