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‘BABA IJESHA DEFILED MINOR’ – CHILD FORENSIC INTERVIEW EXPERT TELLS COURT

The Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded to prevent child sexual abuse and provide emergency intervention for children, who is a child interview expert, Mrs. Anike Ajayi-Kayode, on Tuesday 28 September 2021, narrated before an Ikeja Special Offences Court how Nollywood actor Omiyinka Olanrewaju alias Baba Ijesha allegedly groomed and defiled a minor.

While testifying as to the third prosecution witness, Ajayi-Kayode told the court that she was a certified child forensic interview specialist, and had participated in over 25 child forensic interviews.

Omiyinka Olurewaju alias Baba Ijesha in court

When led in evidence by Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ajayi-Kayode said that the alleged victim was relaxed, cooperative, and could recall events when she was being interviewed.

The clinical presentation of child sexual abuse was quite evident. The perpetrator engaged the child in sexual activity when she was seven years old, on two occasions. “On the 19th of April 2021, he sexually harassed her by touching her body”.

He told her: |I touched you some years back, you are so grown, so developed. Do you have a boyfriend? We have some unfinished business“.

“These are the clinical presentations of child sexual abuse. These are the dynamics of child sexual abuse and the modus operandi of perpetrators – inculcation of secrecy, intimidation, threat or coercion,” she said.

The expert noted that child sexual abuse involved only the victim and the perpetrator, adding that because of his or her vulnerability, a child might not be able to comprehend the magnitude of the offense.

Ajayi-Kayode said that after the interview, she drafted a forensic interview report.

A copy of the report was presented to the court by the prosecution as evidence. And was marked as Exhibit G.

Baba Ijesha

The witness also said that the forensic interview was digitally recorded. Flash drives containing the digital forensic interview of the minor were also tendered in evidence by the prosecution and were marked Exhibits H and H1.

“My conclusion is that she narrated the whole truth, she was tenacious, she was bold and relaxed,” the expert said.

At the start of proceedings, the defense had sought an adjournment due to the absence of lead counsel Mr. Babatunde Ogala (SAN), and Mr. Dada Awosika (SAN).

A member of the defense team, Mr. N.A. Adeyemi said that Ogala, in a letter dated Sept. 27, had asked for an adjournment of proceedings because he would be unavoidably absent. However, the DPP opposed the request for an adjournment.

Consequently, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo ordered that the trial should proceed with the third prosecution witness (Ajayi-Kayode) giving evidence.

The judge adjourned the case to Oct. 20 for cross-examination of the witness.

Actress and comedienne Damilola Adekoya (alias Princess), the foster mother of the minor, and Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo were present in court during the proceedings.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the embattled actor faces a six-count charge bordering on the indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration, and sexual assault by penetration.

The alleged offenses contravene 135, 259, 262, 263, and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The actor was present in court with his legal team.

Story: Hilda Katu

CLICK NAIJA 2021

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