James Olanrewaju, also known by his stage name Baba Ijesha, a convicted Nollywood actor, has been denied bail by the Lagos State Special Offences Court.
Baba Ijesha was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl on July 14.
Baba Ijesha requested post-conviction bail from the court a month after being given that sentence in order to wait for the outcome of his appeal at the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, the trial judge, rejected the bail request on Wednesday, claiming that the petitioner did not satisfy the conditions and unusual circumstances necessary to support the release.
She noted that since he was given a concurrent five-year prison term, the petitioner would have to show extraordinary and unusual circumstances.
“There is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication that the court will not treat the case expeditiously, 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,” the judge stated.
Gabriel Olabiran, Baba Ijesha’s attorney, had told the court that the notice for bail pending appeal was made in accordance with 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, when he submitted his bail application.
Olabiran said that the case was made before the court because it was difficult to secure a hearing date at the Court of Appeal.
Yusuf Sule, the State Prosecutor, stated in his counter-affidavits that the defence’s plea to prove the unique circumstances that would grant the convict bail fell short.
After considering these arguments, Justice Taiwo ruled in favour of the prosecution.