A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced a dockworker at the Apapa port, Lekan Shonde, to death by hanging.
Shonde was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of beating his wife, 36-year old Ronke, to death at their Egbeda home on May 5, 2016. Lekan and Ronke were married for eight years and had two children together before the incident.
While delivering judgement on the matter on Friday, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“I cannot but hold that the sudden provocation, the heat of passion and the retaliation, the violence used by the convict was in excess of a reasonable man,” Justice Oyefeso said.
In sentencing the convict, the judge said she took judicial notice of the analyses of the pathologist, Dr Shokunle Shoyemi, that medical examination revealed old and fresh injuries on the deceased.
She held that the bruises on the cheek of the deceased, blood collection in the brain, brain swelling 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 its case beyond reasonable doubt. The act was intentionally done. I found the defendant guilty,” the judge ruled.
Justice Oyefeso held that section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 prescribed that the person who commits 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 in the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy on you,” she said.
Ronke Shonde’s lifeless body was discovered in their apartment 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 Shonde committed the offence at 8:30p.m on May 5, 2016 at his residence in Tiemo Street, Egbeda, Lagos.
During the trial, the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered various exhibits.
Shonde had told the court that he merely slapped his wife after he heard her speaking with her lover, one Kayode, on phone. However, in his allocutus, Sonde, 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 a worse moment of their life, agonies that are immeasurable.
“I know if these two children have any control in this proceeding, it will be that their father should not be prosecuted at all, but since this is not, I wish to plead with the court that their father be sentence on a very liberal term.
“The defendant has no criminal record. He has developed series of failing health since his detention. This defendant hardly seems very well again, he sees faintly. My Lord, he is hypertensive as he stands there and the authority of the prison can confirm,” Mohammed said.
However, the state prosecutor thanked the judge for ensuring that justice is done in the matter.