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JUST IN: Baba Ijesha’s sexual assault trial suffers setback over witness absence

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The trial of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Imiyinka, popularly called Baba Ijesha, has been stalled at the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, following the prosecutor’s inability to present the two witnesses expected to testify against the actor.

Of the two witnesses, one was said to be a personnel of the Nigerian Police and had been redeployed by the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, outside Lagos State for other assignments.

Aside from the law enforcement officer, the prosecution team of the Lagos State Government has told the court that one of the witnesses set to testify against the actor was scared to appear and narrate his encounter with the him.

During the court proceedings on Friday, state counsel, Yusuf Sule, made the disclosure and appealed that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourn the case, to allow adequate preparation of the witnesses.

“My lord, the first witness is a police officer, he could not come to court today because he has been transferred and needs to get permission from where he was posted.

“The second witness could not come to court; he is jittery, he is scared to come to court. My lord, we will ensure that all the witnesses are in court by next week Friday,” the prosecutor added.

Following the submission, Justice Taiwo adjourned the case until Nov. 19 for continuation of trial and directed the prosecutors to ensure that the witnesses were available for progress of the case.

The presence of the two witnesses expected to be available during next sitting would increase the number of witnesses that were said to have testified against him to seven.

Among the five witnesses that have testified against Baba Ijesha include the alleged victim and her foster mother, actress and comedienne, Damilola Adekoya popularly called Princess.

The others were a child expert, Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode; a medical doctor, Dr Aniekan Makanjuola; and a police officer, ASP Wahab Kareem.

Omiyinka is facing a six-count charge bordering on indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration

The offences allegedly contravened by the actor’s sexual abuse action were Sections 135, 259, 262, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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