A CCTV footage of the embattled Nollywood actor, Baba Ijesha fondling, kissing and caressing the minor was published on Sunday, May 2.
Now, the Lagos State Government has waded into the matter.
The government has advised the State Police Command to charge Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James; also known as Baba Ijesha, to court over the sexual abuse allegation against him. The advice was given by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions; which revealed that Baba Ijesha may be sentenced to life imprisonment, if found guilty in court.
Specifically, this was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday; and signed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Hon. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).
The statement read:
“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.
“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 also recommended he be charged; under the following provisions 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 as well as Section 263; Sexual Assault-punishable by 3 years imprisonment.
“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.
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.”
Baba Ijesha was arrested by the Lagos Police Command after he was seen in a CCTV footage sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl whom he’s also said to have abused seven years ago.