Olanrewaju James, alias Baba Ijesha Closes the defence
Olanrewaju James, alias Baba Ijesha, accused of defiling a 14-year-old minor has closed his defence before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Baba Ijesha is facing a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.
The charges were proffered against him by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions(DPP).
During Friday’s proceedings, the defence counsel, Mr Dada Awosika (SAN), notified the court that the fourth defence witness, Mr Olukayode Ogunbanjo, was the last witness in the trial.
“I wish to appeal to the court for the possible date of adoption of final written address,” Awosika said.
Earlier, Ogunbanjo who goes by the alias, ‘Pastor Jerosi’, in his evidence claimed that Baba Ijesha and the minor’s foster mother, Ms Damilola Adekoya, alias Princess, were in a relationship.
Led in evidence by a co-defence counsel, Mr Kayode Olabiran, Ogunbanjo told the court that he had worked with Baba Ijesha for over 15-years in the entertainment industry.
The witness, an actor and a comedian, told the court that Baba Ijesha was his friend and a colleague.
He revealed that Baba Ijesha got in contact with Princess during one of the shows he anchored called “Orisun”.
“We were about five persons that used to do the show together. On that day, while the show was going on, Princess called on the hotline that she wanted to join our programme.
“There was a day she called Baba Ijesha that he should come over to her place in Iwaya. I drove the car to her house in Iwaya.
“When we got there, Ijesha prostrated to her mother and the woman said ‘take good care of my daughter’.
“Baba Ijesha at that point revealed to me that he was dating Princess but she was taking the relationship too far,” the witness said.
Under cross-examination by the prosecution counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule, the witness, however, said he did not have any knowledge of what transpired inside the comedienne’s house.
“On April 19, 2021, I will be correct to say that you were not at No. 13 Wellbow St., Iwaya, as a result, you do not know what transpired inside Princess’s house?,” Sule asked.
“On April 19, 2021, I did not know what transpired inside the house as I was in Aguda in Surulere.
“All I know is what I have said. I was not inside the house. I do not have any knowledge of what happened in the house,” Ogunbanjo responded.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until June 6 for the adoption of final written address.
NAN reports that the defendant was arraigned on June 24, 2021. During the trial, six prosecution witnesses testified against him.
They are – actress and comedienne, Princess, the 14-year-old minor, a child expert, Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode, a medical doctor, Dr Aniekan Makanjuola, the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Wahab Kareem and a policewoman, Insp Abigail Omane.
The DPP closed its case against the defendant on Dec. 15, 2021 while Baba Ijesha opened his defence on Feb. 17.