Baba Ijesha pleads not guilty in sexual assault case

Embattled Yoruba actor, Omiyinka Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, has been arraigned at a Special Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja.

The actor is being tried over charges bothering on rape, sexual assault and abuse of a minor by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Lagos.

Appearing before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, the state counsel, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, said that the state had filed six counts charges against the defendant urging the court to take the plea of the defendant.

A prayer was granted and Baba Ijesha pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against him.

Subsequently, Mrs Adeyemi asked for a trial date while asking court to remand the defendant in correctional facility pending commencement of trial.

In a counter reaction, Baba Ijesha’s legal team, led by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Ogala and Mr. Dada Awosika, along with 17 others, informed the court that they had filed a bail application and have served same on the prosecuting team.

Ogala urged the court to grant them audience to argue the bail application.

However, the state counsel, Mrs Adeyemi opposed the prayer stating that her team is yet to verify the medical report which the defense relied on for his bail consideration.

In a short ruling, Justice Taiwo granted the request of the defense team and asked parties to argue the bail application.

During the argument of the bail application, Ogala urged the court to grant Baba Ijesha bail, relying on Section 36(5) of the Constitution. According to Ogala, the defendant also ought to be granted bail considering his popularity and the credible sureties provided.

The judge, however, stood down the case for ruling.

Credit THE PUNCH

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