Popular Yoruba actor, James Olanrewaju (also known as Baba Ijesha) has been released on bail by a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.
Baba Ijesha, who has been in custody for alleged sexual molestation, since his arrest on April 22, was finally released on bail on Thursday.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo granted Baba Ijesha bail in the sum of N2 million and two sureties: a lawyer and a family relation.
The judge ordered that the bail conditions must be granted within seven days while declaring that the next sittings will be on July 26, 27 and 28.
He was initially granted bail on May 17 following an intervention by the Lagos State Judiciary members in collaboration with the State’s Ministry of Justice to decongest police stations in the state.
He was, however, unable to meet the bail conditions and remained in custody.
On June 16, Baba Ijesha was arraigned by the police on five counts at a Chief Magistrate Court in Yaba. He pleaded not guilty.
His counsel, Kayode Olabiran, made a fresh bail application.
He said, “Mr. Olanrewaju has remained in police custody because one of the bail conditions is yet to be met”.
“On May 17, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, the N.B.A. and the police took an initiative to decongest jam-packed cells across the state. My client was one of the beneficiaries, and the conditions are two sureties. One must be a blood relation and another surety not less than Level 16 in the Lagos state government civil service.
“The elder brother to the defendant has appeared as a surety. We have paid the N500,000 bail bond to the account of the Lagos state government but we have not been able to get a level 16 officer to stand as surety,” Olabiran said.
Explaining further, the lawyer said they got three different level 16 officers but one turned them down and two others declined upon hearing that they need to get a clearance letter from the head of the service.
“The Level 16 officers are afraid of being issued a query.
“We are applying for bail on compassionate grounds and in the interest of justice,” Mr Olabiran said, urging the magistrate to consider the visibly ill health of his client.
A lawyer from the office of the D.P.P., Mobolaji Owoebute-Okedeji, opposed the bail application.
After considering all the submissions, Magistrate Peter Nwaka declined to grant the defendant bail because he no longer had jurisdiction over the matter.