By Onyebuchi Sampson
Osun State Government has granted a fiat to the firm of human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Femi Falana, to prosecute all the seven defendants charged with the murder of a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Timothy Adegoke, at Hilton Hotel in Ile-Ife.
Dr. Ramon Adedoyin, who owns the hotel and six members of his staff, namely, Adedeji Adesola, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwale Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, and Adebayo Kunle, are facing an11-count charge on the matter.
The charge borders on conspiracy, murder, altering of receipt, and administration of extrajudicial oath among others. The letter was contained in a statement signed by the Osun State AttorneyGeneral & Commissioner of Justice,Oluwafemi Akande, entitled: “Re: Justice for Timothy, Mr. Governor over to you: Osun State Government Position on State of Prosecution in HOS/5C/2022 The State vs. Dr. Rahmon Adedoyin & others”.
The statement posted by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan, on his Facebook page, disclosed that Falana, upon request by him and the family of the deceased, had been given permission to prosecute the matter.
The statement further stated that on April 1, 2022, Femi Falana, SAN, applied to the Office of Osun State Attorney General for fiat to take over the prosecution of the case. It added that, thereafter, the deceased’s family wrote a separate letter to the Attorney General, requesting that Falana’s Chambers be allowed to prosecute the matter.
The statement reads: “The alleged case of murder was first investigated by Osun State Police Command, but was later taken over by the IGP Office in Abuja. “After the investigation, the Police filed a criminal charge against the suspects in Abuja, The Trumpet gathered.
The case was later moved to Osogbo by Nigerian Police. “While the Police Prosecutors were prosecuting the case, the deceased family’s counsel, Falana, and Falana & Co watched brief for the victim and witnessed the proceedings.
“On April 1, 2022, Femi Falana, applied to the Office of the Hon. Attorney General for fiat to take over the prosecution of the case. Thereafter, the deceased’s family wrote a letter to the Attorney General requesting for the Chambers of Femi Falana to be allowed to prosecute the matter.
“The learned silk’s letter and that of the family were immediately processed and the fiat requested for has since been granted. The Office of Chief Femi Falana had already collected the letter conveying the fiat of the Attorney General to the learned silk.
“The position as of today, in law, is that the office of Femi Falana is in full charge of the prosecution of the case.”
Trial judge, Adepele Ojo of Osun State High Court 1, Osogbo, who had earlier dismissed a no-case submission filed by the defence counsel on behalf of their clients, has adjourned till April 25 for the continuation of trial.