By Olajide Meseko
The video of the 14-year-old minor allegedly defiled by a popular Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, also known as Baba Ijesha, was played at an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday.
The video was a recording of the child forensic interview conducted on May 15 by Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode, a child expert and Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation.
The video was played during the cross-examination of Ajayi-Kayode by the defence counsel, Babatunde Ogala (SAN).
During the interview, the minor described the interaction she had with Baba Ijesha on April 19, when she met him at her foster mother’s house.
The minor said when Baba Ijesha came into the house, he initially acted as if he was having a phone conversation, then he began checking the apartment to know whether anyone was home before he approached her.
“He said, ‘You’re a smart young girl, my baby. Do you have a boyfriend? I said no, and he said since you do not have a boyfriend, now that you’re much more mature, you’re now mine; I am your boyfriend.’
“He said, ‘I used to teach you some things when you were small.’ I asked him what things so that I could record him with my phone.
“My phone was under the throw pillow because I thought he wanted to confess to what he did seven years ago, but I was unable to record him.
“He said, ‘Don’t you remember me and you used to play together; I used to teach you some things when you were small; me and you had a contract.’ I asked him what contract?
“He asked me to sit on his legs and I said no and he said, ‘You that when you were small, you were not afraid. Now you’re afraid,’” the minor said.
The minor then told Ajayi-Kayode that Baba Ijesha started touching her sexually and asked her to bring some water.
“When I went to the kitchen, he also followed me and it was at this point that my mother and the other men, the CCTV company staff, came in,” she said.
Earlier, the minor narrated to Ajayi-Kayode what transpired when the Nollywood actor allegedly defiled her seven years ago.
She said the first incident occurred when Baba Ijesha came to visit her sick foster mother when she was seven years old.
According to her, she was sitting on the carpet watching cartoons while he sat on the couch.
She said Baba Ijesha asked her to remove her underwear, while he brought out his private parts and asked her to wriggle her waist while sitting on his laps.
“My concentration was on the cartoon I was watching; I couldn’t remember how long I was on his laps before I felt some wetness.
“He cleaned himself with a handkerchief and asked me to clean myself up and I went to the bathroom to clean myself up with a towel,” she said.
The minor said Baba Ijesha told her not to tell anyone about what transpired between them.
She told Ajayi-Kayode that the next day, Baba Ijesha came to the house with some fruits for her foster mother and she was asked to pick up the fruits from his car.
“The car was parked at a T-junction and there was a wall and a gutter there; no one was on the other side.
“The fruits were on the back seat; he opened the door in front and asked me to take the fruits.
“When I stretched to pick the fruits from the back seat, he put the car key into my private parts, and at the same time, he was trying to kiss me. After this incident, I did not see him again until seven years later,” she said.
During the interview, the child expert gave the minor male and female dolls to depict how the defendant allegedly molested her seven years ago.
Using the dolls for narration, the survivor described where the defendant sat and invited her to sit on his laps.
The child gave a demonstration of how the molestation happened with the observation of Ajayi-Kayode.
Under cross-examination by the lead defence team, Mrs Ajayi-Kayode told the court that she was a qualified lawyer and certified child forensic expert trained abroad.
She also said she was not a child advocate but a child forensic expert who had received training on child psychology and development.
She maintained that the brain of the minor was well developed to recall events that took place seven years ago, adding that the minor gave a good account of what happened to her seven years ago without interference.
When asked how she was able to determine if the minor was telling the truth, she said she only asked her open-ended questions.
Actress and comedienne, Damilola Adekoya, also known as Princess, the foster mother of the minor, and Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo, were present in court to observe the proceedings.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, for continuation of trial.