Actor, Yomi Fabiyi, has written the Lagos state governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu about the “illegal” detention of embattled co-actor, Baba Ijesha, over sexually assaulting a minor stressing that it was against his human rights.
Read the letter below:
I want to thank your Excellency and cabinet for your continued efforts in providing basic social amenities and services to the people of Lagos State. To this end I am writing to bring to your notice a one sided PROSECUTION and TRIAL in a case of CHILD ABUSE under your watch by your Attorney General/Commissioner of Justice as well as the Lagos State Commissioner of Police in an unjust manner. If this action is left unchecked, it could trigger a widespread public protest imminently. It is said that justice is a three way principle which ought to be for the victim, the accused and the society at large.
Recently at the end of April, 2021, a senior colleague and popular actor Lanre Omiyinka a.k.a Baba Ijesha was arrested on the allegation of SEXUAL ASSAULT, an event the complainant claimed was captured on close circuit television (CCTV) and this piece of information litters the social media. From the onset, I restrained myself from judging and concluding as the case is said to be in the hands of the Police Force and I had no idea of what the charges might be. In order not to openly join the masses on social media trial, I visited the suspect in Police CIID Panti. We had a lengthy talk and he divulged some vital information that is quite disturbing.
Your Excellency Sir, while I am still trying to see the best I can make of the incident and scenario around this allegations and apprehension, two video footages were released online purportedly confirming some of widespread report. As an adult member of the voting public and a human rights ambassador, the first video which I cannot confirm if it was submitted as part of evidence to the Police plainly shows that the foster mother of the alleged victim with some unidentified adults contributed, aided and abated the “alleged act” and indeed committed the following crimes viz:
TORTURE/THREAT: The suspect was seen seating on the floor with his clothes torn and visibly battered as several adult voices can be heard in the background threatening him. Torture is a serious crime locally and internationally and the torture of any person has been condemned by the Constitution and other international laws/conventions and treaties.
OBTAINING SUSPECT STATEMENT UNDER DURESS: The suspect is clearly seen been filmed in an apparent attempt to make him confess to crimes under duress. Aside his torn cloth and undignified position, no one can ascertain what manner of weapon was used by those people to force out the alleged confession from him. He was clearly answering those questions to save his life and career. I believe the act of these unidentified persons is in itself a crime. It is an abuse of the Fundamental Human Right of the suspect under the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and even the Universal Declaration of Human Right which Nigeria is a signatory to.
FALSE IMPRISONMENT: It was said that the suspect was locked up in the house against his wish and was never allowed freedom of movement by his captors with a threat to kill him if he dares try to leave the premises willingly
As if all of the above is not enough, the alleged victim’s guardian went on LIVE BROADCAST to give an account of how her said foster daughter informed her of being molested seven years ago by the suspect and subsequently SET UP A TRAP for the suspect last month in order to have proof of the event that occurred many years ago. I became worried and really wish to know how a civilian can pull such stunt and feat.
Suddenly a CCTV footage was leaked online purportedly capturing the suspect and what went down minutes before his arrival to the scene and the act. I believe the Police Force still needs to investigate and confirm what the CCTV captured when they burst into the scene as it surprises me that the CCTV images only lasted around the alleged sexual abuse. Under normal circumstances I am of the view that it should run beyond that. This item was clearly submitted to the Police Force as evidence. However, my concerns with the submitted items are:
i.) SEXUAL ASSAULT: The video clearly shows the suspect touching and kissing the victim’s outer body only, an act which the law interprets as SEXUAL ASSAULT.
ii.) ENTRAPMENT: Going by the video evidence littering the social media, the complainant claims she deliberately invited the suspect down, invited CCTV installers to fix the hidden camera when it was apparent the suspect was on his way. The footage leaked online showed the minor, the complainant and few men in the background of the footage as the suspect arrived. Under the Law, SET UP of any kind without of the involvement or approval of the Police or other relevant law enforcement agencies amount to setting crime in motion by aiding and abetting and the law frowns at this act.
iii.) USE OF A MINOR AS BAIT: Sir, it is quite disturbing for me that the complainant and adults in the background of the footage brainwashed the innocent girl into submitting herself for RAPE, ASSAULT, and MOLESTATION in order to gather evidence that may enable them accuse, torture and hurt the suspect. Using a child for act like this undermines the very basic principle of the Child’s Right Law of Lagos State which specify clearly a punishment for whoever is found guilty of such unlawful act.
The action and image painted by the act of the complainant and her cohorts is disturbing and a keg of gun powder as this may set a negative precedence for our society. How the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General/Commissioner of Justice overlooked this in their advice and the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) advice still amazes me as a concerned citizen of this Country. No parent or guardian should be pardoned for exposing their child/ward to such TRUAMA or RE-TRUAMA. Sections 1, 2 and 23 of the Child’s Right Law of Lagos State is clear and sacrosanct in this regard. This act is huge and there is no way the Police Force can claim they are investigating a case of CHILD ABUSE and leave behind other adults involved in this immoral and illegal act. This will only portend the ugly state of our Justice system as it can trigger a widespread public protest from parents, guardians and adults. This puts many children at risk and in danger of this kind of one sided prosecution. This is a bigger picture that is too vital to be ignored or overlooked in the dispensation of justice to the victims.
iv.) CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE: I am yet to ascertain the framework surrounding the purported ADOPTION of the minor by the complainant but I am quite sure that illegal adoption carries a serious punishment under the Laws of Lagos State. Considering the manner in which the foster mother of the alleged victim conducted herself leading to the commission of the said offence, light should be beamed on how she came about the adoption of the victim.
Sir, my concerns are germane and valid as a celebrity, role model, mentor and human right ambassador, I owe every child and person in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular a duty of care. We need to act as a role model and guiding light for the upcoming generation. I am personally disturbed and disappointed that a senior colleague of mine is involved in this act and I have personally and publicly condemn the act. But as a custodian of human rights, I will be hurting myself and other noble Nigerians that stand for the dispensation of justice if I let emotions and social media trial becloud my sense of judgement and not raise alarm on the deliberate attempt by the Police Force and the Ministry of Justice to sweep under the carpet the several serious crimes committed by other adults in this instance. Posterity will never forgive me.
From my little knowledge of the Law and after several consultations with prominent Legal practitioners, I understand that the charge against the suspect is bailable and as we speak, it is understood that some powerful people are acting on emotions to prevent the police from granting BAIL to the suspect who has been held in custody for over ten days without bail or any arraignment. This to my understanding is a serious cause for concern.
I am aware that the complainant and her friends went to the Police Command to openly protest against his BAIL and issue open threats that the suspect will be killed if granted his constitutional right to bail. I believe our Law is clear that a suspect is assumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of Law. Whether the arrest of the complainant and her friends who have made these death threats against the granting of bail to the suspect has been carried out or not, I am yet to ascertain.
All these concerns are quite disturbing and has placed several adults in LEGITIMATE AGGRIEVED POSITIONS. When people are genuinely oppressed, they require no approval before they peacefully protest. Peaceful protest is a constitutionally guaranteed human right as provided for by the Constitution of Nigeria. To avoid another round of protest bearing in mind the consequences of the recent END SARS Protest, I quickly wish to bring to your notice all these developments. I will not wish to protest but if it turns out that people are bent on using the advantage of the public office they hold to avert the cause of justice and breach human rights, it is safe to say that the AGGRIEVED masses can employ any peaceful and legal means to draw the attention of the government to their plight.
For public safety and confidence in your administration and human rights protection, I urge your esteemed office to look speedily into all legal issues which need to be taken into consideration before justice is served and to ensure that all culpable adults who exposed the minor and participated in the whole case are arrested and prosecuted in line with the provisions of the Law. Child Abuse under the law is not limited to sexual engagements alone, worst humiliation and degradation was committed by these adults against the child and must never go unpunished.
While thanking you for your continued leadership and doggedness in serving Lagos State better, please be assured of my continued respect and esteem admiration of your person and office.
Actor/Human Rights Ambassador/Founder, Break The Silence Foundation.
Read more about Baba Ijesha’s sexual molestation accusations below:
Baba Ijesha risks life imprisonment as Lagos moves to file charges
Baba Ijesha: ”Can you allow your child be terribly abused and dehumanized in the name of obtaining evidence?- Actor Yomi Fabiyi asks parents
Comedienne Princess says she did not authorize the release of the CCTV footage of Baba Ijesha molesting her foster daughter
All the adults in that video will definitely spend more time in prison than Baba Ijesha, this is clearly a setup – Yomi Fabiyi speaks more on CCTV footage of Baba Ijesha molesting a minor
Video: CCTV Footage Showing Baba Ijesha Kissing, Fondling & Molesting Female Minor