By Sunmola Olowookere
A young man in his early thirties, Oluwaseun Olabode, is to face the hangman’s noose as he was convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife by an Akure High Court judge.
Although the convict claimed that he never fought with his wife, the family of the deceased insisted in their petition and testimonies before the court that she suffered assault from her husband several times which eventually led to her death.
According to the prosecution led by H.M Falowo Esq, a Chief Legal Officer, the accused person on April 3, 2020. at about 7 :00pm in Oke-Ogba Estate, Akure did beat Adaeze 0labode, his wife with a blunt object on the right side of her abdomen while she was heavily pregnant, which subsequently led to her death .
The case of murder was reported on May 5, 2020 through a petition written to the Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command, by one Dr. Henry Orumen esq on behalf of the family of the deceased, Mrs Blessing Adaeze Olabode, against Olabode Oluwaseun.
In his testimony, the father of late Blessing Adaeze Olabode nee Anya disclosed that his deceased daughter suffered violent maltreatment from her husband, Olabode Oluwaseun, the defendant and the mother-in-law, Stella Olabode.
He testified further that at a point in their marriage, the deceased attempted suicide and left a suicide note but he waded into the matter and brokered peace between the couple.
He stressed that their entire family were aware of the maltreatment.
“After my daughter’s death on April 14, 2020, her corpse was abandoned at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Owo, until the intervention of my immediate younger brother,” he stated.
Late Adaeze’s mother told the court that her daughter’s husband, Oluwaseun (defendant) informed her via a phone call that her daughter was sick while the phone was placed in the deceased’s ear but she could not hear her.
She said that the defendant told her that he was rushing the deceased to the hospital.
She narrated that the next morning she met her daughter at Mother and Child Hospital while a caesarian operation had been performed on her, stating that she did not see the corpse of the baby that died in her womb, which necessitated the operation.
She testified further that she thereafter visited her in the ward and discovered that blood was gushing out from the right side of her abdomen and a pipe was attached to the place blood was gushing out which was different from the place where the operation was conducted.
“My daughter informed me that it was her husband who hit her on that particular spot, which led to the bleeding and eventual loss of the baby,” she concluded.
Another prosecution witness, Chief (Mrs) Folake Sarumi, stated that two months prior to the incident on February 29, 2020, at about 8:30 a. m, the deceased came to her house with her first son to solicit assistance in securing a transfer from Owo to Akure, in order to join her husband, the defendant, and to stop her mother-In-Iaw from intruding into their marital affairs.
Sarumi said that the deceased informed her of various instances when she suffered domestic violence from the defendant; that he forcefully took possession of her ATM card, though they operate a joint account, and that her mother-in-law had always said the defendant made a mistake by getting married to her.
On Aprl 3, 2020, she testified that she received a phone call from the defendant who informed her that the deceased had given birth but the child did not survive.
About a week after, she said that she got the information that she was dead.
One Abel Akinluyi also testified that as a result of the maltreatment of the deceased by the husband, he was mandated to visit them and broker peace two years ago.
He stated that when the deceased was hospitalized, he went to the hospital, and heard people talking that the husband of the deceased did not do well by beating a pregnant woman.
He explained that from what he gathered at the hospital, she was beaten by her husband when they had minor argument over how he used the money she asked him to withdraw for the purchase of food and other domestic items during COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that he was informed by the mother of the deceased, Oladipupo Comfort that the defendant hit her on the right side of the abdomen during an argument on the issue of how he spent the money she asked him to withdraw on her behalf.
He said that he was also informed by one Pastor Ajibade that several times he had received phone calls from the deceased asking him to help pacify her husband whenever they quarreled.
Another witness, one O.E Pelemo, a consultant pathologist stated that he performed an autopsy on the corpse of Adaeze Blesslng Olabode.
He testified that he noticed irregular bruises and abrasions on the right side of the lower part of the deceased’s abdomen, and found the cause of death to be from a wound caused by a blunt force trauma to the abdomen which resulted to internal wound and bleeding.
He said that he prepared the autopsy report and signed it.
One Insp. Adaran Adebayo State CID, Akure testified that a case of murder was reported through a written petition to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command.
He said that he led the team that investigated the case and that the statement of the complainants and their witnesses were freely recorded while the defendant was invited and his statement was obtained after administering cautionary words.
He stated that investigation of the matter revealed that the deceased and the defendant got married in 2014, and was pregnant with their second child, which was found dead in her womb few days before her demise.
He further testified that prior to her death, they had a quarrel concerning the manner in which the defendant spent some money within the period before the deceased was rushed to the hospital.
Inspector Adaran said that the autopsy report conducted on the corpse of the deceased posited that irregular bruises and abrasions found on the right side of the lower part of the deceased abdomen caused a trauma which was so intense to have ruptured her uterus.
He stated that this caused of the complications that led to the death of Adaeze Blessing.
The trial judge, Justice A. Adebusoye, following a three- year trial, said that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt. He declared Olabode Oluwaseun guilty as charged and sentenced him to death by hanging.