A pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof Sunday Shoyemi, said on Friday that the death of a 22-year-old fashion designer, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, was caused by a blunt force trauma to the head.
The pathologist gave evidence before a Lagos State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square at the ongoing trial of a Bus Rapid Transit driver, Andrew Ominnikoron, who is standing trial for the alleged rape and murder of Ayanwole.
Shoyemi said that after his examination of the body of Ayanwole, he established that her death was due to a craniocerebral injury following blunt force trauma.
He was led in evidence by Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins.
Shoyemi told the court that prior to the autopsy, the body of the deceased was embalmed.
He said that the body had no clothing but noted that a silver-coloured ring was found on the middle right finger of the deceased.
Shoyemi testified that he observed a bruise on the left side of the forehead of the deceased and a bruise above her right ear.
He also told the court that he observed a large bruise on the back of the skull of the deceased.
“In addition, there was a bruise on the elbow region. These findings were external. Upon opening, I saw what we call subdural hematoma, which means bleeding into the soft tissue covering the skull or bleeding into the brain. This was noticed in the frontal area as well as on the back of the skull.
“At the back of the skull, there were multiple fractures, which means bone broken into two or more pieces,” Shoyemi said.
The pathologist also said that there was a fracture on the bone above the ear.
According to him, bruises were also found on both lips of the deceased.
Shoyemi, who was the ninth and last prosecution witness, said: “In the light of all the findings and the internal findings, death was ascribed to severe craniacerebral injury following a blunt force trauma.”
The witness further told the court that during the autopsy, he took samples from the deceased’s body for the purpose of identification and toxicology.
He said that the samples were taken to the DNA forensic laboratory.
During cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr Abayomi Omotubora, the witness told the court that information about the deceased was given to him by the investigating police officer before the autopsy was carried out.
After the cross-examination, the defendant’s counsel informed the court that he had a pending application to recall some prosecution witnesses for further cross-examination.
In response, the prosecution counsel objected.
Justice Sherifat Sonaike reserved ruling on the application until Nov. 2.
Ominnikoron is facing a five-count charge bordering on rape, sexual assault, and murder preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.
The prosecution had told the court that Ominnikoron conspired with others now at large to rape and murder 22-year-old Ayanwole, a passenger on the BRT he was driving.
The prosecution added that the defendant had sexual intercourse with Ayanwole without her consent and murdered her at about 7 pm, between Lekki Ajah Expressway and Carter Bridge on February 26, 2022.
The prosecution also alleged that the defendant and others at large threw Ayanwole out of a moving BRT between Lekki-Ajah Expressway and Carter Bridge.
According to the prosecution, the offences contravene sections 411, 223, 260, and 165 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
The 48-year-old defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.