Lekan Shonde, a depot worker in the Apapa area of Lagos State on Wednesday denied killing his wife, Ronke, saying he only slapped her a day before her corpse was found.
Lekan is standing trial for the alleged murder of Ronke before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.
He was alleged to have locked the door on the corpse and their two children before the incident was discovered by a nanny and later reported to the police.
At the Wednesday proceeding, while being led in evidence by his counsel, Robert Clarke (SAN), Lekan told the court that he was provoked when he overheard his wife talking to her lover.
He said, “On May 5, 2016, I heard my wife speaking to someone on the telephone, saying, ‘Kayode, you’re sweet; what did you use in sleeping with me?’
“I was furious, so I slapped her from behind; she fell as a result of the slap. She later stood up, held me and said she was sorry. She went into the room to have her bath.
“She had earlier asked me to buy moin-moin and pap. So, when she came out of the bathroom, she asked me about the moin-moin and I told her that I would take my own moin-moin with garri, while she had her own with pap.
“Thereafter, I went to bed. But she said she was going downstairs to play a bit.
“When I woke up at midnight, I met her on the couch and I asked why she was still there. She said she would join me later and I went back to the room.
“On that day, when I was going out, I saw her on the couch with her phone beside her; I just dropped her transport money like I normally do, locked the door with my own key and left for work.
“Around 4pm, my cousin came to my place of work and he told me that my father asked him to inform me of my wife’s death. I left immediately, but the gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway did not allow me to get to Oshodi until past 9pm. I went to my father’s place in Ladipo with my cousin.”
Lekan, during a cross-examination by the state prosecutor, Y.G. Osuala, denied going away with the deceased’s phone on the day of the incident, adding that when he overheard his wife talking on the phone with the alleged lover was the first time he knew she was having an extra-marital affair.
The prosecutor, however, read out his statement to the police, where he said he caught one Kayode in his sitting room sometime in March 2016, adding that on the day of the incident, he used the opportunity to take his wife’s phone to go through her text and Whatsapp messages.
Lekan told the court that he ran away for three days before turning himself in to the police because his father asked him to stay away for fear that people might attack him.
He, however, denied beating up his wife when she was alive.
He said, “I am surprised that the autopsy result showed evidence of assault, damages and trauma on her body because I only slapped her and I admitted that the slap might have made her face swollen, but I did not kill my wife. I have no reason to kill her because we resolved our differences that night.”
Earlier, the nanny, Sola Adamolekun, told the court that the deceased, who normally opened the door for her, did not open the door on the day of the incident.
She said, “I usually resume by 6am and the defendant would have slightly opened the gate for me when he was going out to work, while the deceased would open the door to the apartment for me.
“On the day of the incident, the main gate to the compound was locked. I had to knock and one of the neighbours opened the gate for me.
“On getting to the apartment gate, it was locked and I knocked, but nobody answered me. So, I went downstairs to meet their neighbour to ask about the family.
“As I was speaking to the neighbour, the oldest child of the family shouted ‘grandma’ and I asked him about his mother, but he said she refused to wake up.
“The police were contacted and the door was forced open and we found madam lying face up.”
The presiding judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, adjourned the case till November 30.