From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, handing the case of alleged murder preferred against the owner of Hilton Hotel and Resort Ile-Ife, Dr Rahmon Adedoyin, and six of his staff, has dismissed the application of no case submission of the defendants and directed them to open their defence.
A Master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Timothy Adegoke was said to have lodged in the hotel on November 5, 2021, and thereafter found at a dumping site where the son of the hotelier, Raheem, and some staff of the hotel allegedly dumped him and claimed that he did not lodge in the hotel.
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The hotelier, Dr Rahmon Adedoyin, Magdalene Chiefuna (24), Adeniyi Aderogba (37), Oluwale Lawrence (37), Oyetunde Kazeem (38), Adebayo Kunle (35) and Adedeji Adesola (23), were arraigned on March 3 on 11 count charges bothering on conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful killing of Timothy Adegoke, conspiracy to commit a felony, dumping of the body of Adegoke, conspiracy to improperly and indecently interfere with the body of Adegoke, conspiracy to alter receipt, altering and cancelling of receipt and administering of extra-judicial oath in connection with the killings.
The prosecution team led by MO Omosun called eight witnesses and tendered 32 exhibits to prove his case.
But, counsels to the defendants filed a no-case submission, stating that the prosecutor has not established a prima facie case against them and none of the exhibits tendered has a link with the defendants.
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Ruling on the no-case submission, Justice Ojo held that the prosecutor has established a prima facie case against the defendants and directed them to enter their defence.
Noting that the PW 4, the Investigative Police Officer, Afeez Olaniyan, said in evidence that he called the hotelier and later denied that the deceased did not lodge in his hotel, coupled with the confession of the 3rd defendant to the IPO that she called the hotelier when she saw the body of the deceased, including confessional statements of the defendants, the judge said he agreed that the prosecutor has established a prima facie case against the defendants.
‘I am of the respective view that a prima facie case has been established against the defendants. It should be noted, however, that this ruling is not the determination of the guilt or otherwise of the defendants,’ the court added.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to 25th April, for the defendants to open their defence.