Adeshina Ogunlana, one of the lawyers to the embattled Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly called Baba Ijesha, has accused the Lagos police of trying to extort his client before granting him bail.
Mr Ogunlana, who said this in a Facebook video on Thursday, also lamented the fact that Baba Ijesha is yet to be released despite fulfilling the bail conditions.
He said the bail conditions include two sureties with one being Baba Ijesha’s relative and an N500,000 bond.
“I was there on Tuesday and met a hostile senior police officer. I had an interesting interface with her. She led me to where Baba Ijesha was and he looked depressed and almost lifeless.
”He was just nodding his head and the senior police officer attacked me for saying that he is lean. I said it was what I saw. She said that I have to work with a particular lawyer. And I queried that. I cannot plead for our client’s rights. They termed that confrontational.
“I asked Ijesha where are your people? He said his phone was with the senior officer and he could not reach them. I demanded to see the phone, and another drama began. She insisted that a particular lawyer must represent Baba Ijesha.”
The lawyer also said the policewoman denied him access to anything and this prompted him to leave the station at 1 p.m.
Upon returning to the police station, Mr Ogunlana claimed the police said ‘‘the bail bond needs to be paid and they had to check Baba Ijesha’s phone to know the amount of money he has’’.
He added that the Baba Ijesha’s sureties were ready but the police insisted that bond had to be paid.
‘‘I told them this is a bail bond and not a physical payment. I challenged the police to refute this. How can you be monetising bail? A burden that the magistrate has not imposed. Don’t give the judiciary a bad name. There was no demand for money by the magistrate. She never ordered that money should be paid.”
Mr Ogunlana also mentioned that the ‘beef’ (disagreement) between himself and other lawyers representing the actor also contributed to their inability to secure his freedom.
“Baba Ijesha has two sets of lawyers. The first set is the conservative group and the other one is led by me – we are radical and confrontational,” he added.
“They said that our crusade is too strong for them and it is antagonising the police. They said the police have been cooperating since we came into the matter. I don’t know why they will say the police are cooperating despite keeping him in detention for up to a month.
“I had spoken with the colleague that the senior police officer preferred to handle the case. While we were speaking, the issue of someone planning to steal their glory came in. I wondered which glory is being stolen.”
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, Mr Ogunlana said the N500,000 bail bond ought to be paid only if the suspect, Baba Ijesha, absconds.
“You don’t pay for bail. If you sign for a person and the person has been granted bail to the monetary consideration, you will sign as a surety undertaking that if the person (suspect) should abscond you will pay so much (N500,000).
“It is mere bail, you don’t pay the sum of the bail until the person absconds. This is elementary knowledge,” he said.
Reacting to the allegations, the Lagos police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, told this newspaper, “Anybody making that allegation is ‘mysterious’. Baba Ijesha is yet to meet any of his bail conditions and besides the money is for the Lagos government, not the police’’.
Baba Ijesha has been in the eye of the storm since April 22, when he was arrested on allegations of rape involving a minor and has been in police custody for the alleged offence.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Baba Ijesha was granted bail by Chief Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghre on Monday evening on health grounds but the team was yet to perfect the bail conditions at the time.
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