The Lagos state government has advised the state Police Command to prosecute and charge Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, known as ‘Baba Ijesha’, to court over the sexual abuse allegation levelled against him.
The advice was given by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions which says it has recommended five charges against Baba Ijesha “after due consideration of the facts in the case file” and also disclosed that he (Baba Ijesha) may be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty in court.
Lagos State Ministry of Justice has charged popular actor Olarenwaju James (Baba Ijesha) to court over alleged sexual abuse committed against a minor.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Hon. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).
The statement reads, “It would be recalled that the Nigeria Police Force arrested Mr. Olanrewaju James (also referred to as Baba Ijesha) on account of various sexual abuse allegations. On the 30th of April, 2021, the Police forwarded the case file of COP v Olanrewaju James to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advise.
Baba Ijesha was caught on a close circuit television, assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He was then arrested and detained by the Lagos police command.
Baba Ijesha was also seen in another video footage where he confessed to the crime committed and pleaded for forgiveness.
The state’s justice ministry revealed its decision in a press statement signed by Commissioner for Justice, Omoyosore Onigbanjo.
It stated that Mr Olarenwaju is presently faced with an allegation of rape which is an offence against the Criminal Law in Lagos.
If convicted by the law, his crimes are punishable by provisions of Section 135 which stipulates 7 years imprisonment.
Also, Section 137 and 261 under the same law attracts life imprisonment, while in Section 262 he is faced with 14 years imprisonment and Section 263 punishment attract 3 years imprisonment.
“It would be recalled that the Nigerian Police Force arrested Mr Olarenwaju James (also referred to as Baba Ijesa) on account of various sexual abuse allegations. On 30th of April 2021, the Police forwarded the case file of COP v Olarenwaju James to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advise,” the statement reads
After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecution issued legal advice on 4th of May, 2021, which is to effect that a prima facie case has been disclosed against Mr Olarenwaju James and recommended he be charged under the following provision of the Criminal law of Lagos State, 2015.
“Section 135, Indecent Treatment of a child- punishable by 7 years imprisonment,
“Section 137- Defilement of a Child-, punishable by life imprisonment,
“Section 261- Sexual Assault by Penetration- punishable by life imprisonment,
“Section 262- Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration, punishable by 14 years imprisonment and
“Section 263, Sexual Assault- punishable by 3 years imprisonment,” the statement further revealed.
According to the ministry, Baba Ijesha will be legally represented by a lawyer and his human right will be upheld in court according to the Nigerian Constitution.
The state government also noted that the state will not relent in its efforts in ensuring that justice is served to victims of sexual assault and rape, adding that sexual assault is not permitted in the state.
Whilst the State would ensure that Mr. Olarenwaju James’s right as enshrined in the Constitution is upheld, the Ministry of Justice would not relent in its efforts in ensuring that whosoever sexually abuse any residents of Lagos State is speedily brought to book.”
It is instructive to note that the Lagos State Ministry of Justice has been consistent in it’s efforts in protecting the vulnerable in our society and since the establishment of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team in 2014, it has till date prosecuted over 800 cases of Sexual and Domestic offenses.
The Attorney-General hereby assures Lagosians and indeed Nigerians that in accordance with the DPP’s advise, charges would be filed accordingly.”