Bolanle Arowolo, the mother of 31-year-old Akolade Arowolo, who allegedly killed his banker-wife, Titilayo, on Tuesday told an Ikeja High Court, Lagos that her son had become a pastor when he was only 12 years.
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The 52-year-old Bolanle, a deaconess with the Four Square Gospel Church, while testifying as the second defence witness in the ongoing trial of Akolade, absolved him of complicity in the death of Titilayo.
She said her son couldn’t have killed Titilayo because he is "not that kind of a child".
She said, "The defendant [Akolade] from his childhood till the day he got married, when he stopped staying with me, was well-behaved, had the fear of God and was never violent.
"I know his behaviour well enough and he has been a pastor since the age of 12. Though I don’t know what killed her [Titilayo] but I will disagree with anybody who tells me that my son killed Titilayo because he is not that kind of a child."
Bolanle, while being led in evidence by the defence lawyer, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, described the deceased as troublesome and rude, adding that she [Titilayo] was fondly called "Thatcher" because of her violent character.
She also supported the testimony of her husband, Mudashiru, who appeared as first defence witness, that the deceased’s stepmother, Adetoun Oyakhire, caused bitter enmity between the couple.
She said a misunderstanding once ensued between the couple when it was discovered that Titilayo aborted a pregnancy on the orders of Adetoun without her son’s knowledge.
She added that due to the misunderstanding, Titilayo moved to her father’s place, adding that she was surprised when she learnt that Titilayo died in Akolade’s apartment.
She said, "The news that Titilayo was in that apartment was shocking because she had long moved to her father’s residence after an issue over an abortion she had without her husband’s consent."
Bolanle described her son’s marriage to the deceased as accidental, adding that the processes caught him unawares.
She said, "I first had contact with Titilayo in July 2007 when Akolade brought her home and introduced her to me as his school mate at a post-graduate school.
"I didn’t see her [Titilayo] again until July 2008 when Akolade brought her home again that she was pregnant for him. I raised an eyebrow at the development and asked Titilayo if she was truly from a Christian home.
"Both of them appealed to me. My husband [Mudashiru] and I went to see the deceased parents after two weeks. But surprisingly, after one month, my son suddenly brought wedding invitation cards, saying he had fixed a date after consultation with the deceased’s family."
During cross-examination by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, Bolanle denied knowledge that her son’s adulterous life was the cause of their marital problems.
"I’m not aware that Akolade’s proposed marriage to another woman in the church he attended earned him a suspension or caused enmity between him and his wife," she said.
She told the court that Akolade’s green Honda Accord, which was released to the family by the police on bond in 2011, had been sold.
She said the car, whose photograph was marked as exhibit P61, was sold to raise money "to treat injuries he [Akolade] sustained after the incident.”
Justice Lateefah Okunnu adjourned till January 29 for continuation of defence.