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Footballer facing murder charges shook baby more violently second time round, court hears

A court has heard how a Nigerian footballer had shaken his partner's 15-month-old child violently for the second time in less then a week with the intention to kill or grievously injure him

5 July 2017, 4:44pm
On 15 April of that year, Maleek was rushed to hospital, requiring urgent, life-saving surgery after suffering internal bleeding
On 15 April of that year, Maleek was rushed to hospital, requiring urgent, life-saving surgery after suffering internal bleeding
A court has heard how a Nigerian footballer facing charges related to the attempted murder of his partner’s 15-month-old baby, had shaken the child violently for the second time in less then a week with the intention to kill or grievously injure him.

Rotimi Williams Akande, 27, had struck up a relationship with Abiola Olowoshile Abiola, also Nigerian, after she broke up with her boyfriend – with whom she had a baby. Abiola and her baby moved into Akande’s Mellieha apartment in February 2013.

Given that Abiola used to work morning shifts while Akande used to work night shifts, Akande used to look after then 15-month-old Maleek Opeyemi Olowoshile.

On 15 April of that year, Maleek was rushed to hospital, requiring urgent, life-saving surgery after suffering internal bleeding.

According to police, Akande, who was left alone with the him, had shaken the child to silence his crying.

Akande is pleading not guilty to the charges in a trial by jury in relation to the case. He claimed that he had found the baby shaking and rapidly blinking on the day of the alleged incident.

Prosecutor Elaine Mercieca told the court, however, that after a initial incident where the baby was allegedly violently shaken, hospital staff had warned Akande of dangerous consequences should there be a similar case.

Five days later, on 15 April,  the baby was admitted to hospital again.

This time, the child suffered severe brain injury, which doctors said was only compatible with violent shaking.

Maleek, now 5 years old, has since been taken care of by staff at Dar tal-Providenza.

Mercieca explained that the baby was shaken more violently that in the second incident than in the first and, in view of the previous warnings, the intention was clearly to kill the infant.

The trial continues.

Mr Justice Antonio Mizzi is presiding.

Lawyer Joe Ellis is defence counsel.