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Alleged Sexual Assault: Baba Ijesa Pleads Not Guilty, Court Denies Him Bail

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Popular Nolly Actor ,James Olarewanju
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Popular Nollywood actor, James Olanrewaju, popularly known as Baba Ijesha was denied bail on Wednesday by a Chief Magistrate court sitting in the Yaba area of Lagos over alleged Sexual Assault.

The actor is charged with alleged indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a Child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration, and sexual assault-which contravenes sections 135, 137, 261, 202, 262, and 263 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2015.

He pleaded not guilty to all the five-count leveled against him.

During the reading of the counts, Magistrate Nwaka noted that Baba Ijesha kept bending over and showing signs of discomfort and this prompted the question:

“Are you okay?

“Do you want to sit down?

“Give him a chair to sit on,”  the Magistrate said.

The police prosecutor in the matter has however told the Magistrate that proceedings concerning Baba Ijesha will now be handled by the DPP following information filed before the High Court.

On his part, counsel to the defendant, Kayode Olabiran made a fresh application for bail of Baba Ijesha.

He said, “Mr Olanrewaju has remained in police custody because one of the bail conditions is yet to be met.”

“On May 17, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, the NBA, and the police took an initiative to decongest jam-packed cells across the State. My client was one of the beneficiaries and the conditions given were  – two sureties, one must be a blood relation and another surety not less than level 16 in the Lagos State government civil service.

“The elder brother to the defendant has appeared as a surety and we have paid the N500,000 bail bond to the account of the Lagos State government but we have not been able to get a level 16 officer to stand as surety,” Mr Olabiran said.

Explaining further, the lawyer said they got three different levels 16 officers but one turned them down along the line and two others declined upon hearing that they need to get a clearance letter from the Head of Service.

“The level 16 officers are afraid of being issued a query. We are applying for bail on compassionate ground and in the interest of justice,” Mr Olabiran added, urging the Magistrate to consider the visibly ill health of his client.

A counsel from the office of the DPP, Mobolaji Owoebute-Okedeji, opposed the bail application.

He said the matter has been already filed at the High Court, and he urged the court to refuse bail.

In his ruling, Magistrate Peter Nwaka refused to vary his bail condition on charges of rape, sexual assault, and abuse of a minor.

After considering all the submissions, Magistrate Nwaka declined to grant the defendant bail on the grounds that he no longer had jurisdiction over the matter.

“I have carefully considered the application of the counsel to the defendant seeking bail for the defendant and the opposition by the counsel from the DPP.

“Since there are indications that the matter is before the high court and the defendant will appear before the court, no bail can be given,” the Magistrate said.

The court also ordered that the defendant must be accorded full medical attention by the authorities pending his arraignment at the high court and adjourned the matter to July 13 for mention.

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Deborah Samuel: NBA Calls For Swift Prosecution Of Suspects, Postpones Conference In Sokoto

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The Nigerian Bar Association has condemned extra-judicial killings in any part of the country, describing them as reprehensible, barbaric and unacceptable.

A statement signed by the President of the bar, Olumide Akpata also called on security agencies to do more to stem these ugly developments, and to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are made to face the full wrath of the law.

Citing the specific cases of a young man (simply identified as David) in Lagos who was reportedly lynched by commercial motorcyclists around Lekki; and the incident in Sokoto involving the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto by some of her school mates for alleged blasphemy, the NBA asked government to immediately commence the prosecution of all suspects involved in these brutal and arbitrary killings in order to send a strong signal that such acts will no longer be tolerated in Nigeria.

The NBA said it believes that the prompt and effective prosecution of the alleged killers will instill confidence in the citizens, promote accountability, and signpost the government’s commitment to the rule of law.

With particular reference to the murder of Deborah Yakubu and related developments in Sokoto, the NBA said it is worried by unconfirmed reports that the suspects have been charged with mere breach of public peace and called on the Sokoto State Government to immediately rethink its prosecution strategy and file charges that truly reflect the gravity of the situation.

On the demand for the release of the suspects by some protesting youths coupled with assault on innocent citizens, burning of worship centres and destruction of property, the NBA said this is worrisome and clearly a test of the will of the State to fully enforce its laws and foster rule of law.

On its annual conference of the Section on Public Interest and Development Law, SPIDEL scheduled to hold next week in Sokoto, the NBA said, having critically reviewed the current security condition in the state, it has become apparent that it cannot guarantee the safety of participants and accordingly, the Conference has been postponed also as a mark of respect for the memory of the slain Deborah Yakubu.

The NBA urged the State Government to fully collaborate with the Federal Government to initiate measures — and where necessary deploy its coercive instruments — to restore peace and order to the State, safeguard lives and property and dissuade vandalism and impunity.

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Accord Party’s comment on award of Osogbo-Okinni-Ilobu road project, unfortunate, illogical – Osun Govt 

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Osun State Map
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.…says it took over the project to alleviate citizens’ hardship

The government of Osun has explained that it took over the reconstruction of the Osogbo-Okinni-Ilobu road, which is a Federal road, to alleviate the hardship motorists and other road users face daily why plying the road.

The government said the facility had been in a deplorable condition for so long and it could not afford to allow its citizens continue to suffer on the road, adding that it followed due process in taking over the project.

One of the opposition parties in Osun, the Accord Party had in a statement published accused the State Government of taking over a road project that had already been awarded by the Federal Government.

Reacting to the statement by the Accord Party, Mr Ismail Omipidan who is the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, described the party’s claims as unfortunate, lame and illogical.

He said while the contract for the rehabilitation of the road had been truly awarded by the federal government on two different occasions since 2012, no concrete work had been done on the project, a development he said forced the State government to take over the project.

“The contract for rehabilitating the road was first awarded by the federal government 10 years ago, but since then, no significant work has been done on the project that has caused so much hardship for our people who use the road.

“It was for this reason that the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration decided to take over the project to address the needless sufferings and loss of man-hours on the facility,” Omipidan explained.

He further noted that Accord party should be more concerned on how to sell its candidate to the people of Osun rather than engaging in a futile exercise. “The party’s comments on the take-over of the road project by the State government are lame and illogical,” he added.

Omipidan further said: “Accord Party should simply bury its head in shame. Are they saying we should continue to allow the people of Osun to suffer under our administration simply because the road belongs to the federal government?

“If they were discerning enough and if they had listened to Mr. Governor’s speech on the day we flagged off the reconstruction of that road, I am sure they would not bother themselves issuing a statement that lacks substance.

“Mr. Governor said it clearly in his speech that the road contract was awarded about 10 years ago and that as a state government, even though it is a federal government project, we did everything possible to support all the contractors that have had cause to work on that road. But there was no positive result.

“The argument on the timing of the award of the project is preposterous and ill-judged. A government can award a project contract even a week to its expiration, as long as it is in the overall interest of the State and its people.

“We all know that there are processes to take over federal government project that explains why it took us time to start the reconstruction because we have to complete the necessary paperwork.

“During the Governor’s January broadcast, he stated it clearly that though 2022 is going to be an election year but as a responsible governor, he will not allow politics to over shadow governance, so if anything, the Governor should be commended for walking his talk.

“Hon. Lasun Yusuff, the candidate of the Labour Party in the July 16 governorship contest was on air just on Monday, stating how as a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, he facilitated the reconstruction of the road. He explained how some persons who were coming for his event from Lagos had to return without getting to their destinations after spending three hours on that road, so he was happy and even commended the State government for taking over the road project and so, are the immediate beneficiaries of the road.

“The benefiting communities and road users who ply the road will definitely not be happy with the position taken by Accord Party. The party has indeed missed its target as it cannot use this project to attack Governor Oyetola who has only done what the people desire.

“The party should be more concerned on how to sell its candidate rather than engaging in a futile exercise because this indeed is an exercise in futility, the people of Osun know Mr Adegboyega Oyetola very well as a man of his words and somebody who walks his talks. He has promised that he won’t allow politics to overshadow governance. As a matter of fact, we will reel out more road projects in the days ahead.”

 

 

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Death Toll Rises To Nine In Kano Explosion

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Scene of the Kano blast
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At least nine persons have died after an explosion rocked Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs said on Tuesday.

The bodies were recovered from the rubble of a collapsed building beside a primary school.

The police earlier said the explosion was triggered by gas cylinder and not a bomb as being speculated.

“It is not a bomb explosion, it is a gas explosion,” Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, said in a voice recording. “A gas cylinder explosion.

“Because there is a welder, just by the place, and he is the first victim in this situation.”

Dikko added that the police, in collaboration with other security agencies, was also investigating what led to the gas cylinder explosion.

He maintained that the scene was under control.

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