Lagos State Chief Forensic Pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, on Wednesday told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that the slain former governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Funsho Williams, was strangled to death.
Six men – Bulama Kolo, Musa Maina, David Cassidy, Tunani Sonani, Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie – are standing trial before the court for the murder of Williams.
Williams, who was to contest the 2007 governorship election in Lagos, was murdered on July 27, 2006, at his residence, 34A, Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
Obafunwa, who was testifying as a prosecution witness before Justice Adeniyi Adebajo, said the post moterm conducted on the deceased person’s body showed that this death resulted from asphyxia (lack of oxygen intake) due to “manual strangulation.”
He said, “Based on our findings, the deceased’s death resulted from asphyxia or lack of air intake due to manual strangulation, and the wounds found on the deceased can be described as defence wounds.
“Blood and urine samples, eye fluids, stomach contents, nail scrapings and clippings were also taken by the police for further forensic analysis after which I made a report.”
The pathologist, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mrs. O.A Akin-Adesomoju, said an X-ray photograph also revealed a fracture of the thyroid cartilage (neck bone) of the body.
He added that there were bruises and defence wounds noticed on parts of the late politician’s body.
He said that he visited the scene of the crime at the deceased person’s residence at 34A, Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi at 5.30pm on July 27, 2006, following a call informing him of the deceased’s death.
Obafunwa told the court that he waited for policemen to arrive before he later saw the corpse at 10pm.
He said, “I saw the body of a middle aged man, identified by the family, having his hands tied and lying face down in a pool of blood on a dagger wrapped with a newspaper.
“I covered the hands and taped it with a paper to prevent a foreign DNA which may occur during the movement of the body so as not to affect forensic investigations.
“I noticed that the room was scattered along with two other rooms which I checked before the body was moved to Creek Military Hospital and I left at midnight.
“During the post-mortem examination, myself and two other pathologists at Creek Hospital discovered a cut on the deceased forehead and bruises around his neck.”
Counsel for the defendants, Mr. Agbara Okezie, declined to cross-examine the pathologist.
Justice Adebajo adjourned further trial till May 7.
The defendants were first arraigned on March 1, 2013 before Justice Adebajo on two counts of conspiracy and murder.
The defendants, according to the charge, on or about July 27, 2006, at 34A, Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, conspired to murder Williams, an engineer.[Punch]