Mrs Anike Ajayi-Kayode, a child forensic interview expert, testified before an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday about how Nollywood actor Olanrewaju James (alias Baba Ijesha) allegedly groomed and defiled a youngster (name withheld).
Ajayi-Kayode is the Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation, a non-governmental organization dedicated to preventing and responding to child sexual abuse.
Ajayi-Kayode, who testified as the third prosecution witness, said she was a licensed child forensic interview specialist.
She claimed to have taken part in over 25 forensic interviews with children.
Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), led Ajayi-Kayode in testimony, saying that the claimed victim was comfortable, cooperative, and able to recall events while being examined.
“There was a clear clinical picture of child sexual assault. When the child was seven years old, the offender had two sexual encounters with her.
“On April 19, 2021, he sexually harassed her and touched her body. ‘I touched you some years ago, you are so grown up, so mature,’ he said. Have you got a boyfriend? There is some unfinished business on our hands.
“These are child sexual abuse’s clinical manifestations.
“These are the dynamics of child sexual abuse, as well as the perpetrators’ modus operandi — instilling secrecy, intimidation, threat, or coercion,” she explained.
According to the expert, child sexual abuse involves only the victim and the perpetrator, and that a youngster may not be able to appreciate the gravity of the crime due to his or her frailty.
After the interview, Ajayi-Kayode said she drafted a forensic report.
The prosecution presented a copy of the report to the court as evidence. Exhibit G was assigned to it.
The forensic interview was also digitally recorded, according to the witness.
The prosecution also presented flash discs holding the minor’s digital forensic interrogation, which were labeled Exhibits H and H1.
“My conclusion is that she told the complete truth, that she was tenacious, that she was bold, and that she was relaxed,” added the expert.
Due to the absence of lead counsel Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN) and Mr Dada Awosika at the opening of the proceedings, the defense requested an adjournment (SAN).