Actor Yomi Fabiyi has reacted to the decision of the Lagos state government to prosecute him over his new movie, Oko Iyabo.
Nigerians who have since the movie claim it depicts the rape scandal involving his colleague, Baba Ijesha, and the foster daughter of comedienne, Princess. It is alleged that Yomi used the names of persons involved in the case for the characters in the movie. Yomi has shown solidarity for Baba Ijesha since he was arrested in April.
In July, the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) announced plans to prosecute Nollywood actor, Yomi Fabiyi, for contempt of court over the production of the movie ‘Oko Iyabo.’ Read here.
In a post shared on his Instagram page, Yomi said he shouldn’t be made a scapegoat because he called for a “fair hearing, equity, and justice” in the trial of his colleague, Baba Ijesha. He shared a video clip from the period when Iyabo Ojo and others stormed the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department SCID to protest against the planned release of Baba Ijesha.
”On the 26th July, 2021, an ambush was laid against me in Lagos High Court, where the state prosecutor asked the judge to order my trial on “CONTEMPT OF COURT” on a movie I made “OKO IYABO”. Save for the proactive effort of Baba Ijesha’s defence team, Barr. Dada Awosika(SAN), Barr. Babatunde Ogala(SAN) and the team, they did a wonderful job to save the day and argue my case.
What I suspect is that the prosecutor did not see the movie, they got swayed by TAMPAN’s LETTER, the trailer, title and social media noise. The main concept of the movie is not about the case in court, the few scenes similar to what has been leaked publicly was recreated to give artistic interpretation.
Again, the movie was written & shot 2nd to 6th June, 2021, ever before the court called off their strike. The order for parties to the case not to comment publicly was given on the 24th June, 2021. The main story traverses around Iyabo & Yomi, they are not witness or party to the case. Iyabo did many videos with Yomi’s full names mentioned and dragged him for demanding FAIR TRIAL.
Real name of the survivor was not at anytime used. I deliberately dodged the use of full names, image or voice of any persons directly connected.
Some storylines are continum, if as a writer you have a break point, you may film to the limit of what is available even if the case is in court. Ignore those inventing new illegal laws. Freedom of expression is a constitutional right Filmmakers enjoy. If you will ever support a criticism on a movie, be sure you are hiding behind a honest critic, who has done thorough investigation and speak from raw knowledge and understanding.
It is shocking to later see publications that Lagos Government vows to prosecute me. I respect the Governor, DPP and the court. What I understand is her Lordship advised is that, should they wish to come up with charges, they MUST investigate properly and ensure genuine reason(s), which I doubt there is any. I am law abiding and a SORRY for doing my job is an oppression.
I should never be made a scapegoat for campaigning for FAIR TRIAL, EQUAL JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION of all parties in this Baba Ijesha’s case.