The family of the late Obafemi Awolowo University postgraduate student Timothy Adegoke has described the death sentence granted against the owner of Hilton Hotel and Resort, Ile-Ife, Abdulrahman Adedoyin, as a huge relief amid the gloom they had experienced for months.
The hotelier was sentenced to death alongside two others found guilty of murder and conspiracy to kill Mr Adegoke, a Business Administration (MBA) student.
The Chief Judge in her judgement said the owner of the hotel and two of his workers, based on the circumstances of the case established by the prosecuting counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, are found culpable of conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful killing of the deceased.
News men had reported how Adegoke had lodged in Hilton Hotels and Resorts at Ile-Ife upon his arrival from Abuja on November 5, 2021, to enable him to arrive early for his examination at the OAU Distance Learning Centre, Moro, Osun State, on November 6 and November 7, 2021.
He later went missing and was found dead buried in a grave following a police investigation into his disappearance.
After Adegoke was declared missing, the police were invited and seven suspects were arrested after which an investigation commenced.
In a phone interview with The press on Friday morning, the deceased’s wife, Bola Adegoke, characterised the court decision as a big relief after months of sorrow she had felt since her husband’s death in 2021.
She said, “Though when I heard it, I was crying because if they kill all the family, it cannot bring back my husband. Secondly, I am happy that they gave the judgement right. The judgement reduced my pain, my fear, everything.”
“I was told he can go to appeal but I don’t think he has done that because we have not been served,” she added.
She mentioned further that the incessant adjournment of the trial was one of the challenges the family faced during the course of seeking justice.
“During the trial, anytime I read that the sitting was adjourned, my mood would change. I always spoke to God on why an innocent man would be killed without justice,” she said.
A cousin of the deceased, Gabriel Ogunlana equally said the bereaved family were delighted with the court judgement but added that the vacuum Adegoke’s death created had yet to be filled.
He said, “It is the justice we are all seeking for. And we are happy that irrespective of his status, all pieces of evidence against him materialised.
“The vacuum Adegoke’s death created in the family is yet to be filled.”
Corroborating Gabriel’s testimony, Bola (Adegoke’s wife) lamented how difficult it had been for her to take care of the three children left behind by her husband.
She continued: “Before my husband died, the house we were living in was on rent. Even I am tense about how to pay my children’s school fees. Since his death, I have been finding it difficult to meet up with my children’s demands.”