Alleged Sexual Assault: Court Watches Video of Victim in Baba Ijesha’s Trial

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The Lagos State Sexual Offences Court sitting in Ikeja has watched the video of the 14-year-old girl allegedly defiled by Nollywood Actor, James Olanrewaju popularly known as Baba Ijesha.

The video was a taped recording of the child forensic interview conducted on May 15, 2021.

The interview was conducted by Mrs. Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode; a child expert and the Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation.

The video showed the victim seated on a sofa and talking to the child expert, about how Baba Ijesha allegedly defiled her at her home and later inside his car.

Mrs. Ajayi-Kayode could be seen in the video calming her, telling her to relax, and feel free to answer questions or decline to answer any question she didn’t feel comfortable with.

In her responses to questions asked by Mrs. Ajayi-Kayode, the victim said she likes to read novels, watch cartoons and movies.

She recalled that 7 years ago, Baba Ijesha was a regular visitor to her house.

On the day of the alleged crime, she said her mother was out of the house and she was home alone watching a cartoon when the defendant came in.

She gave a description of the position of the settee, the shelf, and carpets in the sitting room.

Using female and male dolls for narration, the survivor described where the defendant sat after which he invited her to sit on his laps. She also used the dolls to describe how she was defiled by the defendant.

According to her, the defendant brought out his manhood and made her sit on it and after some time, she felt his wetness.

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After this, she said Baba Ijesha used a handkerchief to clean himself while she went to the bathroom and used water, soap, and a towel to clean herself.

She also said that the second day, the defendant came again to her house and told her mother that he had brought fruits for her.

Her mother then instructed her to follow him to his car to collect the fruits.

According to her, his car was parked farther away from their house and when they got to it, Baba Ijesha opened the passenger door in front and she had to kneel on the seat and stretch out to reach the fruits on the back seat.

The survivor said it was while she was in this position that the defendant inserted his car key into her vagina.

She said after this incident, she did not ṣee Baba Ijesha again for about seven years until April 19 this year when he suddenly appeared again ìn their new house.

The minor in the interview said when Baba Ijesha came into the home this time; he initially acted like he was having a phone conversation; adding that the defendant began checking the apartment to know whether anyone was home before he approached her.

“He said you’re a smart young girl, my baby. Do you have a boyfriend? I said no and he said since you do not have a boyfriend now that you’re much more mature, you’re now mine, I am your boyfriend.

“He reminded me of the events of seven years agọ. He called me to come and sit on his legs and I said ‘No’. He said when I was small, I was not afraid of him, but now you are afraid.”

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The child also told Mrs. Ajayi-Kayode that Baba Ijesha again began touching her sexually; after which he asked her to bring him some water.

“When I went to the kitchen, he followed me…It was at this point that my mother and the other men (CCTV company staff) came in,” she said.

At this stage, the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi stopped playing the video clip on the orders of Justice Toyin Taiwo

Under cross-examination by the lead defence team, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), Mrs Ajayi-Kayode reminded the court that she was a qualified lawyer and certified child forensic expert, who was trained abroad.

She insisted that the brain of the child victim was well developed to recall events that took place 7 years ago.

She also maintained that the survivor gave a good account of what happened to her seven years ago without any interference.

Asked how she was able to determine if the survivor was telling the truth, she answered ìn the affirmative stressing that she only asked her open-ended questions.

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