The Lagos State Police Command has launched a manhunt for Mr. Lekan Shonde, who allegedly killed his banker-wife, Ronke, in Lagos on Thursday night.
Ronke Shonde, a mother of two, was found dead in their apartment located on Tiemo Close, Off Awori Street, in the Egbeda-Idimu area of Lagos State on Friday morning.
The husband was said to have fled with his wife’s mobile phones after the incident occurred.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command, Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident on Saturday, adding that the matter had been transferred to the Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba.
She said “marks of violence” were found on Ronke, suggesting that she was murdered in cold blood.
The police spokesperson further said the command had launched a manhunt for the husband of the deceased.
Badmos said, “Yes, I confirm the incident. It was reported on Friday at about 8am by the landlady. She said at about 7am, she heard the screaming of Mrs. Ronke Shonde’s children, who is one of her tenants, as they couldn’t find the key to open their door from inside.
“When the door was forced open from outside, the lifeless body of the victim was found on the floor.
“Police operatives visited the scene and the corpse was removed and deposited at the Isolo General Hospital mortuary for autopsy.”
The police spokesperson explained that the deceased’s husband was at large and could not be reached on his telephone lines, which had been switched off.
“Effort is on to get him. The command will certainly get to the root of the case. The case has been transferred to the homicide section of the SDCI for discreet investigation,” she added.
Some residents of the street on which the couple lived, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH when one of our correspondents visited the area on Saturday, lamented that the deceased had been enduring an abusive marriage.
It was gathered that Ronke was the second of three siblings to die within two years.
A neighbour, who has a shop on the street, said Ronke died on Thursday night but the neighbours did not know until Friday morning.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the neighbour said, “It is a very unfortunate incident. The man had serially abused and assaulted his wife until the Thursday attack led to her death.
“He would tie her, beat her and take her mobile phones away. She should have left him long ago.”
The neighbour said the couple lived comfortably, as the wife worked with Guaranty Trust Bank while her husband works at the Apapa depot of Mobil.
The neighbour also said,
“The husband is much older than the wife; the woman was in her 30s while man should be in his 50s.”
The neighbour further said, “Some people heard when she screamed on Thursday night but nobody knew what happened to her until her nanny raised the alarm on Friday morning.
“I was one of those who packed her remains. She had injuries on her head, neck and around her private parts. There were blood stains on the walls, which indicated that she must have struggled with him until he overpowered her.
“She was a light-skinned person but by the time we broke into their apartment, her body was already becoming dark and swollen. A doctor who conducted some tests on her said she must have been killed around 11pm on Thursday.”
According to the neighbour, Ronke’s mother had three children, while her younger brother died about a year ago. He lamented that her death might have been prevented if her brother’s wife, who had been living with them, was home on Thursday night.
When one of our correspondents sought to speak with the couple’s immediate neighbours on Saturday, their residence, which had two buildings one of which was said to be occupied by the landlady, was shut.
Another resident in the area, who also declined to be named in print, said the police had sealed up the couple’s flat, while other occupants of the building had shut the gate to visitors ever since.
“The flat was not just sealed. The police called a welder to weld the doors, which are made of iron to protect the crime scene,” the source said.
The neighbour added that Ronke’s uncle came to take the children to their grandmother who is based in Kwara State.