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‘Baba Ijesha facing another allegation of child defilement,’ Police officer tells court

A prosecution witness, ASP Wahab Kareem, on Friday told the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja that Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James aka Baba Ijesha was facing another allegation of child defilement.

Kareem, who is attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba, Lagos, testified as the fifth prosecution witness in James’s trial for alleged defilement of a minor.

Led in evidence by the state counsel, Yusuf Sule, the police officer said: “During our investigation, another girl (name withheld) came forward and said the defendant assaulted her when she was 12 years old.

“We interviewed her and the defendant behind the counter, and he vehemently denied the allegation.

“The girl said the incident occurred at Agah area of Ikorodu, and we told a representative of the defendant to follow us to the house, and we met the landlord.

“The landlord showed us an apartment and said: `This is where Baba Ijesha used to stay.

“Meanwhile, the defendant had denied living in that area.”

Following the testimony, the statement of Baba Ijesha’s former landlord, Alhaji Jameel, and his statement at the SCID was admitted in evidence.

During proceedings, a video recording of the actor at the SCID admitting to sexually assaulting the foster daughter of a comedienne, Damilola Adekoya alias Princess, was played.

“I harassed her, I touched her hand and I licked her hand,” the defendant said in the clip.”

Earlier, Kareem testified that he was asked to take over the case investigation from a team due to complaints from the comedienne.

He added: “I was asked to take over the matter from Team A because the complainant (Princess) had complained about the closeness between the defendant and members of Team A.

“After the conclusion of the investigation, I transferred the file to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.”

While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), the witness said that he never visited the crime scene, adding that the other minor who also accused the defendant of defilement was brought to the police by Adekoya.

He said the statement of the defendant’s former landlord was recorded at the residence and not at a police station.

He told the court that the statement was taken to his superior, CSP Margaret Ighodalo.

When asked to show where his superior countersigned the landlord’s statement as required by law, the witness said the landlord’s statement was not countersigned.

The police officer admitted that a lawyer was not present when Baba Ijesha made his initial statement at the SCID.

He added that the actor was not taken to Ikorodu to counter the other allegation of child defilement for security reasons.

“The defendant was the one who asked his brother to take us to Ikorodu. We did not take him there because of security reasons; his name was all over the news on televisions and radios.

“He could have been hijacked from us, that is why we told him to nominate someone and he nominated his brother to go with us,” Kareem concluded.

Baba Ijesha was arraigned by the state government on a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.

The offences contravened Sections 135, 259, 262, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case till November 12.

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