Banker, Titilayo Arowolo, who was allegedly murdered by his 31-year-old husband, Akolade, on June 24, 2011, had a minimum of 76 stab wounds, Prof. John Fafunwa, of the Department of Pathology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, has said.
Fafunwa told an Ikeja High Court on Monday that he carried out the post-mortem examination alongside a Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Sunday Soyemi, and a trainee pathologist identified simply as Dr. Lawal.
He said Titilayo’s body was brought to LASUTH on June 25 putting on a pink sleeveless top and blue jean trousers, adding that he did the body identification on July 4, 2011 and the autopsy on July 6, 2011.
Fafunwa while being led in evidence by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, said the wounds were more than 76, adding that he had to group similar wounds.
He said, “During examination, it was discovered that the deceased sustained multiple stab and incised wounds on her face, chest, the left and right arm, heart, lungs, liver, eyes, abdomen, and chest.
“The wounds were a minimum of 76 as some similar ones were grouped together. Also, from our examination, all the injuries couldn’t have been self-inflicted because such would have caused so much damage that at a point the deceased would have dropped the knife.
“After removing the affected internal organs and the blood collected in the chest cavity, I observed defects in the cavity which showed the extent of the penetration from the front of the chest towards the back. The alleged killer must have used tremendous force.”
Fafunwa said the injuries were inflicted by a single and a double edged blade cum sharp object. He said the stabs resulted in severe blood loss with extensive damage to the affected internal organs.
Fafunwa also identified a knife marked as exhibit P6 in court with the inscription “Home King Stainless Steel Japan” which he said was brought to him by the police for examination.
Fafunwa said, “The knife still was without a handle, it was bent and partly stained with blood.
“I made a description of it and sketched it in form of drawings after which I told the police that the blade could have produced some of the wounds.”
He said he also collected tissue samples of the deceased which he examined under the microscope as well as took photographs of the internal organs he examined.
He said he made the pictures into a compact disc and handed it over to the police. Ogungbesan tendered the CD to the court while Justice Lateefah Okunnu admitted it as exhibit P63.
Fafunwa supported his testimony with the still images which was shown in court. In the slide, the deceased’s body was labelled with tag SN 985 and her eyes were seen sunken.
Explaining some of the photographs in the slide, Fafunwa said, “The alleged killer cut through the chest wall and part of the wall was lost due to multiple stab wounds. The diaphragm separating the chest from abdomen was also defected.”
He added that Titilayo’s death was caused by multiple injuries in the chest.
Okunnu later admitted the result of the post-mortem examination as exhibit P64.
However, Fafunwa said he also examined Akolade two weeks after the incident.
He said he found out that Akolade sustained “healing injuries” to the abdomen, adding that he had a cut between the web of his thumb and his index finger. He said Akolade also had a limping gait.
He said, “I didn’t examine him immediately the incident happened. But from my professional assessment, the age of the injury fit into two weeks old at that time.
“But the injuries were largely superficial and not penetrating and some of them fall into the categories of defence wounds.
“When I asked him about the limping gait, he said he fell from the fourth floor of their apartment on June 24, 2011, the day of the incident.”
While being cross-examined, Akolade’s lawyer, Olanrewaju Ajanuku, accused Fafunwa of inflicting some of the wounds on the deceased while he was carrying out the autopsy.
“I put it to you that you opened up some of the wounds found on the body of the deceased during autopsy,” Ajanuku said.
Fafunwa in his reply said, “I take an objection to that, I must have a psychiatric problem for me to be stabbing dead bodies.”
After the cross- examination of the pathologist, Ogungbesan told the court that she would be bringing in one more witness to testify in the case.
Akolade, who was in court, was clutching a copy of the bible and a Christian literature in his hand during the proceedings.
He was also jotting down in an exercise book as Fafunwa gave testimony and explained the gory content of the still images.
Okunnu subsequently adjourned till October 22, for further hearing.