25 June 2021
Kindly share this story:
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court, on Thursday, granted embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha, bail in the sum of N2m.
Omiyinka was re-arraigned before the court on six counts bordering on rape, sexual assault and abuse of a minor.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
PUNCH Metro had reported how a closed-circuit television installed in the victim’s foster mother’s home captured Omiyinka allegedly molesting the victim.
It was learnt that the victim’s foster mother, comedienne Damilola Adekoya, popularly called Princess, who had been suspecting that the 14-year-old daughter was being sexually abused, installed the CCTV to catch the perpetrator.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Princess monitored the situation in her home on her phone and to her dismay, she saw Omiyinka allegedly conducting himself in a suspicious manner around the victim.
Omiyinka was arrested by the police and granted bail on May 17 during a specially arranged court session during the strike by the Judiciary Workers’ Union of Nigeria, but he was unable to meet the bail conditions and remained in custody.
The thespian was arraigned before the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Yaba last week Wednesday, but his bail application was not heard when the prosecutor told the magistrate that the state had filed fresh charges against him at a high court.
However, following Omiyinka’s plea on Thursday at the Special Offences Court, the state counsel, Olayinka Adeyemi, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand him in a correctional facility pending the commencement of trial.
Responding to the submission of the prosecutor, Omiyinka’s counsel, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, who led 18 other lawyers, informed the court that the defence had filed a bail application and served same on the prosecuting team.
He urged the court to grant the team audience to argue the bail application.
However, Adeyemi opposed the prayer, stating that her team had yet to verify the medical report that the defence relied on for Omiyinka’s bail application.
In a short ruling, Justice Taiwo granted the request of the defence team and asked the parties to argue the bail application.
Arguing the bail application, Ogala, who noted that the application was brought pursuant to Section 105(2) and (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2015, and sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), urged the court to grant Omiyinka bail in liberal terms, adding that he was presumed innocent until judgment would be delivered.
According to him, the defendant ought to be granted bail because of his popularity and the credible sureties he provided.
Responding to Ogala’s argument, the state counsel, who stated that the offences contravened sections 135, 137, 261, 262 and 263 of the Lagos State Criminal Law, 2015, urged the court to consider the gravity of the offences and refuse the bail application.
According to her, the defendant is a flight risk and can influence witnesses if granted bail.
She added that the prosecution had assembled six witnesses.
Following the argument of both parties, Justice Taiwo granted Omiyinka bail in the sum of N2m with two sureties in like sum.
She added that one of the sureties must be a blood relation and must be resident in Lagos, with evidence of income tax payment in the last three years.
The judge, who further held that the second surety must be a legal practitioner and must swear to an affidavit and be verified by the registrar of the court, said the defendant and the relative must enter into a N1m bail bond.
Justice Taiwo, however, released the defendant to his lawyer pending the perfection of the bail conditions.
She adjourned the matter till July 26, 27 and 28 for prosecution