Businessman, Dr. Rahmon Adedoyin and two of his employees at Hilton Hotel, Ile-Ife, are to die by hanging over the murder of postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Timothy Adegoke, an Osun State High Court ruled yesterday.
The hotelier, his manager, Adeniyi Aderogba, and supervisor, Oyetunde Kazeem, were sentenced after the court presided over by Chief judge of Osun State, Justice Oyebola Ojo, found them guilty of conspiracy and murder.
The hotel’s receptionist, Adedeji Adesola, was also found guilty of altering documents to conceal the crime and her sentencing fixed for today.
Convicting the defendants, Justice Ojo held that circumstantial evidence revealed that the hotelier and his employees killed Adegoke and tried to hide the crime.
Adedoyin, a traditional chief of Ile-Ife, and six of his employees at the hotel, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola, were arraigned on 18 counts of conspiracy, murder, felony, indecent interference of the corpse, alteration, cancellation of receipt and oath-taking to prevent justice.
During the trial the prosecution called seven and the defence called nine witnesses.
At the close of the case, counsel to the seven defendants made a no case submission, urging the court to dismiss the charges as there was no substantial evidence linking all of them to the death of Adegoke but the prosecution objected the application.
Delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Ojo discharged and acquitted three of the employees, Magdalene Chiefuna (second defendant), Oluwole Lawrence (fourth defendant) and Adebayo Kunle (sixth defendant).
The judge convicted Adedoyin on charges 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 15 and 16, which bordered on conspiracy to commit murder, murder, unlawful killing, conspiracy to administer extra judicial oath, indecent tempering with the deceased’s body, tempering with evidence and manufacturing of evidence.
She also convicted Aderogba and Kazeem on counts, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8.
Justice Ojo noted that there was no direct evidence linking the convicts to the killing of Adegoke, but circumstantial evidence against them were compelling and they were convicted accordingly.
She sentenced Adedoyin to 10 years jail term for conspiracy to commit murder; death by hanging for murder and unlawful killing of Timothy Adegoke.
He was also sentenced to three years jail term on count 7, two years on count 9 and five years each on counts 15 and 16. Aderogba and Kazeem were sentenced to ten years each on count 1, death by hanging on counts 2 and 3.
The court pended the sentencing of Adesola (Receptionist) till Wednesday after her counsel and prosecution counsel pleaded with the judge that she should be lenient with her sentencing because Adesola played pivotal role in unraveling the knotty case.
She, however, declared Rahman Adedoyin wanted and ordered Interpol to commence a serious manhunt for the accused with a view to arresting him in any part of the world he might be hiding.
The judge further ordered that the vehicle that was used to commit the crime, and the hotel where the said crime was committed, be forfeited to the state government, adding that the children of the deceased should be placed on scholarship on the bill of Adedoyin, Aderogba and Kazeem till they register for their National Youths Service Corps, NYSC scheme.
The court had earlier resolve the issue of fiat to prosecute the matter in favour of Prosecuting Counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, after the counsel to the third, fifth and sixth defendants argued that the proceedings be disregarded because Falana did not have the fiat of the Attorney-General of Osun State to prosecute the case.