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Baba Ijesha’s minor defilement case gets court ruling December 15

Baba Ijesha 1

Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja, on Thursday fixed December 15 for ruling on the admissibility of the confessional statement of Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James aka Baba Ijesha who is standing trial for alleged child defilement, under the auspices of Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.

The judge fixed the date after the prosecution and defense teams adopted their written addresses on the trial-within-trial.

It would be recalled that during the court proceedings on November 19, the defense team led by Mr. Babatunde Ogala (SAN) and Mr. Dada Awosika (SAN), objected to Baba Ijesha’s confessional statement being admitted as evidence.

The objection was predicated on the ground that the Nollywood actor’s statement to the police was made under duress.

Justice Taiwo later granted their request for a trial-within-trial to determine the voluntariness of the statement.

After the trial-within-trial, she adjourned the matter for the adoption of written addresses.

During Thursday’s proceedings, Awosika, while adopting his written address, told the court that the defense had filed a response to the prosecution’s claim.

He rejected the prosecution’s claim that the defendant was not tortured.

The counsel, who cited Section 35(1) of the Evidence Act, argued that in criminal matters, there are two burdens of proof, noting that “one can change and the other doesn’t change.”

He said the defendant had put forward facts that substantiated the claim on the use of oppression before the court.

He said: “It is for the court to look at the evidence by the defendant that he was handcuffed, beaten and forced to sit on the ground.

“Does that not qualify as evidence of oppression?

“Even from the prosecution’s evidence, the defendant was sitting on the ground and shaking; one cannot make a statement under that condition.”

He urged the court to discountenance the submission of the prosecution.

Responding, the lead state prosecutor, Mr. Yusuf Sule, contended that there was no evidence before the court that the defendant was oppressed while making his confessional statement.

Sule said the defendant told the court that he was beaten before he was brought to the police station.

He accused the defendant of trying to mislead the court.

Sule urged the court to uphold that the actor’s confessional statement was voluntarily made.

Following the adoption of the written addresses, Taiwo ordered a witness summon to be issued for a prosecution witness, Mr. Brown Asuquo, mandating him to appear in court at the next adjourned date.

The Lagos State government arraigned Baba Ijesha on a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.


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