By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
A receptionist on duty at the Hilton Hotel Honours, Ile-Ife, Osun state, on the day Timothy Adegoke, the OAU’s postgraduate student checked into the hotel, Adesola Adedeji, yesterday, told Chief Justice Adepele Ojo of Osun High Court that a CCTV monitor in the reception was removed before she resumed duty the following week.
Timothy was said to have lodged in the hotel on Friday, November 5, 2021, and was later found in a grave in Ile-Ife, after he had been declared missing on November 7.
At the resumed murder trial, yesterday, Adesola said the hotel had a CCTV camera functioning till November 6, 2021, but she did not know why the monitor at the reception was removed on November 9, 2021, when she resumed duty at the hotel.
She added that the owner of the hotel, Dr Rahman Adedoyin, and his son, Raheem, were in the hotel the night the deceased lodged in the hotel.
Under cross-examination by Mr Femi Falana, SAN, she said Adedoyin came to the hotel around 8 pm on the day to check the workers’ welfare, while his son came around 10 pm the same day and did not know when they left.
She said: “Our hotel had a CCTV camera. The CCTV camera worked up to November 5, it worked up to noon on November 6, when I left office. But on November 9, I noticed that the CCTV monitor at the receptionist desk had been removed.
“On November 9, I asked a receptionist, Moshood Qadri, what happened to the TV and CCTV and the man said he did not see it too and that the gadget can’t be stolen in the hotel.”
Speaking of a meeting at the house of the hotel owner, Adesola said she was informed of the meeting by two receptionists, who are now on the run, Esther Asigor and Qadri Moshood, saying Dr Adedoyin told her to tell investigating police officers that the deceased neither lodged in the hotel nor transferred any money in connection to lodging on the said day.
She said: “On November 11, before I was arrested, we held two meetings in the Chairman’s (Dr Rahman) house. The first meeting only had me and Raheem Adedoyin. Raheem didn’t tell me who was in room 305 or mentioned his name. He only said receipt number 7316 was missing and that he was trying to help me.
“He gave me a new receipt and said I should write Lekan and one other name I can’t recollect, and I signed it.
“He collected the receipt but later gave it to me to present to the police if they asked for it. Meanwhile, the receipt I wrote for Adegoke (deceased) bore the same number.
“Raheem later called me that my attention was needed by the Chairman. During the meeting, Adedoyin said I should not inform the police that the manager was aware of the payment.
“However, while she was given the statement she wrote at the police station to read out, she wrote that the chairman told her that she should just said a man walked in to enquire and collected her account details and left.”
She also disclosed that the deceased, after entering the room on November 5 in the evening, did not come down nor did she bother to check on him, since she has nothing to do in his room.
Under cross-examination from Mr Kehinde Eleja, SAN, she said throughout the night of November 5, no act of disturbance or violence was reported to her by the deceased or any of the guests on the same floor with him, saying she also did not notice any strange activity in the hotel.
Earlier while being led in evidence by Mr Okon Ita, Adesola said she sold out 16 rooms in the hotel on November 5 and was surprised when the record given to her by the police reflected 15 rooms.