Murdered Banker: Court Fines Defence Counsel Over Delay

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An Ikeja High Court Wednesday adjourned till October 31, the adoption of final written addresses in the trial of Akolade Arowolo, who was charged with the murder of his wife, Titilayo.
The trial judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, also imposed a N10,000 fine on Arowolo’s counsel, Mr. Olarenwaju Ajanaku, for wasting the time of the court.
The fine is coming at a time several Nigerians seemed to have lost track of the murder case, more than two years after the late Titilayo was allegedly brutally murdered by her husband.
Okunnu said Ajanaku’s failure to file and regularise the defence processes was a setback to the speedy conclusion of the case.
Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, also expressed dissatisfaction with the delay.
Ogungbesan said: “I am surprised that up till now, we have not been served with his written address.
“The charge of murder is a serious offence and we can only urge the court to give him a deadline.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Arowolo, 31, was charged to court for allegedly stabbing his wife, a banker, to death.
He was arraigned on 21 December, 2011, on a one-count charge of murder and had pleaded not guilty. The accused was thereafter remanded in Ikoyi Prison.
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions alleged that the accused murdered Titilayo on 24 June, 2011, at their residence at 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos.
The prosecution had closed its case against the accused on 19 November, 2012, after calling 12 witnesses.
Relatives of the deceased, including her father, George Oyakhire, and her step-mother, Adetoun Oyakhire, had testified that the marriage of the Arowolos was characterised by domestic violence.
Another witness, Prof. John Obafunwa, a Consultant Pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, had also testified that Titilayo was stabbed 76 times.
However, Arowolo, who testified before the court on 22 May this year, had blamed his in-laws for the trouble in his marriage. He also denied the allegation that he murdered his wife.
He claimed that Titilayo died after accidentally falling on a knife she was using to stab him during a quarrel on his birthday.
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