A youth pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Akolade Arowolo, has been sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo.
Titilayo was a former staff of Skye Bank, whilst her husband was employed.
Prosecutors were able to present compelling evidence that led to the conviction of Mr Arowolo and his death sentence by Justice Lateefat Okunu of the Ikeja High Court.
Justice Okunu held in her over three hours judgment that evidence before the court proved that Arowolo actually murdered his wife in their matrimonial home.
Testimony in the form of a forensic report from Prof. John Oladapo Obafunwa, a pathologist, was what the court used to determine that there was no way the deceased could have stabbed herself to death.
Immediately after the judgment, Arowolo fell down in the dock and started shouting “Jesus have mercy” after Prof Obafunwa testified that his autopsy report revealed that Titilayo was killed through 76 knife stab wounds.
There were claims by Pastor Arowolo, suggesting that his wife was possessed and inflicted injuries on herself. He noted that the knife wounds affected Titilayo’s left eye, right eye, upper chest area, right chest and collar bone.
Prof. Obafunwa pointed out in his testimony that the deceased could not have inflicted such wounds on herself. To further prove its case, prosecution invited some of Titilayo’s family members who testified that Arowolo and Titilayo had always had a troubled marriage.
The family members included Titilayo’s father, George Oyakhire; sister, Ijeh and mother-in-law, Mrs Adetoun Yeside Oyakhire, who testified that the couple lived a cat and mouse life.
They claimed that the family had, at several times, settled serious fights between the couple. None of the witnesses however saw what actually happened on the day Titilayo died.
A neighbour, Adeyemi, in his evidence, said that on the day of the incident, he heard a loud noise when he was in his apartment and later saw Arowolo rushing out with a deep cut in his palms.
He claimed to have also seen a hammer and a knife with a broken handle in the yard. Other witnesses such a the security man at the Arowolos’ residence, Investigating Police Officer and an MTN Staff also gave evidence in the case.
Arowolo broke down in tears after the judge handed him the death sentence, and claimed he was innocent of killing his wife.
Having presented its case, the burden was shifted on Arowolo to defend himself. Expectedly, Arowolo had his personal explanation as to what happened on the day Titilayo died.
He claimed that he and his deceased wife had passionate sex for two hours and kissed on the same day she died, stressing that Titi stabbed herself to death on the day after they had a fight.
Arowolo further claimed that Titilayo was possessed by an evil spirit and inflicted several stab wounds on him before turning to herself.
Arowolo’s father, Mudashiru and mother also testified of their son’s good behavior, insisting he could not have killed his wife. They claimed that he has always being a religious person and was incapable of killing anybody.