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Alleged sexual assault: Court denies Baba Ijesha bail

A magistrate court sitting in Lagos state has denied embattled Nigerian actor James Omiyika, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, bail in the ongoing trial over alleged sexual assault.

During the trial on Wednesday, Kayode Olabiran, his counsel, prayed the court to release his client, citing his deteriorating health.

He said the controversial nature of the case has made it difficult to secure his release despite his bail as intending sureties were scared of the likely consequences.

But in his ruling, the judge, P. E Nwaka held that the court cannot grant the actor bail because the matter is beyond its jurisdiction.

The judge also explained that the case has already been filed before the high court.

Also speaking, Yetunde Cardoso, the superintendent of police in charge of the case, said the matter is now beyond the police.

“Mr Olanrewaju was actually granted bail during the JUSUN strike and based on the conditions given, he couldn’t meet them and he was properly charged today (Wednesday),” Cardoso said.

“Just like the court stated, the case has already been filed before the high court and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Lagos State Ministry of Justice has taken over the matter from the police.

“So presently, we have handed over to the DPP so the case is before them (DPP). It has nothing to do with the police anymore, it’s now left for the DPP to handle it.”

The actor was arrested and detained by the Lagos state police after he was alleged to have sexually molested a minor at age 7 and 14.

He was later granted bail on May 17 — after spending about 25 days in police detention — by magistrates in charge of prison decongestion. But he has remained in police custody despite the bail.

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