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Forensic expert tells court how Baba Ijasha defiled minor

Baba Ijesha, (r) in court with Kehinde Aghedo

An Ikeja Sexual Offences Court has heard how Olanrewaju James (alias Baba Ijesha) allegedly engaged his victim, a minor (names withheld) in sexual activities.

The court was also told how the Nollywood actor groomed his victim before defiling her.

A child forensic expert and the Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation, Mrs Anike Ajayi-Kayode told the court that the case of Omiyinka was referred to her by the Special Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Police Force forensic Investigation.

Led in evidence by the prosecuting team, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Ajayi-Kayode said the outcome of her forensic Investigation revealed that the perpetrator engaged the child in sexual activities twice when she was seven years old.

The witness who is a certified child forensic interview specialist told the court that she had participated in over 25 child forensic interviews.

She said that the survivor was relaxed, cooperative and was able to recall events that happened in the past.

She said the perpetrator reminded his victim that he touched her some years back and that she has grown up and developed.

According to her, the outcome of her forensic Investigation revealed that the perpetrator engaged the child in sexual activities.

Mrs Ajayi-Kayode told the court the child told her that on the first occasion, her aggressor told her to “remove her pant, sit her on his lap and rub his manhood on her body” and instructed her not to tell anybody.

She said the child told her that on the second occasion which was on April 19, the perpetrator “inserted his car keys into her Virgina”and also told her not to tell anybody.

Dynamics of child sexual abusers

The child expert told the court that the attributes exhibited by the defendant were the dynamics of child sexual abusers and the modus operandi of perpetrators which involves “secrecy, intimidation, threat or coercion”.

She said the defendant’s attributes were also “similar to that exhibited by child abusers all over the world” due to the vulnerability of their victims.

The child expert said after interviewing the child, she conducted a forensic Investigation on her and wrote a report on her findings adding that this has been compressed into a flash drive.

Thereafter, the prosecution sought the court’s permission to tender the flash drive and the report before the court.

The defence did not object to the request.

The court admitted in evidence the flash drive and Child forensic interview report prepared by the witness and the items were marked exhibit H and H1.

Also marked exhibit G was the clinical presentation on the interview conducted with the survivor.

Earlier, there was a mild drama in court as Egbeyemi made attempt to seek adjournment.

Egbeyemi at resumed proceeding told the court he had a letter from Mr Babatunde Ogala SAN and Dada Awosika SAN requesting for an adjournment.

He said Ogala was indisposed while Awosika had travelled out of the country.

But the prosecution opposed the application for adjournment by the defence.

Criminal matter

Adeyemi reminded the court that the case against the defendant was a criminal matter which takes precedence over any other matter.

She argued that it is not fashionable for the defence to be asking for an adjournment for the senior lawyers adding that Since he was in court to hold brief for them, he should be in possession of the facts of the case.

Citing several authorities, the prosecution urged the court to hold that the defence counsel has facts of the case and order proceeding into the matter.

She also urged the court to hold that no party can hold the court to ransom and seek adjournment at his whims and capris.

At this stage, Justice Taiwo asked the court registrar to clarified when messages were sent to counsels on dates fixed for hearing.

He said text messages were sent on August 29 and September 26 and that the senior lawyers replied that the dates were okay for them for trial.

Justice Taiwo rejected their application for adjournment consequent upon which the prosecution presented its first witness.

The matter has been adjourned to October 20 and 21 for cross-examination of the forensic expert by the defence.

Reporting by Wahab Akinlade; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino