Mrs. Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode, a prosecution witness in a rape case involving popular Nollywood actor, Baba Ijesha, on Wednesday said that a minor was capable of recalling events that occurred when she was aged seven years.
Ajayi-Kayode, a legal practitioner and Executive Director of the Cece Yara Foundation; a Non-Governmental Organisation, is the third prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Olanrewaju James, a Nollywood actor.
The prosecution witness made the assertion while being cross-examined in the trial of Baba Ijesha; who is facing trial for child defilement. Ajayi-Kayode, who was being cross examined by defence counsel, Mr. Babatunde Ogala, told the Ikeja Special Offences Court; that the child’s brain cells were developed enough to totally recall events accurately.
“The brain cells are well developed enough to totally recall events accurately ascending from teenage years to adulthood.
“At seven years, the child has enough speech for a narrative recall of events that transpired,” she said.
Ajayi-Kayode said that when she conducted a forensic interview on the minor; she gave a “free narrative recall” of events that transpired seven-years ago. The witness added that during the interview; she asked the minor “neutral, open-ended” questions to determine whether or not she was being coached or lying.
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Further, the witness said that she would not claim that the minor was neglected because from her experience; 90 per cent of people who abuse minors are well known to the children.
Also, Mr Dada Awosika (SAN), a member of the defence team, requested to know from which institution Ajayi-Kayode obtained her qualification in child forensic psychology. The prosecution witness said that though her academic background was in law and social welfare; she was certified in child forensic interviews by undergoing a series of trainings.
The embattled Baba Ijesha faces a six-count charge bordering on indecent treatment of a child; sexual assault; attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration. The offences contravene Sections 135, 259, 262, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Meanwhile, actress and comedienne, Ms Damilola Adekoya alias Princess; the foster mother of the minor and Nollywood actress, Ms Iyabo Ojo, were present in court during the proceedings.
The prosecution, led by Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has so far presented three witnesses in the ongoing trial. The witnesses are – Princess, the foster mother of the minor, the minor and Ajayi-Kayode, a child expert.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until October 21 for continuation of trial.