Lagos State Government says Nollywood Veteran Actor Baba Ijesha May Face Life Imprisonment
The Lagos state government has proposed that Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James, also known as ‘Baba Ijesha,’ be prosecuted under five sections of the state’s criminal laws.
One of the charges includes indecent treatment of a child, punishable by up to seven years imprisonment. Two others include; child defilement and sexual assault by penetration, which could both carry life imprisonment.
Baba Ijesha is also being charged for attempted sexual assault by penetration, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, and sexual assault, punishable by three years imprisonment.
Baba Ijesha will be prosecuted under Lagos State Criminal Law, according to a statement issued by the commissioner of justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
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 advice,” part of the statement read.
After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued legal advice on the 4th of May, 2021, which is to the effect that a prima facie case has been disclosed against Mr Olanrewaju James and recommended he be charged under the following provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015:
1. Section 135 – Indecent treatment of a child – punishable by 7 years imprisonment, 2. Section 137 – Defilement of a child – punishable by life imprisonment, 3. Section 261 – Sexual Assault by Penetration – punishable by life imprisonment, 4. Section 262 – Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration – punishable by 14 years imprisonment and 5. 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 its 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 offences.