Akolade and Titilayo Arowolo
An Ikeja High Court, sitting in Lagos State, Nigeria’s south-west region, has sentenced Mr Akolade Arowolo to death by hanging for killing his banker wife, Titilayo Arowolo.
While delivering her judgment on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu, held that even though there was no eyewitness to the incident, the circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution had proved the murder charge against the convict beyond all reasonable doubt.
Mr Arowolo had denied the allegation, insisting that the deceased wife mistakenly killed herself with the knife she wanted to stab him with when they were having a quarrel.
Justice Okunnu relied on the testimony of the forensic pathologist, Professor John Obafunwa, who testified that there were at least 76 stab wounds found on the deceased.
Contrary to the convict’s claim during trial, Professor Obafunwa had testified that the injuries must have been caused by sharp weapon applied on the deceased and could not have been self-inflicted.
The prosecution led by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, called 15 witnesses among whom were police officers and the father, sisters and step-mother of the deceased.
Mrs Titilayo Arowolo was killed on June 24, 2011.
“We made love for two hours the day she died” – Arowolo
Akolade Arowolo, the 31-year-old man standing trial for allegedly killing his banker wife, Titilayo, on June 24, 2011 said he and the deceased kissed and had sex for two hours on the day she died.
He added that the activity signified that they (couple) had a cordial relationship before her demise.
Akolade, who said his wife died on his 30th birthday, explained that although the marriage was good, it was not without its challenges.
He said, “That day she died was my birthday. I see birthdays as a new year in one’s life and I usually pray at the early hours of that day. I prayed till 3am but was woken by my wife’s kiss. We had sex for almost two hours and it was very good as we hadn’t done such in a while.
“We later prayed and talked about how we could improve on our relationship as well as business opportunities.”
Akolade said he only slapped his wife once throughout their three-year marriage, adding that their marriage was not a violent one as alleged.
Akolade, while being led in evidence by the defence counsel, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, told an Ikeja High Court on Thursday that he met his wife at Lagos State University in 2005 while he was taking classes for a postgraduate degree.
He said they grew close and became good friends and he got her pregnant in 2008 and they got married in November that year.
He said, “We were great friends and lovers but that is not to say that we didn’t have challenges. In the course of our relationship, there were times people commended us because we knew how to counsel people.
“We were everywhere together and I took her to work on many occasions while sometimes, I would leave the car for her to take to work while I would use public transport. Our challenges were like those of many young couples. We disagreed on many things.
“For example, a few months before our daughter, Olamide, was born, we were making plans for the baby when she demanded N500, 000 to buy all necessary things. I told her I didn’t have that much on me and she should accept N100, 000 but she refused and left for her parents’ home.”
Akolade and Titilayo Arowolo
Akolade described his wife as hot-tempered adding that she always flared up whenever she could not have her way, earning her the nickname, Thatcher.
He said a few months into the marriage, he noticed that his wife’s attitude had changed and he sought advice from a friend who told him to leave the house whenever there was an argument. He said one day, his wife got him very angry and he slapped her only once.
He said, “One Friday, I went for a vigil but did not come back the following morning. I went to stay with a friend because I wanted my wife to miss me. However I started missing her and I went back home that same day. On getting home, I met a man in the house whom my wife identified as her colleague. The man left immediately after.
“I went through her phone and noticed that she had called her father, George Oyakhire, an ex-boyfriend of hers and an unidentified number. Later, I asked her why she didn’t call me when I did not come home but she said she did not have airtime. I then asked her that where did she then get airtime to call the three people I noticed on her phone.
“She flared up and said I should never go through her phone again. She then started to call her ex-boyfriend in my presence. I got angry, grabbed her phone and smashed it against the wall. She took my phone and smashed it as well, so I slapped her. She immediately left the house and went to her parents’ place.”
He said his wife was also secretive and had even confessed to having an abortion without his consent adding that the abortion later led to menstrual complications.
Akolade, who claimed to be an ordained pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, said he was not jobless as reported but was an auditor and had even worked on big government contracts.
He maintained that his wife had on numerous occasions left him to be with her parents sometimes for months.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu adjourned the matter till May 22, 2013, for further hearing, standing down the case after Akolade broke down and could not continue with his testimony.