From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Receptionist at Hilton Hotel, Ile-Ife, where a Master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Timothy Adegoke allegedly died before he was dumped in the bush, Magdalene Chiefuna, on Wednesday told the court in Osogbo, Osun State, that she took the oath of confidentiality with the Managing Director of the hotel, Raheem Adedoyin, to cover the secret of the death so that it will not affect the business of the hotel.
Led in evidence by Kunle Adegoke SAN, the defence witness informed the court that she was studying Philosophy at OAU at the same time as working as a Receptionist at the hotel.
She narrated how she took over from Adesola Adedeji, the 7th defendant, and discovered that the occupant of room 305 was not seen until the following day, November 7, when she got the extra key from the housekeeper and opened the door.
Under cross-examination by Femi Falana SAN, the witness said, “when the Manager, Adeniyi Aderogba, the 3rd defendant, could not get a response after knocking at the door several times, he went out for a meeting. I opened the door and perceived some odour in the room. I saw a laptop plugged into the wall. There was a drug on the table. Paracetamol and another one. I saw money of lower currency on a table and I went to the bedroom. I saw a man lying down, facing up, covered with a duvet. A phone was ringing beside his head. I tapped his leg to wake him up but there was no response. As I was leaving the room, I saw the key to the room inserted from inside. I locked the room and left.”
She explained that she called the manager who came and confirmed the death of the occupant after taking up his hand and dropped it.
According to her, the Manager called the chairman, Dr Rahman Adedoyin, the owner of the hotel and “after a while, the MD, Raheem Adedoyin, came and he went upstairs with the manager. The MD asked us what happened and we explained it to him.”
She explained further that the Manager took her to the office of the MD and “the MD said that we are going to swear an oath of confidentiality not to disclose the fact that we found someone inside the room so as not to affect the business.”
Noting that she was given a letter of transfer by the MD on the 11th to resume at the school, the witness said she did not know anything about the deceased until she was arrested at the house of the Chairman on the 12th after she had deleted the account on her phone on the order of the Chairman and his son, MD.
Meanwhile, a Consultant Pathologist from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Prof Olusegun Sylvester Ojo, had earlier told the court that the cause of Adegoke’s death can not be anatomically determined.
He said the death of Adegoke is not unnatural and he could not say it is a natural death.
Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo thereby adjourned till May 26 for the continuation of the cross-examination of Chiefuna.