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Court to decide Baba Ijesha's fate in defilement case on July 14

Court to decide Baba Ijesha's fate in defilement case on July 14 (Updated: Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 04:17 AM)


The Ikeja Special Offences Court has reserved judgment until July 14 in the case of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, aka Baba Ijesha, accused of defiling a 14-year-old girl.

 

On Monday, June 6, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case for judgment after the prosecution and defence counsel had adopted their final written addresses.

 

Baba Ijesha is facing a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.

 

The charges were proffered against him by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

 

Baba Ijesha, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

 

Defence counsel, Dada Awosika, in adopting his final written address dated May 12 and filed on May 16, urged the court to dismiss the suit and discharge the defendant.

 

Mr Awosika argued that the footage of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) was illegally obtained.

 

"The exhibit was not tendered by the maker. It was tendered by Princess, the complainant," he said.

 

He argued that the recording had been tampered with, especially since the defendant did not go to the complainant’s house uninvited.

 

Mr Awosika added that this was even more strange as he was accused of a crime seven years ago, which was not reported to the police.

 

He further submitted that the alleged confessional statement of the defendant failed the provision of Section 9 (3 ) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State 2021.

 

"We urge the court to discredit the confessional statement. The defendant moved in a jiffy to participate in a short skit that put him in trouble. My Lord, my client was trapped.

 

"Concerning the age of the girl in question, Exhibits D and E are not saying the same thing.

 

"It is our submission, My Lord, that the court is bound to call the biological mother inside the box to tell us her real age or her birth certificate or scientific evidence is tendered to ascertain the age but none was done.

 

"The prosecution agreed that the age of the minor must be established. However, it has also agreed that nothing has been done to provide the real age," Mr Awosika said.

 

The Director of DPP, Babajide Martins, in his last written address dated May 31, however, urged the court to convict Baba Ijesha as charged.

 

He argued that one of the defence witnesses, Lawrence Ayeni told the court that the CCTV recording could not be manipulated.

 

"On the issue of the CCTV recording My Lord, the first defence witness(Ayeni) told this honourable court during cross-examination that it cannot be manipulated and that the content of CCTV cannot be changed.

 

"Most importantly, he said he cannot say if the sexual assault did not happen. These are the testimonies from the defence witness, My Lord.

 

"The defendant admitted to have been with the girl in both the incident that happened seven years ago and the one that happened in 2021.

 

"He also admitted to have sucked her fingers during the cross-examination,” he said.

 

He added that the charge of defilement could be meted out irrespective of the age below 18.

 

"We have compelling evidence of six prosecution witnesses which I must say are not contradictory," Mr Martins said.

 

The DPP said the defendant also admitted during the trial that he never mentioned that he was acting a script when the police detained him at Sabo and Panti.

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