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Alleged Rape: Baba Ijesha, minor were acting out script – Witness

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The first witness to testify in Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka alias Baba Ijesha’s defence on Thursday said the actor and the minor he allegedly raped were both acting out a script.

The witness also claimed that some videos were edited.

Lawrence Ayeni, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering, who is also experienced in video production as well as CCTV installation and maintenance, was the witness.

Mr Ayeni told Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Sexual and Special Offenses Court in Ikeja that one of the CCTV recordings of the alleged encounter was tampered with at the point of editing the video.

Exhibit one
Among the four videos played in open court were of Baba Ijesha and the 14-year-old in the home of her foster mother, comedienne, Damilola Adekoya alias Princess recorded in April 2021 before his arrest.

They were seated on a couch for a while, then they both walked out. When they returned, Baba Ijesha offered her a cup to drink from, kissed her hand and drew her close to him. They spoke but their voices were inaudible.

The witness, who was led in his evidence by the co-lead defence counsel, Babatunde Ogala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the CCTV has no audio because it was a fibre camera that was used.

He said: “The voices you hear are of those persons who recorded the encounter, directing the script and later edited the recording. Baba Ijesha is acting what the director asked him to.

“The girl often looked at the camera so she was acting out what she was told to. At the point of copying the contents into a computer, errors could have been inputed or tampered with”.

Exhibit two
The other videos viewed were when Baba Ijesha was seen pleading for forgiveness from the minor’s foster mother, Princess, when she accosted him.

This was when he was arrested and his statement taken during custody.

But during a cross-examination led by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Babajide Martins, the witness admitted that the CCTV footage cannot be manipulated at the time of the recording.

The witness said the speculations of tampering with the recording or using various devices to record cannot change its contents or what was said.

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Further hearing was fixed for March 4, 2022.

Background
The trial has been trailed with several shocking revelations from forensic reports and medical reports conducted on the survivor and police reports.

The court is yet to hear from Baba Ijesha’s witnesses.

Baba Ijesha was arrested on April 22 and later released on May 17.

He was charged on six counts of sexual assault by penetration, indecent treatment of a child, and sexual assault, which contravene sections 259, 135, and 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011, as well as 135, 263, and 262 Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

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