Trial Of Baba Ijesha Stalled Due To Absence Of Prosecution Witnesses
The trial of Nollywood Actor, Olanrewaju James popularly known as Baba Ijesha was stalled at the Lagos State Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja, the state capital.
The case was on Friday adjourned till November 19 and December 2.
The adjournment was due to the absence of two witnesses for the Lagos State Government, the prosecution.
Counsel to the Lagos State Government, Yusuf Sule told Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo that one of the two witnesses that was due to testify, a police officer, had been posted out of the jurisdiction of the court.
Justice Taiwo told the prosecution to put its house in order and adjourned further hearing for November 19 and December 2.
Speaking to journalists, the defense team led by Mr Kayode Olabiran said he didn’t object to the development, noting that the Director of Public Prosecution, Olayinka Adeyemi, already informed them the day before.
Baba Ijesha is facing six counts bordering on allegations of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration, and sexual assault by penetration.
He has since pleaded not guilty to the six counts.
Baba Ijesha’s Trial
On the 24th of June, Baba Ijesha was arraigned before the court on six counts of attempted sexual assault, sexual assault of a minor, and indecent treatment of a child.
According to the charge, the defendant committed the offence in 2013, 2014 and on April 19 at Iwaya, Yaba area of Lagos.
“Sometime between 2013 and 2014, the defendant sexually abused the complainant (name withheld), then aged seven, by inserting his car keys into her vagina, the charge sheet read.
“He also placed her on his laps, touched her in a sexual manner, and rubbed his penis on her body.
“On April 19, he indecently treated and sexually assaulted the complainant, now 14, by sucking her fingers and touching her in a sexual manner.
“He also attempted to have sexual intercourse with the complainant by unbuckling his belt and unzipping his trousers after sexually assaulting her,” the DPP told the court.
The offence, the prosecution said, contravened the provisions of sections 135, 259, 262, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Baba Ijesha pleaded not guilty to the six counts and was granted bail in the sum of N2million with two sureties.
At the last sitting of the court on August 11th, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo had admitted in evidence of two videotapes tendered by the prosecution through comedian, Adekola Adekanye also known as Princess. The tapes allegedly contained clips of the defendant molesting the victim.
The 14-year-old victim (name withheld), had also given her testimony behind closed doors because of the law protecting minors from undue public exposure.