Lekan Shonde, husband of the deceased banker, Ronke Shonde on Wednesday told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that he did not kill his wife but he slapped her a day before her body was found.
Shonde, a Dockworker is standing trial for the alleged murder of his wife whose lifeless body was discovered in their apartment on May 6, 2016.
Led by his counsel, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, Shonde, the only defense witness told the court presides by Justice Josephine Oyefeso that his wife whom he was referring to as “Adunni” was sleeping on the couch in the sitting room with her phone while he was leaving the home on the said date.
According to Shonde, He overheard his wife speaking to one Kayode on the phone a day to her death, telling him how sweet he made love to her .
“I was furious when I heard her conversation and I slapped her from behind , she fell as a result of the slap and hit her head on the floor in the sitting room.
“She later got up and held me, saying she was sorry.”
The defendant in his evidence had earlier told the court that his wife called him on his way home to buy “moi moi and Eko” (Beans puddle and Pap) for their dinner, and he did as he was instructed.
” After I slapped her and she apologized , she went into the bathroom to have her bath and also changed her clothings, she then asked me what I will use to eat my ‘moi moi ‘ and I told her I wanted garri (Cassava flakes) while she had hers with Eko.
“Thereafter, I had my bath too and informed her that I was going to bed but she said she was going downstairs to play a bit.
“When I woke up in the midnight, I met her still sleeping on the couch, and I asked why she was still there, she said she will join me later and I went back to the room.
“On that fateful day, I met her still sleeping on the couch in the morning with her phone and I dropped transport money for her ,like I usually do, and left for work.
Narrating the event that took place that day, Shonde said”We usually drop our phone at the security post at the dock because of the nature of our work , so I dropped my phone and when I later went to check by phone in the afternoon, the battery was already drained.
“At about 4pm, I saw my cousin and he told me that my father asked him to inform me of my wife’s death and I left immediately but the gridlock on the Apapa Expressway did not allow me to get to Oshodi until past 9pm, so I went to my uncle’s place in Ladipo.
Shonde further told the court that while he had quarrel with his wife the day before her death, their two children were already sleeping. He however told the court that he stands by the statement he made at the police station.
During cross examination by the state prosecutor, Mr.Y.G Osuala Shonde who said he was 53 in July, denied going away with the deceased phone on the day of the incident.
“The day I overheard her on phone talking to Kayode was the first time I knew my wife was having extramarital marital affair, and she never for once told me she was going to divorce me,” he said.
When asked why he absconded for three days before going home after his wife’s death, he said his father called him and asked him to stay away because he might be hurt if he comes home on the said day.
He however told the court that he turned himself in to the police on the third day of the incidence, and that he was never arrested.
He also denied beating his wife and hitting her head against the wall.
“I was surprise at the autopsy result, because I only slapped her . I admits that the slapped might make her face swell but I did not kill her.”
“I did not kill Adunni, he said.”
Daily Independent reports that the prosecution has closed its case against the defendant while the defense counsel also informed the court that Shonde is the only witness they have.
Earlier, the last prosecution witness, Mrs. Sola Adamolekun, told the court that she worked with the deceased as a Nanny.
Describing her job description, she said: I usually resume by 6am in the morning and the defendant usually open the door for her on his way to work while the deceased will open the door to the apartment for her.
She however said on the day of the incident, she got to work but the main gate to the compound was locked and she have to knock and one of the neighbors opened the door to her.
“On getting to the apartment gate, it was locked and as I was knocking the elderly child of the deceased shouted, “granma” and I asked him about his mother but he said she was lying down and would not wake up.
“I asked him to climb the stool and check if he could open the door but he couldn’t find the key.
“At that point I alerted the landlord and the neighbor’s grown son got a ladder and looked through the window but and he said, it looked like madam was dead.
“The police was contacted and the door was forced opened and we found madam lying face up, and the first thing I did was to take away the children from the scene,” Sola said.
While she was being cross-examined by Robert Clarke SAN, she said the corpse of the deceased was found on the central rug in the sitting room and it was far from the staircase that leads to the apartment.
She further said she is not aware of anything going on privately between the deceased and her husband.
“I also don’t have the key to the apartment, it was the husband and wife that has key to the house, ” she said.
Daily Independent recalled that Shonde, who was arraigned on October 24, 2017 on a charge of murder, had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecution had alleged that Shonde committed the offence at 8.30 p.m. on May 5, 2016 at his residence at No. 3, Tiemo Close, Egbeda, near Lagos.
The alleged crime scene was discovered by neighbours, who heard the cries of their two young children, struggling to “wake up” the lifeless body of their mother.
Shonde was said to have surrendered to the authorities five days later, after an extensive manhunt.
Justice Oyefeso adjourned the case till November 30 for adoption of final written address.