Barely five days after Lekan Shonde, a port worker at Apapa, allegedly killed his wife, Ronke at their Egbeda residence and fled, he monday turned himself to the police due to pleas from friends.
This was just a day after the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, launched a manhunt for him based on allegations that he strangled the wife to death.
Shonde, who had earlier refused to report himself to the police, monday made a sudden turnaround and in the company of some friends reported at the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja.
He was later taken to the state Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, in the company of his friends and RRS Commander, Olatunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Dressed in a blue shirt and black trousers, the suspect who was seen at the state police command headquarters, was barefooted as he walked up and down with his lawyer.
Although he declined to speak with THISDAY, he was overheard maintaining his innocence and the allegation that his wife cheated on him, while talking to his friends.
THISDAY gathered that the suspect, prior to turning himself in, had allegedly tried to commit suicide but was again dissuaded by friends, especially one Sunday Iwobi.
In an avalanche of text messages (about 70) he sent to Iwobi, the suspect while maintaining his innocence, expressed his desire to end it all.
The text message he sent on May 7, Sunday, read thus, “I want to die. Please help me. I can’t face the police or jail. They will kill me.”
Apparently, the reply Iwobi sent back was convincing enough for him not to commit suicide but turn himself in, because yesterday he acquiesced to go to the police.
Another text message sent by Iwobi to the suspect was for him to make himself available since they have acquired the services of a lawyer for him.
In his reply sent by 11.50a.m. informing Iwobi of his decision he wrote, “Thanks for everything you have done. I want to go to Alausa (RRS command headquarters).
“You are the only one that adviced me not to kill myself. Because of this, I will respect you till I die. Thank you.
On how they were able to convince him to report to the police, one of his friends, Gbenga Soloki, an activist and founder of Campaign Against Impunity and Domestic Violence, said justice must be done.
He said, “When the information came to us, as law abiding citizens we asked him to come out for the law to take its course.
“According to what he told us, he had confronted his wife that Thursday about her cheating on him. She was apologising and she knelt down.
“When she tried to hold his leg, he pushed her and went to bed. In the morning, he left to work by 5am as usual and he said it was his son that opened the door while he looked it from outside.
“According to him, he was in the office that Friday when the nanny called and informed him about what happened. He said he couldn’t believe it.
“Initially, he said he didn’t want to run but the landlady’s son convinced him to because the police were already in the compound. It was misrepresentation of facts that chased him away.
“While he was in hiding, he told us that he called his wife’s alleged lover, one Kayode Oluokun, the General Manager of Foursquare Publishing and accused him of breaking his home and he apologised.
“Also in hiding, he was able to speak with his 91-year-old father, who also convinced him to report to the police. He also spoke with his mother-in-law who said she has forgiven him.
“Our stand is that if he is responsible, the law should take its course. We don’t just want speculative analysis, we want the police to investigate the matter thoroughly.”
On the allegations of infidelity levelled against the deceased, Soloki said: “During investigations, we hope the police will get the call log of both Ronke and the said friend. Then we will know if Lekan is lying.”
Asked to describe the suspect he said: “He is not a violent person by nature. He is a very loving man who loves his wife. Go to his Facebook wall and see the encomiums he poured on his wife in February.
“Even the joint account that they have, it was in the care of the wife as she had the ATM card. As at now, he can’t even access the account because it was in the wife’s name.”
In an interview with THISDAY afterwards, CP Owoseni said investigations had commenced already to enable the police unravel the situation appropriately.
He said: “As have rightly said, the man allegedly killed his wife, because we are not a court of law. The right word is alleged and he has turned himself to us.
“He is in our custody and we will make sure that we get to the root of the matter and investigation is conducted. Presently, detectives are asking him questions and at the end of the day, we will ensure that justice is done.”
On the claims that the deceased had marks of violence round her neck, suggesting strangulation, he said: “That will be left for scientific examination and autopsy to determine the circumstances surrounding her death.”