An Ikeja High Court has sentenced to death by hanging, Lekan Shonde, a dockworker, who killed his banker wife, Ronke, 36, at their residence in Egbeda, Lagos, three years ago.
Justice Josephine Oyefeso, while delivering the judgement, yesterday, found him guilty of the one-count charge brought against him by the Lagos State government.
Oyefeso held, that, the prosecution had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt, pointing out, that, the circumstantial evidence is clear, that, the deceased was the defendant’s wife and they have two children.
“I cannot but hold, that, the sudden provocation, the heat of passion, the retaliation, the violence used by the convict was in excess of a reasonable man,” the court held.
Justice Oyefeso, in sentencing Shonde, a father of two, to death, took judicial notice of the analyses of the pathologist, Dr. Shokunle Shoyemi, that, examination revealed old and fresh injuries on accused’s deceased wife.
She held, that, the bruises on the deceased’s cheek, blood collection in the brain, swollen brain and other multiple injuries, could not have been self-inflicted injuries.
“The defendant in the case was very economical with the truth, when he stated that he only slapped her, when he overheard his wife on a phone call, praising the sexual prowess of a lover.
“This does not march the degree of autopsy report. In the light of overwhelming evidence against the defendant, the court is satisfied, that, the prosecution has proved it’s case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The act was intentionally done. I find the defendant guilty,” declared Oyefeso.
Justice Oyefeso held, that, section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, prescribed, that, the person who commit murder shall be sentenced to death.
“In line with section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015, this is the sentence of the court upon you, Olalekan Shonde, that, you are to hang by the neck, until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy on you,” she said.
Ronke’s lifeless body was discovered in the apartment she shared with Shonde, on May 6, 2016, and Shonde was charged for alleged murder.
He was arraigned on October 24, 2017 by the Lagos State government. The prosecution alleged that the accused committed the offence at 8:30p.m on May 5, 2016, at his residence in Tiemo Street, Egbeda, Lagos.
During trial,the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered various exhibits.
However, Shonde, in his defence, told the court, that, his deceased wife, Ronke, was sleeping on the couch in the sitting room with her phone while he departed for work on that day.
He had told the court, that, he heard his wife speaking to one Kayode on the phone a day to her death, telling him how much she enjoyed their love-making session.
Consequently, he slammed her on the wall.
In his allocution, Shonde, through his counsel, A. Mohammed pleaded for mercy.
“My Lord, there are two children of the marriage. I know, as a matter of fact, these two children have passed through the worst moment of their lives, and agonies that are immeasurable.
“I know, if these two children have any control in this proceeding, it would be that their father should not be prosecuted at all, but since this is not possible, I wish to plead with the court, that, their father be sentenced on a very liberal term.
“The defendant has no criminal record, he has developed series of failing health since his detention.
“This defendant hardly sees well again, he sees faintly. My Lord, he is hypertensive as he stands there and the authority of the prison can confirm.
However, the state prosecutor thanked the judge for ensuring that justice was done in the matter.
“I agree we are not aware of any past criminal record of the defendant. In view of the conviction for this charge, there is a punishment, We only ask the court to apply it.”