Court arraigns wife killer, pleads not guilty

An electrician, Ismaila Salau, yesterday told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that he did not kill his wife with a pestle and dump her in a stream.

Salau, 49, was arraigned in 2015 by the Lagos State Government on a one-count charge of murdering his wife, Silifat Yakubu, in 2014.

The government told Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye that the defendant allegedly committed the offence about 11pm on October 3, 2014, at 18, Igbele village, Araromi, Badagry.

It said Salau killed Yakubu by hitting her on the head with a pestle and dumping her in a nearby stream.

The alleged offence contravenes Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Salau pleaded not guilty.

At the resumption of trial yesterday, Salau opened his defence.

Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. A. A. Babalola, the witness said he could not have killed his wife that night, because he was held up in traffic after running errands for a friend.

He said he left home around 6am and returned the following day at 4am because his friend sent him on an errand.

“I was held up in traffic until the early hours of the following day. My car also fell into a ditch due to flood’, Salau told the court.

He said he phoned his wife, who was visiting her parents during the Sallah festivities.

Salau said when he got home; he did not see his wife and her phone was switched off.

He said he called his elder daughter, who told him that the deceased left her mother’s house since 8pm.

Salau narrated how he went for a village meeting the following day and heard about an expectant mother who drowned in a stream.

He said: “I then told the baale (village head) that my wife was missing. He asked me and my wife’s elder brother to go to the Badagry General Hospital mortuary where the body was deposited to check if it was my wife.

“When I saw the body, I knew that that was my wife.”

During cross-examination by prosecuting counsel Jubril Kareem, Salau said he did not report his wife’s absence to the police.

He denied making a confessional statement to the police.

Justice Ipaye adjourned further hearing till April 9.

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