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Trial of Mr. Lekan Shonde who was alleged to have killed his wife between the 5th and 6th of May 2016 was concluded today at the High Court of Lagos sitting in Ikeja. The prosecution called its sixth and final witness, Sola Adamulekun who was nanny to the children of the couple. In her testimony, Sola stated that she resumed to the home of the couple every morning at about 6 am. There was an entrance gate which the couple shared with another tenant. Mr. Shonde usually leaves this gate open when he is going to work so she won’t have to disturb anyone to gain entrance into the compound. When she gains entrance into the compound, the late Mrs. Shonde then opens the door to the flat for her.
She testified that on the 6th of May 2016, she met the gate locked and had to bang on it before the Shondes’ neighbor opened it for her. She then knocked on the door to the flat of the couple but no one opened. While she went to the neighbor to enquire, the first son of the couple heard her voice and called out to her ‘Grandma! Grandma!” When she asked of his mum, he said his mum was in the sitting room and she asked him to tell his mum to open the door for her but the son replied that his mum is not waking up. She testified that the neighbors soon gathered together and the landlady, Mrs. Tiemo was called. The children of one of the neighbors was asked to climb a ladder and look into the sitting room through a window and a ladder was placed on the side of the window. The young man that climbed the ladder informed them that it looked like Mrs. Shonde was dead. She testified that the landlady and others went to the police station and they forced the door open and when she entered with lots of other people, she met Mrs. Shonde lying on the rug in the sitting room dead. She testified that the rug was just about one foot away from the chair.
She testified that while they were trying to force the door open, she called Mr. Shonde and informed him of what was going on and he said he was coming home. She further testified that when the door was opened, no one else came out of the house except the children whom she took to a neighbor’s house. She also testified that she did not possess a key to the couple’s home as only Mr. and Mrs. Shonde had keys to the house.
Under cross-examination, Sola testified that she didn’t know what happened in the home between when she left the night before and the morning of the incident. She testified that she asked the children what happened but that they said they were asleep and didn’t hear anything.
With the nanny as its final witness, the prosecution closed its case and the defence opened its case with the defendant, Mr. Shonde as the only witness. He testified that he was legally married to the deceased and they have two children who were aged six and five at the time of their mother’s death. He testified that there was a gate leading to the compound accessible to two tenants and after the gate, there was a door leading to their own flat. He stated that only he and his wife had keys to the flat. He testified that on the 5th of May 2016, he climbed the stairs to his sitting room and heard his wife on her telephone speaking to another man, Mr. Kayode and saying “Kayode, you are so sweet o but what did you use in sleeping with me.” He stated that he was standing behind her and slapped her from behind and she fell and hit her head on the ground.
He testified that earlier that evening, she had asked him to buy ‘moi-moi’ (bean cake) and ‘eko’ (solid pap) for their dinner and he did. He testified that after he had slapped his wife, she apologized and they settled it. His wife enquired what he would eat his moi – moi with and he said garri and she brought it for him while he she ate hers with the eko. He stated that afterwards, he went to bed while she remained in the sitting room. He later came out and saw her lying on the couch in their sitting room and he asked her why she was lying there and she replied that she would join him in their room soon.
He testified that the next morning, he found her still lying on the couch in the sitting room with her phone beside her and he dropped money for her to buy fuel and left the house. He testified that he worked at a depot in Apapa and they are required to drop their phones at the security house which he did. He stated that between 1 and 2 pm during break, he checked his phone and discovered it was off because the battery was flat and there was no electricity supply the night before. He further testified that around 4 p.m., a cousin of his came to look for him at the depot and told him his father sent him to bring him home because his wife was dead. He stated that from Apapa where he worked, he didn’t get to Oshodi till about 9 to 9:30 pm because of the gridlock caused by the tanker drivers and he went to his father’s house at Ladipo.
He testified that the children were in their room sleeping when the altercation between him and his wife occurred. He also stated that he wrote statements to the police and stands by the statements.
Under cross-examination, he stated that he is 59 years old while the deceased was 39 when she died. When asked if he knew Bolatito Bewaji who had earlier testified at the trial, he stated that he knew her as she was his sister-in-law and lived with them for a very long time. When asked if he took his wife’s phone when he left the morning she was found, he denied taking her phone. The prosecutor then confronted him with his statement to the police where he stated that he used the opportunity to take her cell phone to check her text messages and WhatsApp messages for amorous messages. He however denied writing that in his statement to the police.
He further stated under cross-examination that the telephone conversation he overheard on the 5th of May 2016 was the first time he became aware that his wife was having an extra-marital affair and the prosecutor again confronted him with his statement to the police wherein he stated that he had caught the said Mr. Kayode in his house sometime in March 2016. Mr. Shonde again denied making such statement to the police. He denied having a habit of beating his wife and hitting her head on the wall. He also denied knowing that his wife was commencing divorce proceedings. He stated that he was surprised at the extent of damage shown by the autopsy report as he only slapped his wife. He stated that her face might have swollen from the slap but that he didn’t understand everything else stated in the autopsy report.
He was also referred to his statement to the police where he stated had stated that while he was in his office, he saw several missed calls from the housekeeper and when he called her back, she informed him of his wife’s death and that policemen were looking for him. The prosecutor stated that he was not a witness of truth as this was completely different from what was stated in his testimony before the court today. When asked why he didn’t go home from work on the day of the incident, he stated that he did not get to Oshodi that night until about 9 to 9:30 pm and that because he didn’t have anything to hide, he turned himself in to the police 2 to 3 days later. When asked if he took his wife to the hospital after slapping her, he stated that there was no reason to as they settled and even ate together. When asked if he didn’t even care enough about his children to go home after learning of the death of his wife, he stated that his parents and the parents of his wife were in constant communication. He insisted that he and his wife settled their issue that night and he had no reason to kill her. He stated that while his wife’s parents are still alive, his father passed away during his incarceration.
With his testimony, the defence rested and the case has been adjourned to the 30th of November 2018 for adoption of final addresses.