OAU student: Adedoyin’s witnesses decline court appearance

Owner of Hiltons Hotel, Ile-Ife, Dr Ramon Adedoyin, standing trial alongside six of his employees in the case of murder of a Masters student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Timothy Adegoke, on Thursday closed his case.

All the seven defendants were present in court for the day’s proceedings, but Okon Ita, counsel for the seventh defendant, Adesola Adedeji, was absent in court.

At the sitting of the court on December 16, 2022, Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, adjourned the matter till February 2, to allow the first defendant to call witnesses after murder was added to his charge.

But while addressing the court on Thursday, Adedoyin’s counsel, Mr K. Eleja (SAN), said he was constrained to close his case after two witnesses he intended to call failed to appear.

Eleja said he had planned to call Inspector Victor Ekpeyong and an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr Benedict Agbo of Nigerian Police Force Forensic Science Laboratory, Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon, Lagos State.

He however said despite all efforts made, both were not in court.

Speaking further, the defence counsel said Ekpeyong was contacted after the last adjournment and he assured him that he would be around, only to decline his appearance 24 hours before the sitting, citing a special duty assigned to him.

He sought adjournment for the adoption of final written addresses by the parties.

Also, while addressing the court, counsel for the second, fourth and fifth defendants, Mr Muritala Abdulrosheed (SAN), asked for two weeks to file a final written address on behalf of his clients, while Mr O. Yusuf, counsel for the third and sixth defendants, also asked for two weeks to file his final written address.

The prosecutor, Fatima Adesina, also asked for two weeks to file her final written address, while Adedoyin’s counsel, Eleja, sought relief of the court for 14 days after receiving the prosecution’s final written address, before filing a response.

In her ruling, Justice Ojo adjourned the matter till March 16 for the adoption of final written addresses by the parties.

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