Court, Adedoyin

The Osun State High Court has sentenced the founder of Odua University, Ile-Ife and hotel owner, Dr Ramon Adedoyin, to death by hanging for the murder of Timothy Adegoke, a former master’s degree student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife.

Delivering judgement on Tuesday, May 30, the Osun Chief Judge, Adepele Ojo, declared that the circumstantial evidence available to the court revealed that Adegoke was killed as a guest at the hotel owned by Adedoyin.

Ojo said Adedoyin’s decision not to enter the witness box did not help him, noting that the circumstantial evidence had shifted the burden of proof on him.

Justice Ojo added Adedoyin’s decision not to enter the witness box meant he agreed to the murder charge pressed against him by the prosecution, dismissing the alibi pleaded on his behalf by his counsel, who said the hotel owner was in Abuja for many days around the time the death of the late Adegoke occurred.

Delivering her judgement, Justice Ojo also sentenced Kazeem Oyetunde and Adeniyi Aderogba to death by hanging for their involvement in the killing of Adegoke.

Mrs Fatima Adebayo, the prosecution counsel from Femi Falana Chambers, urged the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the seventh defendant, Adedeji Adesola.

The court adjourned until May 31 for the sentencing of Adesola.

The three other defendants – Magdalene Chiefuna, Oluwale Lawrence and Kunle Adebayo – were, however, discharged and acquitted.

The judge said that Adedoyin was found guilty on count 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, and 15 bothering on conspiracy to murder, unlawful killing of Timothy Adegoke and also disposing and tampering with his corpse.

Ojo also ordered that the Hilton hotel, Ile-Ife, be closed and forfeited to the state government.

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She further said that the children of the deceased should be placed on scholarship until their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the bills should be paid by the Estate of Rahman Adedoyin.

She added that the son of the hotel owner be placed on Police, Interpol watch until he was apprehended and brought to face his trial.

The suspects, who were arraigned on a 16-count charge, which included conspiracy, murder, felony, all pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Earlier during the trial, the State Prosecution Counsel, Mr. M. Omosun, had told the court that the defendants committed the offence sometimes between November 5, 2021 and November 7, 2021, within Ile-Ife area in Osun.

Omosun said that the defendants, with others at large, conspired among themselves to kill one Timothy Adegoke for unjust reasons.

“They also altered and cancelled the receipt number 9316, which indicated that Timothy Adegoke lodged in Hilton Hotel, Ile Ife.

“The body of the deceased, his laptop, phones and his other belongings were dumped at an undisclosed place by the defendants to cover up their activities after he was allegedly murdered,” he said.

The prosecution counsel said that the offences committed contravened Sections 324, 306, 315, 509, 516, 519, 242, and 106 of the Criminal Code, cap 38 vol. 11, Laws of Osun, 2004.

Omosun had also pleaded with the court to order the remand of the defendants in a Correctional Centre due to the magnitude of the alleged offences they committed.

The case file was later taken over by a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), who prosecuted the case.

Adegoke was a postgraduate student at OAU. He left Abuja on November 5, 2021, to sit for his last examination at the university in Ile-Ife.

The deceased had lodged at Hilton Hotels belonging to Rahman Adedoyin, where he allegedly lost his life and was declared missing on November 7, 2021, after his classmates discovered that he did not show up in class at Moro Distance Learning Centre of the university.

Also, the police investigation revealed that he had told his family of his plans to check into Hilton hotels in Ile-Ife, where he usually stayed whenever he arrived Ile-Ife, but this was initially denied by the hotel management.

Others connected to the murder still at large are Raheem Adedoyin (Son), Esther Asigoh, and Quadiri Moshood.

The Star



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