A widow of a slain Police Inspector, Francis Ilesanmi Adekunle, Mrs. Itunnu Adekunle on Monday said a Police sergeant, Ukeme Asuquo hacked her husband to death with a sword.
While being led in evidence-in-Chief by State Prosecutor, M.O Abari, the wife of late Inspector told Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja how her husband died due to the defendant’s attack on her husband.
According to her, “We just got home from work around 8:00pm on June 4, 2020 and while burning some refuse outside our compound, the defendant approached me and asked to see me, but he refused to answer me when I asked him for what?
She said, “Asuquo drove in and shut the gate so I couldn’t go in. I banged at the gate and our co-tenant, Ayodele Eyitayo approached the gate to open up for me when Asuquo challenged him not to open gate and pushed him to the ground.
“Upon my cry for help, my husband came down to separate them from fighting and opened the gate for me. After our co-tenant went into his apartment, Asuquo went in as well but came out with a sword and chased after me and my husband.
“We ran towards different directions and after a while, one of our neighbour came back to inform me where I was hiding that my husband has been macheted by the defendant.
“So I rushed to the scene and found my husband in a pool of his blood, he was rushed in tricycle to the hospital were he died on the third day and the matter was reported at Panti police station.
During cross-examination, the prosecuting counsel, Marian Aigbedion asked if there was any grudges or quarrel between the defendant and the deceased, the witness replied, “No.”
When was he buried, the counsel asked? Sometime in July 2020 in Ondo State, the witness answered.
The prosecuting counsel, Abari led another witness, Ayodele Eyitayo in evidence.
Eyitayo in his testimony said, “After the deceased came to separate the argument between me and the defendant, I went back inside my apartment. I saw the defendant through my window chase after the couple with a sword and came back after shutting the gate to destroy my window net.
“I called the police at Ile-Epo station to inform them about Asuquo’s threat and the defendant ran away. So I quickly went to open the gate for the policemen and thereafter was informed that the defendant has macheted the deceased.”
Another witness, Taiwo Oluwatuyi while being led by the prosecuting counsel said that despite my plead with the defendant, he refused and kept on hitting the deceased with the weapon.
Oluwatuyi told the judge, “I went out to spread some clothes when I heard the wife of the deceased shouting, so I approached the defendant to have mercy on the deceased. He scratched me with the weapon and charged after us. We fell down by the well of water in my compound, the defendant met us there and began to strike the deceased with the weapon.
“Despite my plea, the defendant continued to matchete the deceased, I couldn’t endure the horrible sight so I ran for help and the defendant ran into the compound and shut the gate when I came back with some boys.”
The prosecuting counsel, Abari a medical doctor at KSO maternity, Osere Kayode who treated the deceased said in evidence, “The deceased was brought in around 10:45p.m with a tricycle in a pool of blood with matchete wound on leg, hand, head and all over the body of the deceased.
“At first I rejected him but the policeman that brought in the deceased said that the DPO ordered that I treat him, so, he was placed on drip and all the cut of wounds were stitched.
“The deceased was sleeping when the IPO came in the following day to see him, his condition was stable and PVC at 31. But I still advised that the deceased be transferred to the General Hospital before the deceased gave up the ghost on the third day.”
During cross-examination, the Defence counsel asked Kayode why he accepted to treat the deceased.
He responded that, “It was very late and the deceased was already unconscious and the policeman pleaded that the DPO asked me to treat him,” Kayode said.
What can you say caused the death of the deceased who you said was already getting better, the defence counsel asked.
He explained,”It came to me as shock because the wife of deceased said that he ate watermelon, drank milk and malt, I can’t really say what caused the death as his condition was stable,” he insisted.
Trouble started in 2020 for the defendant Asuquo, who was attached to the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command, when he allegedly attacked Francis, who was attached to the Special Protectiin Unit, Ikeja.
The police officers had both live at No.1 Oyedeji close, Agbalekale in Aboru area of Lagos before the incident.
At his arraignment, Asuquo was charged with murder, contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law, Ch. C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, but he denied the allegation.
The charge read in part, “That you Asuquo Ukeme on or about the 4th day of June 2020 at about 20:00 hours at 1, Olajide Close, Agbelekale, Aboru, Lagos State, in the Ikeja Judicial Division, did unlawfully killed one Adekunle Ilesanmi (m) by hacking him with a cutlass.”
Justice Oshodi adjourned the matter until October 17, 2022 for continuation of trial.