OAU student: How court sentenced Hotelier to death 

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The Osun state High Court has sentenced Founder Hilton Hotel Ile-Ife Dr Ramon Adedoyin to death by hanging over the murder of Timothy Adegoke, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife.

Also sentenced to death were two staff members of the hotel, Adeniyi Aderogba (manager) and Kazeem Oyetunde (supervisor), even as Raheem, the hotel owner’s son, was declared wanted, and the police ordered to ensure his arrest for prosecution.

However, the court discharged and acquitted three other staffers namely; Magdalene Chiefuna, Lawrence Oluwole and Adedeji Adesola of conspiracy and murder, but found culpable of other charges.

The trial court also reserved ruling on the seventh defendant till Wednesday following pleas by both the prosecution and defendant counsel.

Adedoyin and six staffers of his hotel were arraigned on 3rd March, 2022 on an 18-count charge bordering on conspiracy, felony to wit murder, unlawful and indecent interference with the corpse of Adegoke, among others.

The six hotel workers are Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola, being second to seventh defendants.

Delivering her judgement, the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, declared Adedoyin was found culpable and therefore convicted of counts 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 15 and 16.

Justice Ojo ruled that the second autopsy report signed by two pathologists from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital was thwarted because “it’s a report by persons with vested interest.”

While firmly establishing that late Adegoke lodged in the Hilton Hotel and paid into the account of the 7th defendant, Justice Ojo said: “I found the first defendant (Ramon Adedoyin) culpable of the conspiracy to murder.”

Further to this, the court held that from the evidence before it, Oyetunde Kazeem was “squarely among those who perpetrated the acts” and therefore found guilty of the counts,” and that Adesola, the seventh defendant, was “carefully choreographed into the act. The circumstance around her were not strong to found her culpable of the counts 1, 2, and 3.”

The 1st, 3rd and 5th defendants were found culpable of the offence of conspiracy to improperly, indecently dump the deceased body and were guilty as charged.

Justice Ojo also ordered the forfeiture of the hotel and the Hilux jeep used to convey the corpse of Adegoke to the dumping ground, to the state government, while the school fee of the children of late Adegoke should be paid with the estate of the convicts.

After raising his hand in the court and given the microphone to speak, Adedoyin said the court was aware that he did not kill and did not ask anybody to go and kill, noting he handed over the matter to the Almighty God. 

Counsel to Adedeji, Ita Okon, prayed the court to be lenient in sentencing Adesola, one of the defendants, just as representative of Femi Falana SAN, Fatimoh Adesina, also appealed to the court to be magnanimous in the sentencing of the girl.

According to her, the defendant helped to provide some insight into the matter by revealing both the true record and doctored ones given to him by Adedoyin and his son.

The trial

The late OAU student undergoing his Post Graduate degree was discovered dead inside the hotel, where he had lodged when he came to write his examinations in OAU late 2021 before the tragic incident after the convicts entered his room at 12 midnight.

Magdalene, the receptionist on duty, had told the court she and others took an oath of secrecy to protect the hotel from any adverse effect of the incident.

Under cross examination by Falana, the lead prosecution counsel, Chiefuna admitted not knowing the deceased was dumped somewhere until she got to police station six days after.

The hotel worker further told the court in a session which lasted some seven hours she only heard the deceased had paid for the room upon resuming duty on November 6, but didn’t see him.

The next day, Chiefuna told the court, the client was not anywhere at the reception area, following which she had to use the spare key to unlock Room 305 and saw Adegoke in the room lying face up on the bed and wrapped in duvet, with only his face uncovered.

She also told the court that Raheem, the facility’s managing director, presently at large, arrived the hotel and was briefed on the development.