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Updated: Court denies Baba Ijesha bail as sexual assault trial begins

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A magistrate court sitting in Lagos has denied Nigerian actor, Baba Ijesha, bail in the ongoing trial of alleged sexual assault.

The actor was arrested and detained by the state police after he was alleged to have sexually molested a minor at seven and 14.
He was later granted bail on May 17 — after spending about 25 days in police detention — by magistrates in charge of prison decongestion. But he has remained in police custody despite the bail.
During his trial on Wednesday, Kayode Olabiran, counsel to Baba Ijesha, prayed the court to release his client, citing his deteriorating health.

He said the controversial nature of the case had made it difficult to secure his release despite his bail as intending sureties were scared of the likely consequences.
But in his ruling, the judge, P. E Nwaka, held that the court could not grant the actor bail because the matter was beyond its jurisdiction.
The judge also explained that the case has already been filed before the high court.

The superintendent of police in charge of the case, Yetunde Cardoso, said the matter was now beyond the police.
“Mr Olanrewaju was actually granted bail during the JUSUN strike and based on the conditions given, he couldn’t meet them and he was properly charged today (Wednesday),” she said.
“Just like the court stated, the case has already been filed before the high court and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Lagos State Ministry of Justice has taken over the matter from the police.
“So presently, we have handed over to the DPP so the case is before them (DPP). It has nothing to do with the police anymore, it’s now left for the DPP to handle it.”

Baba Ijesha was brought to court in company with his colleague, Yomi Fabiyi, and other supporters for the sexual assault case against him.
One of his counsels, Adesina Ogunlana, had said the actor was granted bail by a magistrate but alleged that officials of the Lagos Police Command demanded a N500,000 bribe to get the actor released despite the court order.
The industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria had stalled the case before now.
Fabiyi, speaking with reporters, said, “I am in court because I believe in the rule of law and I have right to come to the court and observe the case.
“I want to see how the court (hearing) will go because there are so many lacunas, so many things that should have been done. I want to see how the rule of law and justice is being served.”

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Bandits releasing our children in batches torturing, say Kaduna Baptist students’ parents

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  • 21 students still in captivity after freeing 10 Saturday

Parents of kidnapped Kaduna Baptist school students say the strategy of releasing their children in batches by the bandits is torturing.

They stated this in reaction to the latest release of 10 of the abducted students on Saturday evening, leaving 21 others still with the abductors.

Chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Joseph Hayab, said the students were released on Saturday.

He said the released students had reunited with their parents, adding that 21 others are still with their captors.

He said, “The bandits have released 10 more of our students to us this evening, remaining 21. They were released this evening and parents were taking their children home.”

Hayab lamented that releasing the students in batches amounted a “torture” for the parents.

“What the bandits are doing is to torture us. We are celebrating the return of 10 students, but we are having the challenge of those parents who have been waiting and every time, their child is not among those released,” he said.

“It is very painful, but we thank God that 10 students are back.”

The bandits invaded Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Kaduna State, on July 5, 2021 and abducted 121 students.

The bandits had subsequently said the students would be released in batches when they freed the first set of 28 on July 25, 2021 — after they reportedly collected a ransom of N100m.

Following the release of the 28 students, the bandits were said to have demanded another N80m as ransom for the remaining students.

President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Israel Akanji, had earlier said that no ransom will be paid for the release of the students.

 

 

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10 dogs devour two-year-old in Anambra • Irate youths set them ablaze

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A two-year-old prospective school pupil has been devoured by 10 dogs belonging to a private school in Amokpo, Umuanunwa, Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State.

The child was said to have been taken to the school for enrollment by his parent when the incident occurred.

The school’s owner, a UK returnee identified as Chinedu Oka, reportedly reared dogs in the school premises despite the community’s warning against it.

A resident who preferred anonymity told The Nation that the child’s parent was perfecting the documentation and registration of the child when he strayed away to where he was devoured by the dogs.

He said: “The parent was busy with the child’s registration when he wandered off to where the dogs, 10 in number, rushed at him, dragged him into their pen and devoured him with nobody on sight to rescue him.

“It’s a taboo to rear dogs here and the owner was warned, but he didn’t heed the community’s instructions.”

The Nation further learnt angry youths in the community instantly invaded the school compound and shot all the dogs dead, while parents hurriedly withdrew their children and wards on hearing about the tragic incident.

Confirming the incident, the traditional ruler of Nteje, Igwe Rowland Odegbo, described the act as an abomination in the community, assuring that justice would be served appropriately.

He said: “The man knew that dogs were prohibited in Nteje, but he still went ahead to rear and surround himself with dogs despite warning from the community.

“To us, the young man committed murder and we have handed him over to the appropriate authorities. We will make sure that justice is served because we don’t condone evil.

“The youths have killed and burnt the dogs and we are in support of their action.”

The Nation

 

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Military invades Katsina forest, smokes out bandits, rescues kidnapped victims

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No fewer than 20 kidnapped victims have escaped from the deadly Rugu Forest in Nigeria Northwest after bandits who held them bound for over five months fled for dear lives on citing an air force fighter jet.

Among the victims are 18 females and 2 males abducted five months ago from Katoge village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

One of the victims, Rabiu Mannir said they managed to escape from the hoodlums when a jet of the Nigerian Air Force caused a scare while flying over the bandits’ camp on Friday night. The development he said caused the criminals to scamper for safety, ignoring their captives.

Also, one of the female victims identified as Sahura Haruna was said to have delivered a baby girl at the kidnappers den recently as she was already pregnant before being abducted by the bandits.

“I put to bed five days ago. According to the Doctor, my baby and I are not very sound. The Doctor said our body system lacks adequate water,” Sahura said.

The Secretary to the Katsina State Government, SSG, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, said the rescued victims were brought back to Katsina by authorities in neighbouring Zamfara State and they have been medically examined and handed over to the authorities of Batsari LGA to reconcile them with their families once again.

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