A police witness, Sgt. Adeola Lawal, told an Ikeja High Court in Lagos that a hairdresser, Funmilayo Odunlade, dumped the corpse of her 13-year-old son, Tunde Sunmola, in a canal after the boy died of an illness sometime in 2014.
Lawal made the revelation on Thursday [30 Jun] while being led in evidence by the prosecution led by Mr Adebayo Haroun. According to him, the defendant on Aug. 2, 2014 at 6.00 a.m. dumped the corpse of her son in the canal after he died from an undisclosed illness.
“She dumped the corpse of her biological son in a canal at Mowe in Ogun on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. After she gave me her statement being a mother also, I immediately swung into action by trying to locate the corpse of the boy. All efforts to locate Tunde’s body proved abortive and we charged her to court and thereafter forwarded her case file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice,’’ Lawal said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 36-year-old Odunlade of No 17, Emmanuel St., Maryland, Lagos, is facing a charge of misconduct relating to corpses which is contrary to Section 163 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Lawal, who is the Investigating Officer in the case, said that on Aug. 7, 2014 the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba.
After Lawal had given her testimony, the prosecutor sought to tender the confessional statement of Oduntan as evidence. The Defence led by Mr K.O Adebisi of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), however, objected to Oduntan’s statement being tendered as evidence because it was made involuntarily.
“She was taken to the police station in handcuffs, threatened and not cautioned by the police as to her right to have a counsel present,’’ Oduntan said. The prosecution, however, maintained that the statement was made voluntarily.
“We are ready to prove that the statement was made voluntarily and we are calling for a trial within trial to prove that the statement was voluntary.’’
Justice Sedotan Ogunsanya agreed with the prosecution’s request and ordered that a trial- within-trial should be held on the next date of adjournment. The case has been adjourned to Oct. 27 for a trial-within-trial.