By Funke Busari
Akolade Arowolo standing trial for the alledged murder of his late banker wife,Titilayo, stabbed to death in 2011, has been sentenced to death.
Arowolo was found guilty as charged on Friday after a two year- and- eight months trial.
The trial Judge, Judge Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja in a-three hour long judgement found Arowolo guilty of murder charge against him, saying: “I pronounced you guilty and sentence you to death.”
She hinged her judgement on the prosecution and defence ability to prove beyond reasonable doubt the three elements in establishing a case of murder.
The elements considered in the matter were as follows: the victim is indeed dead; whether the defendant was the one that carried out the killing,it was an act of omission or commission and whether the killing was carried out intentionally with the intent of causing bodily harm.
In her submission, Justice Okunnu held that the victim is Mrs. Omozojie Titilayo Arowolo and the fact of her death is certain and the evidence before the court is clear from both sides of the prosecution and defence.
She further said the circumstantial evidence in the case, the results of the investigations carried out by the police, the pathologist, as well as testimonies of members of the deceased family adduced to the fact that that Akolade is capable of committing the crime hence a case of violence by him led to the death of his wife.
Okunnu further said “I am convinced that the deceased died because of repeated stabbing of the knife. Even by what he wrote in his statements to the police, the defendant admitted he is the culprit of the murder.”
Arowolo was arraigned on 21st December, 2011 before Justice Lateefat Okunnu on a one-count charge of murder.
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Olabisi Ogungbesan, had alleged that the accused murdered Titilayo, a banker, on 24th June 2011 at his residence at 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos.
In his defence, Akolade had insisted that his wife died after she accidentally fell on a knife during a quarrel on his birthday.
Arriving the court room at 9:17a.m in the company of prison warders, Akolade walked in wearing a white short sleeve shirt on a black jeans trouser and brown moccasin suede shoe.
Clutching his hands to his body with his Bible in his handcuffs, he sighed repeatedly and lie down on a chair but only stood up at the instance of his lawyer, Olanrewaju Ajanaku.
He moved over to another seat and knelt down to pray for about two minutes and read some portions of the Bible.
While the judgement lasted, he fell down twice in the dock and was lifted up by his lawyer and a court registrar.
He was seen praying repeatedly before the commencement of the judgement proceedings.
After the judgement, Akolade screamed J-E-S-U-S, fell again and asked what will happen to my daughter. And further repeatedly shouted, “I did not kill my wife”.