An Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court sentenced a Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha, to 16 years imprisonment.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in a two-hour judgment on Thursday convicted Baba Ijesha of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, and attempted sexual assault.
However, many Nigerians have taken to social media to debate the number of years the veteran actor is expected to serve in prison. While some claimed he was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, others believe he is expected to spend only five years for the count charges.
In this article, Quest Times will explain what the court verdict implies and the number of years Baba Ijesha will be spending in prison to clear the air on some of the controversies surrounding the actor’s jail terms.
Baba Ijesha is facing six counts of child defilement that include indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration, and sexual assault by penetration.
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, which preferred the charges against the actor, argued that the offences contravene Section 135, 137, 261, 202, 262 and 263 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2015, which stipulates life imprisonment for offenders.
The defendant was arraigned on June 24, 2021. During the trial, six prosecution witnesses testified against him.
They were actress and comedienne, Princess, the 14-year-old minor, a child expert, Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode, and medical doctor, Dr Aniekan Makanjuola.
Others were the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Wahab Kareem, and a policewoman, Inspector Abigail Omane.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Taiwo said that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of all the charges against him.
However, she found the defendant guilty of four of the six counts against him.
Baba Ijesha was found guilty of count two, three, four and five.
For count two, he was jailed for three years; count three, five years; count four, three years and sentenced five years for count five.
The justice said the jail terms (a term of imprisonment imposed by a court) are to run concurrently for five years.
What the judgment means
When sentences run consecutively, the defendant serves them back to back (one after the other). When they run concurrently, the defendant serves them at the same time.
Say a jury convicts a defendant of two charges. The judge sentences her to three years in prison for Count 1 and two years in prison for Count 2.
Consecutive sentences. If the judge orders the sentences to run consecutively, the total prison sentence is five years. She’ll serve Count 1 for three years and then Count 2 for 2 years.
Concurrent sentences. If the judge were to order that the sentences run concurrently, the defendant’s sentence would be three years—she would serve the two-year sentence simultaneously with the three-year sentence.
Baba Ijesha is expected to serve a 5-year jail term as pronounced by the court and not 16 years as widely reported.