3rd March, 2022
By Joshua Oladipo
The owner of Hilton Hotels in Ile-Ife, Dr Ramon Adedoyin, and six others were on Thursday arraigned at an Osun High Court in Osogbo for the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Others arraigned are Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Florence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to an 11-count charge bothering on conspiracy, murder, attempted felony, unlawful interference with a dead body, altering and intent to destroy evidence.
The case file number: HOS / 5C/ 2022 dated Feb.14, 2022 and filed on Feb. 17, 2022, was substituted with: HOS/5C/ 2022, dated Feb. 22 , 2022 and filed on March 2 , 2022.
The lead prosecution counsel, Mr M.O. Omosun, told the court that the defendants committed the offences sometimes between Nov. 5, 2021, and Nov. 7, 2021, within the Ile-Ife area in Osun.
Omosun said that the defendants with others now at large conspired among themselves to kill one Timothy Adegoke for unjust reasons.
Omosun said: ” They also altered and cancelled the receipt number 931, which indicated the payment receipt made by Timothy Adegoke to Hilton Hotels in Ile Ife.
” The body of the deceased, his laptop, phones and his other belongings were dumped at an undisclosed place by the defendants to cover up their activities after he was allegedly murdered.
He said that the offences committed contravened Sections 324, 306, 315, 509, 516, 519, 242, and 106 of the Criminal Code, cap 38 vol. 11, Laws of Osun, 2004.
Omosun pleaded with the court to order the remand of the defendants in a correctional centre due to the magnitude of the alleged offences they committed.
The defence counsel, Mr K.K. Eleja, however, prayed the court to grant his clients bail in the most liberal terms.
Eleja drew the attention of the court to counts: 4, 6, 8 , 10 and 11, which indicated that Adedoyin is not standing trial for a capital offence.
He also cited Section 157 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Osun State, pleading with the court to grant the first defendant, Adedoyin, bail on liberal terms.
Eleja said though the prosecution counsel had already filed an 11-paragraph counter-affidavits on March 2, 2022 against his client for bail, he believed Adedoyin would not jump bail or tamper with the ongoing trial.
”We pray your lordship to admit the first defendant into bail after the prosecution had failed to show why he should not be granted bail.
”The applicant had been in detention since November 2021 and even the prosecution knows that the first defendant was taken to a hospital in Abuja even before being brought to Osun,” he said.
The counsel for the six other defendants including Mr Rasheed Adegoke (SAN) aligned themselves with the application for bail in the most liberal terms with supported counter-affidavits, and written addresses with oral arguments on points of law.
The Presiding judge as well as the Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo, overruled the bailed condition by the defence counsel and ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Ilesa Correctional Centre.
She urged all counsel to ensure a speedy trial of the case within a short stipulated time and adjourned the case till March 4.
Ojo, therefore, said that the application for bail by the seventh defendant would be heard on March 4, 2022, while the judge ordered all the defendants to be remanded at the Ilesa Correctional Centre.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) reported that Adedoyin and Adedeji Adesola, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwale Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem and Adebayo Kunle had been previously arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The defendants were arraigned on charges bordering on: conspiracy, unlawful interference with a dead body, altering and intent to destroy evidence and murder.
The case was brought back to Osun after the counsel to the family of the deceased, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), had written to the Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba, asking that the matter be returned to Osun where the crime was allegedly committed.