The hearing of the alleged murder case of Timothy Oludare Adegoke, a master’s degree student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) resumed on Monday.
The owner of Hilton Hotel, Ile Ife, where he was found dead in November 2021, Ramon Adedoyin and some employees of the hotel are standing trial at Osun State High Court.
Adegoke was allegedly murdered at the Hilton Hotel and Honours on November 6, 2021.
The 7th Defendant, Miss Adedeji Adesola, a Receptionist at the hotel was cross-examined on Monday by Femi Falana, (SAN) alongside other prosecuting counsel.
During cross-examination, Miss Adedeji informed the court presided over by the Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo that Ramon Adedeji and his son, Raheem were at the Hilton hotel the night that Adegoke lodged in the hotel.
While reacting to the cross-examination by Mr. Falana for the prosecution, Miss Adedeji said that Raheem arrived at the hotel at 8 pm and his father arrived between 9 and 10 pm on November 5, 2021. Adesola said that Dr. Adedoyin held a discussion with the Manager on duty, Kazeem Oyerinde but she did not know what was discussed.
Answering a question by Mr. Falana, Adesola said that even though she was at the reception, she did not know when Dr. Adedoyin and his son left the hotel in the night. She disclosed that she never saw Adegoke when she closed at noon on November 6, 2021, and was surprised to learn at the police station that he was found dead in his room.
Adesola stunned the court when she said that she was summoned to the house of Dr. Adedoyin in Ile Ife on November 11, 2021, where he and his son compelled her to change the account prepared by her to make the police believe that Adegoke did not lodge in the hotel.
Answering another question from Mr. Falana, Adesola said that the Adedoyins made her fill another form with Receipt No 7316 issued for room 305 and substitute the name of Timothy Adegoke with that of Adesokan Lekan. She also said that she was surprised that the account prepared for by her had been altered by the hotel management and that the number of guests lodged by her was 16 but had been reduced to 15.
She said that Adegoke’s room had been removed from the list of guests.
Miss Adedeji agreed with Mr. Falana that Dr. Adedoyin wanted her to mislead the police in their investigation but that she made full disclosure of what she knew about the alteration of the accounts in her statements at the police station. She identified the record captured in her android phone which had been tendered in the court by her brother, Tayo Adedeji who had assisted her to print it while she was in custody.
She said, “I was asked how many people prepare account for guests on Lodger’s and I said only the receptionist
“The police then gave me the Lodger account which I checked and noticed that there were 15 rooms which I remembered vividly that I sold 16 rooms, I further checked the account that the handwriting was not mine.
“I checked the back of the account and the signature is not mine. The total amount of the money I made and deposited inside the account was not the amount inside the Lodger’s account, the deposit I made was 103,000 which is not the amount written on the account shown to me.
“I told the officer that the Lodger’s account he showed to me was not prepared by me. I asked for my phone which was collected when I was arrested and asked me why I demanded the phone and I told him I snapped the account I prepared on the 5th of November 2021 which was on my phone gallery
“He gave me the phone and I checked through the Gallery then I noticed that the account I snapped on my phone has 16 rooms sold on the account. I told the Inspector to check through the picture of the Lodger’s account on my Android Phone.
“I told him am surprised about the account he is showing to me because it was not prepared by me. On the lodgement account on my phone, I saw that the receipt no “7316” which I was told is missing on the account I prepared is on the account I snapped on my phone.
The Police Officer asked why the account was presented to him and they told him was prepared on the 5th but the account I prepared was on the 5th of November, 2021.
“I told the Inspector that on the 11th, a receipt was given to me which has 7316 by Prince Raheem Adedoyin that I should present it to the officers. Afterwards, I was locked inside the cell.”
While Adesola’s lawyer, Mr. Edet Ita led her in evidence, she admitted that the sum of N38,000 paid for two nights by Timothy Adegoke was paid into her account and not the account of the hotel. Adesola said that the money paid by Adegoke was used to buy diesel for the hotel.
She however said that Dr. Ramon Adedoyin and his son, Raheem prevailed on her to alter the account and tell the police that Timothy Adegoke never lodged in the hotel.
She said that the meeting to manipulate the record of the hotel and mislead the police in the investigation was presided over by Dr. Adedoyin in his house at Ile Ife on November 11, 2021. She said that Dr. Adedoyin instructed her not to mention the involvement of any of the managers in her statement during the police investigation.
Miss Adedeji said that after the meeting, Dr. Adedoyin said that police officers had invited her for the investigation. She gave her a lawyer who accompanied her to the police station at Osogbo for the investigation. She said was surprised to learn that Raheem Adedoyin, Quadri and Esther who were in Dr. Adedoyin’s house on November 11, 2021 had escaped to avoid arrest by the police.
Dr. Adedoyin had said that he was in Abuja when Timothy Adegoke was allegedly killed. But the Hilux van with which his son, Ramon and two of the defendants dumped the body of Adegoke on November 7, 2021, on Ile Ife-Ede Road was recovered by the team of police investigators in Dr. Adedoyin’s house at Abuja.
With the evidence of Adesola Adedeji, the 7th Defendant hearing in the case was concluded on Monday as the defence closed their case. Dr. Ramon Adedoyin, the 1st defendant did not give evidence or call any witnesses while his son, Raheem Adedoyin, the Managing Director of the hotel is on the run.
The presence of Dr. Adedoyin at the hotel the night the Adegoke was alleged killed and the meetings held in his house to destroy evidence and cover up the alleged murder of Adegoke punctured Dr. Adedoyin’s claim that he was not in the vicinity of Ile Ife at the time of the incident.
Upon the conclusion of the trial, the Chief Judge commended the lawyers for the professionalism displayed in conducting the trial and that contract to the belief of many judges the Senior Advocates of Nigeria involved in the trial did not intimidate the Court.
Replying on behalf of his colleagues, Mr. Falana (SAN) commended the Chief Judge for her knowledge of the law, maturity and motherly approach to handling the trial.
The case was adjourned to June 27 for the adoption of the written addresses of all the prosecution and defence lawyers.