A child forensic interview expert has alleged that Baba Ijesha, embattled Nollywood actor, groomed and defiled a minor.
According to NAN, the practitioner, Anike Ajayi-Kayode, addressed the Ikeja special offences court on Tuesday.
Baba Ijesha has been in a legal tussle since he was accused of assaulting a 14-year-old minor.
He is facing a six-count charge bordering on the indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.
Ajayi-Kayode testified as a third prosecution witness and told the court that she was a certified child forensic interview specialist.
She said she had participated in over 25 child forensic interviews.
Led in evidence by Olayinka Adeyemi, the Lagos state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ajayi-Kayode said that the alleged victim was relaxed, cooperative, and could recall events when she was being interviewed.
“The clinal presentation of child sexual abuse was quite evident. The perpetrator engaged the child in sexual activity when she was seven years old, on two occasions,” she said.
“On the 19th of April 2021, he sexually harassed her, touching her body. He told her: ‘I touched you some years back, you are so grown, so developed. Do you have a boyfriend? We have some unfinished business’.
“These are the clinical presentations of child sexual abuse. These are the dynamics of child sexual abuse and the modus operandi of perpetrators inculcation of secrecy, intimidation, threat or coercion.”
Ajayi-Kayode noted that child sexual abuse involved only the victim and the perpetrator.
She added that because of his or her vulnerability, a child might not be able to comprehend the magnitude of the offence.
She also said that after the interview, she drafted a forensic interview report.
A copy of the report marked as exhibit G was presented to the court by the prosecution as evidence. The witness also said that the forensic interview was digitally recorded.
Flash drives containing the digital forensic interview of the minor was also tendered in evidence by the prosecution and was marked exhibits H and H1.
“My conclusion is that she narrated the whole truth, she was tenacious, she was bold and relaxed,” the expert said.
At the start of proceedings, the defence had sought an adjournment due to the absence of lead counsel Babatunde Ogala (SAN) and Dada Awosika (SAN).
N.A. Adeyemi, a member of the defence team, said that Ogala, in a letter dated September 27, had asked for an adjournment of proceedings because he would be unavoidably absent.
However, the DPP opposed the request for an adjournment.
Consequently, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, the presiding judge, ordered that the trial should proceed with the third prosecution witness (Ajayi-Kayode) giving evidence.
The judge adjourned the case to October 20 for cross-examination of the witness.