‘I went into hiding because facts were twisted…’
Why suspected wife’s killer, Lekan Shonde, turned self to police
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,” Lekan Shonde, the dockworker, who allegedly killed his wife last week, turned himself to the Commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, Tunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
By noon, yesterday, he was 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, where the alleged murderer was quizzed by intelligence officers.
Lekan had on Thursday night, killed his wife, Ronke, a mother of two, after accusing her of infidelity. Although he escaped to an unknown destination after the deed was done, he was still in touch with some friends, who finally convinced him to turn himself to the police for investigations to begin.
Friends of Lekan persuaded him to give himself up by reporting to the police to face the music. Efforts to get him to surrender began yesterday morning when his friends wooed 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. From the secretariat, they moved to the office of the Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, who handed over the suspect to the homicide section in Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
The Lagos State police boss, Fatai Owoseni, grilled him for several hours before handing him to officers for further investigation. The suspect was not allowed to speak with newsmen before he was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID), Panti, Yaba.
It would be recalled that the Lagos State police command had on Sunday declared him wanted. The suspect, who was dressed in a blue shirt and black trousers, was seen walking about the command barefooted in the company of his lawyer.
Although he 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.
It was 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 a series of text messages sent to Iwobi, the suspect wrote: “I want to die. Please help me. I can’t face the police or jail. They will kill me.”
In a later message, he informed Iwobi of his decision to go to the police. He wrote: “Thanks for everything you have done. I want to go to Alausa (RRS command headquarters). You are the only one that advised 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 5.00am 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.”
On the allegations of infidelity leveled 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.”
Describing 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.”
Some lawyers who commented on the incident said Lekan is likely to face a murder charge and death by hanging. Clement Onwuewunor said: “The man has committed murder. The punishment for that is death by hanging. It is an offence that attracts capital punishment. But if he has a strong defense, the least he can face is manslaughter, which is 25 years imprisonment.”
Another lawyer, Toyin Bamgboye-Falaiye, said: “He has committed murder, and he is expected to die by hanging, which is what the law says. But a lot of cases like that had existed and nobody signed the death warrant of the convicts. For example, Kolade Arowolo’s case is still there. So, he may eventually not die by hanging but spend the rest of his life in jail.”