Man sentenced to death for bathing wife with acid

An Ikeja High Court yesterday sentenced a businessman, Suleiman Olalekan, to death by hanging for killing his 22-year-old wife, Chika Egbo, by bathing her with acid.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo sentenced Olalekan to death after finding him guilty of a two-count charge of murder and grievous bodily harm.

Lawal-Akapo, while pronouncing the sentence, said: “The defendant is found guilty of murder, the defendant, Suleiman Olalekan, will be hanged by the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olalekan, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ibadan, bowed his head and remained expressionless when the sentence was pronounced on him before a crowded courtroom.
Olalekan’s trial started at the High Court on December 9, 2014.

During the trial, the prosecution led by Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, said Olalekan committed the offence on November 5, 2012. “The accused at 1:35p.m. on the said day at Bakare Street, Ikotun, a Lagos suburb, allegedly caused the death of Chika Egbo by bathing her with acid.

“He also caused the grievous bodily harm of one Mr. Sunny Daniel, a commercial motorcyclist,” he said. According to the prosecution, the convict and the deceased got married and had a daughter, who is currently four years old.

“The accused and the deceased were having problems in their relationship; the accused lured the deceased, who had moved to Enugu back to Lagos under the guise that he wanted her to visit his mother. When she came to Lagos, he and the deceased engaged a commercial motorcyclist, who was to convey them to his mother’s house. While the motorcycle was on motion, the accused brought out a container of acid and poured it on Egbo’s head,” he said.

According to the prosecution, Suleiman was caught while trying to flee the crime scene by passersby and sympathisers. “The attack left Egbo’s head badly disfigured and unrecognisable as well as leaving severe burns on her shoulders, breasts and private parts.

“Daniel, the commercial motorcyclist, was also grievously injured during the attack and almost lost an eye. Egbo succumbed to her injuries at the Burns Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on December 20, 2014,” Kazeem said.

The offence contravened Sections 221 and 243 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011. Suleiman, who pleaded not guilty during the trial on November 24, 2016, said Egbo got doused in acid during a scuffle between him and her lover at a hotel room.

“On November 5, 2012, a friend informed me that Chika was in a hotel room with a lover. I went to the hotel and knocked on the door and Chika opened the door and a man called Emeka was lying on the bed.

“A scuffle broke out between me and Emeka; Chika and Emeka brought out acid to pour on me but Chika was injured in the acid attack. Daniel, the motorcyclist, was injured while conveying Chika to the hospital,” he claimed.

But Justice Lawal-Akapo, while pronouncing the verdict, debunked Suleiman’s claims. “I closely watched the demeanour of the accused while he gave his evidence, he was panting and fidgeting. I believe his testimony was filled with falsehood.

“I believe he poured the acid on the deceased, which led to her death and the three ingredients of murder have been established.”

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