#News

False! Baba Ijesha has not been released from prison

By Saheed Ibrahim

Claim: A Facebook account claimed that Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, has been released from prison.

Verdict: False! The Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command, confirmed that Baba Ijesha has not been released and is still serving jail terms.

Full Text

Olanrewaju James, aka Baba Ijesha, is a Nigerian actor and comedian. He was convicted on four counts and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment on July 14, 2022, for child defilement and serving terms at the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Kirikiri, Lagos State.

The victim is a 14-year-old foster daughter of actress and comedienne Damilola Adekoya, popularly known as Princess.

Delivering judgment at the Special Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo said, “I hereby find the defendant guilty of counts two to five, and he is discharged of counts one and six. The defendant is hereby sentenced to five years imprisonment for count two, three years for count three, five years for count four, and three years for count five.”

On May 30, a Facebook Account using another popular Nollywood actor’s name (Femi Adebayo), Femi Adebayo TV, claimed that Baba Ijesha had been released from prison. In the Facebook post, the user posted Baba Ijesha’s picture with the caption: Freedom at last let welcome our veteran Actor Baba Ijesha. Let’s celebrate him fam.”

The post has garnered 37,000 likes, 6,600 comments, and 491 shares. While some Facebook users who commented believed the post, others expressed doubt.

 A user, Olalekan Oloyede, who is among those who believed the post, commented: 

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“I’m happy for you, sir. Next time, be careful and don’t see them as your enemies. There is a purpose why God allowed that to happen to you. Forgive them so that God will forgive all your trespasses and open a new door of all-around blessings for you. Remember Jesus, always; thanks. Remain blessed.”

However, Facebook users like Don-Greatest-fash, Dj Plenitude, and Boluwaji Oluwafemi expressed doubt Baba Ijesha was released. 

Wole Sentimenta commented: “How true is this? I don’t want to waste my congratulations this time.” 

Opeyemi Babatunde Foladara also commented, “We don hear this tired, abeg.”

DUBAWA decided to fact-check the claims due to their virality and the doubt surrounding them to set the record straight.

Verification

DUBAWA contacted the Nigerian Correctional Service Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Mr Rotimi Oladokun, to confirm whether Baba Ijesha was released.

Mr Oladokun debunked the claim, saying he is still serving jail terms.

“The news is false. He is still serving his jail terms,” Mr Oladokun said.

Conclusion

The claim that Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, has been released from prison is false. The Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command, said he still serves jail terms.

This report is produced for the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking Fellowship in partnership with The Hope Newspaper to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria.

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False! Baba Ijesha has not been released from prison

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