Court sentence wife killer, Akolade Arowolo to death by hanging

A Lagos High Court in Ikeja has sentenced to death Akolade Arowolo for the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo, who he repeatedly stabbed to death with a knife at their residence in Isolo, Lagos, on June 24, 2011.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu, in her judgment on Friday, held that even though there was no eyewitness to the incident, the circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution proved the murder charge against the convict beyond all reasonable doubts.

“I pronounce the defendant guilty as charged and accordingly sentenced to death,” the court held.

The 32-year-old man, decked in white short sleeve shirt and black trousers, broke down in the dock and shouted, “Jesus, I did not do this,” shortly after the judge made her pronouncement.

“Jesus, what will happen to Olamide (the daughter the deceased had for her)?” he asked rhetorically.
The convict, who came into the courtroom with a Bible and a diary, began speaking in tongues as he was being led out of the court room. He held on to the Bible and the diary even after the prison warders handcuffed him and led him out of the courtroom.

The prison warders, who were assisted by the convict’s lawyer, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, had tough time dragging him to the temporary detention cell within the court premises.

Intermittently, Akolade would bow down, while the warders tried to pull him up, and rise up to say, “in the name of Jesus, I’m going to come out. I will not be condemned because I did not do this”.

He was led into the courtroom at about 9.36am. Before the judge arrived the courtroom at about 9.46am, he was alternately going on his kneels to pray and reading his Bible.

Okunnu, in her two-and-a-half hour judgment, 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’s body.

Contrary to the convict’s claim during trial, Obafunwa had testified that the injuries found on the body of the deceased could not have been self-inflicted.

Obafunwa had maintained that the injuries must have been caused by application of a sharp weapon on the body with “tremendous force”.

“All these injuries could not have been self inflicted. Even if you try to injure yourself to that extent, at a point you would have dropped the knife,” the judge quoted Obafunwa as saying.
Justice Okunnu held that with its 15 witnesses, the prosecution had proved the three essential ingredients of murder.

According to her, a successful prosecution of a murder case requires proof that the deceased actually died; that the action of the defendant caused the death of the victim; and that the action of the defendant was done with the knowledge that it was capable of causing death or grievous injury on the victim.

The judge said, judging by the evidence adduced by both the prosecution and the defence, proved that it was not in doubt that the deceased in the case, actually died.

“The evidence to the fact of the death of the deceased is clear and therefore stands proved,” the court held.