From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, on Monday formally appeared before the Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, to take over the prosecution of the murder case levelled against the owner of Hilton hotel and resort, Ile-Ife, Dr Rahman Adedoyin, and his six staff over the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke, a master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU) in the hotel.
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.
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The matter was adjourned on March 30 for the defendants to open their defense.
When the case came up on Monday, Falana informed the court that he has secured the fiat of the Attorney General of the state to take over the prosecution, saying the constitution does not say the court should be formally notified.
But, counsel to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, Abdur-Rasheed Muritala SAN, insisted that Attorney General must take over the matter from the police who were prosecuting the matter from inception before he can use fiat to transfer the matter to any other person.
The council also said the Administrator-General and Public Trustee in the state Ministry of Justice, Abiodun Badiora, can not take over the matter.
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After some argument, Falana announced his appearance with Badiora and a Chief State Counsel, Moses Faremi, to prosecute the case.
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However, the second defendant, Chiefuna, was coughing, thus propelling the court to rise and return after some minutes.
Counsel to the first defendant, Adedoyin, K. K. Eleja SAN, told the court that his client has no witness to call in his defence.
But, Muritala SAN said he could not prepare his witness because one of his clients slumped in court and would need to take care of her health.
The counsel who also stood for Rowland Otaru SAN to represent the 4th and 5th defendants urged the court to adjourn the matter.
Justice Ojo thereby adjourned the case to May 25 for further hearing.