Guilty or not guilty, the Ikeja Special Offences Court said it would decide on the case of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, aka Baba Ijesha, on June 14, 2022.
The comic actor is facing a six-count charge bothering on defilement of a minor.
When the hearing of the case was resumed on Monday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo swiftly adjourned the case for judgment after the prosecution and defence counsel had adopted their final written addresses.
Baba Ijesha was slammed with charges 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).
Though the accused had in several sittings pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, the court would determine his fate next week.
Defence counsel, Dada Awosika, in adopting his final written address dated May 12 and filed on May 16, urged the court to dismiss the suit and discharge the defendant.
In his argument earlier, Awosika maintained that the footage of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) was illegally obtained. He said: “The exhibit was not tendered by the maker. It was tendered by Princess, the complainant.”
He further argued that the footage presented at the court as an exhibit had been tampered with, especially since the defendant did not go to the complainant’s house uninvited. Awosika added that this was even more strange as he was accused of a crime seven years ago, which was not reported to the police.
He further submitted that the alleged confessional statement of the defendant failed the provision of Section 9 (3 ) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State 2021.
He appealed to the court to look into the facts and immediately discredit the confessional statement, noting that the defendant moved in a jiffy to participate in a short skit that put him in trouble.
Speaking about the age of the girl in question, Awosika said Exhibits D and E presented are not complementing each other.
He said: “It is our submission, My Lord, that the court is bound to call the biological mother inside the box to tell us her real age or her birth certificate or scientific evidence is tendered to ascertain the age but none was done.
“The prosecution agreed that the age of the minor must be established. However, it has also agreed that nothing has been done to provide the real age,” Awosika added.
The Director of DPP, Babajide Martins, in his last written address dated May 31, however, urged the court to convict Baba Ijesha as charged.
He argued that one of the defence witnesses, Lawrence Ayeni told the court that the CCTV recording could not be manipulated.
“On the issue of the CCTV recording My Lord, the first defence witness(Ayeni) told this honourable court during cross-examination that it cannot be manipulated and that the content of CCTV cannot be changed.
“Most importantly, he said he cannot say if the sexual assault did not happen. These are the testimonies from the defence witness, My Lord.
“The defendant admitted to have been with the girl in both the incident that happened seven years ago and the one that happened in 2021.
“He also admitted to have sucked her fingers during the cross-examination,” he said.
He added that the charge of defilement could be meted out irrespective of the age below 18. “We have compelling evidence of six prosecution witnesses which I must say are not contradictory,” Martins said.