A couple, Elochukwu and Chiamaka Nnajiofor, on Thursday denied the allegation that they tortured their 14-year-old domestic-help, Oliver Arakwe, to death.
Nnajiofor, a trader, made the denial while testifying at their ongoing trial before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court in Lagos.
40-year-old Elochukwu and his wife Chiamaka, 26, were charged to court on a one-count charge of murder.
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) alleged that the woman had tortured the young boy for two days for “misbehaving”, which led to his death on Aug. 17, 2010.
However, the defendant, under cross-examination by the state Prosecutor, Mr Femi Adamson, maintained that Arakwe died of severe diarrhoea at the Eko Hospital, Surulere.
He said: “I never touched Oliver. The boy was sick and my wife called me that she had rushed him to the hospital. The boy was suffering from diarrhoea and later died despite the treatment given to him by the doctor”.
Nnajiofor denied the allegation that his wife had maltreated the deceased and two other boys that were staying with them at their residence located at No. 81, Femi Tella St., Ago Palace, Okota in Lagos.
“We were feeding them properly. My business of selling building materials was booming then and so we never maltreated them,” the defendant said.
Adamson, however, faulted the testimony, submitting that the post-mortem report showed lacerations on the body of the deceased.
He added that Emmanuel Azuka, one of the boys staying with the Nnajiofors, had several scars all over his body to substantiate the allegation of torture.
“The post-mortem report also said that the deceased was hit with a blunt object on his head and this caused his death and not any illness as you are claiming,” the prosecutor said.
The matter was adjourned to Nov. 13, for continuation of trial.