News

April 23, 2024

Baba Ijesha begs A’Court to set aside conviction for sexual assault

Baba Ijesha begs A'Court to set aside conviction for sexual assault

Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, aka Baba Ijesha

…Court reserves judgment

By Innocent Anaba

The appeal by Nollywood actor,  Olanrewaju James, aka Baba Ijesha, challenging his conviction by a Lagos State High Court over the sexual assault of a minor, has been adjourned by a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos.

The appeal court reserved for judgment, the appeal, yesterday, after hearing arguments of parties.

Justice Folasade Ojo is leading the three-man panel of the appellate court. Other members of the panel are Justice Abdullahi Bayero and Justice Paul Bassi.

Baba Ijesha in the appeal, had asked the court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

Recall that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, now retired of the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court, had on July 14, 2022,  convicted and sentenced Baba Ijesha to five years imprisonment over the sexual assault of a minor.

The judge found him guilty of four counts out of six counts, of the charges preferred against him by the Lagos State government.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, Baba Ijesha through his counsel, Mr Kayode Olabiran, appealed,  praying the appellate court to declare that his conviction and sentence were done in error.

At the hearing of the appeal, yesterday, Baba Ijesha’s counsel argued that the prosecution could not prove that Baba Ijesha sexually assaulted the victim.

Olabiran argued, “The charge itself is centered on defilement of a minor but the prosecution couldn’t prove the age of the victim.

“The appellant was set up. The appellant is an actor. He acted in a script that he was invited to act by his colleague (PW1), Damilola Adekoya.

“(PW1) Damilola Adekoya, asked the appeallant to come and act a script. It is in the statement of PW1, at Panti Police Station, unknowingly to the appellant there was a CCTV in the sitting room.

“Whatever we watched in that movie was a script by the producer and the video of the scene of the acting was tendered by the prosecution.

“Based on his confessional statement as at the day of the arrest, he was under duress and there were so many people who were beating him that was when he confessed to the offence,” he said.

Olabiran urged the court to allow the appeal and  set aside the judgment of the lower court, delivered on July 14, 2022.

Responding, Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Dr. Babajide Martins urged the court to dismiss the appeal as it’s lacking in merit and also a misconception.

He urged the court to affirm the judgment of the lower court delivered on July 14, 2022, which convicted Baba Ijesha of indecent treatment of a child and sexual assault.

According to him, “At the time she (victim) gave evidence in 2021, she was 17 years old, which still makes her a child.”