By David Royal
There was an outrage on Nigerian social media platforms as a senior officer at the Lagos State Police Command on Thursday said there was no case of defilement against Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha.
According to a statement by the senior police officer, an investigation into the allegation against Baba Ijesha revealed that he did not defile the victim, adding that the victim confirmed it when she was questioned.
He said “There was no case of defilement, people are just talking out of sentiment. They are not talking from the point of law. We interviewed all parties involved in the case for three hours today (Wednesday).
“The mother complained that her child was at the age of seven when she was defiled and the child pointed at Baba Ijesha. But the case was not reported until she was 14 years and under the law, the case has become statute-barred.
“Regarding this new case, the CCTV footage has been assessed and nowhere was it captured that Baba Ijesha defiled her. The footage only showed him touching the victim’s body but it never showed him having any sexual intercourse with the girl. The girl also confirmed the same thing.”
According to the police source who also confirmed to newsmen, a directive had been given for the release of Baba Ijesha from custody following the ongoing strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria as courts had ceased from sitting and the suspect could not be detained indefinitely without trial.
“So, in law, it is a case of indecent assault and not sexual harassment, and it is open to bail. So, can we continue to keep him when the offence is subject to bail and when there is no court sitting? That is against his fundamental human rights and the police do not work on sentiments. Directives have been given out for his release on bail.”
He further revealed that “A test was recently done on the victim and it was discovered that she had penetration. Is it the penetration of seven years that is still evident now, and who penetrated her then? Is there any medical report linking the man (Omiyinka) to the crime?
“The CCTV footage never showed Baba Ijesha defiling her, but he confessed to touching her body indecently and apologised, and the girl confirmed the same.
“Investigation is still ongoing and we have instructed them to conduct a medical examination on the victim at a government recognised medical facility. We are not specialists in the field and we have also sought legal opinion from the Ministry of Justice.”
Some Nigerians on social media are angry over police’s explanation while insisting that Baba Ijesha’s alleged defilement of the minor must not be swept under the carpet.
Toni @tonisexi1 said, “So this wickedness will go unpunished? We don’t live in a country; I just don’t want to sound like Nnamdi Kanu. Imagine! he touched her body indecently. Sigh.”
EndbadgovernanceinNigeria @hammedmusa said, “Unbelievable. If he can’t be charged for defilement, how about sexual assault? This man shouldn’t be allowed to walk free just like that.”
Uncle Jay @1point_six said, “No sentiment. I’m not a judge, but from what I’ve gathered so far, Baba Ijesha is a paedophile. Though he denied the rape allegations. No excuse for touching a minor indecently. Investigation continues. With this, he has no career again, nobody wants to watch a paedophile.”
Wyatt_Of_La @ix_wyatt said, “They said it’s statute-barred. What could a 7-year-old girl say or do after threatened not to speak to anyone about it? The fear alone. No one would believe her. This country is fucked. Let’s not even talk about the sexual assault.
“With this kind of development, people would actually want to resolve to jungle justice over any rape case in this country. These rapists can’t go free. Damn all these rape apologists.”
Fblack @fblackaleem said, “Why will someone not do the same next time? We don’t take rape issues or molestation seriously in this country.”