September 28, (THEWILL) – A child forensic interview expert, Anike Ajayi-Kayode, on Tuesday, opened up before an Ikeja Special Offences Court how Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James (alias Baba Ijesha) allegedly groomed and defiled a minor (name withheld).
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Ajayi-Kayode is the Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded to prevent child sexual abuse and provide emergency intervention for children.
Testifying as the third prosecution witness, Ajayi-Kayode told the court that she was a certified child forensic interview specialist.
She stated that she had participated in over 25 child forensic interviews.
Led in evidence by Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Ajayi-Kayode stated that the alleged victim was relaxed, cooperative and could recall events when she was being interviewed.
She said, “The clinal presentation of child sexual abuse was quite evident. The perpetuator engaged the child in a sexual activity when she was seven years old, on two occasions.
“On the 19th of April 2021, he sexually harassed her, touching her body. He told her, ‘I touched you some years back, you are so grown, so developed. Do you have a boyfriend? We have some unfinished business’.
“These are the clinical presentations of child sexual abuse.
“These are the dynamics of child sexual abuse and the modus operandi of perpetuators – inculcation of secrecy, intimidation, threat or coercion.”
The expert stated that child sexual abuse involved only the victim and the perpetrator, adding that because of his or her vulnerability, a child might not be able to comprehend the magnitude of the offence.
According to Ajayi-Kayode, after the interview, she drafted a forensic interview report.
A copy of the report was presented to the court by prosecution as evidence and It was marked as Exhibit G.
Also, the witness also disclosed that the forensic interview was digitally recorded.
Flash drives which contain the digital forensic interview of the minor was also tendered in evidence by prosecution and were marked Exhibits H and H1.
“My conclusion is that she narrated the whole truth, she was tenacious, she was bold and relaxed,” the expert said.
At the commencement of proceedings, defence had sought an adjournment because of the absence of Lead counsel Babatunde Ogala (SAN) and Dada Awosika (SAN).