Adegoke: Court reserves verdict in murder trial against Adedoyin, six others

OSUN State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Ojo, has reserved judgment in the murder case against the owner of Hilton Hotel, Ile-Ife, Rahman Adedoyin, and six of his workers.

Adedoyin and his workers were docked over the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife.

The deceased was declared missing after lodging in the hotel in November 2021.

Adegoke’s body was later found in a shallow grave along Old Ede Road in the town by the Police and it was later discovered that he was allegedly killed at Hilton Hotel in Ile-Ife. Following the discovery, Adedoyin and his workers were docked on 18 counts bordering on murder, conspiracy, and oath of secrecy, among others.

At the resumed hearing Thursday, April 27, the prosecuting counsel, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), adopted his written address and reply on the point of law already before the court.

Falana insisted that the deceased was killed and his body dumped in the bush.

He added that those involved in the incident attempted to obliterate the act and took an oath of secrecy to conceal the crime.

However, counsel to Adedoyin, Yusuf Alli, (SAN), asked the court to discharge and acquit Adedoyin, saying no evidence linked him to the said murder.

He said the only connection Adedoyin had with the matter is simply because he is the owner of the hotel where the said death occurred.

Also, counsel to the 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants, Abdulrasheed Muritala, (SAN), said there was no direct evidence linking his clients to the murder.

According to him, the entire case was based on suspicion, hence, he urged the court to discharge his clients on charges against them.

Similarly, lawyers of the other defendants urged the court to discharge their clients because the evidence against them was based on speculation.

During the hearing, the defence lawyers told the court that the evidence before it was based on circumstantial evidence, which is not enough to convict the defendants.

The defence team argued that the prosecution failed to establish a clear link between the defendants and the alleged crime.

They urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendants.

In her ruling on Thursday, April 27, Justice Ojo disclosed that judgment on arguments on fiat will be delivered alongside the final judgment on the case, adding that her verdict will be pronounced in a month from yesterday.

She noted that the court had considered all the arguments of the prosecution and the defence and would give its ruling based on the facts before it.

She urged both parties to be patient and wait for the judgment of the court.

Adegoke’s murder in 2021 attracted widespread criticism from civil rights groups, including the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), who demanded justice to be served on his killers.

    An autopsy report had linked his death to intense haemorrhage (bleeding) due to ‘severe traumatic injuries’.

    Although the autopsy could not pin down the actual cause of his death because of his body’s ‘advanced decomposition’ before the inquest was done, the pathologist said there was no natural disease in the deceased’s body to cause or accelerate death or to cause him to collapse (and die).

    He was buried amid tears in January 2022.

    Adegoke was until his death, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) student at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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