Nigerian actor, James Olanrewaju aka Baba Ijesha, has reacted to his confessional statement in the child defilement case brought against him by the Lagos State government.
Baba Ijesha said he signed the confessional statement under duress. He made this known to Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos Special Sexual Offences Court, Ikeja, during his trial-within-trial, Tribune reports.
According to the actor, he was beaten with a stick, forced to sit on the floor before he signed the statement.
He said everything in the statement was dictated to the police by the comedienne and complainant, Ms Damilola Adekola a.k.a Princess.
The defendant was being led in evidence by one of his counsels, Dada Awosika (SAN) during a trial-within-trial of the voluntariness of his statement before Justice Taiwo.
“My cloth was torn, I was forced to sit on the ground. My body was shaking. They showed me the statement, I did not volunteer the statement. I was just asked to sign it. Princess dictated everything to them,” he said.
Under cross examination by the prosecuting counsel, Yusuf Sule, Baba Ijesha insisted he did not volunteer the statement but that the content was dictated to him by the police.
He also denied knowledge of the current residence of the complainant, insisting that only her former residence was known to him.
He however owned up to the names of his father, mother, primary and secondary schools attended, his age, dropping out of University of Lagos, Akoka when he could no longer cope with a course he was studying.
Baba Ijesha failed to respond when confronted by the prosecution that the IPO could not have known his details if he did not volunteer any information to her.
Earlier, Inspector Abigail, under examination by Awosika said the defendant freely volunteered his statement and that it was made without duress.
He was charged on six-count charges 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.