Baba Ijesha: Clinical Psychologist Tells Court That 14-year-old Victim Was Tutored I

Baba Ijesha

Dr Olukayode Olugbemi, a Clinical Psychologist, on Friday claimed that a 14-year-old minor whom Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, alias Baba Ijesha allegedly defiled, appeared to have been tutored in her narration of what transpired.

Olugbemi also noted that “something was wrong” with the footage of an interview conducted by child rights expert and prosecution witness, Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode.

He made the claim while testifying as the third defence witness before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olugbemi was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr Dada Awosika (SAN).

The witness, an expert in clinical psychology said, “There is something wrong with the narration. I think this looks like a story that someone had relayed to her to repeat. There seems to be a deviation from the narration played out.There’s something called Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory,(MMPI) in psychology.

“This inventory will let you know if the child is lying or not.”

Questioning the witness further, Awosika asked that in his profession as a psychologist, if it was normal for the narrator (the minor) to go back to the defendant after he she had gone to clean herself, as claimed by her in the footage.

“The narrator said he felt the wetness of the defendant after he told her to sit on his lap and later stood up to clean herself in which she later went back to the sitting room to watch television.

“In your practice, is it normal for the narrator to go back to her abuser?” Awosika said.

Olugbemi replied that it was not normal as children run to their “safe place” as they face Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD).

“When something like rape or abuse happens, it is supposed to cause trauma. It is called PTSD. The child moves away from the person and does not go back again. One of the things children do when something like this happens is that they go to their ‘safe place’.

“It is either the mother’s room or their own room and hide. They do not go back to their abuser. In the encounter I have had in the past, the next time they child sees their abuser, you will see visible fears because it is a traumatic event. It is what she can’t hide,” he said.

“You saw from the footage that the interviewer brought out two dolls and gave the interviewee to describe the position of the defendant and herself in the sitting room.

“Is it normal in your profession?,” the defence counsel asked.

“It is not normal. There is something called suggestibility. When you talk about PTSD, you intentionally block out memories of the event.

“It has never happened in my session and I have never seen it in any case,” the witness said.

Under cross-examination by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr Babajide Martins, the witness, who admitted this was his first time giving evidence in court, noted that he could not be absolutely certain that the event did not happen.

“Yes I cannot be absolutely certain that the event did not take place.

“There is no uniform way of handling trauma as individuals have different ways,” he said.

Martins asked the witness if he would have been more effective if he had met the minor in person and he replied in the affirmative.

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

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until April 1 for the continuation of trial.