Thursday, February 22, 2024

Adegoke’s murder: Court declares fleeing Adedoyin’s son wanted, as father, 2 others get death sentence, life imprisonment

  • Awards scholarship to deceased’s children at convicts’ cost
  • Hotel, hilux van to be forfeited to Osun government

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo has sentenced the owner of Hilton Honors Hotel, Ile-Ife, Rahmon Adedoyin to death by hanging for the murder of Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

The presiding judge who is the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Adepele Ojo while delivering judgement on Tuesday, declared that the prosection, through its circumstantial evidences proved beyond reasonable doubts that Adedoyin, some of his workers and others at large, were culpable in the murder, having tried to cover up his death by removing CCTV cameras in the hotel, doctoring hotel lodgers’ statements, administering oath and dumping the remains of the hotel guest in a bush.

The judge therefore found Adedoyin guilty of murder, conspiracy and concealing evidence and also sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment.

Ojo also ordered that the Hilton Honors Hotel, which belongs to Adedoyin and the white Hilux van that was used to ferry the remains of the deceased to the bush, should be forfeited to the Osun State Government.

Similarly, the court also convicted the hotel manager, Oyetunde Kazeem and another worker, Adeniyi Aderogba for conspiracy to murder, participating in the dumping of the corpse of Adegoke inside the bush, clearing of the room 305 where he lodged and also burning the bed sheets that the deceased used in the room.

Consequently, Justice Ojo sentenced Kazeem, the hotel manager to death by hanging, life imprisonment and 20 years jail terms for conspiracy to murder Adegoke, indecent and unlawful interference with his remains among other offences.

Aderogba was also sentenced to death by hanging, life imprisonment and 14 years imprisonment for the offences of conspiracy, unlawful interference with the corpse.

Meanwhile, three other hotel workers, including Magdalene Chiefuna, Oluwole Lawrence and Adebayo Kunle were discharged and acquitted for alleged conspiracy, murder and participating in oath.

The last defendant, Adedeji Adesola, who was the receptionist that received late Adegoke when he lodged in the hotel in the evening of November 6, 2021, was found guilty of doctoring the hotel receipt issued to the deceased, fabricating another and concealing of evidence charged against her.

However, counsel to Adesola, Okon Edet, while begging the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the female accused person, said that she never intended to conceal evidence and that it was through her statement to the police that some facts of the case were obtained.

Edet urged Justice Ojo to give Adesola, aged 25, an opportunity to turn a better life, adding, “My Lord, please, temper justice with mercy in sentencing her. She is a young person. The essence of punishment is to reform and an alternative to punishment is to reform. My Lord should be lenient in sentencing. There is a possibility of her turning a new leaf and turning a better life in society.”

“The period she has spent in custody, right from November 11, 2021, is enough for her to learn lessons. Her parents have suffered a lot since her incarceration and she is a first offender,” the lawyer stressed.

Corroborating the pleas made by Edet, Fatima Adesina, the representative of the lead prosecutor, Femi Falana, urged the court to consider the fact that Adesola assisted the prosecution with her evidences and be lenient in punishing her.

To this end, the judge who was moved by pleas for Adesola, adjourned till Wednesday for her sentencing.

Meanwhile, Justice Ojo has declared the fleeing son of Rahmon Adedoyin, Roheem wanted and ordered the International Police to launch a nationwide manhunt for him and that he should be prosecuted wherever he is found.

She said that the children of the deceased, Timothy Adegoke, be placed on scholarship up to the university level at a cost to the three convicts (Rahmon Adedoyin, Oyetunde Kazeem and Adeniyi Aderogba) and that the proceeds from the estates of Adedoyin be used in sponsoring the education of Adegoke’s children till they finish their National Youth Service Corps.

After the judge finished delivering her judgement, Adedoyin raised his hand in the dock and when he was allowed to speak, he denied killing Adegoke, saying, “The God I serve knows that I didn’t kill anybody. I leave everything into the hands of God.”

Recall that Adedoyin refused to enter defence after the prosecution closed their case against him.

The convicted persons and their relations who thronged the court in their numbers could not control their emotions after the sentencing.

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