A 49-year-old electrician, Ismaila Salau, yesterday in an Igbosere High Court denied killing his wife, Silifat Yakubu, with a pestle. Salau was arraigned in 2015 on a count charge of murder preferred against him by the Lagos State government.
At the resumed hearing, the witness, who was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. A.A. Babalola, said that on October 3, 2014, he was held up in traffic after running errands for a friend. The witness told the court that on the fateful day, he left home at about 6:00a.m. and returned back the following day at 4:00a.m. because his friend sent him on an errand.
“I was held up in traffic until the early hours of the following morning. My car also fell into a ditch due to flood,” he told the court. He said that he called his wife who was visiting her parents during the Salah festivities.
Salau said that when he got home, he did not see his wife and her phone was switched off. The witness said he called his older daughter who told him that the deceased left her mother’s house since 8:00p.m.
Salau narrated how he went for a village meeting the following day and heard about a pregnant woman who drowned in the stream.
He said: “I then told the Baale that my wife was missing so he asked me and my wife’s elder brother to go to the Badagry General Hospital where the body was deposited to check if it was my wife. “When I saw the body, I knew that was my wife”.
During cross-examination by the Lagos State prosecutor, Jubril Kareem, the accused admitted that he did not report to the police about his missing wife.
He however denied the statement he allegedly made to the police during police investigation.
After listening to the evidence, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, adjourned the case until April 9, for continuation of trial.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Kareem, had told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence on October 3, 2014, at about 11:00p.m. at No. 18, Igbele village, in Araromi community of Badagry, Lagos State.
He said the defendant allegedly murdered his wife, Silifat Yakubu, by hitting her head with a pestle and dumping her body in a nearby stream. Kareem said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
However the defendant pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody.
Meanwhile, about four gunmen kidnapped an expatriate engineer at Dangi roundabout in Kano State at about 7:40a.m. yesterday, witnesses and police said. The gunmen were said to have shot dead the driver, before abducting the expatriate, who was working on a road construction in the area.
The identities of the victims were not immediately clear.
A witness told newsmen that policemen who arrived after the incident took the body of the driver to the mortuary.
The police spokesperson in Kano, Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed the incident and said the police had commenced investigation.