Mudashiru Arowolo, father of 31-year-old Akolade Arowolo, who allegedly killed his banker-wife, Titilayo, lamented before an Ikeja High Court that Titilayo’s stepmother, Adetoun Oyakhire, caused bitter enmity between the couple.
Mudashiru, a trader who testified as the first defence witness on Thursday, said Adetoun’s undue interference led to a series of quarrels by the couple.
Mudashiru, while being led in evidence by the defence lawyer, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, said though the couple always engaged in heated arguments, he had neither seen nor heard that Akolade physically assaulted Titilayo.
He said, “He was never a violent man. They became married on October 4, 2008 after she (Titilayo) got pregnant for my son. They only courted for barely two and half months before the wedding.
“But they were always having quarrels. The first of such quarrels known to me was when Titilayo requested for N500,000 to buy baby things but Akolade insisted on giving her N100,000.
“But, I was shocked when Titilayo gave birth and Adetoun was requesting for the placenta of the baby. Both of them quarrelled on this and when the medical doctor used his discretion and gave the placenta to Akolade, Titilayo chose to return to her parents’ home when she was discharged from hospital.”
He told the court that Adetoun also took Titilayo to a hospital sometimes in December 2010 and made her have an abortion without Akolade’s consent.
He said, “It was discovered that Titilayo was emaciating and when we sought to know what was happening she said she had an abortion on the instruction of her stepmother.
“She said she also did family planning in which her womb was tied. She broke down and told me it was as if she was hypnotised because she doesn’t know why she always obey all her (Adetoun’s) orders.”
Mudashiru added that he was surprised when he learnt that Titilayo was found dead in his son’s residence.
He said, “Titilayo was always in the habit of leaving the house in anger whenever he and his husband had quarrels. He packed out of my son’s house in January 2011.
“She refused to return when I didn’t go to beg her parents as I used to do in time past. I was shocked to find her dead in his house on June 24, 2011.”
Mudashiru faulted earlier claims by the pathologist that the deceased had over 76 stab wounds, saying, “There might be manipulations. I saw her corpse on the bed after we forced the door open and when I looked at her, I observed three wounds on her body.”
He described his daughter-in-law as a violent lady, adding that he had overheard her saying to her husband, “I will kill you and I will kill myself too.”
Mudashiru, while being cross-examined by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, admitted that he made statement at the State Criminal Investigation Department that he “didn’t know why Akolade decided to kill his wife.”
Ogungbesan tendered the copy of the statement and it was marked by the court as exhibit B1.
However, while being re-examined, Mudashiru said he made the statement because the “Investigating Police Officer asked him to write it like that.”
Mudashiru also denied knowledge that Akolade was suspended at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Gbagada, for wife battering and womanising.
After Mudashiru concluded his testimony, Justice Lateefa Okunnu, adjourned till December 4 for continuation of defence.