Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James popularly known as Baba Ijesha testified in court on Friday March 4, as his trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor who is the foster child of his colleague and comedienne, Princess, resumed.
Testifying in court, Baba Ijesha who 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, claimed Princess was his lover and is after him because he ended his relationship with her.
Ijesha who was being led in evidence by his counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dada Awosika, 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.”
Recounting how he met Princess, the defendant claimed that he received a phone call from the comedienne while he was an on-air personality on Radio Lagos and LTV 8.
“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’s 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”
Narrating what transpired in 2014, the day he allegedly sexually molested Princess’s 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 fruits. According to him, he bought some fruits 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 after, the young girl (Princess’s 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.”
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 and also visited Princess at home seven years ago.
“Princess is not my benefactor, she is the one who benefitted from me”
The actor broke down in tears at some point during the cross-examination, claiming 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.
The case was adjourned till March 11 for continuation of defence.