Baba Ijesha Rape Case; Course Holds That CCTV Footage May Have Been Doctored

Baba Ijesha

An Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court heard yesterday that the content of a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) recordings on James Olarewaju, a.k.a Baba Ijesha, may have been tampered with.

A defence witness and expert ìn CCTV installation and maintenance, Mr Adeleke Lawrence, alluded to this while being led ìn evidence by Babatunde Ogala (SAN) in the ongoing trial of a Nollywood actor, James Olarewaju, a.k.a Baba Ijesha.

Baba Ijesha faces a six-count charge of child defilement bordering on allegations of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.

Four video recordings of Baba Ijesha were played during resumed proceedings yesterday following the request of Ogala.

One showed Baba Ijesha and the 14-year old in the home of her foster mother, comedienne, Damilola Adekoya alias Princess recorded in April 2021 before his arrest.

They were seated on a couch for a while, then they both walked out. When they return, Baba Ijesha offers her a cup to drink from, kisses her hand up the stretch of her arm and draws her close to him.

They were speaking, but their voices could not be heard.

Another showed the defendant sitting on a couch with the survivor, showing two men and a woman walking out but had no audio.

Another video showed the defendant sitting on the floor and begging the complainant, a comedienne, Adekola Adekanoye, a.k.a Princess.

Asked of his opinion on what he saw, the witness said: “the gentleman and the lady appeared to be acting the way they were asked to do.”

The witness said there must bẹ a hard drive and a computer to enable a video transfer from a CCTV.

“To transfer from hard drive, it must pass through a computer. In the process of passing through a computer, an error might occur. Along thẹ line, it might lead to editing.

“The one I watched passed through a process of editing. It did not pass through a hard drive. May bẹ along the line, it was tampered with.

“I am very sure that what we watched may have been tampered with based on the way it was fast-forwarded”, he said.

Mr Adeleke explained that voices heard on the recording after it was forwarded were not from the ‘actors’ in the film but voice-over from those handling the recording.

Asked to explain the word ‘ins’ seen at the end of a shot, he described it as ‘In shot’, an application used in editing video.

He said it appeared on the recording because the application was used to edit the video.
He said the recording device is either a camcorder or phone and not CCTV.

He explained that it was not CCTV because of picture quality, that CCTV cannot bẹ angle 90 and has to bẹ by convex or concave.

However, under cross-examination, the witness agreed with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr Jide Martins, that the content of CCTV recordings cannot be tampered with when used with devices like Network Video Recording (NVR) and Internet Protocol (IP).

Mr Adeleke agreed with the prosecution that when the devices are present ìn the CCTV, the content cannot be tampered with or manipulated.

He agreed that the devices would make the recordings clearer, flow smoothly and camera picture sharp.

The defence witness also agreed with the prosecution that the content of the video recordings would not change, no matter the colour.

Mr Adeleke, however, said he does not know what a B-Cam, a second camera used in seeing another angle of a recording, is.

He also agreed with the prosecution that a CCTV made up of a camera, DVR made of fibre, monitor, and hard drive cannot be manipulated.

Asked if what a person said in the recordings would change, the defence witness said it might reduce voice quality but not ìn content.

Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter to March 4.

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