After 26 months in the dock, Justice Lateefah Okunnu of a Lagos High Court in Ikeja has handed down a death sentence to Akolade Arowolo, a youth pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Gbagada Parish, Lagos, for the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo Omozeje, then a staff of Skye Bank Plc. who he allegedly stabbed to death at their residence in Isolo, Lagos, on June 24, 2011.
The 32-year-old man, who was arraigned for murder on December 21, 2011, was alleged to have murdered his wife, Titilayo, at their residence; No. 8, Akindehinde Street, Isolo, Lagos.
Justice Okunnu, in her judgment on Friday, 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.
“I pronounce the defendant guilty and accordingly sentenced to death,” the court held.
As the judge made the pronouncement, Arowolo fell in the dock and wept profusely.
Okunnu relied on the testimony of the forensic pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, who testified that there were at least 76 stab wounds found on the deceased.
Obafunwa, who carried out the autopsy on the corpse of the deceased, had said there were at least 76 stab wounds on the body.
He described some of the wounds as penetrating to heart, and damaged the organ and others including, the diaphragm, lung and the liver of the deceased.
“I summarise the death of the deceased as caused by multiple injuries on the heart and abdomen due to knife and sharp blunt force trauma,” Obafunwa had told the court.
Contrary to the convict’s claim during trial, Obafunwa had testified that the injuries must have been caused by sharp weapon applied on the deceased and that it could not have been self-inflicted.
The judge said, “Applying the eliminating induction by eliminating other factors; judging by this case the factors, including the possibilities of another person entering the flat to stab the deceased to death, the possibility of the deceased stabbing herself and the possibility of that the wounds were caused in autopsy room; it is my finding that no other persons but the defendant who stabbed Omotunde to death.
“This established the causal link between the death and the defendant.”
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.