…says Adedoyin, son were at the hotel the night Adegoke lodged
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The receptionist who received Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the day he (Adegoke) lodged at Hilton Hotel Honours, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Adesola Adedeji, on Monday, revealed that the owner of the hotel, Dr Rahman Adedoyin, asked him to lie that Adegoke did not sleep at the hotel on November 5, 2021.
Adedeji, Adedoyin and five other workers of the hotel are standing trial over alleged murder of Adegoke among other allegations before an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo.
When the matter resumed for hearing, Adedeji, the seventh defendant, while being led in evidence by her counsel, Edet Ita, also informed the court that the CCTV was functioning on the day Adegoke lodged in the hotel and that she was surprised when she found out that the CCTV camera had been removed two days after. This is contrary to earlier testimonies of some witnesses gave that the CCTV camera at the hotel had been removed before Adegoke lodged into the hotel.
The witness said the receipt numbered 7316 that Adegoke was issued was said to have been missing and that Adedoyin’s fleeing son, Roheem, gave her a plain receipt for her to fill with another name to replace that of Adegoke.
She also disclosed that Adedoyin and his son visited the hotel on the night Adegoke lodged and that she didn’t know when they left.
“On 5th November, 2021, at 12noon, I resumed duty at Hilton Hotel Honours, Ife. Around 12noon, the manager on duty with me, was Oyetunde Qozeem. I was at the reception till 5:30pm, I had no guests. At few minutes to 6pm, a man (Adegoke) entered the reception, he said he wants to lodge. I gave him the price list for the rooms in the hotel. He said he needed a suite which is N18,500 just for a day. I called the manager Oyetunde Qozeem to the reception that we have a guest for the day. The guest wants to lodge for two nights. So, he has to check rooms for the rate of N18,500 for his choice. I gave the manager keys to the rooms of N18,500. They both went upstairs of the hotel. And returned to the reception. The guest said he likes room 305. The manager left the reception. I asked him about his payment because our guests pay either cash or transfer.
“The guest (Adegoke) said he doesn’t have cash and that he wanted to pay through transfer. I have to call back the manager via phone to come to the reception to inform him about the transfer the guest wants to make. I had to inform the manager because the guest was the first guest for the day. And we needed to meet up the expenses for the day so that the manager is going to be aware of the payment that will be made into my personal account. Because, if payment is made into company’s account, we won’t get the money; we can only see the alert.
“The expenses I am talking about include toiletries and diesels and any other expenses for the day. The manager said no problem. The guest (Adegoke) made transfer of two days which is N37,000 into my personal UBA account. I issued a receipt to the guest and I gave the guest the duplicate copy.
“I was later invited to a meeting at the chairman’s house (Rahman Adedoyin) at Parakin, Ile-Ife. When I got there and met receptionist Moshood Qodri inside the house, he asked me how can a receipt be missing from my account. I told him that I don’t know anything about it. I did my job and I gave it to the auditor on the 9th November, 2021. Few minutes later, Prince Roheem Adedoyin (Adedoyin’s son) came to me and said I should follow him to a building within the compound. Roheem told me a receipt is missing from the account I prepared. I told him I don’t know what he’s talking about. He said he’s my boss he can’t lie. He said policemen are involved about the missing receipt. Then I asked him what’s the relationship in the missing receipt and hotel lodgers account and police officers?
I said is chairman Rahman Adedoyin investigating fraud? Roheem claimed that a receipt is missing from the account I prepared.
“Roheem said he’s going to help me that the police officers are asking for the missing receipt. He’s going to give me another hotel receipt, plain one that am going to fill it and sign it. Roheem gave me a name to write on it.
Lekan and another name I can’t remember.
“Then I asked him what if the officers asked me why I didn’t staple the receipt in the first place? Roheem said, “cancelled” would be written on the receipt because “cancelled” is written on it, we can’t staple it on the lodger’s book. Roheem said the officers want the receipt. He is only trying to help me on this.
“Roheem collected the receipt back. We left the building. Roheem called me few minutes later and said Dr Rahman Adedoyin needed my attention inside his living room. When I got inside, Rahman Adedoyin asked me that someone transferred N37,000 into my account? I answered yes, that the person was the guest I received on the 5th November 2021.
“Rahman Adedoyin said a receipt is missing from the account I prepared and the police officers are asking for the missing receipt?
I told Rahman Adedoyin that I don’t know what he was talking about. Rahman Adedoyin said police are involved and concerned about the missing receipt. Rahman Adedoyin said can I just tell the police that the guest never slept in the hotel. I asked him, what if the police officers found out same way you found out that N37,000 is paid to my account. Roheem asked me do I have money inside my own account? I said no. Rahman Adedoyin said if he had known, he would have transferred money into my UBA account that police officers are at Hilton hotel honours so he can’t make the transfer again because if police officers check my transactions, they will find out that the transaction is new.
I told Rahman Adedoyin why are they asking me all these. Rahman Adedoyin said he’s trying to help me because I was the one who prepared an account that is not balanced. Rahman Adedoyin received a call that the police are awaiting for me at the Hilton hotel honours. Rahman Adedoyin said I should go with one barrister to the Hilton hotel honours and he gave me the receipt to give to the officers.
“The IPO showed me the account, and I recheck, I noticed that there were 15 rooms sold instead of 16 rooms I sold personally. I further checked the account, I noticed that the handwriting isn’t mine. I checked back of the account and I noticed that the signature isn’t mine as well and the auditor’s and checker’s signatures and names are not on the lodger’s account. The total amount of the money I made deposit inside the Hilton hotel honours account wasn’t the amount written on the lodgers account that the police showed to me. Because the deposit I made to the company’s account was N103,000 which isn’t written on the account shown to me”
During cross examination by the prosecuting counsel, Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Adedeji disclosed further that the CCTV camera was removed after Adegoke lodged at the hotel.
“At about 8pm on November 5, 2021, Roheem Adedoyin came to the hotel. That same night, 9pm to 10pm, also Rahman Adedoyin, (first defendant), came to the hotel. Rahman Adedoyin came to the hotel to check the welfare of the staff and management of the hotel. Rahman Adedoyin, Roheem and Qozeem (manager) had a discussion. On the 5th November, 2021, Rahman Adedoyin came and I noticed he was speaking with the manager but I didn’t know what they were actually talking about.
“After the discussion, I didn’t know when Rahman Adedoyin and Roheem Adedoyin left the hotel. On the 6th November, the manager, Oyetunde Qozeem left 8am that morning.
“The hotel has CCTV and the CCTV camera worked up to the 5th November, 2021. Up to 12pm that I left the hotel, the CCTV was still working. By the time I came back to the hotel, I noticed very well that the plasma TV at the receptionist desk was no more there? And I also noticed that the CCTV camera was no longer working. I asked Moshood Qodri, he said, when he resumed, he didn’t see the plasma TV also,” the defendant said.
Meanwhile, the defence closed its case after calling three witnesses including a staff of the hotel’s bank, Adedeji’s brother and the seventh defendant. The presiding judge, Justice Adepele Ojo adjourned the matter till June 27 for adoption of final written addresses.