BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH & ONOZURE DANIA
LAGOS—Lagos State Chief pathologist, Professor Oladapo Obafunwa Monday disclosed before an Ikeja High Court that he discovered more than 76 stab wounds on the body of the late Skye Bank staff, Mrs. Titilayo Omozoje, allegedly murdered by her husband, Akolade Arowolo last year.
Obafunwa who was testifying before Justice Lateefa Okunnu on his observations while carrying out autopsy on the late banker, told the judge that she had “minimum of 76 stab wounds that were inflicted on her body, including injuries on the face, chest, left and right upper limbs.”
Led in evidence by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, Obafunwa who doubles as the Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University, LASU, revealed that there was concentration of stab wounds from her chest to her abdomen on the left side.
According to him, Titilayo’s remains were identified on July 4, 2011, but the autopsy which lasted more than five hours took place on July 6, adding that during his internal examination of the body, he found “various wounds consistent with wounds from sharp weapon with a single edge blade as well as a double edge blade.”
He noted that the wounds affected the “left eye, right eye, upper chest area, right chest and collar bone left armpit. It also included a 10 x 5cm rectangular area that has multiple individual injuries on the left side of her chest and breast over lying the heart.”
Obafunwa who gave graphic account of his observations through slides of still images that was burn on a Compact Disc stated that the autopsy revealed a gaping wound which was “revealed as a black hole in the chest region.”
Some of the still pictures showed deep cuts on the “stomach wall” after the inside of the stomach was pushed to a side to allow for the autopsy.
He further said the forensic investigations revealed that the injuries could not have been self inflicted as the penetration was from the chest to the back and there were stab wounds to the stomach wall.
According to him, “the chest wall was lost due to multiple stab wounds, there was a damage to the diaphragm, left side of the liver, breast area and repeated stab wounds to the lungs and intestines”.
He eventually summed up his autopsy report and concluded that “her death was caused by multiple injuries in the chest and abdomen due to multiple sharp wounds and long forced trauma”.
On his examinations on the deceased’s husband, the pathologist said that there were wounds on his hand and abdomen and he also had a “limping gait which he admitted may be because he jumped to the ground from the fourth floor of his apartment”.
He explained that the 12 injuries he examined on him were not penetrating but superficial, adding that two of the wounds might fall into the category of defence wounds, adding the 12 injuries he examined were not penetrating but superficial and two of them might fall into the category of defence wounds though not all the injuries fall into the time frame the incident was said to have occurred as they might have been on the body earlier.
In his response, Arowolo’s counsel, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, during cross-examinations said that it was the pathologist that inflicted new stab wounds on the deceased when the corpse was in his custody, which was denied by the witness.
Further hearing was adjourned till October 22, 2012 when the prosecution is expected to take its last witness.