By Ishaq Salami
A magistrate court in Ebute Meta, Lagos, South West Nigeria, failed on Friday to hear the murder charge against Lekan Shonde, a man alleged to have killed his wife. The case has suffered two adjournments in less than one month without substantial hearing taken place.
At the resumed hearing Friday, Shonde stopped short of appearing in the dock because the presiding magistrate Oluwayemisi Adelaja was absent. The suspect arrived the courtroom in a prison van at about 11 a.m.
Acting on the magistrate’s behalf, Court V registrar pronounced an adjournment till 2 September.
Shonde’s penultimate appearance in court was 24 June, at which prosecutor China Nwanowe informed the the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, had given its advice on the case. The said advice couldn’t however be heard due to opposition by Shonde’s lawyer, Ibrahim Mohammed, that he was unaware of such. Mohamed’s argument was sustained, while Magistrate Adelaja ruled that the former be availed the content of the DPP’s letter. The matter was then adjourned for 8 July.
Shonde, an oil worker, became infamous for his wife, Ronke in Egbeda area of Lagos. The man claimed he had only slapped his wife while she scuffled with him. The disagreement led to Ronke’s death and the husband’s abandoning her corpse in their room, alongside their children, before running away.
Days later, Shonde turned himself in to the police. He continues to claim innocence of his wife’s death. An autopsy conducted on her says she died of a respiratory problem.