The Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court has sentenced Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha, a Nollywood actor to 16 years imprisonment.
Delivering judgement, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, said that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of all the charges against him.
However, she found the defendant guilty of four of the six counts against him.
Omiyinka was found guilty of counts two, three, four and five.
For count two, he was jailed for three years; count three, five years; count four, three years and sentenced to five years for count five. The jail terms are to run concurrently for five years.
He was arraigned on June 24, 2021. During the trial, six prosecution witnesses testified against him. They were actress and comedienne, Princess, the 14-year-old minor, a child expert, Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode, and medical doctor, Dr Aniekan Makanjuola. Others were the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Wahab Kareem, and a policewoman, Inspector Abigail Omane.
Omiyinka faced six counts of child defilement that include indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, which proffered the charges against the actor, argued that the offences contravene Section 135, 137, 261, 202, 262 and 263 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2015, which stipulates life imprisonment for offenders.
Baba Ijesha pleaded not guilty to all the counts. However, a Closed-Circuit Television video recording detailing his relationship with the victim said to be a minor was played in court.
The DPP closed its case against the defendant on December 15, 2021, while Baba Ijesha called four witnesses and closed his defence on April 1.
The defence witnesses were Baba Ijesha (defendant) and Mr Lawrence Ayeni, an expert in video production and CCTV installation and maintenance. Mr Olukayode Olugbemi, a clinical psychologist and Mr Olukayode Ogunbanjo, the defendant’s friend and colleague also testified for the defence.
Mr Dada Awosika (SAN), the Defence Counsel, 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.
Awosika argued that the footage of the CCTV was illegally obtained.
He argued that the recording had been tampered with especially since the defendant did not go to the complainant’s house uninvited.
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.
Dr Babajide Martins, the Director of DPP, in his final written address dated May 31, however, urged the court to convict Baba Ijesha as charged.
He argued that one of the defence witnesses, Mr Lawrence Ayeni, told the court that the CCTV recording could not be manipulated.
On the issue of ACJL, he argued that the primary legislation supersedes the secondary legislation. He told the court that the definition of a child was anybody below the age of 18 years and that the prosecution had proven that the girl was below the age.
The DPP said the defendant also admitted during the trial that he never mentioned that he was acting a script when he was detained by the police at Sabo and Panti.