By Yetunde Ojo
A child forensic expert, Mrs Anike Ajayi-Kayode on Tuesday told an Ikeja Sexual Offences Court how Nollywood actor Olanrewaju Omiyinka James (alias Baba Ijesha) allegedly engaged his victim, a minor (names withheld) twice in sexual activities. She also told the court how the actor groomed his victim before defiling her.
Mrs Ajayi-Kayode, the Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation, told the court that the case of Omiyinka was referred to her by the Special Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Lagos State Command, Nigerian Police Force Forensic Investigation.
She was led in evidence by Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, the Director Public Prosecution(DPP). Mrs Ajayi-Kayode said the outcome of her forensic Investigation revealed that “the perpetrator engaged the child in sexual activities twice when she was seven years old.”
The witness is a certified child forensic interview specialist who had participated in over 25 child forensic interviews. She said that the survivor was relaxed, cooperative and was able to recall events that happened in the past.
She said the perpetrator reminded his victim that he touched her some years back and that she has grown up and developed. She said he asked her: “Do you have a boyfriend? We have unfinished business’.
Mrs Ajayi-Kayode told the court the child told her that on the first occasion, her aggressor told her to “remove her pant, sit her on his lap and rub his manhood on her body” and instructed her not to tell anybody.
She said the child told her that on the second occasion which was on April 19, the perpetrator “inserted his car keys into her virgina” and also told her not to tell anybody.
The child expert told the court that the attributes exhibited by the defendant were the dynamics of child sexual abusers and the modus operandi of perpetrators which involves “secrecy, intimidation, threat or coercion”.
She said the defendants attributes were also “similar to that exhibited by child abusers all over the world” due to vulnerability of their victims.
The child expert said after interviewing the child, she conducted forensic Investigation on her and wrote report on her findings adding that this has been compressed into a flash drive. Thereafter, the prosecution sought the court’s permission to tender the flash drive and the report before the court.
The defence did not object to the request.
The court admitted in evidence the flash drive and Child forensic interview report prepared by the witness and the items were marked exhibit H and H1.
Also marked exhibit G was the clinical presentation on the interview conducted with the survivor.
Earlier, there was a mild drama in court when Egbeyemi attempted to seek adjournment in the matter. Egbeyemi at resumed proceeding told the court he had a letter from Mr Babatunde Ogala SAN and Dada Awosika SAN requesting for an adjournent.
He said Ogala was indisposed while Awosika had travelled out of country.
But the prosecution opposed the application for adjournment by the defence.
Adeyemi reminded the court that the case against the defendant was a criminal matter which takes precedence over any other matter. She argued that it is not fashionable for the defence to be asking for adjournment for the senior lawyers adding that since he was in court to hold brief for them, he should be in possession of the facts of the case.
Citing several authorities, the prosecution urged the court to hold that the defence counsel has facts of the case and order proceeding into the matter. She also urged the court to hold that no party can hold the court to ransom and seek adjournment at his whims and caprice.
At this stage , Justice Yetunde Taiwo asked the court registrar to clarified when messages were sent to counsels on dates fixed for hearing.
The registrar said text messages were sent on August 29 and September 26 and that the senior lawyers replied that the dates were okay for them for trial.
Justice Taiwo rejected their application for adjournment consequent upon which the prosecution presented its first witness.
The matter has been adjourned to October 20 and 21 for cross examination of the forensic expert by the defence.
Baba Ijesha was arraigned on June 24 and is charged with a six counts bordering on defilement of a minor.
According to the charge, the defendant “sometime between 2013 and 2014, sexually abused the complainant (name withheld), then aged seven, by inserting his car keys into her vagina.
“ He also placed her on his laps, touched her in a sexual manner and rubbed his penis on her body.
“On April 19, he indecently treated and sexually assaulted the complainant, now 14, by sucking her fingers and touching her in a sexual manner.
“He also attempted to have sexual intercourse with the complainant by unbuckling his belt and unzipping his trousers after sexually assaulting her,” the DPP told the court.
The offence, the prosecution said, contravened the provisions of sections 135, 259, 262, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.