The Nigerian government has approached the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, asking it to discontinue the suit filed against Dr Ramon Adedoyin, the owner of the Hilton Hotel in Ile-Ife, Osun State, where a murdered postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Timothy Adegoke, had lodged.
In the court document obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, the Nigerian government which is the complainant notified the court that it was discontinuing the matter in a letter, titled, “Notice of Discontinuance of Charge No. CR/015/22 Brought pursuant to Section 108 of Administration of Criminal Act (ACJA) 2015.”
The notice reads, “Take notice that the Complainant discontinues all of the proceedings in this case against the above-named Defendants for further investigation, dated this 7th day of February 2022.”
The Nigerian police had in January 2022 filed charges against the owner of Hilton Hotel, Adedoyin, and others over the death of Timothy Adegoke.
Controversy has surrounded Adegoke’s death since he went missing lodging at Hilton Hotel and Resort in Ile-Ife, Osun State, following which his corpse was later found in a grave.
He was in the ancient city to sit an examination at the OAU Distance Learning Centre, Moro campus, when he was declared missing on November 7, 2021.
The defendants had been listed as Dr Ramon Adedoyin, Adedeji Adesola, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwale Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Adekunle, Prince Raheem Adedoyin, Esther Asigoh and Quadiri Moshood.
Those the police said are still at large are Raheem Adedoyin, Esther Asigoh and Quadiri Moshood.
The discontinuation may be in connection with a letter written by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, asking the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to move the trial of the suspects to Osun State.
Newsthumb on Monday reported that Falana, the lawyer representing the family of the slain master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Timothy Adegoke, asked that the trial of all suspects arrested in connection with the student’s death at the hotel be held in Osun State.
The lawyer had said the demand was made since none of the elements of the offence to be tried by the FCT High Court took place in Abuja.
The letter had partly read, “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.”
Our correspondent also learnt that the discontinuation of the trial by the Nigerian government was only a face-saving measure used by the police as Tuesday had already been set for the bail application for the defendants and they were certain to get the bail.
“This discontinuation was a face-saving measure by the police. Today (Tuesday) had been selected for his bail application and he was certain to get bail,” a source revealed.