Baba Ijesa faces possible life imprisonment as Lagos Govt set to commence prosecution with 5 charges

The Lagos State Government may soon charge Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as ‘Baba Ijesa’, for sexual assault, among other crimes.
Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as ‘Baba Ijesa’

The Lagos State Government may soon charge Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as ‘Baba Ijesa’, for sexual assault, among other crimes.

The sexual assault charge is punishable by life imprisonment.

The State’s Directorate of Public Prosecutions recommended five charges “after due consideration of the facts in the case file,” Lagos State Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In a statement on Tuesday by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, the government said Baba Ijesha has been recommended for prosecution for the following offences:

•Indecent Treatment of a child

•Defilement of a Child

•Sexual Assault by Penetration

•Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration and

•Sexual Assault

Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo stated that “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 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 and

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.

This was also confirmed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Lagos State, Gboyega Akosile on his twitter handle @gboyegaakosile;

Lagos State Govt through @LagosMoj has advised the Lagos State @PoliceNG Command to charge Baba Ijesha to Court using (5) sections under the Criminal Law of Lagos State. The punishments range from 3, 7, 14 years and life sentences if found guilty

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

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The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

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