Henry Ojelu

Arowolo: father testifies son innocent

Mudashiru Arowolo, the father of Akolade Arowolo who is standing trial at the Ikeja High Court for allegedly stabbing his banker wife Titilayo Omozoje to death last year, today defended his son in court saying Titilayo may have stabbed herself to death.

Mudashiru said this while giving evidence in court today as defence formally opened its case.

In his evidence-in-chief, Kolade’s father said his son had wound on his palm which was a confirmation that he was trying to wrestle a knife from his wife

He said he discovered some 20 wounds on the body of his son.

He also told the court that he knew that his son and the wife had been having quarrels but that Akolade was never violent.

The witness also claimed that he once heard the deceased threaten to kill his son and then herself.

He further said that Omozoje had left the husband’s house since January 2011 and that he was surprised to see the dead body of his daughter-ln-law on June 25 in Akolade’s flat, after they had forced the door open.

“My son complained that the marriage was characterised by undue interference from our in-laws, both the father-in-law, Mr. George Oyakhire and the stepmother-In-law, Adetoun Oyakhire.”

“Immediately after the marriage, the couple started buying baby things because Omozoje was pregnant before they got married. My son told us that Onozoje requested for N500, 000 and he said he could only afford N100,000. That was one quarrel. Immediately, Omozoje left for her parents’ house.

“Another instance of their quarrel was after she had been delivered of their baby in the hospital. Kolade said the stepmother-In-law had insisted she would keep the placenta. Then a quarrel ensued. But the Medical Director of the hospital gave it Kolade, being the baby’s father.

Mudashiru also said he saw only three wounds on the body of Titilayo Omozoje Arowolo after her death.

His testimony contradicted the claim of Professor John Obafunwa, Chief Pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital who testified that the deceased had 76 stab wounds on her body.

While being cross examined by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, Mudashiru said he was shocked to read in the newspaper that the deceased had 76 stab wounds on her body.

When told that different prosecution witnesses had said they saw many wounds on the body of the dead banker, the defendant’s father maintained that he only saw three wounds on the left part of her chest.

When reminded about his earlier statement to the police where he admitted that his son killed his wife, Mudashiru said the statement was a mere response to the question of the IPO who asked how the defendant could have killed his wife.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu adjourned the matter till 4 December, 2012 for continuation of trial.