BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The plumber at Hilton Hotel, Ile-Ife, Osun State where a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Timothy Adegoke was allegedly murdered, Oyetunde Kazeem on Thursday informed Osun State High Court, Osogbo that he, the hotel manager, Adeniyi Aderogba and Roheem Adedoyin, the Managing Director of the hotel and the son of the hotel owner, Dr Rahman Adedoyin, took the lifeless body to Ede-Ile-Ife road where it was dumped.
Kazeem, the fifth defendant in the ongoing trial, while being led in his evidence in chief by Kunle Adegoke, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said Roheem, now at large, had informed him and Aderogba that they were going to the mortuary of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife to embalm the body, before he diverted the corpse to Ede-Ile-Ife road where Roheem alone dragged out the corpse from the booth of a white Hilux vehicle and dumped the deceased inside the bush beside the road.
The witness, a plumber at the hotel, also disclosed that after Adegoke’s lifeless body was discovered in his hotel room, Roheem arrived the hotel premises in his white Hilux vehicle in the morning of Sunday, November 7, 2021 and informed him and the manager that he was going to Moore Police Station in Ile-Ife to report the development to the police. Kazeem explained that Roheem didn’t return to the hotel until night and that when he arrived, he informed them that he reported the incident and that the police asked him to take the body to the mortuary.
To this end, the witness said he, Aderogba and Roheem evacuated Adegoke’s body from the room and put it in the booth of the Hilux adding that Roheem later returned to the deceased’s room to pick his laptop, phone and other belongings which Roheem dropped beside the corpse.
He said Roheem drove to Ede-Ile-Ife road instead of the OAUTHC mortuary and that when they asked Roheem that he had taken another route, he did not say anything. Kazeem added that only Roheem alighted from then vehicle, took the body and dropped it inside a bush along the road and drove them back to the hotel.
The 38-year-old defendant said in evidence, “I was on duty on Saturday, November 6, 2021 when guests came to lodge. One of the guests said he didn’t have cash and he sent some money to the bank account of Adesola (seventh defendant), the receptionist on duty that day. Adesola gave me her ATM to withdraw some money to buy diesel. After the day work, I went home. On Sunday, I got to the office at 12pm. Getting to the office, I met manager, Aderogba Adeniyi, he told me that, the occupant (Adegoke) at the room 305 is dead.
“After then, I got scared. I enquired if MD Roheem Adedoyin is aware.He (Aderogba) said he has called and informed him and that he was on his way to the hotel. When MD arrived, he said I and manager should go with him to the room. After getting to the room, he opened and we entered. Then, I saw the lifeless body on the bed. I saw laptop, a drug pack, a bottle water and a phone. MD Roheem asked us to step out and he locked the door.
“When we got to the reception, MD said he is going to the police station to report at the police station and that we should wait for him.
We waited for his return. He returned Later at night. I have been trying his number but it has been unreachable. MD claimed he has been writing statement at the police station since he left the hotel. MD said he reported to the police and he was instructed to take the body to the mortuary.
“We went with him to carry the corpse from the hotel room. The corpse is in a duvet, facing up, we carried the corpse with his clothes. We dropped him into a vehicle.
MD packed the laptop and phone into a bag of the deceased. All in the vehicle. MD asked us to enter the vehicle, we did. MD drove the vehicle, a Hilux pick-up white colour out of the hotel.
“As we were going, when we got to the OAU campus gate, instead of going to the hospital road, he (MD) diverted to Ede Ile-Ife road. I challenged him that he isn’t going to the right way to the hospital as claimed. MD didn’t respond. He drove on and parked suddenly beside a bush. He dropped down and said we should remain in the vehicle. He dropped the corpse by the way. He dropped the bag that contains laptop and phone, dropped the bag beside the corpse.
“We returned to the hotel and I queried him (MD) on why he dropped the corpse by the way after claiming that he reported to the police. He claimed he was afraid of the police and he doesn’t know what will happen if the corpse is taken to the mortuary. MD returned home. I didn’t report to the police because I was afraid,” Kazeem said.
The third defendant, Adeniyi Aderogba (hotel manager), while being led in evidence by his counsel, Rowland Otaru, corroborated Kazeem’s testimony that he joined in taking Adegoke’s body out of his room and to the place where he was dumped.
Aderogba explained that he phoned Rahman Adedoyin after the body was discovered and he said he was with a Minister in Abuja and that he would call his son, Roheem to report to the police and also visit the hotel. He added that after the body was dumped by Roheem, he (Roheem) later returned to the hotel and burnt the mattress in the room where Adegoke lodged.
In his evidence, the fourth defendant, Oluwole Lawrence, said he worked as a supervisor in the hotel adding that 16 guests including Adegoke lodged in the hotel on November 6, 2021.
While being led in evidence by his counsel, Kunle Adegoke, the witness said, “On the 6th of November, 2021, I met Adesola Adedeji at the Hotel Hilton Ile-Ife. I asked how many rooms were sold and she said 16 rooms were sold. I told her to follow me to check the rooms and she did. We confirmed sale and I signed and left. I didn’t return to the hotel again until I was called on 12th of November to come to the hotel. I was arrested on 12th of November in the evening. I didn’t conspire to kill anyone or commit any crime.”
Earlier, Magdalene Chiefuna, the second defendant had been cross examination by counsel to Rahman Adedoyin, K. K. Eleja and she said she didn’t see any rope around Adegoke’s neck when he opened the room with a spare key.
Chiefuna said, “I didn’t see Adegoke when he came to lodge. The room was orderly arranged. I didn’t see rope around his neck or leg. I was disturbed and scared after I saw Adegoke the way he was. I was emotional because such an incident had never happened before at the hotel. I didn’t conceal the unfortunate death of Adegoke to the police. I am a student of OAU. I only took the appointment to support myself. I didn’t tell anybody about the incident until 12th of November when I was arrested by the police.
Also, the sixth defendant, Adebayo Kunle defendants, while being led in evidence by his cousel, Otaru, said he works in the bursary department of The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife, owned by Rahman Adedoyin.
He said Adedoyin employed him as the auditor of the hotel account. “On 9th November, 2021, at 9am, I went to the Hilton Honours Hotel to collect weekly sales records. I met a receptionist on duty Quadri Abiola, and asked him about the sales records. Abiola said it’s not ready. When he said it’s not ready. Abiola said in addition that, Adedeji Adesola, the receptionist on duty on Friday, said the account isn’t balance. He further said, a teller is not attached yet. I told Abiola to call Adesola Adedeji that I am around for the weekly sales records account.
“I went back to the polytechnic Ife. At 12:03pm, on 9th November 2021, I collected the account from Adesola Adedeji. I asked her why the delay on the account, she begged me that she traveled. I collected the account and checked it. I told her not to repeat such to avoid delaying my work as an auditor.”
The case was adjourned till today for continuation of trial.