Purported efforts to prevail on the police to release an alleged peodophile and Nollywood actor, Olarenwaju James, will be released as child rights advocates and other civil society groups are planning to stage protests in Lagos State if the embattled actor is not prosecuted for allegedly defiling a 14- year- old girl.
The police in Lagos arrested and detained the actor popularly known as Baba Ijesha after he was allegedly caught in a Cctv footage defiling an underage girl.
The girl, said to be the foster daughter of another Nollywood actor and comedian, Princess Adekoya, was said to have exhibited signs of abuse which prompted Adekoya to install a cctv camera in the house.
Following arrest of Baba Ijesha, his friends have reportedly mounted efforts to put the blame on Princess Adekoya and ensure Baba Ijesha is released from Police custody.
Sections of the media have published reports rubbishing the efforts of the police at the Gender Unit of SCID Panti, led by CSP Margaret Ighodalo.
It was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, met with the parties involved in the case in his office on Thursday where it was allegedly resolved that the police would release Baba Ijesha.
THE WHISTLER understands that the police plans to cite the ongoing strike by Judiciary workers as excuse to release him.
There were also reports that a case of defilement could not be established against the actor.
In view of these developments, civil rights groups and child rights advocates plan to protest if Baba Ijesha is released.
The coordinator of the groups under the auspices of Advocates For Children and Vulnerable Persons Network ACVPN, Mr. Ebenezer Omejalile said ” Right activists plan to protest if the police release Baba Ijesha and he’s not prosecuted. I have to stand them down if not the protest would have began today but we felt we need to see how the CP Hakeem Odumosu will handle the matter since he called the parties to his office.
“There is pressure on him to release Baba Ijesha but our stand is that he must be prosecuted. We ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE PERSONS NETWORK ACVPN totally condemn this arm- twisting of existing laws that clearly states categories of punishment accrued to various Offences.
“Lagos State’s Ministry of Justice in the last few weeks, through it social medial handles, published punishment for various offences.
” Armed Robbery/ Cultism attract between 15 and 21 years jail terms respectively with no option of fine or probation. Defilement /Rape now attracts life imprisonment in Nigeria.
The group said, ” Baba Ijesha confessed to the crime and a proven medical evidence is available to back it up. It’s really a show of shame that some Nollywood actors are still in a state of denial and showing solidarity with Baba Ijesha .
” Our take on this case is that we call on the Commissioner of Police Cp Hakeem Odumosu to maintain a high level of integrity and discharge his lawful duties in accordance with the Child Rights Acts 2007, The Violence Against Person’s Prohibition Act (VAPP 2015).”
The group also said the UN Women and Girls Initiative Spotlight Initiative would amount to a waste resources if justice is not served in the case, adding it would also rubbish the International Priority action on End Violence Against Children that Nigeria adopted in 2016.