Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Ojo on Tuesday has sentenced Dr Rahman Adedoyin, owner of Hilton Hotel Ile-Ile to death by hanging over the murder of Timothy Adegoke — a Master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The Judge had earlier found Ramon culpable of conspiracy to commit murder, and unlawful killing of the deceased.
Adegoke, a postgraduate student from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), was murdered between November 5 and 7, 2021, at the Hilton Honours Hotel in Ile-Ife.
DAILY GIST reported that Adedoyin who was also the founder of Oduduwa University charged along with six of his workers, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola as first to seventh defendants and were docked on 18-count which include murder, conspiracy, oath of secrecy among others.
Justice Ojo, while her delivering judgment on Tuesday, said circumstantial evidence tendered against Adedoyin showed that he and some staff members at his hotel were responsible for Adegoke’s death.
According to the judge, Adedoyin’s decision not to enter the witness box did not help him, as the circumstantial evidence had shifted the burden of proof on him.
The court stated that Adedoyin’s decision not to enter the witness box meant he agreed to the murder charge pressed against him by the prosecution.
The judge dismissed 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.
Ramon and two other staff were found guilty and consequently sentenced to death by hanging on Tuesday.
In the final analysis, the judge said the prosecution proved the charges of conspiracy and unlawful killing pressed against Adedoyin and two of the six workers charged along with him.
In addition, Justice Ojo held that: “The Hilux van, which was used as part of the instruments for the commission of the crimes for which the defendants have been tried and convicted, is hereby forfeited to the state.
“The hotel premises, which was used by the defendants for the commission of the crimes for which the defendants have been tried and convicted, is hereby forfeited to the state.
“As the victims of crime, the children of the late Timothy, whose breadwinner and benefactor had been gruesomely murdered and snatched away from them in his prime by the defendants, shall be placed under education up to university level at a cost to the 1st, 3rd and 5th defendants.”
For the seventh defendant, Adesola Adedeji, who was the receptionist on duty on the day late Adegoke arrived at the hotel, the judge adjourned till today to give her verdict.
The decision to delay her sentencing was sequel to the pleadings by her counsel, Okon Ita, and the prosecutor, Fatima Adesina, who urged the court to be lenient with her, since she was not linked to the death of the deceased and for the fact that she was a first time offender.
The trial judge also declared wanted the manager of Hilton Hotel, Roheem, who is a son to the hotel owner and asked Interpol to fish him out to answer to the charges, for the role he played in Adegoke’s death.
After listening to the pronouncement of the court, Adedoyin, who wore an all-white attire, when given the opportunity to talk, insisted that he had no hand in the killing of Adegoke.
However, four members of staff prosecuted alongside Adedoyin were discharged and acquitted of the charges pressed against them
Adedoyin was found culpable and convicted of counts 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 15 and 16.
The Court held the second autopsy reports signed by two pathologists from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital was thwarted as the court holds that “it’s a report by persons with vested interest”.
Justice Ojo established that late Timothy Adegoke lodged in the Hilton hotel and paid into the account of the 7th defendant.
“I found the first defendant (Ramon Adedoyin) culpable of the conspiracy to murder and murder.”
The court held that evidence presented before the court placed Oyetunde Kazeem “squarely among those who perpetrated the acts” and he found guilty of the counts.
Seventh defendant (Adedeji Adesola) was “carefully chorographed into the act. The circumstance around her were not strong to found her culpable of the count 1, 2, and 3”
Adedoyin and six of his staff namely; Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle, Adedeji Adesola, had been on trial, facing 18 count charge that includes murder, conspiracy, indecent interference with the corpse, among others.
They were charged with 18 counts of conspiracy, murder, felony, indecent interference of the corpse, alteration, and cancellation of receipt and oath-taking to prevent justice.