•••As defence counsel seek nullification of trial
Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Ojo on Thursday reserved judgement in the murder case against owner of Hilton Hotel Ile-Ile, Dr Rahman Adedoyin and six of his workers.
Adedoyin and six of his workers, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola were docked before the court over the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ile Osun state having been declared missing after lodging in the hotel in November 2021.
Adegoke’s body was later found in a shallow grave along old Ede road in the town by police before Adedoyin and his workers were docked on 18 counts bordering on murder, conspiracy, oath of secrecy, among others.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, the prosecuting counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, adopted his written address filed on March 29, 2023, and reply on the point of law already before the court.
While addressing the court, the learned silk insisted that the deceased was killed and his body dumped in the bush.
He added that those involved in the act attempted to obliterate the act and took the oath of secrecy.
According to him, based on the evidence led, I urged the court to ensure justice. Even if heaven will fall, if any of the defendants is found guilty, punishment should be melted.
However, counsel to Adedoyin, Yusuf Alli, SAN, asked the court to discharge and acquit Adedoyin, saying no evidence linked him to the said murder.
He said the only connection Adedoyin had with the matter is simply because he is the owner of the hotel where the said death occurred.
Also, counsel to the 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants, Abdulrasheed Muritala, SAN, said there was no direct evidence linking his clients to the murder.
According to him, the entire case was based on suspicion, hence, urged the court to discharge his clients on charges against them.
Similarly, counsels to other defendants urged the court to discharge their clients on the ground that evidence against them were based on speculation.
Meanwhile Ali further argued before the court that the prosecution lack the power to prosecute the matter as he was not given the fiat to so do by the Osun State Attorney-General.
He urged the court to prevent him from participating in the case or delete the record of his appearance since the matter was initially handled by the police.
Meanwhile, Falana opposed the prayer made by Alli explaining that he was properly introduced by the counsel from the Osun State Ministry of Justice to prosecute the case of Adedoyin and his six staff. He implored the court to discountenance the prayer of defence lawyer(s) warning that if their request is granted, it may slow down the process.
Justice Ojo disclosed that judgment on arguments on fiat will be delivered alongside the final judgement on the case, adding that her verdict will be pronounced in a month’s time from Thursday, April 27, 2023.