Actor Baba Ijesha is under investigation by the Lagos State police command on allegations of rape.
The actor has been accused by a Nigerian comedienne, Princess of raping a minor (when she was 7-year-old) who was kept in her care.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, has also confirmed that Baba Ijesha is currently a suspect in a sexual assault investigation and not rape as it is currently being bandied.
Baba Ijesha struggled during his early years in show business and considered calling it quits and even delved into music at some point. He finally caught a break after starring in ‘Omo Orita’ which was written and produced by Saheed Balogun.
After many years of being scandal-free, the prominent Yoruba actor became a household name.
Sadly, the allegations against him involve rape, which has, in recent times, branded its name into the nation’s consciousness.
Since April 22, 2021, when PREMIUM TIMES reported the incident, he has faced some serious backlash, lost all goodwill.
However, a few of his colleagues, who many have described as rape apologists, have thrown their weight behind the embattled actor while some appear to sit on the fence.
Here, we list four Yoruba actors who have alternative opinions on Baba Ijesha’s alleged rape mess.
1. Yomi Fabiyi:
Since the scandal broke, without mincing words, Yomi has stated his position on the rape allegation by his colleague. This, however, did not sit well with some members of the public and his colleagues including Iyabo Ojo, Toke Makinwa, Davido, Femi Branch, and a few others.
After the news of Baba Ijesha’s arrest broke, the Human Rights Ambassador (US,) in his reaction on his Instagram handle, urged the public not to cast a guilty verdict on the actor. He urged them to exercise patience for the police officers in charge and their theatre association to investigate the matter before they draw their conclusions.
The filmmaker also demanded to see the CCTV footage that captured the “disturbing” scenes.
Following the release of the footage, Yomi advised the Lagos police to arrest those involved in setting up the CCTV video and “ban them from going close to children or else he will lead protests in Alausa and other parts of Lagos, demanding the sack of the head of social services in the relevant ministry.
“First and foremost, we belong to an association, and they are investigating the matter in order to get the true picture of the event and then act accordingly,” he said.
“We are careful, as individuals, not to also comment because from the police statement, CCTV footage was mentioned, the content not yet made public or seen by the representatives. To the best of my knowledge, the suspect has not been heard from directly or his representatives.
“Except clear-cut open evidence, confession, or trial with a guilty verdict, it will be malicious and premature for any or, as colleagues, to draw conclusions. Being famous comes with a lot of responsibilities. Please understand and be patient,’’ Yomi said on Monday.
He also said child rape is a serious offense and should not be supported, however, “it is better for a majority in a society to be careful, than sorry.”
2. Lege Miami
Actor and singer, Lege Miami who appeared sympathetic to the actor’s plight, irked his fans and colleagues after he shared two videos (now deleted) captioned “say no to rape” on Instagram, to urge commentators to stay calm and wait for the court’s verdict.
Like Fabiyi, Miami also demanded to see the CCTV footage.
He also reacted to a post by Tonto Dikeh wherein she described Baba Ijesha as an “evil man” who should never see the light of the day.
Tonto’s rants pushed the film maker into making a post where he described her as a “nonentity”. He also blamed his colleagues for giving her the opportunity to bash Baba Ijesha without evidence.
3. Bukky Black
Germany-based Yoruba actress, Bukky Black, in an Instagram post said she believed Baba Ijesha, whom she said was her former neighbour in Ikorodu, was framed.
She strongly argued that he couldn’t have perpetrated the alleged crime.
“Baba Ijesha isn’t a womanizer, I usually ask him if he can make love to a woman because I see him as impotent. I don’t think I have ever seen him with any girlfriend,” she said in the video captioned: “Baba Ijesha, God Almighty will see you through.”
The veteran actress, who placed curses on Baba Ijesha’s detractors, said the solution should be the priority and not condemnation.
‘‘Baba Ijesha is your superior in the movie industry and even if your fans are against Baba Ijesha, you are not supposed to be the arrowhead of the campaign,’’ she said, slamming Iyabo Ojo.
4. Rotimi Makinde
Yoruba actor, Rotimi Makinde, who lent his voice to the rape scandal via his Facebook page, said people should not crucify Baba Ijesha, until he has been found guilty in the court of law.
“Baba Ijesha, the popular comedian deserves some benefit of the doubt until a court of competent jurisdiction proves him guilty of any offense. I understand he was alleged to have committed an illegal act…or is it a crime to be a movie star?”
He said with the way the issue went viral, it seems people wanted the “movie star” “down.”
“Let’s be patient, show the accused some love even as we condemn any bad acts, and stop jumping to conclusions on his alleged assault on a minor. It is like some of us want him down before now.”
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