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Baba Ijesha to be charged to court, risks life imprisonment; To be prosecuted for five offences -Lagos govt

The embattled Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, will face a five-count charge following an alleged rape and sexual assault on a minor.

The Attorney-General of Lagos and Commissioner of Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Mrs Onigbanjo said following the advice given on the case by the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), the suspect will be tried under five provisions of the criminal law of Lagos State.

The charges and implications listed in the statement are

1)Section 135, Indecent Treatment of a child- punishable by 7 years imprisonment,

(2)Section 137- Defilement of a Child-, punishable by life imprisonment,

(3) Section 261. Sexual Assault by Penetration- punishable by life imprisonment,

(4) Section 262- Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration, punishable by 14 years imprisonment and

(5) Section 263, Sexual Assault-punishable by 3 years imprisonment.

Also noted in the statement is the fact that plans have also been concluded to charge the actor to court.

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The Attorney-General also assured Lagosians and indeed Nigerians that in accordance with the DPP’s advice, the charges would be filed accordingly.

“Whilst the State would ensure that Mr Olanrewaju James’s rights as enshrined in the Constitution are upheld, the Ministry of Justice would not relent in its efforts in ensuring that whoever sexually abuses any resident of Lagos State is speedily brought to book, ”she noted.

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The popular actor has been in police custody since his arrest on April 22.

DPP

The Lagos state Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team also released a statement saying it would follow up the case and justice will served.

Their statement revealed that the police forwarded Baba Ijesha’s case file to them for legal advice on April 30.

“After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued legal advise 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,” their statement partly read.

Background

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the police in Lagos arrested Baba Ijesha on April 22 for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl when she was seven and assaulting her of recent.

The police said the popular actor was captured in a CCTV in the house of the complainant, Damilola Adekoya, known as Princess, a comedienne cum actress.

The allegation, which has been a subject of hot debate in the media space, also has actors and actresses pitched in different tents, with some supporting the suspect.

CCTV footage ,which showed the actor kissing and fondling sensitive parts of the body of the minor, surfaced online on Sunday morning.

Several persons have called for the actor to be prosecuted to serve as a deterrence for other pedophiles in the community.

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