Nollywood Actor Baba Ijesha Appeals Conviction for Sexual Assault of Minor

Nollywood actor Baba Ijesha challenges his conviction for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, as the Court of Appeal reserves judgment on his appeal. The case highlights the need for justice for victims of sexual assault, especially minors.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Nollywood Actor Baba Ijesha Appeals Conviction for Sexual Assault of Minor

Nollywood Actor Baba Ijesha Appeals Conviction for Sexual Assault of Minor

Olanrewaju James, a Nollywood actor popularly known as Baba Ijesha, has challenged his conviction by the Lagos State High Court for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old minor between 2013 and 2014. The Court of Appeal in Lagos has reserved judgment on the appeal after hearing arguments from both parties.

Baba Ijesha was sentenced to five years in prison on July 14, 2022, by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court. He was found guilty of four out of six counts of indecent treatment of a child and sexual assault.

In his appeal, Baba Ijesha's lawyer, Kayode Olabiran, argued that the prosecution failed to prove the age of the victim and that the actor was set up and forced to confess under duress. Olabiran claimed that the incident was a script that Baba Ijesha was requested to perform by his colleague, Damilola Adekoya.

However, the Director of Public Prosecution, Dr. Babajide Martins, urged the court to dismiss the appeal, stating that it lacks merit and is based on a misconception. Martins maintained that the victim was 14 years old at the time of the offense and that Baba Ijesha's confession was permissible evidence.

Why this matters: The case has garnered significant attention in Nigeria, highlighting the issue of sexual assault and the need for justice for victims, particularly minors. The outcome of the appeal could set a precedent for similar cases in the future and impact public perception of the Nigerian justice system's handling of sexual assault cases involving prominent individuals.

The Lagos State Police Command initially arrested Baba Ijesha on April 22, 2021, after announcing his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting the 14-year-old girl who was under the care of Nollywood actress Princess. A child forensic expert reported that the clinical report showed Baba Ijesha allegedly engaged the child in sexual activities when she was seven on two occasions and on one occasion inserted his car key into her vagina.

Key Takeaways

  • Nollywood actor Baba Ijesha challenges his conviction for sexually assaulting a minor.
  • Baba Ijesha was sentenced to 5 years in prison for indecent treatment and sexual assault.
  • Baba Ijesha's lawyer argues prosecution failed to prove victim's age and actor was set up.
  • Prosecution maintains victim was 14 and Baba Ijesha's confession was admissible evidence.
  • Case highlights need for justice in sexual assault cases, especially involving public figures.