The defence team of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, alias Baba Ijesha, yesterday, said the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage tendered as an exhibit did not show that the 14-year-old minor was sexually assaulted as being alleged by comedienne Damilola Adekoya, alias Princess.
A member of Baba Ijesha’s defence team, Mr Dada Awosika (SAN), made the assertion while cross-examining Princess, the foster mother of the minor. Awosika said that the defendant did not touch the minor sexually and that the CCTV footage was scripted.
“You will observe that when you see the CCTV footage being streamed, the defendant did not at any time move his hand towards any sensitive part of your daughter’s body. Nowhere did he touch her boobs, slip his hands into her private part or caress any other sensitive part,” Awosika said.
“If you call her breasts, her lips, her ears and her tongue not sensitive, then I do not agree with you. He sucked her ears, rubbed her laps, licked her whole body, sucked on her finger and grabbed her boobs again.”
Awosika alleged that Princess had invited the defendant to her home for a script conference. He queried why there was no audio on the footage to reveal the instructions Princess gave to her daughter and what she told Baba Ijesha.
“It was not a movie. My daughter was trying to record him on her phone and you can clearly see him trying to grab the phone from her. I noticed him talking to her and I noticed her removing his shoes,”
However, the defence counsel said as part of the script being played, the minor in the footage went to get some water for the defendant to drink and comfortably sat beside him when she returned. While responding on why she, being aware of an earlier allegation of molestation against the defendant, left her underage daughter with him, Princess said, “The initial plan was for me, my mum and my foster daughter to confront him, but we felt he could become violent if we should confront him and I decided to set up the CCTV camera that day.
“A few minutes to his arrival, my mother developed cold feet and felt like a grandmother she could not be able to be calm talking to him, so I was inadvertently left alone with my daughter. I could not believe that he would repeat the same action against my daughter knowing full well that she is now 14 years old and can speak for herself and no longer seven years ago when he shut her up.”
Also, during cross-examination, Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN) alleged that the 14-year-old minor was molested by Princess’ neighbour and her security guard. Princess said she regarded the alleged neighbour as a brother and ran a haulage business with.
Responding to why the neighbour was arrested by the police in April, Princess said:
“He was arrested because I reported him to the police in December 2020, when he attempted to sexually harass my daughter. He did not molest her. He harassed her. He put his hand on her lap and told her to put her hands on his penis and when she refused she screamed. I reported it to the police when I found out.”
Princess said the security guard did not molest her daughter, but that he exposed himself indecently to the child. She said the security guard also had a drinking habit and that she had fired him before the revelations that he had molested her daughter came to light.
After the defence counsel finished cross-examining Princess, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), informed the court that the state would be presenting the survivor as its second witness. The DPP said that she would be invoking the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL), which protect the identity of minors in defilement cases. Adeyemi requested that members of the press and public leave the courtroom during the victim’s testimony, and the DPP obliged her, leaving only lawyers and court registrars. The case was adjourned till August 11 and 12 for the continuation of trial.
Baba Ijesha is facing a six-count charge of alleged defilement of a minor. The prosecution said that the defendant committed the offences in 2013, 2014 and on April 19, at the Iwaya, Yaba area of Lagos. The offences contravened Sections 135, 259, 262, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.