Yomi Fabiyi, Nollywood movie star, has claimed that the confession of Baba Ijesha, the embattled Yoruba actor, was obtained under duress.
Baba Ijesha has been in the news after he admitted to assaulting a 14-year-old girl, who happens to be the foster daughter of Comedian Princess.
Following his arrest, Ijesha has remained in police custody where Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos police commissioner, said he would be until the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) calls off its strike.
Moyosore Onigbanjo, the commissioner for justice, had also explained that the state’s directorate of public prosecutions (DPP) had recommended five charges against the embattled actor — which put him at risk of being sentenced to life imprisonment.
On Wednesday, Fabiyi led a protest at the Panti police station seeking Baba Ijesha’s release on administrative bail — since the strike is yet to be called off for the courts to operate.
In a video from the protest, as shared via Fabiyi’s Instagram page on Thursday, the movie star stated that the continued detention of Baba Ijesha beyond 48 hours without recourse to the courts for a “fair hearing is illegal”.
Fabiyi also claimed that the confession by the suspect was obtained under duress, with the video where he admitted to committing the assault showing that the embattled actor was “tortured into speaking”.
“Citizens must respect when the police are discharging their lawful duties. Also, the people have rights. But what we observe is that, when our colleague Baba Ijesha was brought here, so many evidences were thrown online,” Fabiyi can be heard saying.
“We maintained that we would patiently allow the rule of law take it’s course; allow the police do their job. The CP came out and said it’s a bailable offence. But it’s getting to two weeks now and he’s not been released.
“A minor was used as a bait. Police have not touched on that. There is evidence of torture [on Baba Ijesha]. There is evidence of obtaining confession under duress. They even threatened to kill the suspect. The police have not acted on these.
“DPP advice is a legal advice. It’s not a court. This man is still adjudged innocent until proven guilty.”
In the caption of the video, Fabiyi added: “The law is the law. Nobody or organisation can rule or extend continued detention of any suspect on bailable offence(s) in police custody beyond 48 hours except a seating judge from a competent court.
“And now that the court is on strike. Releasing Baba Ijesha on administrative bail to a reliable surety is the best approach. Even as we speak, the rights of the gentle man is already been trampled upon.”
Odumosu had earlier described Baba Ijesha’s offence as a bailable one unlike rape cases. However, some celebrities cried out on social media, alleging a plot to release him.
Amid Fabiyi’s latest protest, Iyabo Ojo, an actress, had filed a lawsuit against the film star alleging defamation. The duo had been at loggerheads with contradictory views on the case of Baba Ijesha.