Dry and dusty wind triggered by the prevailing January 12 harmattan hit me within the face ceaselessly as James, the rider of the business bike I mounted, veered from Mayfair Street, Ile-Ife, and entered a sloping highway known as Adedoyin Avenue.
“Properly executed, sir. You mentioned you’ve come all the best way from Ibadan abi? I’ve not been there in years o. I final visited Ibadan when my youthful brother acquired married,” James mentioned to me in Yoruba as we neared my vacation spot. He made certain the journey remained devoid of silence until it ended.
He was a dark-complexioned man whose ebullience didn’t match his unenthusiastic mien. Infrequently, he would launch his grip of the bike to gesture along with his arms in an try to drive house a degree, even whereas we have been nonetheless in movement. I thought-about the act harmful; he thought-about it protected.
However for the occupants of some retailers on the left aspect of the highway James had veered into, no different important function caught my consideration. Although tarred, the highway itself was lined with tiny bits of pink earth. With time, the dusts hurriedly caught to the heels of my ft as we descended down the considerably hilly terrain, and on to the trail resulting in my vacation spot.
I quickly parted methods with James and sauntered right into a premises with large iron gates painted in black.
The premises accommodated two constructions majorly painted cream and brown. Aside from the colors, the primary constructing was additionally lined with shiny silver panels.
As quickly as I made my entrance, I greeted the safety guard manning the gate. He was a dark-complexioned man that regarded like he was in his early fifties.
“Ki le fe o?” the safety guard requested in Yoruba, taking just a few cautious steps in direction of the place I stood.
I shortly responded to him, saying I wanted an lodging for the night time.
Reasonably than present me to who I may discuss to on what I sought, the guard advised me to attend on the entrance.
It was at this level that I realised that James was nonetheless very near the premises as nicely. He later made me perceive that after he dropped me off, he waited to scrub his bike.
The guard quickly entered the “shiny” constructing by way of a door that led to what regarded like a reception. After consulting with a person, whose face I couldn’t make out from my place, he emerged from the reception and advised me that “all rooms have been occupied”.
I immediately knew this was a lie however there was no approach I may have insisted on spending an evening at a lodge that was not keen to accommodate me. As quickly because the guard broke the information to me, he walked in direction of the gate to return to his place. I feigned disappointment and adopted him.
He then really helpful that I go to one other lodge that was not too removed from the place we have been to me.
“When you get to that junction, flip to your proper; you’ll discover one other lodge there. It’s simply down the road,” he mentioned.
After I requested whether or not that was how the lodge was all the time “busy”, he nodded within the affirmative.
As I left his presence, I knew the guard had simply lied to me. From the 5 minutes I spent contained in the premises, I knew the lodge was not completely occupied. To an extent, I may additionally say it had no occupant in any respect. Although it was clearly open for enterprise, it was additionally clear your entire place was abandoned. The compound had no single car in it and there was additionally no exercise to point out that it had accommodated visitors.
The title of the place is Excellence Corridor, and it belongs to Rahmon Adedoyin, the famend Ile-Ife businessman who’s presently standing trial for the homicide of Timothy Adegoke, an Obafemi Awolowo College grasp’s pupil, who had died underneath mysterious circumstances in November 2021.
Adegoke, an Abuja-based chartered accountant, had travelled to Ile-Ife on November 5, 2021, to put in writing his MBA exams on the.
He was declared lacking on November 7, 2021. Later, his physique was present in a shallow grave at a location very near Hilton Resort and Resorts, the place he had been accommodated.
Standing trial within the case are Rahmon Adedoyin, the proprietor of the lodge, and 6 of his workers.
When the incident grew to become public information, Hilton Resort and Resorts and all different inns owned by Adedoyin have been shut down.
A 12 months and some months down the road, and even if the case remains to be ongoing, one of many inns that have been earlier shut down has been reopened. The reopened lodge was the one I visited. ‘Hilton Inns and Resort’ has been modified to ‘Excellence Corridor’.
REVELATIONS DURING THE TRIAL
After Adegoke’s physique was present in a shallow grave at a location very near Hilton Resort and Resorts, an post-mortem was performed on him. In his testimony, Waheed Oluogun, chief of a workforce of pathologists that performed the examination, advised a Excessive Courtroom sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, on November 22, 2021, that the grasp’s pupil’s dying was brought on by extreme haemorrhage secondary to extreme traumatic harm.
After a year-long trial on the coed’s homicide, an enormous revelation was made when Adesola Adedeji, one of many lodge receptionists who was on obligation on the night time Adegoke died, testified.
In her testimony, Adedeji mentioned the coed’s title was faraway from the lodge’s visitor document in an effort to cowl the truth that he was lodged on the lodge.
Adesola mentioned she had obtained an lodging fee of N38,000 from Adegoke, and that the deceased had stayed in room 305.
Adedeji additionally mentioned that after Adegoke died, she was known as to a gathering by Roheem Adedoyin, the managing director of the lodge, and was instructed to manufacture one other receipt which might not replicate the title of the late pupil.
The receptionist added that Roheem, who’s the son of Rahmon Adedoyin, the proprietor of the lodge, instructed her to interchange the late pupil’s title with “Adewale Lekan and receipt quantity 7316”.
The costs introduced towards Adedoyin are tried felony, conspiracy, illegal interference with Adegoke’s corpse, tampering with the lodge’s receipt and CCTV digital camera with the intent to destroy proof that may show that the sufferer visited the lodge.
Earlier than this nevertheless, Wale Olokode, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, hadthat Roheem supervised the hurried burial of the deceased in a shallow grave with out notifying the police.
“Throughout interrogation, one of many suspects confessed that Roheem, the managing director of the lodge, who can also be the son of Rahmon Adedoyin, organised for the corpse to be taken to the bush,” Olokode mentioned.
“The workers members didn’t inform the police. It was by way of the report of a lacking person who the anti-kidnapping workforce was in a position to uncover and hint Adegoke to that lodge. The hint was then prolonged to the place the corpse was finally discovered.”
Roheem’s whereabouts stay unknown as he’s but to be arrested by the police.
INFERENCES FROM THE VISIT TO EXCELLENCE HOTEL
After I used to be refused entry to the lodge, I requested myself so many questions as I left the neighborhood. Why would the lodge select to show me away, regardless of being open for enterprise? Why would whoever is in cost inform me that every one rooms had been occupied when that wasn’t true? Might it’s that Excellence Corridor is barely solely opened to identified and dependable prospects? What number of potential prospects (like me) get turned away by the lodge’s administration every day? Why would the administration even select to reopen it within the first place whereas Timothy Adegoke’s homicide trial remains to be ongoing? Extra importantly, why the title change?
To reply a few of these questions, I made a decision to speak to O. O. Nwani, a Lagos State-based lawyer who specialises in legal regulation.
“Properly, legally talking, the lodge could be reopened as soon as the police have completed conducting their investigation. Now, the reason I’ve simply given you is even within the occasion that the lodge you visited was the precise place the place the crime was dedicated,” Nwani mentioned.
“The reality is, the lodge being talked about now shouldn’t be even the place the crime was dedicated. It’s only taking successful as a result of it’s owned by a person being tried for an alleged homicide. So, it’s not really against the law if its administration decides to reopen it.
“Nonetheless, and morally talking, such acts is all the time deemed as insensitive on this a part of the world. You may’t be standing trial for the homicide of a buyer who allegedly died in your lodge and nonetheless suppose it’s okay to have certainly one of your different inns functioning.
“Such acts would all the time be frowned at.”
WHO IS TIMOTHY ADEGOKE?
Timothy wason August 4, 1984, in Eruwa, Ibarapa East Native Authorities Space, Oyo State. He attended Ifelodun Main Faculty and Baptist Mannequin Excessive Faculty in the identical state.
The late Timothy then proceeded to The Polytechnic, Ibadan, for his tertiary training.
On completion of his obligatory Nationwide Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Abuja, he acquired a job with the Xiamen Win Stone, an expert Chinese language granite, slate, and quartz stone provider from Xiamen, China, the place he rose to turn out to be the corporate’s director of finance.
He was pursuing an MBA in accounting at OAU when he first went lacking, earlier than he was later discovered lifeless.
He was described as a quiet and easy-going individual. He was additionally the breadwinner for not simply his quick household, but in addition his aged dad and mom and siblings.
At college, colleagues in his class described him as an issue solver who was fairly accommodating and pleasant.
He left behind a spouse and three youngsters.
PRESENT STATE OF THINGS
For the reason that homicide trial started in November 2021, a number of witnesses, together with the workers members of Hilton Resort and Resorts, pathologists, forensic specialists and investigating officers have given testimonies in court docket.
After Adedeji’s testimony, Justice Adepele Ojo, the trial decide and Chief Choose of Osun State, adjourned sitting till February 23.
It’s the hope of Adegoke’s members of the family and mates that their son’s killer is delivered to justice. Whether or not this could come to fruition or not, the approaching days will inform.
Two issues stood out from the dialog I had with Barrister Nwanni: the legality of the reopening of certainly one of Rahmon Adedoyin’s inns, and whether or not such actions are morally proper or flawed.
Whether or not morally proper or flawed, Excellence Corridor, previously generally known as Hilton Inns and Resorts, has been reopened.
This report was produced with help from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) underneath the Collaborative Media Engagement for Growth Inclusivity and Accountability venture (CMEDIA) funded by the MacArthur Basis