Adesina Ogunlana, one of the lawyers representing embattled actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, has said he volunteered to represent the actor in his sexual molestation case because he felt pity for him. He also stated that he was at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos, for other cases but Baba Ijesha’s ‘pitiable’ look tugged at his heart.
In an interview with Saturday Beats, Ogunlana said, “This particular case is pro bono (unpaid). It is just my contribution to humanity. When the news made the rounds and giving the rampant nature of sexual molestations, I wanted to know more about the case. As a lawyer, I always want to hear the other side of the story. When I also saw the video that was supposedly the proof of the rape act, I saw that it looked different from the fundamental allegation of rape that we had heard. By the way, I was always going to Panti for other cases and I saw Baba Ijesha looking very downcast and extremely depressed, and I pitied him.
“However, what further piqued our interest as an organisation (Radical Agenda Movement) in the Nigeria Bar Association was when the police initially said he would be released on bail and some female ‘activists’ campaigned against it and put pressure on the Police not to grant him bail. I felt that it was wrong for the police to succumb to such. It was very unprofessional and shameful because of the clear constitutional provision that a person being granted bail does not mean the person is innocent or free. It just means you want to consider the presumption of innocence vis a vis the need to put the person on trial. If he would not be a flight risk, he should be given bail. Beyond pity, it is wrong for people to threaten hail and brimstone if he is released on bail. That is not the law. The law is that he must have his day in court. As of today, the law presumes him to be innocent. The earlier we know and accept that, the better for us.”
The lawyer who released two videos challenging the Police to debunk his claims over the monetisation of the actors’ bail bond and his continued detention, stressed that he did not want the integrity of the judiciary or his to be soiled.