Baba Ijesha: CCTV recording of actor touching minor was a script – Defense witness tells court

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At the trial of Nolywood actor Baba Ijesha, who was charged with sexual assault on Thursday, the first defense counsel said parts of CCTV footage had been edited into the allegations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reviews that the witness, Mr Lawrence Ayeni, additionally testified earlier than an Ikeja Special Offences Court that the actor and the minor he allegedly defiled had been each performing out a script with inside the footage.

Ayeni, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering, stated that he turned into skilled in video manufacturing and CCTV set up and maintenance.

Led in evidence by co-lead defence counsel, Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN), the witness told the court that one of the CCTV recordings of the alleged encounter had been tampered with at the point of editing.

During his testimony, four videos were played on a projector in the courtroom.

One of the videos showed the defendant and the 14-year-old in the home of her foster mother, comedienne Damilola Adekoya alias Princess.

The CCTV footage was recorded in April 2021, shortly before the defendant’s arrest.

In the footage, the defendant and the minor were sitting on a couch for a while, then they walked out of view.

When they returned, the defendant offered her a cup to drink from, kissed her hand and drew her close to him. They were speaking but their voices could not be heard.

The witness said: “The CCTV has no audio because it was a fibre camera that was used.

“The voices you heard are of the 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 looks at the camera so she was acting out what she was told to.

“At the point of copying the content into a computer, errors could have been inputted or it got tampered with.”

The other videos showed the defendant pleading for forgiveness from Princess when she accosted him.

Another footage showed his arrest.

The final footage showed his statement being taken while he was in police custody.

Under cross-examination by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr. Babajide Martins, the witness admitted that CCTV footage could not be manipulated at the time of recording.

Ayeni submitted that speculations of tampering with the recording or using various devices to record could not change the contents or what was said in the footage.

The defendant is facing a six-count charge bordering on indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned proceedings until March 4 for continuation of defence.

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