About 1,200 Nigerians have signed a petition making rounds on social media to forestall the release of popular Yoruba actor, Olarewaju Omiyinka, after allegedly defiling a minor. The target is for the signees to reach 1,500.
The actor, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, was arrested last week, after he was reported by the teenager’s foster mother ― a comedienne, Princess ― that he molested the girl when she was seven years old.
When the actor was apprehended last Tuesday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, said there was substantial evidence against the actor as he was caught in the act on Closed Circuit Television.
The PPRO further stated that “Based on preliminary findings, the suspect started sexually assaulting the victim since she was seven years old. The suspect confessed to the crime and was also captured by a CCTV camera in the house of the complainant.”
However, in a twist of events, a senior police officer told The PUNCH that the actor may be released on Friday. The source said due to the ongoing strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, courts had ceased from sitting and the suspect could not be detained indefinitely without trial.
The source also said the investigation into the recent allegation against Omiyinka revealed that he did not defile the victim, adding that when she was questioned, the victim confirmed the same.
The petition, which is drafted by the Aunt Landa’s Bethel Foundation, on behalf of the teenager’s foster mother, Princess, has urged 1,500 Nigerians to sign against the release of the Yoruba actor, Baba Ijesha.
Dr Yolanda N George-David, who signed the petition, said it is embarrassing to know the Nigeria Police Force are trying to grant the actor bail.
She continued, “On one hand, we are a bit relieved and her parents are especially grateful to God that we now know the root cause of her declining grades in school and sudden change in her behaviour. On the other hand, it’s so painful knowing that she had to bear all these by herself. Her innocence was stolen in less than four minutes. I truly can’t find the right words to describe how deeply hurt I am.
“These parents showed compassion by allowing their kids to live with me so I could experience motherhood. I protected and cared for them to the best of my ability, but Lanre made me question my sanity as a mother.
“I still can’t get over the trauma of having to watch her on CCTV just so we could get proof. She was so scared before he arrived and we had to reassure her that we would come in before he could hurt her. She dreads him so much to the point that when she recognized him in a movie he and I featured in 2019, even her brothers couldn’t console her.”
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