The Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, on Thursday, scheduled December 15 for the ruling on trial-within-trial for the embattled Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju Imiyinka, also known as Baba Ijesha.
A trial-within-trial is a court trial in an ongoing court trial. It is typically done to establish the allegation of involuntariness of a confession while the main trial is suspended.
The trial-within-trial which commenced on November 19 is aimed at validating the voluntariness of the proposed confessional statement made by Baba Ijesha at the Sabo police division, Yaba, Lagos, after he was arrested on April 22.
The confessional statements which were taken by a police officer, Abigail Omame, had indicated that Baba Ijesha initially confessed to having raped a minor.
However, the defence counsel led by Dada Awosika had opposed the statement. Mr Awosika argued that, according to the Evidence Act, section 29 subsection 5, in relation to the testimonies presented before the court both by Ms Omame and Baba Ijesha, the statements were obtained from his client under duress.
Meanwhile, the prosecution, led by Y.A Sule, insisted that the defendant was not tortured but made the statement voluntarily. Mr Sule noted that the police did not beat Baba Ijesha or subject him to any inhumane treatment, rather all the beating was done by the mob in Princess’ house.
The judge, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, adjourned the case to December 15, for the ruling on the trial-within-trial.
The judge also gave the prosecution counsel a summon note for one Brown Asuquo, who is a witness but has refused to appear before the court to do so in the next court sitting.
Baba Ijesha was arrested on April 22 and arraigned on June 24 by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old foster daughter of a popular comedian, Princess.
Since then, the Yoruba actor has continued to face trial at Ikeja special offences court.
Baba Ijesha’s trial has been trailed with several shocking revelations from forensic reports and medical reports conducted on the survivor.
The actor, who was arrested on April 22 and granted bail on May 17, was charged with six counts of sexual assault by penetration, indecent treatment of a child, and sexual assault, which contravene sections 259, 135, and 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011, as well as 135, 263, and 262 Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
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