Slain banker's hubby fled crime scene with a stranger- Witness

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Eniola Akinkuotu

The security guard at 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos, where Akolade Arowolo, allegedly killed his banker-wife, Titilayo (Omozoje), told Justice Lateefah Okunnu at an Ikeja High Court on Monday that he saw Akolade while cleaning his blood-soaked hands before he later fled the scene of the crime with a friend.

Seidu Useni, an Hausa, who spoke through an interpreter, insisted that on the day of the incident, Akolade and an unidentified man were together before they left the compound.

Useni, while being led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, said, “On the day of the incident (June 25, 2011), I was at my duty post at 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, when someone knocked at the gate.

“The person said he wanted to repair Akolade’s car but I told him that Akolade was not around. However, a few minutes later, the person in company with Akolade, came back and I opened the gate for them. Akolade drove in and I returned to my duty post.

“About an hour later, I saw Akolade with blood all over his hands and he was just cleaning himself up. Akolade and the person came out and Akolade said in a hasty manner that I should open the gate and they left.

“Later on, I saw some clothes which seem to have dropped from Akolade’s flat as well as some pieces of iron covered in blood. One of the occupants of the house, Wale, asked me why clothes were on the floor in the compound and I explained everything to him.”

Seidu, who claimed to have been working at the said house since April 2011, said he had never witnessed a fight between Akolade and his slain wife.

But he said he could not say if Akolade was violent by nature or not because he had only been working as a guard in the compound few months before the incident.

Seidu also said there was no robbery on the day of the incident. He said, “There are eight flats in the three-storey building.

“On that very day, most of the occupants of the house had gone to work but I am very sure that there was no robbery and ever since I’ve been working there, there has never been any robbery.

“After that day, neither Akolade nor the unidentified person has come to the house. The following day, I was told that Titilayo was dead and afterwards policemen came to the house to take my statements which I gave them through an interpreter.”

A police detective attached to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Mr. Titus Ogbonna, said he along with a team of three policemen went to the Aswani Police Division, where preliminary investigation had taken place before proceeding to the crime scene.

He said, “On June 28, 2011, we went to Aswani Police Division en route to the crime scene and on getting there, we presented an Investigation Activity Letter to the Divisional Police Officer and the Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Cletus, who showed us the exhibits and Akolade’s vehicle.

“We inspected the vehicle and observed blood stains on the steering of the car, driver’s seat, floor of the driver’s side as well as a blood-soaked N100 note. We took photographs and took the N100 as an exhibit before proceeding to the home of the deceased.

“We were led to the scene by Cletus but we met the door to the couple’s flat broken. Cletus then told us that Akolade’s father, Mudashiru, and some neighbours had called a carpenter to break the door some days earlier.

“At the kitchen of the apartment, we observed that the floor was stained with blood as well as the rack where kitchen utensils were kept. We also observed that there was no knife on the rack and we took photographs.

“At the sitting room, we observed blood stains on the floor and things were scattered all over the place and we took photographs before proceeding to the bedroom where the deceased was allegedly murdered.

“At the bedroom, we observed that the mattress was soaked in blood and clothes scattered all over the place which could mean a sign of struggle. Beside the bed, we saw something that looked like a lump of flesh that might have been chopped off from the deceased’s chest and we recovered it as an exhibit. We also recovered a pair of shorts soaked with blood.

“We proceeded to the penthouse of the apartment and then the balcony where we observed blood stains on the railings and we took photographs before leaving. Altogether, we took about 27 pictures.”

Ogbonna said he called a carpenter to repair the broken door and they locked the apartment. He added that a few days later, the team of policemen came to interview some occupants of the house.

“We took statements from Mrs. Hannah Alaka, who lives opposite Akolade’s flat; as well as one other neighbour, Adewale Adeyemi and Seidu, the security guard,” he said.

Ogbonna said efforts to track the unidentified person who was believed to be with Akolade at the crime scene had proved abortive.

“We were told by Seidu that someone had left with Akolade on the day of the incident and it was learnt that the person was one Ibrahim, a mechanic, who lived at 10, Koripe Street, Isolo, but when we visited the place, we were told that no such person lived there,” he said.

Ogbonna said four telephones were recovered at the crime scene and the SCID had written to service providers, MTN and Airtel, to provide the call logs.

He added that some of the exhibits recovered, which were still with the police, would be tendered in court at the next adjourned date.

The judge adjourned the matter to March 20 for continuation of trial.


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