Femi Falana (SAN), the lawyer representing the family of the slain master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Timothy Adegoke, has demanded that the trial of all suspects arrested in connection with the student’s death at Hilton Hotel, Ile-Ife, be held in Osun State.
Adegoke had lodged in Hilton Hotels and Resorts at Ile-Ife upon his arrival from Abuja on November 5 to enable him to arrive early for his examination at the OAU Distance Learning Centre, Moro, Osun State, on November 6 and November 7.
He later went missing and was found dead buried in a grave following police investigation of the hotel owner, Dr Rahman Adedoyin and its workers.
After Adegoke was declared missing, the police were invited and seven suspects were arrested after which investigation commenced.
Later, the Intelligence Response Team, Abuja, took over the investigation and the case was transferred to the Federal Capital Territory.
Upon the conclusion of investigation, the police charged the accused persons to a high court in Abuja.
The police are charging the owner of the hotel with illegally disposing of Adegoke’s body, altering and cancelling his payment receipt, and removal of the hotel’s CCTV cameras with intent to destroy evidence.
Others charged alongside Adedoyin are Adedeji Adesola, 23; Magdalene Chiefuna, 24; Adeniyi Aderogba, 37; Oluwale Lawrence, 37, Oyetunde Kazeem, 38; Adebayo Kunle, 35, and some who have taken to their heels.
But Falana in a letter written on behalf of the family to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba opposed the location where the police have decided to try Adedoyin and others.
The lawyer said the demand was made since none of the elements of the offence to be tried by the FCT High Court took place in the Abuja.
The letter read, “We are Solicitors to the aged parents of the Late Timothy Adegoke (hereinafter referred to as “our clients”) on whose behalf we write this letter. Our clients’ instructions are briefly summarised and stated as follows:
“The son of our clients, Timothy Adegoke, was a 37-year-old Master of Business Administration student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State. Timothy had lodged at the Hilton Honours Hotel, Ile Ife on November 6, 2021 while preparing for his examinations in the University. He was abducted in his room later in the night and taken to the bush where he was brutally killed by a group of suspected assassins.
“Having killed Timothy in a gruesome manner the assassins mutilated his body and proceed to bury it in an unmarked grave. The police investigation has since exhumed the mutilated body of the deceased. Based on the complaint of our clients the Nigeria Police Force arrested some of the suspects while others who are currently at large had been declared wanted.
“To our utter dismay the arrested suspects have been arraigned before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on a 7- count charge of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, conspiracy to commit improper or indecent interference with the body of the deceased, uttering and intent to destroy evidence under the Penal Code.
“However, as all the aforesaid criminal offences were said to have been committed at Ile-Ife you will agree with us that the suspects ought to have been charged before a court of competent jurisdiction in Osun State.
Consequently, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to ensure that the case file is handed over to the Attorney-General of Osun State to enable him to study same with a view to filing relevant charges against the suspects at the High Court of Osun State.
“Having demonstrated professionalism and unusual courage in the handling of the investigation of the case we are confident that you will not hesitate to accede to our request in the interest of justice. Otherwise, we shall not hesitate to institute legal proceedings to compel you to ensure that the criminal proceedings are instituted pursuant to the Criminal Code (34) Laws of Osun State.”
The family of Adegoke, had in a letter dated February 3, hired Falana as their lawyer.
This letter was signed by Moses Adegoke, the father of the deceased; Olugbade Adegoke, the brother of the deceased; and Bolatito Victoria Adegoke, the wife of the deceased.
According to the letter, the family said they are hiring Falana due to their confidence in his expertise and professionalism with the hope of getting justice.
It read, “We the family of Moses Adegoke have decided to appoint you as our family lawyer, demand for our late son Adegoke, Timothy Oluwadamilare who was murdered at Hilton Honour Hotel and Resorts, Ile Ife.
“We have full confidence in your expertise and professionalism and hope to get justice on the case. Thank you for your great concern and sympathy.”
Falana & Falana Chambers, in a statement sent to SaharaReporters, had accepted the family’s invitation, saying, “We have accepted the instructions of the bereaved Adegoke Family.
“We shall handle the case pro bono publico and ensure that justice is done.”