Sexual Assault: Court refuses to grant Baba Ijesha bail pending appeal

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The Lagos State Special Offences Court has refused to grant bail to convicted Nollywood actor, James Olanrewaju, popularly known as Baba Ijesha.

On July 14, the court convicted and sentenced Baba Ijesha to five years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

A month after that sentence, Baba Ijesha, through his counsel approached the court for post-conviction bail, pending the determination of his appeal at the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal.

But the trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, on Wednesday rejected the bail application on the ground that he did not meet the exceptional circumstances and criteria necessary to warrant the bail.

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She noted that the applicant must show special and exceptional circumstances because the jail term given to him was five years which would run concurrently.

“There is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication that the court will not treat the case expeditiously,” the judge held.

“It is the view of this court that the applicant has failed to show special circumstances to warrant bail because he is facing a serious crime. In view of this, I am inclined to refuse the bail application of the applicant pending appeal.”

In making his bail application, Baba Ijesha’s counsel, Gabriel Olabiran, had informed the court that the notice for bail pending appeal was made pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 51 of the High Court Law of Lagos State, Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

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Olabiran said the application was brought before the court owing to the difficulty in getting a hearing date at the Court of Appeal.

The State Prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, in his counter-affidavits argued that the defence failed in its application to establish the special circumstances which might grant the convict bail.

“My lord, the defence has failed woefully in addressing the special circumstances which can be used to grant the convict bail,” he said.

Justice Taiwo considered these submissions and ruled in favour of the prosecution.