After a three year long trial, the end came for Olalekan Shonde, the man who beat his wife to death in 2016 as a Lagos High Court at Ikeja judicial division sentenced him to death by hanging.
Justice Josephine Oyefeso, the trial judge handed down the judgement based on the conviction that the convict killed his wife, Ronke.
The judgement was handed down on March, 8, 2019 a day set aside as International Women’s Day.
In the two and a half long judgement, the trial judge pronounced, “this is the sentence of the court upon you that you should be hanged on the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy upon you.”
The judge explained that this penalty was due the convict based on the Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Adding that it is only within the power of a State governor to grant a convict mercy as being sought for by the defence counsel, Mr. I.B Mohammed who held brief for Chief Robert Clarke, the defence counsel.
Recall that trouble started for Shonde on May 6, 2016 when he murdered his wife, Ronke the mother of two in their Egbeda, Lagos residence.
He was subsequently charged to court for a one count charge of murder. His trial began on 20th September and ended on October, 2018.
At her judgement today, the judge said the court was satisfied that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt in the light of overwhelming evidence against him.
Her words: “The violence used by the defendant was in excess of a reasonable man.
The judge noted that the defendant was very economical with the truth, stating that his evidence before the court that he only slapped her when he overheard his wife on a phone call praising the sexual prowess of a lover does not match the degree of the autopsy report.
The judge reiterated the analyses of the pathologist, Dr. Shokunle Shoyemi that his examination revealed old and fresh injuries on the deceased.
She held that bruises on the deceased cheek, blood collection in the brain, brain swelling and other multiple injuries could not have been caused by a self-inflicted injuries.
Pleading on his behalf, Mohammed his lawyer said: “My Lord, we want to plead with the court while administering justice, dispensing same in this case to see reason in thus allocutus, to temper justice with mercy, Sir.
Justice Oyefeso was convinced that the prosecution also proved among the ingredients of murder that death of the deceased occured and the convict was the last person who had physical contact with her. The judge however said, ” I accept that the wife of the defendant died.”
“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 immeasureable. 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 do not, their wish is 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 see very well again, he sees faintly. My Lord, he is hypertensive as he stands there and the authourity of the prison can confirm.
However, the State prosecutor expressed that he sincerely thank the judge.
“I agree we are not aware of any past criminal record of the defendant. In view of the conviction for this charge, there is a punishment, We only ask the court to apply it.
At this point, the judge stood down the matter from 11:53 a.m to 12:50 p.m when she resumed for sentencing of the defendant.
At 12:59 p.m she ruled that “this is the sentence of the court upon you that you should be hanged on the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy upon you.”
The defendant appeared confused at the pronouncement as he made to alight from the dock.
He was immediately rushed to sit down for a while in the courtroom before he was whisked away by prison official.