A senior officer at the Lagos State Police Command has confirmed to PUNCH Metro that a directive had been given for the release of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, a.k.a Baba Ijesha, from custody.
The source said due to the ongoing strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, courts had ceased from sitting and the suspect could not be detained indefinitely without trial.
The source, however, said investigation into the recent allegation against Omiyinka revealed that he did not defile the victim, adding that when she was questioned, the victim confirmed the same.
The senior police officer stated, “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 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.
“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, however, said that despite granting Omiyinka bail, investigation would continue, adding that the command had also sought legal opinion from the state Ministry of Justice.
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.”
Meanwhile, popular comedienne, Adekola Adekanya, aka Princess, narrated details of the incident during a live broadcast on Instagram on Wednesday.
During the broadcast, she said people, who were compassionate about her childlessness, entrusted the victim and five other children to her care, adding that after Omiyinka allegedly defiled the minor, she started behaving strangely.
She stated, “The child started failing in school, I paid for private lessons and when I told my family, they told me we should pray, maybe it is spiritual. But I kept on saying that something is wrong, this child has changed.
“My friend talked to the child again to know what was going on, she told us what happened, I was shocked… I called the CCTV company to set a camera, we asked everybody to go out and stay in a neighbour’s house, she (the victim) was afraid, we said she should calm down…
“He came in and saw that there was nobody at home and I told him I want to see dstv people off and I will stay long…I dropped my phone, went out and locked the door. Two seconds later, he stood up, begin to check my whole house to be sure that none of the children were inside sleeping.
“I can’t begin to relay the things that he did, I was shaking because we were monitoring it on the phone. Police came immediately and picked him up, I asked him, Lanre, what is my offense? You know I didn’t give birth and the children were in my care so I won’t be thinking and you did something like this to me? He said it is the devil…”