Henry Ojelu/Judiciary correspondent
Just like the father of murder suspect Akolade Arowolo had testified about his son’s innocence, the mother, Mrs Bolanle Arowolo, has also mounted the witness box to assert that her son was incapable of murder.
Akolade is standing trial before an Ikeja High Court over the alleged murder of his banker wife, Titilayo on 24 June 2011. The shocking murder occurred in Isolo area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Mrs Arowolo gave the character testimony today before Justice Lateefat Okunnu at the resumed trial of his son. She was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr Olarenwaju Ajanaku. She claimed that Akolade did not murder the deceased.
She said:”I will disagree with any person who tells me that my son murdered his wife because he is not the kind of child that does things like that.
“He is a God-fearing boy and has been a pastor since he was 12 years of age.
“Omozoje (Titilayo) never came to me complaining that the defendant had beaten her up.
“The only time I saw injury on her body was when she had a motorcycle accident”.
The witness who gave his evidence in Yoruba language, blamed Titilayo’s step-mother, Adetoun Oyakhire, for the troubles that befell the couple’s marriage.
She said the deceased used to run to her parents house anytime the couple had a minor quarrel and was being controlled by her father’s wife.
The witness said Titilayo also confessed to her that she aborted her second pregnancy on the instruction of her step-mother without informing her husband that she was pregnant.
“As a result of the situation, I told the deceased father, Mr George Oyakhire that until the couple goes for marriage counselling and deliverance that they should not live together again”, she said.
The defendant’s mother who is the second witness to be called by the defence, said she was therefore surprised when she discovered that Titilayo had died in her son’s house.
The witness said she fainted when she saw the lifeless body of her daughter-in-law after relatives broke into the couple’s apartment on 25 June,2011
She said she did not know who or what killed Titilayo, adding that it was five days later that he saw his son at State CID, Panti, Yaba.
Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, the Director of Public Prosecutions, while cross-examining the witness, accused her of trying to mislead the court to save her son.
Ogungbesan said the claim by the witness that the defendant was not violent was false because he was always fond of beating the deceased.
She said other witnesses had earlier testified before the court that the marriage was characterised by violence and abuses.
The matter was adjourned to 29 January for continuation of trial.