By Taiwo Okanlawon
Adesina Ogunlana, lawyer to Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesha has disclosed that the actor has not been released from detention despite being granted bail.
Baba Ijesha, who was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, has been granted bail by a magistrate, on health ground, yet he remains in police custody.
According to Ogunlana, Baba Ijesha has two sets of lawyers and while he insists Baba Ijesha be released without paying bail money, the other set of lawyers are negotiating with the police who are asking for money to be paid as bail.
“The main problem is Ijesha has two sets of lawyers. The first set are the normal, due process conservative group and the other one is led by me, the one that they’re seeing as volatile, as radical, as activist, as confrontational,” Adesina explained.
The principal of Winners Don’t Quit chambers said this difference in methods and opinions between both sets of lawyers is delaying Ijesha’s release.
Ogunlana also stated that one Margaret Ighodalo, a senior police officer heading the gender unit, said she’s comfortable working with the other set of lawyers thereby delaying Baba Ijesha’s release until money has been paid.
Ogunlana further said Margaret Ighodalo who has been “hostile” towards him has insisted that it’s the other set of lawyers that she knows and will work with.
The former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch added that the other set of lawyers have also been reluctant to work together with him because they are concerned about someone else “stealing glory” from them.
He explained that he has disagreed with the other group of lawyers in relation to paying for bail, insisting that bail shouldn’t be monetized but that the other group “is saying it’s the way it’s done and are trying to raise money for it.”
“How can you be monetising bail? And lawyers will be acceding to that. How can you accede to the monetisation of bail? The burden that the magistrate has not imposed.
“The magistrate never ordered that money be paid,” he added.
“All those other counsel saying somebody is stealing your glory, nobody is stealing your glory. If I have any glory at all, it is enough for me. Who is stealing anybody’s glory? Who is taking your job?
“But the interest is that justice must be served without any compromise
“So, for people asking me, direct your inquiries to those other lawyers that are comfortable working with the police and the police are comfortable, Margaret Ighodalo specifically, to work with them.
“Everybody knows our reputation. We don’t give bribes, we don’t give money, and there’s no need to give money.
“Once again, I’m challenging all those I’ve mentioned, if these things did not happen, if it’s an invention, Baba Ijesha should be released. Nigerians must learn, never ever to be negotiating their rights,” he added.