Lead counsel to embattled actor, Olanrewaju James, aka Baba Ijesha, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), has dismissed the claims of the prosecution team of the Lagos State government that a witness in the ongoing sexual assault case against the actor was being threatened.

In an interview with Saturday Beats, Ogala said, “The claim that witnesses are being threatened is absolute rubbish. It is close to no issue until the witness’ name is mentioned and we can confirm that the name is on the list of the prosecuting team’s witnesses. The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions is the prosecutor, so if it is true that a witness is being threatened, the state should provide security for the witness, rather than making unfounded claims in court. The burden of proof is on the prosecuting team.

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The DPP should tell the world whom the witness they claim is being threatened is, and who is threatening the person. The DPP’s Director of Public Relations, Yinka Adeyemi, called me yesterday (Thursday) and said she wanted an adjournment because one of their witnesses had been transferred. I told her it was okay with me, that we would agree on a date for adjournment. I am surprised that the prosecution team then went to court to claim that a witness is being threatened. Let them come to court next Friday to mention the name of the witness whom they claim is being threatened.

A member of the prosecution team, Yusuf Sule, had on Friday, November 12, 2021, told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that one of its witnesses set to testify against Baba Ijesha was scared to testify in court.

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Following the submission, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case till November 19.

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

Five witnesses have testified so far for the prosecution. They include the alleged victim and her foster mother, Damilola Adekoya, aka Princess; a child expert; Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode; a medical doctor, Dr. Aniekan Makanjuola; and a police officer, Wahab Kareem.

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