An Ikeja, Lagos State High Court on Wednesday heard how a housekeeper, Christian Yavine, allegedly murdered one Mariam Abiola, 79, the mother of his employer by slitting her throat.
However, Yavine, a Beninoise, who was 18 when the murder was committed three years ago, denied the charge brought against him by the state.
The policeman’s evidence was translated into French in the courtroom by an interpreter for Yavine’s understanding.
The Investigating Police Officer, Inspector Godsgift Moses, being led in evidence by Akin George, the State Prosecutor, said: “On July 3, 2014, I and ASP Adetunji Fisayo paid a visit to the crime scene.
“The room where the deceased was murdered was scattered with a lot of blood, seen on the mattress and the pillow.
“Our investigation team proceeded to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja to inspect the remains of the deceased.
“On close observation, there was a deep cut across the throat of the deceased and she had several minor cuts on her neck, which shows a sign of a struggle.”
On how he took charge of the case, Moses said: “I am a police inspector attached to the Homicide Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
“I met the defendant on July 2, 2014 at 4pm while I was on duty at the State CID.
“The original case file and exhibits were handed over to me.
“The defendant spoke Yoruba but I did not understand, so I asked a colleague, Sergeant Adeola Lawal, to interpret the language in English for me.
“Lawal interpreted his statement for me and it was read to the defendant and he confirmed that that was what he told Lawal.
“On July 7, 2014, we served the pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, with the coroners form and an autopsy was conducted by Obafunwa’s office to find out the primary cause of death.”
The prosecutor showed Moses two long kitchen knives, a black rope and a long pestle allegedly used in the crime, which were identified by him and marked as exhibits by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.
George, argued that Yavine allegedly committed the offence on July 1, 2014 at the residence of his employer located at Block 74, Flat 2, Ijaiye Low Cost Housing Estate, Pen Cinema in Agege, near Lagos.
He said: “The defendant killed a septuagenarian, Mrs. Mariam Abiola, the mother of his employer, by stabbing her repeatedly in the throat with a kitchen knife.
“The defendant committed the murder after his employer, Mrs. Joke Akinsemoyin, left the deceased and the teenage housekeeper in her home to go for a vigil, scheduled for 10.30pm in her church.
“When Akinsemoyin returned in the early hours of the morning, she inquired about her mother from Yavine and he told her that she was sleeping in the bedroom.
“When she wanted to go into the bedroom to check her, she was refused entry by Yavine and she immediately became suspicious.
“After a physical struggle with the defendant, she gained entry into the bedroom where she saw the body of her mother lying in a pool of her blood on the bed.”
Three witnesses, including Moses, have so far testified for the prosecution in the trial.
Ipaye adjourned the case until May 4 for continuation of trial.