The Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja has scheduled a ruling on the post-conviction bail application filed by convicted actor Olanrewaju James, also known as Baba Ijesha, for Monday next week.
According to Channels TV, the trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, set the date after hearing arguments from both prosecuting and defence counsel on whether the convict met special circumstances for the court to grant him bail pending appeal.
Baba Ijesha was found guilty by the court two months ago of several offences, including sexually assaulting a juvenile between 2013 and 2014.
He was subsequently handed a five-year prison term. Later, Baba Ijesha requested post-conviction bail from the court through his attorney, pending the outcome of his appeal at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.
However, his attorney, Chukwudi Adiukwu, informed the court during the proceedings on Wednesday that the defence team had filed a notice for bail awaiting appeal in accordance with Section 6(6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Given the volume of cases on the court’s docket, he explained to the judge that allowing the application would be in the public interest because finding a date at the Court of Appeal might be challenging.
Adiukwu asserted that the court may admit his client to bail either unconditionally or subject to reasonable conditions under Section 51 of the 2015 Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
The attorney informed the court that according to the prison month calendar, the prisoner would have completed his five-year concurrent sentence three years and six months before the appeal court hearing could begin.
Adiukwu added that Baba Ijesha had good behaviour before the court during his trial and was never absent even till the verdict.
Therefore, the applicant’s attorney requested the court to take into account the unique circumstances present and grant bail to the offender.
These arguments, according to state attorney Mrs. Omowunmi Bajulaye-Bishi, are flawed since the applicant’s attorney failed to prove the specific circumstances required by the Administration of Criminal Justice Law in his address.
She made a particular request to the court, requesting that it reject the application and permit the convict to complete his sentence as set forth by the court.
Justice Taiwo however adjourned until September 19 after hearing their arguments.