Court Rules Baba Ijesha Guilty Of Sexual Crime Against Minor, Mandates 16-Year Imprisonment


Baba ijesha

Popular Nollywood actor Baba Ijesha whose real name is Olanrewaju James on Thursday, July 13, was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager between 2013 and 2014.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court issued the ruling which entails 16 years imprisonment for the embattled thespian.

Six counts of child defilement against Baba Ijesha include sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault by penetration, and indecent treatment of a child.

According to the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, who brought the accusations against the actor, the offences violated Sections 135, 137, 261, 202, 262, and 263 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2015, which mandates life in prison for offenders.

Baba Ijesha entered a not guilty plea to each charge. However, a videotape from closed-circuit television describing his contact with the victim—who was allegedly a minor—was played in court.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Taiwo said that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of all the charges against him.

However, she found the defendant guilty of two of the six counts against him.

The defendant was arraigned on June 24, 2021. During the trial, six prosecution witnesses testified against him.

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

During the court sittings, the defence counsel, Mr. Dada Awosika (SAN), urged the court not to ascribe any importance to exhibit A, which is a CCTV footage tendered by the persecution.

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He asked the court to dismiss and reject the evidence on the grounds that it had been tampered with.

The counsel argued that;

The original CCTV footage has been tampered with by the maker, Princess, and according to experts, was not tendered as exhibit in the original form.

He stated;

Exhibit A was illegally obtained as the defendant was invited because of an incident that happened seven years ago without any report made to the police.

It is our submission that the age of the alleged victim is an issue and the court is bound to call the biological mother of the victim who is alive to determine the age of the victim either by birth certificate, through the biological mother or scientifically to determine her age because it was not specified.

But the Lagos State Director of Prosecution, Dr. Babajide Martins, on his part, told the court that the testimonies of the seven prosecution witnesses cannot be thrown away.

Martins said:

During cross-examination of the CCTV expert, Lawrence Ayeni, he confirmed that CCTV footage cannot be manipulated or tampered with.

He urged the court to accept the testimonies of the experts who gave their best to help resolve the case.

Written addresses cannot be substituted to live testimonies of experts given in the court, and so we urge the court to sentence the defendant as charged.

The defendant admitted to having been with the girl in both the incident that happened seven years ago and the one that happened in 2021. He also admitted to having sucked her fingers during the cross-examination.

Baba Ijesha was accused of allegedly sexually molesting an adopted daughter of one of his female colleagues, Damilola Adekoya, also known as Princess.

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