Embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James (alias Baba Ijesha), has disowned a former Chairman of Ikeja chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Adesina Ogunlana, as his lawyer.
In a copy of disclaimer made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos, James said that he never briefed Ogunlana to be his legal representative.
His assertion follows a tussle between Ogunlana and another lawyer, Kayode Olabiran over who is the genuine representative of the embattled thespian.
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The former NBA Chairman and Publisher, Mr Ogunlana had in the last few weeks been in the forefront of the agitation for the release of Baba Ijesha from custody following his detention over allegation of sexual molestation of a minor.
Ogunlana had used his Facebook page and other media to advocate Baba Ijesha’s release on bail.
Indeed, little is known in the public fora about the efforts of Olabiran whom Baba Ijesha acknowledged as his counsel in the case.
But responding to the tussle in a statement on Saturday, Baba Ijesha said:
“I wish to state categorically and emphatically that I have never briefed the lawyer nor instructed him to act on my behalf in any way, or manner howsoever and whatsoever.
“He (Ogunlana) is not my lawyer, and whatever you heard or hear from him concerning my lawyers, the police or court case, does not represent the true position,” Baba Ijesha said.
“He has been acting without my knowledge or consent,” he said.
Ogunlana though has not responded, Baba Ijesha was compelled to authorize the disclaimer if he wanted to come out of the police cell.
It was reliably learnt that the authorities were not comfortable with Ogunlana whom they accused of attacking officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, particularly the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice with the police.
The actor is being detained by the police for alleged sexual assault and defilement of the 14-year-old foster daughter of comedienne, Princess.
He was granted bail by a magistrate on Monday in spite of strike by judiciary workers.
“Baba Ijesha” said in the disclaimer that the police never demanded for money from him for the bail, which was granted him by a magistrate on health grounds,” he said to counter assertions that a lawyer supposedly representing him.
“This is aside the N500,000 refundable bail bond which formed part of my bail conditions ordered by the court.
“The bail bond is payable to the court registry’s account and not police account,” he said.
Speaking with NAN on Saturday, Mr Kayode Olabiran, counsel to “Baba Ijesha” noted that the actor was granted bail on May 17, by a team from Lagos State Judiciary, Nigerian Bar Association and the state Ministry of Justice.
The team had visited the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti, Yaba, Lagos, in an efforts to decongest police stations across Lagos State.
Olabiran said that though the actor had fulfilled all the bail conditions, he had yet to be formally released by the judiciary.
“He is not out of police custody, we are hoping that the judiciary, the team from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution will come again to Panti next week.
“It is one thing to be granted bail and another for your release to be ordered upon meeting all the conditions.
“That is the point we are now. We are waiting for them (the judiciary) to come so we will present all the documents and his release will be ordered,” he said.