March 04, (THEWILL) – The trial of Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, resumed on Friday at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, with the defendant telling the court that Damilola Adekoya, the guardian of his alleged victim, was his former lover.
Baba Ijesha, who was testifying in his own defence also told Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo that Adekoya, popularly known as Princess, is after him because he ended his relationship with her.
The embattled actor is facing six counts bordering on allegations of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.
He had pleaded not guilty to the six counts.
While being led in evidence by his counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dada Awosika, Baba Ijesha said, “We were dating, my lord; she always slept in my room. We slept together, I touched her, she touched me, she kissed me and I kissed her.”
On how he met the comedienne, the defendant claimed that he received a phone call from Princess while he was an on-air personality on Radio Lagos and LTV 8.
He further testified that, “She said she was my number one fan and she asked me to promote her on my programme. That is how we started.”
“She told me she wanted to join the Yoruba section because the English section is bad. She also asked me to introduce her to my producer.”
The defendant said that in the course of the relationship, he met Princess’ mother and apart from giving him a nickname, she also advised him to take care of her daughter despite her stubbornness.
“I promised to promote her, I cannot allow anything to affect her career, I cannot hurt a woman, I’ve never done it in my life”, he said.
Narrating what transpired in 2014, the day he allegedly sexually molested Princess’ foster daughter with a car key, he said that in October 2014, a day after he returned from visiting his wife in the United Kingdom, he received a phone call from Princess.
He said the comedienne informed him that she was battling ill-health and needed some fruit.
According to him, he bought some fruit and took them to her home.
“Immediately I opened the door to her house, I saw her half-naked and I told her that I was outside, your fruit is inside the car.
“A few minutes later, the young girl (Princess’ foster daughter) came to pick the fruits from the car; she even met some area boys asking me for money. I gave her the fruits and she left”, he said.
While answering questions from the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr Jide Martins, the defendant denied defiling the minor with his car key during the visit.
He, however, admitted that he had known the child since she was seven years old, adding that he had visited Princess at home seven years ago.
“Princess is not my benefactor, she is the one who benefitted from me”, he said.
Baba Ijesha, who at a point broke down in tears during the cross-examination, said that the evidence he gave in court in his defence was not an afterthought.
He described Princess as a jilted lover, insisting that much evidence existed to show that he and Princess were in a relationship, though such evidence was not tendered in court.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter to March 11 for the continuation of defence.