The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Gudu, in Apo, Abuja, has struck out the case of the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State.
In November last year, Mr Adegoke was reportedly murdered at Hilton Honour Hotel and Resorts, Ile Ife.
The judge, Modupe Osho-Adebiyi, issued the order striking out the charges filed in connection to his death after the prosecuting counsel, Ochogwu Ogbe, moved an application for discontinuance of the case on Tuesday.
Mr Ogbe, representing the police prosecuting team, said the withdrawal of the case was necessitated by the need for further investigations on the case.
The lawyer said this was in view of some “new facts” found concerning the case.
“Take notice that the complainant discontinues all the proceedings in the case against the defendants for further investigation,” part of the prosecution’s court filing read.
The judge, Ms Osho-Adebiyi, subsequently struck out the case on the basis of the application.
“Since the prosecutor has applied for a discontinuance of case and the defendants are not opposing the application, I hereby struck out the case,” she ruled.
The ruling came as a temporary reprieve for the seven defendants, including Rahmon Adedoyin, the owner of Hilton Honour Hotel and Resorts, Ile Ife, where Mr Adegoke was reportedly murdered in November, 2021.
It is, however, not immediately clear if the police would release the defendants during the period of further investigations.
The decision by the police to withdraw the charges came on the heels of the request by the Adegoke family lawyer, Femi Falana’s request for the case to be transferred to Ile Ife in Osun State, where the alleged offences were said to have been committed.
Controversy had trailed Mr Adegoke’s death after he lodged at Hilton Hotel and Resort in Ile Ife, Osun State.
He was in the ancient city to write an examination at the OAU Distance Learning Centre, Moro campus, when he was declared missing on November 7, 2021.
Mr Adegoke’s body was said to have been discovered after some suspects, including workers at the hotel, were arrested by the police for questioning.
The police had stepped into the matter, and in January, charged the owner of the hotel, Rahmon Adedoyin, and six others over Mr Adegoke’s death.
Mr Adedoyin was charged with an attempted felony, conspiracy, unlawful interference with Adegoke’s corpse, and tampering with the hotel’s receipt and CCTV camera, with the intent to destroy evidence that would prove that Mr Adegoke visited the hotel.
Others charged alongside Mr Adedoyin are: Adedeji Adesola, 23; Magdalene Chiefuna, 24; Adeniyi Aderogba, 37; Oluwale Lawrence, 37, Oyetunde Kazeem, 38; Adebayo Kunle, 35, and others at large.
Those at large were Prince Rahim Adedoyin, Esther Asifo and Quadiri Moshood.