Mr. Lekan Shonde, the depot worker who allegedly killed his wife, Ronke, last Thursday after a disagreement at their home in the Egbeda-Idimu area of Lagos state, surrendered himself to the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday, May 9th, barely 24 hours after he reportedly boasted that “I am a Lagos boy and I can be in this Lagos for the next 30 years and nobody would see me”.
He was said to have fled the house after the ungodly act, locking the door against the deceased and their two children. Ronke’s body was eventually discovered by the family’s nanny who raised the alarm, drawing the attention of neighbours.
Although he escaped to an unknown location after he allegedly murdered his wife, Lekan was still in touch with some of his friends who finally prevailed on him to give himself up to the police for investigation. Efforts to get him to surrender started yesterday morning when his friends cajoled him to meet some close acquaintances at a hotel in GRA, Ikeja around 11:30a.m.
After a short discussion, they moved to the Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, to meet with the Commander of the Rapid Reponse Squad, Tunji Disu. Mr. Lekan Shonde was later brought in by the RRS commander in a police patrol van to the Headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command, GRA, Ikeja in company of his friends, including the Chairman, Campaign Against Impunity And Domestic Violence, Mr. Gbenga Soloki.
At the command, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, was said to have grilled the the alleged murderer for several hours before handing him over to intelligence officers for further investigation.
During the interrogation, Punch reports that Mr. Lekan Shonde, insisted he never beat his wife. He said:
“My parents, who were against the union, shunned our marriage. My mother is dead. My father, who is over 90 years, has been full of regret, saying he had warned me. She dated the manager of a publishing firm while still married to me.
“On that Thursday, after she said she had taken my N20,000, all I did was to slap her. I am sorry I did that. But even after that, I still bought moi-moi and pap for her when she said she would not cook. I took garri that night.
“She ate and suddenly started to vomit. I asked her what the problem was, but she said nothing. On Friday morning, she was still lying down when I left her. I even dropped the upkeep money that I always gave her and left for work.
“It was while at work that I was told the police visited the house and saw her corpse. I did not touch her and God is my witness.”
The suspect was not allowed to speak with newsmen. He was however, immediately handed over to the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for further interrogation.
It would be recalled that the State Police Command had on Sunday declared him ‘wanted.’
Although Mr. Lekan Shonde declined to speak with newsmen, he was heard insisting that he was innocent, just as he insisted that his wife cheated on him and confessed to the unholy act.
Speaking on how they were able to convince him to report to the police, his friend, Gbenga Soloki, 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 5.00 am as usual and he said it was his son that opened the door while he locked 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 Oluokun and accused him of breaking his home and he apologized.
“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.”
Mr. Gbenga described the suspect as a naturally non-violent person and a very loving man who loves his wife. He added: “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.”
Another friend of Mr. Lekan Shonde who spoke on the condition of anonymity said:
“Our friend killed his wife by mistake. He caught her making phone calls to her lover. She told the lover how he satisfied her sexually. Our friend confronted her and an argument ensued which degenerated into a fight. Lekan pushed her and walked away, not knowing that she had a fatal fall.
It was the next morning that Lekan discovered she was dead. Lekan regretted what happened which was why he fled the house and had threatened to commit suicide. We kept on prevailing on him to come out from hiding and not to commit suicide. We pleaded with him to remember his kids. It was the issue of his kids that made him to come out.”
It was gathered Mr. Lekan Shonde had allegedly tried to commit suicide before turning himself in but was dissuaded by friends, especially one Sunday Iwobi, who described the incident as ‘unfortunate’ saying:
“We convinced him to come out and face the law for the sake of his children. I sent him over 70 text messages. His mother in-law who loves him so much also appealed to him to come out. He had equally spoken to the intruder who caused the problem. The lover boy has been begging for forgiveness”.