An Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court, Lagos has Wednesday fixed February 17, 2022 for a Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, alias Baba Ijesha, to open his defence over accusations of molesting a 14-year-old teenager.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo fixed the date following the submissions of the defence counsel, Dotun Ajulo, who prayed the court for a short adjournment, while announcing that the defence has decided to forgo its earlier intentions of filing a no-case submission.
Baba Ijesha is facing a six-count charge bordering on allegations of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.
He had also pleaded not guilty to the six-count charges and was granted bail.
However, during Wednesday’s proceedings, Ajulo told the court that one of the leading defence counsel, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dada Awosika (SAN) was indisposed.
The defence counsel further informed the court that the proceedings were scheduled for ‘the definite adoption of written addresses on a no-case submission’ but the defence has decided to open its case.
According to him: “We have decided not to file a no-case submission. In view of this development, we humbly pray to the court to give us a date. Both Senior Counsels representing the defendant are not in court. Mr Babatunde Ogala had informed Mr Awosika that he will not be in court today.
“Mr Awosika is indisposed. He didn’t know he himself would not be able to come to court. We apologise to my Lord.”
Responding, the Director, Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr. Jide Martins, urged the court not to grant the defence request for an adjournment.
The DPP argued that the defence lawyer, Ajulo, who is present for the proceedings, should continue with the case.
Justice Taiwo, on the contrary, granted the request of the defence counsel for a short adjournment