The couple on their wedding day | credits: File copy
Adetoun Oyakhire, the sixth witness to testify against Akolade Arowolo, the man who allegedly killed his wife, Titilayo (Omozoje), on Tuesday told a Lagos High Court that Akolade once chased the deceased out of their home with a knife.
Adetoun, the deceased’s step-mother, while being led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, told Justice Lateefah Okunnu that the accused had a history of violence, which made his marriage tumultuous.
She said, “Shortly after their wedding, there was a quarrel between them (Akolade and Titilayo) and Akolade pursued her out of the house with a knife.
“She (Titilayo) was still breast-feeding at the time and her daughter was just three months old.
“Akolade snatched the baby and took her to his parents’ house at Ejigbo. Omozoje (Titilayo) ran to our house that day and told us everything.”
Adetoun said her husband, Titilayo’s father, intervened immediately and Akolade’s mother later brought back the baby.
The witness added that the deceased’s aunty, Mrs. Olabisi Makanjuola, later went to the couple’s house to pack Titilayo’s belongings from the house.
Adetoun said the deceased later reconciled with her husband but was distraught to find out that he was having extra-marital affairs.
She said, “Omozoje (Titilayo) said the domestic servant told her that she had seen Akolade with a woman in his bedroom and she went to report the matter to Akolade’s mother.
“She came to my house and told her father that she was tired of the marriage and was going to file for a divorce.
“She stayed with us and when her father was leaving for Kano, he told her not to go back to her husband’s house. But Akolade came back saying he was a changed man and the deceased eventually moved back to his house in April.”
The deceased was killed in June that same year, in her husband’s house.
Adetoun told the court that Akolade had on another occasion, threatened to throw Titilayo from the penthouse of their three-storey home at Isolo.
“She (deceased) also told her father on another occasion that Akolade had threatened to throw her off the penthouse and her dad told her to report the case to a police station but she never did,” the witness said.
Adetoun, who gave graphic details of how the crime scene looked, said even Akolade’s father, Mudashiru, was horrified on sighting Titilayo’s corpse.
She said, “Akolade’s dad took a big stone which was near the apartment of the deceased and broke the door open because the apartment had been locked. On getting inside, Akolade’s father screamed and said in Yoruba ‘Kolade ti pa eyan si mi lorun’ which means Akolade has placed a murder case on my head.
“Her corpse was on the bed; one of her eyes was gouged out and the upper part of her left breast had an opening, there was a broken knife in her neck and a substance that looked like a body part was on the bed. There was blood splattered everywhere and on the wall.
“At this point, I realised that Akolade’s relatives had started leaving the compound one after the other and I held Akolade’s father and told him ‘you’re not going anywhere’.”
Adetoun told the court that she immediately informed family members and the police were equally informed on the same day.
The fifth witness, Mr. Titus Ogbonna, a detective attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, presented some exhibits to the court.
The exhibits included a hammer and spatula as well as a bloodstained bed sheet, pillow case, N100 note and pair of shorts. They were tendered and admitted by the court as exhibits P14 to P21.
Ogbonna had said during the previous hearing on February 20, 2012, that Akolade’s vehicle, which had bloodstains on the front seats had also been recovered, but it was given to the father of the accused at the behest of Akolade.