By Shola Akingboye, 30th April 2021
It is quiet unfortunate in Nigeria that most times victims of crimes are neglected while chases after ghost criminals who are at large in most cases, and the abused suffer more consequences of their misfortune. The submission to that preamble borrowed a leaf from the ongoing brouhaha surrounding the viral video of Baba Ijesa, the child defilement and the priority everyone adduced to the viral video rather than the adverse implications this whole thing portends for the 14 years old poor girl.
Alas! in what appears like another Nollywood movie in the making from the stable of the accused – Baba Ijesa, Princess the accuser and her friend sympathiser, Iyabo Ojo who are all movie producers as against the mental situation the little girl in question is further subjected, even by those who claimed they did what they did in the girl’s interest.
This leaves much to chew if indeed the scenario this whole thing painted, or which Nigerians were fed in the viral video does not have any undertone beyond the grievous offence actually committed; or rather, a situation which could have been handle by the authorities before it went viral to the public courts (social media) for prosecution, and exposed the matter to other interested gladiators who might be sympathetic to the course of Baba-Ijesha and go behind the scene to destroy the case if indeed the stage-managed video is of any substance at the end.
Baba Ijesa and the police
The reasons Baba Ijesa is to be released from detention or not rents the air, though the Police has denied the release of the offender as on Friday though the offence is said to be bail-able before the law.
Worst still, the judiciary that could have ruled on the matter is on industrial action, and by law, no accused should be under the police lock beyond 24 hours, and Ijesa’s lock-up throwing another tantrum of legal issue as far as issues of human rights is concerned.
As these issues dominated the public space, yet the actual victim, the girl suffers more media trauma, even in the hands of her dear god-mother, Princess and friends who behaves as if seeing Baba Ijesa behind bars is more to the crime committed with way and manners they launch at anyone who dare challenge their actions in protest, irrespective the fact that the matter already referred to the police and the state government to handle.
Baba Ijesa and the Law
As for Baba Ijesa, ‘no sinner goes unpunished as the saying goes.
Irrespective of the sentiments one might adduce to a mental related problem or call it pedophiles, an offence has been committed. Call it rape, child defilement or indecent ‘touch-touch’ as some have argued.
If found guilty, Olanrewaju James, AKA Baba Ijesa risks life imprisonment as Nigeria tightens penalties on rape and violation of child rights.
According to Nigerian Penal Code: Section 282 of the PC defines when a man gets sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent.
This section added that, “sex with a girl under 14 years of age, or a girl without a sound mind irrespective of her consent or not”
Under the various Nigerian laws, the penalty for rape is life imprisonment, though not compulsory in all cases. This means that the court can decide a brief sentence for the accused in its discretion, if Baba Ijesa is lucky if found guilty.
The comedy of a stage-managed video
Ironically, the tragic-comedy package Nigerians watched in that viral video is coming from Nollywood actors/producers, but looking at the nifty gritty behind the viral video, available facts revealed that a self confession by Baba Ijesa, nothing to argue here by the virtues of the video clip until further investigation proves otherwise.
Perhaps somebody posted online. The writer queried whether the Princess is not trying to take back her own pound of flesh on Baba Ijesa over a God knows sin.
The writer, in line with the Princess’s testimony in the video, where she attested to the fact that she became Baba Ijesa friend and ally after she lost her profoundly celebrated marriage which lasted for only seven months, thereafter got entangle with Baba Ijesa who also became her sympathizer at the time of need ‘time of need’ en quote.
In that video order, Princess further accused Baba Ijesa over how she has helped and kind to him in many ways.
Less we derail from the focus of this write-up. This writer might be a drunk, but a madman sometimes can be angelic in their madness. The writer in his analogy presumed there could be more to the perfectly orchestrated make-believe video.
He suspected there could be more to what Princess is not telling the public over what actually transpired between her relationships with Baba Ijesa.
It is noteworthy that Princess also confirmed how she has lost touch with Baba Ijesa in the last seven years, between the times of the first incidence and now that she deceived him to come around for a movie shooting, just to have him disgraced.
Besides, Princess did not report the matter to the Police, and neither confided in anyone of the child abuse against the little girl earlier, and she continues to help Baba Ijesa.
The little girl, who Princess claimed is currently undergoing a psychological trauma, very sick and in imbalance situation seven years after, could still remember how she was defiled seven years ago though her current state of mind. May be more intellectual Nigerians need to reason along with the drunker writer if truly the stage-managed video is not vengeful so to speak?
The writer concluded whether Baba Ijesa is not actually paying for the sin of ‘promising an abandoned woman a marriage he never ready to give and absconded into thin air in seven years, or something more?
The writer noted that Baba-Ijesa might be paying back in his own coin; paying back hard, paying through his secret mental problem of pedophiles, which is known to the Princess and now used to hunt his image and career.
He described problem of pedophile as a mental ailment associated with indecent sexual attraction for a minor buy another adult, a punishable offence under the extant law and a self-destroyer ailment so to speak.
In fairness to Princess
Back to the matters arising, this writer would equally want to take an exception from some lawyer’s position, that a child’s guidance is also as guilty as the accused of child molestation in their failure to protect the child from defilement.
My counter-position on this is pedestal on the fact that, how many parents could package their wards in handbags to their office, market or other outings as protective measures against predator rapists?
Reports show rapists most time are among relatives, neighbours, including biological fathers defiling their own children?
But where such a law indeed exists to prosecutes guidance of rape victims for not protective of their wards, it would amount to another rights abuse against guidance of rape victims if such laws are not revoked in the reality of how rapists operates and who most rapists really are.
Defilement and What the Law Says
Taking a cue from Busola v. Fatoyinbo’s saga, one would have expected most pundits and social media judges including other media prosecutors to have learnt a good lesson from the outcome of that uproar.
This writer recalls that the outcome of the court verdict in that case neither exonerated or discharge Pastor Fatoyinbo based on the time frame of the crime, which is 20 years interval between when the allege offence actually committed. It is good to know that the case was upturned in favour of Fatoyinbo against Busola, for lacking in merit for having failed to prove her evidence beyond reasonable doubt, and the whole exercise amount to the wasting of the court’s time. Non availability of any substantial evidence including medical reports before the law-court rubbished the case for the plaintiff.
With Baba Ijesa however, it has been seven years, no video evidence to link the matter to the fresh offence, which is stage-managed by all standards.
Meanwhile, under the law of Lagos state, Princess who is the complainant is also as guilty as the accused in Baba Ijesa’s case, for failing to report a defilement/rape case seven years ago irrespective of when she discovered the crime before she conducted a self captured video evidence and release same to social media. That provision has remains the law of Lagos state as enacted during the regime of Babatunde Fashola.
Much ado about the video and concerns for the innocent child
Digesting the content of the video, it is pertinent to note that the conception of that video footage, employment of CCT camera operators was tailor towards exposing a criminal right?
But does the progenitor of the stage-managed clip, the Princess, who is the child’s guidance and admitted that the child became an imbecile, traumatized and mentally disordered actually reasoned along the psychological implication of exposing the child once again to the same rapist of seven years ago, simply on account of trying to catch a thief?
Are true parent out there reading this piece?
Will any parent risks allowing a child defiler to come near an unstable child that should be under an intensive therapist for healing, all in the name of trying to catch a criminal?
Funnily, same Princess in that video confirms she actually lay ambushed outside the house, living only the alleged criminal in the house, to watch how this same child, a minor, is molested once again by Baba Ijesha.
“I watched Baba Ijesa molest and lick my daughter non-stop for thirty minutes on the CCTV”
“He licked her from head to toe for thirty minutes. How many adults can stomach that e was doing all sorts that I can’t even say”
Princess said she became dumb- founded by what she saw throughout until the child got up to go to the kitchen before she and others stormed the house?
Can any reasonable mother in her senses wait to watch all that performed on her child running for good 30 minutes for crying out loud as when watches another porn movie?
The reasoning here is, the Princess, irrespective of the trauma she already aware that the said child has passed through according to her own narration, but went further to exposed same child to further trauma, simply because she wants to bring Baba Ijesa to book. What of if the little child ran into a comma or give up in the process during such 30 minutes molestation, according to the Princess herself.
Hear Princess again:
“The victim was asked to write statements. From morning she wrote the statement, from the morning she wrote the statement, in the afternoon, she was questioned till night, almost 8:30, a young child, she went through a lot.
What if this child never recovers from her present traumatized condition as postulated by princess herself, because of this second stage of trauma if there was any first at all?
According to the Princess, the girl-child is now 14 years old, the wagging question is, did Princess ever thought of the stigmatization this girl is subjected on account of the hue and cries this Baba Ijesa breaking news has generated in the society.
On protection of the psych of this innocent child, it is evidence that this girl is further exposed to the police questioning, rather than professional welfare officials, counselors and medical teams saddled with such a responsibility in this kind of situation. What other measure could have been applied to get facts without subjecting a child to an unholy circumstance and duress? Not even another child to catch Ijesa this time, but a supposedly traumatized little girl as confirmed by her teachers in school, according to revelation by princess herself?
One would have expected the so-called guidance, the Princess to approach the law enforcement agents with the video if at all her action is justifiable, but broadcasting the video footage on social media would have done more adverse damage to the girl-child tp what Princess tend to achieve in the make-believe stage managed video saga, just to nail a culprit.
For Baba Ijesa, irrespective of sentiments and conclusions, anyone might have drawn from the criminal offence of a child molestation. Let the hand of the law take its course. Let Baba Ijesa serves the scapegoat of those who are suffering from similar brain disease called pedophile and fail to seek therapists or spiritual help to end their curable conditions.
Besides, the irony of life is never in falling, but in rising each time we fall, Baba Ijesa will surely learn his lesson and bounce back if the law found him guilty of the crime.
Whatever the class and status of the offenders of the Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), and worst still the child abusers under any guise, the hands of the law must be allow to take its course.