A cross-section of Nigerians has expressed divergent views in reaction to the Lagos State government’s recommendation of the prosecution of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, known as ‘Baba Ijesha’, under five provisions of Criminal Laws of the state.
While some agreed with the possibility of life imprisonment, many argued that terrorists and murderers should get life imprisonment – not Baba Ijesha.
The police had in April arrested Baba Ijesha for sexually harassing a 14-year-old girl.
In a statement on Tuesday, Moyosore Onigbanjo, Lagos state Attorney-General said Baba Ijesha would be charged under the Criminal Law of Lagos State.
One of the charges is for Indecent Treatment of a child, which is punishable by seven years imprisonment. Another is Defilement of a Child, which is punishable by life imprisonment.
Sexual Assault by Penetration is also punishable by life imprisonment. Baba Ijesha is also being charged for Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration, punishable by 14 years imprisonment, and Sexual Assault, which is punishable by three years imprisonment.
The statement read, “Whilst the state would ensure that Mr. Olanrewaju James’s rights as enshrined in the Constitution are upheld, the Ministry of Justice would not relent in its efforts in ensuring that whoever sexually abuses any resident of Lagos State is speedily brought to book.
“It is instructive to note that the Lagos State Ministry of Justice has been consistent in its efforts in protecting the vulnerable in our society and since the establishment of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team in 2014, it has till date prosecuted over 800 cases of Sexual and Domestic offenses.
“The Attorney-General hereby assures Lagosians and indeed Nigerians that in accordance with the DPP’s advice, charges would be filed accordingly.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians on Twitter expressed divergent views.
@asonye_stephen said, “He can’t get a life for that. May be a long jail term but obviously not lifetime imprisonment.”
@Agadax asked, “What of the judge who is going to pass the judgement, how many years imprisonment is he going to get, or some of our politicians how many of them get imprisonment?”
@Kondix tweeted, “With the public prosecution and lapses, a smart lawyer will get him off. Don’t count your chickens before…. I AM NOT IN SUPPORT OF ANY FORM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. But let the law take its course.”
@whizTido said, “Sanwo-Olu should be charged life imprisonment instead of Baba ijesha for the genocide he committed on peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate.”
@shinawilliams2 said, “Wetin happen now? He no kill person now, sending him to jail is fine, not life imprisonment.”
@doyeayanniyine1 said, “If Baba Ijesa is found guilty of this offence and he is giving life imprisonment, what of those terrorists who kill innocent people?”