The receptionist on duty at the Hilton Hotels and Suites, Ile-Ife on the day a Master’s degree student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Timothy Adegoke was discovered dead in the hotel has told a High Court in Osogbo, Osun State hearing the case that she and another person were made to swear to an oath of secrecy together .
The defence witness, Magdalene Chiefuna said the action was to protect the hotel from the adverse effect of the incident.
She also said she did not know that the deceased was dumped in a shallow grave until when she got to the police station six days after.
Earlier, Chiefuna, who was led in evidence by Mr Kunle Adegoke, SAN, narrated how she took over from Adesola Adedeji, the seventh defendant, and discovered that the occupant of Room 305 was not seen until the following day, 7th November, when she got the extra key from the housekeeper and opened the door.
Under cross-examination by Mr Femi Falana, SAN, the witness said: “When the Manager, Adeniyi Aderogba 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 were drugs on the table, paracetamol and another drug I can’t identify.
“I also 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 dropping 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”.
The witness said 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”.
Chiefuna said she only heard the deceased had paid for the room when she resumed duty on 6th November, but never saw him.
While stating that she was given a letter of transfer by the MD on 11th November 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, the MD.
Meanwhile, a Consultant Pathologist from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Prof. Olusegun Ojo had earlier told the court on Wednesday that the cause of Adegoke’s death could not be anatomically determined.
He said Adegoke’s death was not unnatural and he could not say it was a natural death.
Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo, who has been presiding on the case, adjourned till today for the continuation of Chiefuna’s cross-examination.