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Lekan Shonde begs court to reduce murder charge to manslaughter


 

Lekan Shonde, who is standing trial before the court for the alleged murder of his wife, has on Tuesday, urged a Lagos State High Court to reduce his murder charge to manslaughter.

Lekan Shonde begs court to reduce murder charge to manslaughter

Thee 51-year-old Lekan allegedly beat his wife to death at their home in the Egbeda-Idimu area of Lagos State on May 5, 2016, Punch Metro reports.

He was alleged to have locked up the corpse and their two children before the incident was discovered by a nanny and later reported to the police.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, Lekan claimed that he did not intend to kill his wife.

Lekan, through his counsel, Robert Clarke (SAN), in his final written address, told the court that there was no evidence or the intent to commit murder, adding that he acted spontaneously when he heard his wife talking to her alleged lover on the phone about their lovemaking sessions.

Clarke, while adopting his written address, told the court that there were no eyewitnesses during the murder of Ronke.

He stated:

“The issue in this matter is to ascertain if the defendant killed his wife. I did a research and interviewed nine married Nigerians of the same age group with the defendant relating the circumstances of this matter.

“It was only one person who did not agree with the reaction of the defendant, but the others said they would have acted more than him. There was no use of a dangerous weapon in the death of the deceased and the fact that the two children slept and did not hear any noise means that the incident that caused the death was not characterised by any loud noise. It was an incident that was not prolonged and this gives credence to the defendant’s claim that it was only one slap that caused the damage.

“The fact that the autopsy report showed undigested food in the deceased’s stomach corroborates the claim by the defendant, who said they shared a meal of moi-moi and pap after they had an argument over the love affair.

“My Lord, this goes to show that the couple settled their differences amicably that night as it were; the defendant said he slapped his wife out of a fit of anger, which was an instinctive reaction.”

Also adopting his final written address, the state prosecutor, Y. O. Oshoala, asked the court to convict Lekan for the murder of his wife, Ronke.

He said:

“My Lord should take note that the autopsy report showed old and new trauma wounds to the deceased’s skull, which corroborate a prolonged evidence of abuse.

“The defendant, after committing the act, also fled the scene with the deceased’s phone and the key to the apartment for days. He only resurfaced three days after the police launched a manhunt for him.

“There was no noise because it was one man dealing with a helpless woman, who could not fight back. Even if it is only one slap, the defendant does not have any right to slap his wife, whether for a just cause or an unjust cause.”

He added:

“In his evidence, he accepted the fact of killing; provocation could not have happened. The defendant was the provocateur in this case. The deceased was making her phone call, it was the defendant that entered and was provoked.

“The act of the defendant, in this case, was intentional and to cause grievous bodily harm, which he had been doing for long, but succeeded in killing a creature he could not create.”

Oshoala urged the court to convict the defendant to serve as a lesson to others, who were in the habit of assaulting people.

The presiding judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, adjourned the matter till January 18, 2019, for judgement.

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