- Blood stains found on victim’s body.
- He died naturally, says hotel owner’s lawyer
- Victim’s family’s lawyer: Police must conduct professional investigation
- Adedoyin: My hands are clean
As emotions keep rising over the death of Timothy Oluwadare Adegoke at Hilton Hotel and Resort, Ile-Ife, penultimate weekend, The Nation has seen a picture of the deceased covered with what looks like bruises and blood stains.
The picture, which is too gory to be published, was taken where the body was allegedly dumped.
The blood stains are mainly on his right elbow, upper part of his left thigh and vest.
His two legs were spread apart. There was a deep grey sack around his head.
He wore a round neck white singlet and a navy blue pair of boxers.
However, the police insist that the body is intact while some of the suspects have reportedly told the police that the victim died in his sleep naturally.
The hotel has since been shut down but sources close to the management claimed yesterday that “the initial denial of the hotel management as to whether Adegoke lodged with them was because there was no record of any payment by him in the Hotel’s account, but it was later that it was detected that he made payment into the personal account of the receptionist which normally is wrong.”
Thirty-seven year-old Adegoke was a Master’s degree student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
He had travelled from his base in Abuja to Ile-Ife on Friday ,November 5 to write his last examination, without the least suspicion that death was lurking in the corner.
The late Director of Finance at Xiamien Stone Limited, Abuja, according to investigation, flew from Abuja to Akure in Ondo State. His plane landed in the Ondo State capital at 3pm.
He then proceeded to Ile-Ife by road, hitting town at about 4.45pm.
He chose to lodge at Hilton Hotel and Resort located on the Ife-Ibadan expressway opposite Ife Central Local Government Area secretariat ,booking for a deluxe suite at N18500 per night for two nights.
For payment, he was said to have transferred N37000 to the personal account of the hotel’s receptionist, identified as Adesola.
Adegoke, a family source said, notified his wife that he checked into his hotel room but did not disclose the name. He also made another bank transfer to her.
“He told his wife that he wanted to take a nap before reading for his exam,” the source said,adding: “the wife decided not to disturb him because she believed he was either sleeping or reading, so she suspended calling him till Saturday morning.”
Continuing, the source said:” The wife called the following morning to check on Adegoke but his phone rang out of time.
“She thought her husband already had left for the examination hall so she suspended the calls till afternoon when she tried the number again. However, she began to feel that it was unusual of him not to call her before going for examination.
“She was very worried and she called me and one other cousin of her husband living in Ondo State on Saturday afternoon to inform us that she was unable to speak with her husband.
“This prompted me to contact a close friend’s wife who was in Ile-Ife to help me go to the examination hall on Sunday. She was in the examination centre at OAU Center for Distance Learning, Moro, with the first cousin of Adegoke to check if he was at the exam hall around 10 am.”
“The coordinator of the exam hall checked the attendance sheet and they discovered that he was not present at the exam hall on Saturday and Sunday. He advised that we should check all the hotels in Moro which we did.We could not find him.
“The Dean of Adegoke’s faculty informed the chairman of the hoteliers association in Ife if any of their members knew the whereabouts of our brother but the chairman of the association gave us a feedback none of their members had the record of Adegoke.
“This prompted us to report the matter at Edunabon police station on Sunday, 7th November 2021 of the mysterious disappearance of our brother. We went together with the authority of OAU to report the matter and the police told us that they would transfer the case to Police Headquarters, Osogbo on Monday.
“The wife called the personal assistant of her husband if he had any information on how they could locate his husband but the PA said he called the number of his boss and a strange person picked it on Sunday night informing him that he found the phone in Ejigbo.
“I called the number immediately, the person picked and told me ‘hello’ only to terminate the call abruptly and switched off.
“We went to the Police Command on Monday to write a statement. They asked us for the name of the hotel that he had lodged previously but we told the police that we did not know. We also inquired from his wife, and she said she didn’t know.
“Adegoke’s phone was tracked by the police and it was revealed that it was in Ejigbo, Osun State. They also asked if we had his email address and his password for tracking. We provided the email address but we didn’t know the password.
“On Tuesday, 9th November 2021, the wife searched the house and found the receipt of Hilton Hotel, Ile-Ife of a previous lodging in one of the pockets of her husband. She snapped and sent it to the police. This made the police and the elder brother of Adegoke visit the hotel but the staff denied that he lodged in the hotel that weekend.
“The elder brother was emotional at a point, he called me on phone saying, ‘I am standing in front of the hotel owner now and they are denying that my brother lodged here’. They left the place and did not make any arrest since we didn’t have concrete evidence that he slept in that hotel.”
The family source said a clue appeared on Thursday, November 11 after the police demanded that “we should get Adegoke’s bank statement.”
“We made it available to them. The statement of the bank indicated that he made a transaction at 5 PM on the Friday he arrived the hotel. He sent money to two persons: his wife and one Adedeji Adesola Tobilola. He sent N37,000 to that Adesola. They tracked the phone number of that account holder (Adesola) to Hilton Hotel.
“We went to the hotel and the hotel paraded all the staff before the police. They asked who bears Adedeji Adesola Tobiloba and a female receptionist signified by raising her finger.
“She said Adegoke came to the hotel on Friday to lodge but he only transferred N37,000 to her account and left hurriedly without returning to the hotel. She said she never reported the matter to the hotel management but rather she shared the money with the manager of the company.He (manager) denied the allegation..
“When she got to the station, she confessed that he (Adegoke) lodged in room 305. Police did not tell us anything before they arrested five people including an alfa who claimed he travelled to Ejigbo.
“On Monday, 15th, 2021, one of the hotel staff led the police and four family members to where Adegoke was buried in Ile-Ife. When the police exhumed the body, we discovered that they packed his corpse inside a carton wrapped with a duvet with the name of the hotel. The neck of Adegoke was slit.
“The police proceeded to arrest the chairman of the hotel, Dr. Rahmon Adedoyin without disclosing the reason for doing so to us.”
Adedoyin and other suspects are still being interrogated by the police.
Our own story, Adedoyin’s lawyer
Contacted yesterday, Adedoyin’s lawyer of 15 years ,Barrister Williams Abiodun, said there is nothing in the account record of the hotel showing that Adegoke paid to lodge there.
He said the police first arrested one Adesola, the hotel’s receptionist ,and following her statement, the police “notified me that they needed to question other staff and I took five of them to the police but they were detained.
“When they interrogated Adesola, she disclosed that the man (Adegoke) transferred the money into her personal account and (the money) was stolen without recoding it in the hotel’s account. “She shared the money with another staff. That was why the hotel initially denied that Adegoke lodged in the hotel.
“Last week Saturday, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) told me that all the arrested staff had confessed that Adegoke actually slept in the hotel but died in his sleep naturally.
“The staff had shared the money that was paid by the guest and did not input it in the record. “They knew there was a problem, they took the body in the dead of the night and dumped it somewhere and returned to the hotel as if nothing happened.
“Chief (Adedoyin) questioned them repeatedly but they all denied it until police forced them to talk.
“They did not bury the body, they took the police to where the body was dumped. Where they dumped the body was on farmland on the Ife/Osogbo road. The farmers hinted the police.
“Only two staff were involved in dumping the corpse of Adegoke: the receptionist and one Kosim who is the plumber of the hotel. Kosim is this Tabligh Muslim, not a spiritualist.”
He said the body of the victim was recovered in the presence of the Osun Police Commissioner, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) and some other people.
He added: “Adegoke’s body was intact when it was recovered. He died a natural death because he was resting his head on his palm. He spread his legs tiredly. There was no single mark of violence on his body. The only offence these people committed was wrongful interference and dumping of the dead body.”
He denied suggestions in some quarters that Adedoyin attempted to bribe the family of the deceased.
“Adedoyin never sent me to any of the family members of the deceased to bribe them,” Abiodun said.
“I have never seen any member of the victim’s family. Chief was not around when the incident happened. I don’t know when his corpse was discovered in the hotel room, but it seems he died on Friday night or Saturday.
“The IPO told me that the guy was feeling sick on the 5th of November, that was the reason why the wife worried and called her husband on 6th repeatedly without anybody picking. The remains were probably discovered on Sunday by one of the workers.”
He added that those who were arrested mentioned of the name Chief Adedoyin as the owner of the hotel and he was invited and has been detained since Monday.
“I went with Chief Adedoyin on Monday to the Police Command, Osogbo where he gave his statement. He voluntarily submitted himself. He was never in any way indicted by the six arrested suspects.”
He said the hotel manager, Aderogba Adeniyi was arrested alongside other suspects.
He also denied that the son of the hotel owner was arrested .
He asked the police to “do a discrete job and anybody found wanting should be probably prosecuted, no matter how highly placed the person is.”
He said: “ We intentionally don’t want to free the suspects legally from police detention because we want the police to conduct their investigation very well without interference and let the whole world know that Adegoke died a natural death. The staff only interfered with the corpse.”
The hotel is currently under lock and key while investigation into the circumstances surrounding Adegoke’s death continues.
Another source close to Adedoyin believe there is a deliberate attempt to rubbish him.
The source denied suggestions that Adegoke was killed for rituals and said “the initial denial of the hotel management as to whether Adegoke lodged with them was because there was no record of any payment by him in the Hotel’s account, but it was later that it was detected that he made payment into the personal account of the receptionist which normally is wrong.”
The source added: “the late Adegoke left the hotel like many other customers after finding out that neither light nor water was available, and the CCTV cameras were out of order as a result of renovation work being carried out at the hotel.
“The hotel has operated for less than two years and had never recorded any death as the public was led to believe by the deceased brother
“The lady receptionist who was recently employed by the hotel is on a salary of twenty-five thousand naira (N25,000) and not two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) as being spread in some media.
“The person called Alfa which could be misinterpreted as an Islamic cleric and possibly a spiritualist or ritualist is actually a plumber and maintenance manager in the hotel and is neither a cleric nor a ritualist.
“ Dr. Adedoyin is not personally involved in the day-to-day running of the hotel as he has other more important businesses which include five tertiary institutions within and outside Nigeria, security outfit, publishing and hospitality business.”
Adedoyin: My hands are clean
The hotel owner,Dr.Rahman Adedoyin,in an audio message from detention yesterday said his hands are clean in the death of Adegoke.
Speaking in Yoruba,65 year old Adedoyin said he has been wealthy since he was 26 years after starting as a home lesson teacher.
He said he never left Ife before God “blessed me”.
He said he has never been involved in money rituals and pleaded with the public to conduct their investigation into the matter.
He said he did not know about the death of Adegoke in his hotel until the police started searching for him.
Police source: Why Adegoke paid into hotel staff’s account
A highly placed police source told The Nation that the hotel receptionist had told Adegoke that the facility had run out of diesel to power its generator.
“She asked Adegoke to pay into her personal account so that she could use part of the money to procure fuel which he (Adegoke) agreed to,” the source said.
His killers must be made to feel our pains – Adegokes
The deceased turned 37 only last August,according to his elder brother, Olugbade Adegoke.
“He was the breadwinner of the whole family. He was more educated than all of us in the family,” he said in an emotion –laden vice.
“He was the third born of our parents.
“He had been doing the Master’s programme when he was in Ondo before he was transferred to Abuja. He left Ondo around May 2021 for Abuja and moved his family with him in September 2021.
“When we visited the hotel, we discovered that there were bloodstains in the room where he slept and they had already changed the mattress and curtains of the room because it was different from all others of its category. I took the pictures.
“We demand that the police should press murder charges those involved in the death of my younger brother.
“The deceased had three children. The firstborn are seven-year-old twins and another two-year-old baby. I want the perpetrators to feel our pains.
“My brother had the prospect of becoming the managing director of the company he was working for. He had two mobile policemen securing him and an official car in Abuja but because he was coming down to Ile-Ife for an exam he felt it was needless to travel with them. He was killed during his last exam in the school.”
Family to Police: All culprits must be brought to book
Counsel to the bereaved family,Kayode Ajulo,in a statement yesterday commended the police for a job well done so far,but said all the culprits in the matter must be brought to book in the overriding interest of justice.
“It is worrisome and sad that Mr. Timothy Oludare can be cut down in his prime for motives best known to his killers which of course, must be extracted and investigated by the Police without delay. It portends serious danger that a place meant to serve the temporary accommodation needs of Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike could in actual fact be a place where cold-blooded murders are orchestrated and carried out in the most desperate and daring manner. Again, we note the temerity and the audacity in which the murder of the late Timothy Oludare was carried out as contained in the preliminary findings made by the Osun State Police Command. According to the findings, our Client’s son was strangled to death in his hotel room, his body was subsequently mutilated and wrapped in a blood-soaked blanket/bedsheet belonging to the hotel and finally buried in a shallow grave near the hotel.
“The law is clear that an offender(s) who causes the death of a person is guilty of murder under 316 of the Criminal Code Laws Cap 34, Laws of Osun State and same is punishable by death under Section 319 of the same law and it is our legally considered view that the confessional statements as obtained from some of the suspects are cogent enough to establish the varying degrees of guilt of all the suspects.
“As things stand, the hotel and its vicinity are a crime scene and should be treated as such, nothing must be on the way of a thorough and wider investigation of this highly reprehensible murder because nobody irrespective of their status or influence is bigger than the extant laws of the land.
“We therefore urge utmost professionalism by the Police in this matter; no stone must be left unturned to get to the root of this matter. On our part, we are ready to partner with the Police to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done. While we trust that this matter will reach its expected legal conclusion, we want to reiterate that we will not hesitate for a second to do everything within legally permissible limits to fight anyone who attempts to frustrate the expected end of justice.
“As it is historically believed that Ile-Ife is the cradle of the human race, it is important that the ancient city and by extension, other parts of the nation must not be allowed to become safe havens for murderers and other criminals alike. It shreds our collective humanity into pieces when the blood of any innocent Nigerian can be spilled without consequences.”
His exhumed body is intact — Police
However, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, SP Yemisi Opalola said body of the victim which was exhumed by the police in the presence of the family members remains intact.
“No part of the body was missing when it was exhumed,” Opalola said.
He added: “investigation by the police indicates that Adegoke slept inside Hilton Hotel and Resort, Ile-Ife, and he was traced to the hotel.
“In the course of the investigation, we arrested six workers connected to the issue. Further investigation led to the arrest of the owner of the Hotel. Dr Rahman Adedoyin. He is still in our custody. The corpse has been exhumed and deposited at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital morgue.
“The relations were present when the corpse was exhumed. A pathologist and the Commissioner of Police were also present . No part of the body was missing when it was exhumed. I plead with Nigerians not to stir up controversy. Allow the police to conduct a diligent investigation to unravel the mystery behind the death of Adegoke.”