Adesina Ogunlana, lawyer to Nollywood actor Baba Ijesha has disclosed that the latter’s colleague Yomi Fabiyi is ready to stand surety for him.
Baba Ijesha was arrested in April for allegedly defiling the 14-year-old foster child of comedienne Princess.
The accused has been in police custody since his arrest despite calls by Fabiyi and some others for his release.
In a letter addressed to the Lagos police commissioner on Friday, Mr. Ogunlana said his client should be released on bail.
According to him, the suspect whose real name is Olanrewaju Omiyinka has become abnormally weak and lean in detention.
Part of the letter as published by PUNCH on Saturday read: “We are aware that a piece of legal advice on our client’s matter has been issued about two weeks ago, disclosing prospective charges of bailable character.
“From all indications, the investigation has been concluded in his matter and it is inconceivable that the issuance of legal advice will now be a basis for the denial of bail as you have been widely reported in the press to have claimed.
“We submit that the continuous detention of Mr Olanrewaju James Omiyinka at your SCID Panti Yaba facility, for about thirty days now, in our respectful view, is in gross breach of his fundamental human rights as cognisable under the 1999 constitution the grand norm of the nation’s legal architecture.
“As of today when I met with Omiyinka in the company of his thespian colleague and ready surety, Mr Yomi Fabiyi, he appeared traumatised, emaciated, and walked with a limp in his right leg. May I assure you, sir, that Mr Omiyinka is not a flight risk and he is prepared to face trial.”
However, speaking with journalists on Friday, Lagos police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the decision to hold on to Baba Ijesha is based on the criminal charges against him.
Mr. Adejobi said that the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, advised the police to detain Baba Ijesha pending when he would be charged to court.
“Invariably sexual assault is more like defilement too, considering the age of the victim.
“So, Baba Ijesha is being kept with the police not within our own power, but because of the legal advice from the DPP pending when Baba Ijesha’s case will be charged to court.
“If the DPP had advised us to release Baba Ijesha, we would have released him,” the spokesperson said.
According to Adejobi, Baba Ijesha’s case was initially bailable, based on the statement that his offence was based on indecent assault which is a bailable offense.
“However, after the DPP investigated the case file, the police was advised not to release Baba Ijesha on bail pending when he will be charged to court.
“The DPP said that there are a number of cases Baba Ijesha will be charged for, particularly sexual assault by penetration, which is a serious offence,” he added.