A police Inspector, Benson Ajie, on Tuesday at an Ikeja High Court said Akolade Arowolo, the man accused of killing his banker wife, Titilayo Arowolo, told the police that he sustained injuries while struggling over a knife with the deceased on the day of the alleged murder. Ajie is one of the police detectives at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba who investigated the alleged murder.
The policeman, who is the 11th prosecution witness, said when Akolade was brought to the SCID on June 27, 2011, he had deep wounds on his palm and navel area and when asked how he came about the injuries, he said he and his wife were involved in a struggle over a knife.
Ajie, while being led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, said, “On June 27, 2011, Akolade was transferred from the Aswani Police Division to the SCID over allegations of murder. Consequent upon that, Akolade wrote a statement under caution. He however said he could not continue to write the statement and signed before handing it over and was detained.
“The next day, I took him to the clinic at SCID for treatment because he was in pain due to the injuries. He said he was struggling over a knife with the deceased when we asked him how he came about the injuries. He had cuts on his palm and navel area and was also limping.
“Because of the seriousness of his pains, I took him to Falomo Police Hospital on June 29, 2011. He was treated and discharged on that same day. On June 30, 2011, Akolade volunteered to write another statement and it was done under caution and he signed it.” Ajie said on July 4, 2012, Akolade wrote yet another statement under caution and signed.
Upon request by Ogungbesan, Justice Lateefa Okunnu admitted the three statements written by Akolade as exhibits P48, P49 and P50. Ajie said, acting under the instruction of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the SCID, he took Akolade to Prof. John Obafunwa, the chief pathologist of the state on July 5, 2011.
He said he visited the scene of the alleged crime once with some detectives at the SCID when they were looking for the auto mechanic (who is alleged to have fled the crime scene with Akolade on the day of the incident).
Ajie said, “Akolade’s father requested the release of his son’s vehicle and I was detailed to go to LUTH where he (Akolade) was admitted at the time because I needed to get permission from him before we could release the vehicle.
“Akolade had just been operated upon so I had to write out a note which Akolade then signed.” The note, which was dated September 2, 2011, was admitted by the court as P51.
Ajie, while being cross-examined by Akolade’s lawyer, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, said the defendant also sustained injuries after jumping from their two-storey building at 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo.
When asked why Akolade was taken to see the pathologist, Ajie said, “Obafunwa checked the injuries on Akolade’s body. He took measurement and that’s all I understood from what they were doing. Akolade also said he was limping because he jumped from the two-storey building.” Ajanaku further asked if police investigations revealed that there were issues between the couple before the incident.
Ajie said, “From the evidence we gathered, there were always problems between them and they could not stay a week without having one. One aged woman that lives opposite their flat, as well as a relative of the deceased, one Madam Bisi, claimed that there were always problems between the two.”
The 12th witness for the prosecution, Mr. Baye Cletus, a police inspector attached to the Aswani Division, while being led in evidence by the DPP, said it was Akolade’s father who first came to report Titilayo’s murder to the police.
Cletus said, “On June 25, 2011, I was at the station when one Mudsahiru Arowolo came around 5:45pm, saying that he is the father of one Akolade of 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo. He said he was called by the landlord that his son’s vehicle was seen at the station but Akolade was not there. So, he went to the house and he in company of relatives of the deceased, knocked on their door but no one answered.
“Mudashiru said the door was forced open and the deceased, one Titilayo (Omozoje), was found dead. So, I went with Mudashiru to the scene and I saw the corpse lying on the bed, faced up in a pool of blood. There was a kitchen knife beside the corpse. There was blood on the pillow and bedspread.
“The deceased was wearing a blue pair of jeans and a white top soaked in blood. There was a deep cut on her left breast and was stabbed in the right eye. There were several bruises all over her face and neck. We proceeded to Ikeja General Hospital to deposit the corpse.”
Cletus told the court that he retrieved a hammer, a knife and frying spoon from the scene. The items which had been registered as exhibits were identified by the witness.
He said he met Akolade on June 27, 2011 after he was brought to the station by his relatives, adding that the defendant wrote a statement at the station and signed. As the case was going on, Akolade was seen clutching his stomach. This made his lawyer to request that the matter should be stood down so that Akolade could be attended to. After about 20 minutes, Akolade was still writhing in pains.
Okunnu said, “The court observes that the defendant is very uncomfortable. The matter is adjourned till June 28, 2012.