By Shola Akingboye, 30th April 2021
It is quiet unfortunate that Nigerians most time abandon victims of crime, and would rather chase after the criminal while the abused is left to suffer more consequences of their misfortune; a case study of the brouhaha surrounding the viral video of Baba Ijesa, the child defilement and the attendant priority play on the viral video, while everyone silenced on the adverse effects this scenario portends for the poor girl in what looks like another Hollywood movie from the stable of Baba Ijesa, Princess, her friend Iyabo Ojo among others, in disregards to the further mental situation the 14 years old girl is subjected as this whole thing lasted.
The reasons why Baba Ijesa is released from detention or not rents the air, though the Police has denied the release of the offender as on Friday, this is although the offence is said to be bail-able under the extant law.
Worst still, the judiciary that would have ruled on the matter is shut-down nationwide, and by law, no accused is expected to be under the police lock beyond 24 hours.
These and many more are issues that dominate public space while the actual victim, the girl suffers more media trauma, and the accusers behaves as if seen Baba Ijesa behind bars is more to the crime committed.
Baba Ijesa and the Law
As for Baba Ijesa, ‘no sinner goes, unpunished says the holy books.
Irrespective of the definition anyone might adduce to the issue of mental problems, an offence has been committed here. Call it rape, child defilement, or an indecent ‘touch-touch’ or what have you.
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 short sentence for the accused in its discretion, that is, if Baba ijesa is lucky if found guilty.
The Comedy of A Stage-managed Video
Ironically, the tragi-comedy package Nigerians were fed to watch 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 has been made by Baba Ijesa, nothing to argue here by the virtues of the video watched across the world, until further investigation proves otherwise.
Perhaps, somebody posted online, the writer queries; whether the Princess is not trying to take back her own pound of flesh on Baba Ijesa’s God knows sin.
The writer in line with the Princess’s personal testimony in the video, attested that she became Baba Ijesa friend and ally after she lost her profoundly celebrated marriage just seven months after, and became 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, on 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 could be angelic in their madness one way or the other. 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 general 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 time of the first incidence and now that she deceived him to come around on a plan movie shooting, just to have him disgraced.
Besides, she did not report the matter to the Police nor confided in anyone of the child abuse against her ward, yet she continues to help Baba Ijesa.
Moreover, a child the Princess claims is now very sick, and imbalance seven years after could still remember how she was defiled seven years ago, though she is now very sick and imbalance at the age 14 as alluded by Princes, hence the stage-manage video to expose Baba Ijesa. Cna intellectual Nigerians, reason along with that drunk writer?
Also, the writer conclusively insinuated that he hopes Baba Ijesa is not paying for the sin of ‘promising an abandoned woman a marriage he never ready to give and absconded to 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 mental problem (pedophiles) which is known to the Princess, but now used it not just to hunt his image but his career.
He described problem of pedophile as a mental ailment associated with sexual attraction against a minor buy another adult, a punishable offence under the extant law, a self-destroyer ailment so to speak.
In fairness to Princess
Firstly, this writer begs to take an exception from some lawyer’s position, that a child’s guidance is also as guilty as the accused of child molestation, for their failure to protect the child from defilement.
My counter-position on this is pedestal on the fact that, how many parents would package their wards in hand bags to their office, market or other outings as protective measures against predator rapists. It is suffice to note that, these rapists most times are close relatives, neighbours, including biological fathers that defiles their own children?
If such law indeed exist, can it be revoked against prosecuting guidance of rape victims for not protective of their wards against defilement?
Defilement and What the Law Says
Taking a cue from Busola v. Fatoyinbo’s saga, one would expects most pundits and social media criers, including prosecutors in the media to have learnt a good lesson from the outcome of that verdict.
Recalls the verdict in that case neither exonerated or discharge Pastor Fatoyinbo based on the time frame of the crime, which is 20 years interval, when the allege offence actually committed; but the case was upturned 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 with non availability of substantial evidence, including medical reports to that effect.
Failure to report a rape case running over 20 years, and in the Baba Ijesa’s case it is seven years interval, no fresh video evidence to link the fresh offence to the previous.
More importantly, the complainant, (Princess) is also as guilty as the accused for failing to report a defilement/rape case seven years ago, under the law of Lagos state as enacted during the regime of Babatunde Fashola, the Law of Lagos state.
Much ado about the video
Watching the video and digesting the content well as it may; 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 that video, the Princess, who happens to be the guidance of a child, who according to her became an imbecile, traumatised, and mentally disordered actually feel for the adopted child?
Did she reason of 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?
How many parent out there are reading this piece?
Would you have risk 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 laid 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 what she saw all through, 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 perform on her child running for good 30 minutes for crying out loud, as watching any other porn movie?
The analogy here is, the Princess, irrespective of the trauma she is aware that the said child has passed through according to her own narration, which turned the child into imbecile of sorts in school and everywhere as a result of the initial sexual assault, but Princess went further to exposed same child to further trauma, simply because she want to catch a criminal.
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 traumatised condition as postulated by princess herself, due to this second state-manage attack orchestrated by her dear guidance?
According to the Princess, the girl-child is now 14 years old, the wagging question is, did Princess ever thought of the stigmatisation this girl has been 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 police questioning, rather than professional welfare officials, counselors and medical teams saddled with such a responsibility in a situation of this nature, to get the facts without subjecting the child to any undue duress according to available facts before this writer.
One would however expect 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 rather than what she tend to achieve in the make-believe stage managed video saga, just to nail a culprit.
Finally, as for Baba Ijesa if found guilty, irrespective of sentiments and conclusions we all 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 to those who are suffering from similar brain disease called pedophile and fails to seek therapists or spiritual help to end their curable conditions.
Besides, the irony of life is never in fallen, but in rising each time we fall, Baba Ijesa will surely learn his lesson and bounce back.
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 take its course.