Entertainment

Nigerians sign petition against Baba Ijesha’s bail as his video confession to sexual assault surfaces

In the wake of reports that the police is about to release Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James popularly known as Baba Ijesha who was arrested for sexual assault on Friday, a video has surfaced revealing he confessed to the act and blamed the devil for his disgraceful actions.

The actor was arrested last week, after he was reported by the teenager’s foster mother, a comedienne, Princess that he sexually assaulted the minor when she was seven years old and he recently repeated the act as she is 14 years old.

But despite the controversy the event has generated, there are reports that Baba Ijesha may be released from police custody on Friday, April 30.

In a report by PUNCH Metro, a senior officer at the Lagos state police command disclosed that the movie star’s freedom may be possible due to the ongoing strike of members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

He said since courts are not sitting at the moment, the actor cannot be tried and therefore held in custody.

In addition, the officer said that investigation into the matter shows that Baba Ijesha did not defile the victim and she also confirmed so.

According to him, the outrage from members of the public is mostly out of sentiment and not from a point of the law. He said the victim’s mother disclosed that the case of defilement happened when she was aged 7 and not in the recent development.

He was quoted to have said, “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 officer explained further that what played out between Baba Ijesha and his victim is a case of indecent assault and such offence is open to bail.

He said, “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.”

But in the new viral video suspected to be moments after he was caught in the CCTV, the 48-year-old sat on the floor in a stretched white top, getting queried by Princess.

“The question I want to ask is, please why did you do this to me? Why did you molest a 7-year-old girl?” She asked repeatedly, disappointed and wondering why Baba Ijesha would commit the shameful act despite the numerous help she offered him when he was in need.

Ijesha however accepted that he was guilty of the allegations, blamed it on the spiritual challenge he is having and pleaded for forgiveness.

“Forgive me, I know I have wronged you. I will not do that again,” Baba Ijesha replied to her questions.

Meanwhile, about 1,200 Nigerians have signed a petition making rounds on social media to reject the release of Baba Ijesha. For now, the target is for the signees to reach 1,500.

The petition, which is drafted by the Aunt Landa’s Bethel Foundation, on behalf of the teenager’s foster mother, Princess, has urged 1,500 Nigerians to sign against the release of the Yoruba actor, Baba Ijesha.

Dr Yolanda N George-David, who signed the petition, said it is embarrassing to know the Nigeria Police Force is trying to grant the actor bail.

“We seek full justice for the young child. It is embarrassing to know Nigeria Police Force is trying to grant Olanrewaju James Omiyinka bail today at Panti Police station, Lagos state, Nigeria.

“I want to remind the Nigeria Police Force that Section 218 of the Criminal Code Act provides that any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life with or without caning. This law should be excised and thorough investigation is required with evidence already been submitted by the child guidance,” she wrote.

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