Abiodun Williams is the counsel to Chief Ramon Adedoyin, the owner of Hilton Hotel where Timothy Adegoke died. He speaks with GBENGA ADERANTI.
What is the state of mind of Dr. Ramon Adedoyin right now? When you saw him last, how was he doing and the kind of treatment he was getting?
I last saw him on the 24th of November, 2021 and he was in high spirits despite his ordeal and the situation on ground. He was not moved by all the media trials currently ongoing because he believes that the outcome of the police investigation will exonerate him.
There are different allegations against him in social media, including burying six people in his hotel, among others. What do you have to say about this?
This is a blatant falsehood that ordinarily needs no reply. Where are the relatives or complainants of the six people? There is no such thing. The owner of the hotel is a good Muslim and a great philanthropist who has unblemished records. All these lies being peddled around are just mere evil conspiracy to bring him down.
What has been the effect of those allegations on Chief Adedoyin and his family?
Of course, it is devastating to say the least, but we believe in his innocence and that at the end of the day, he will be exonerated.
Let me reiterate that I am a priest in the temple of justice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Therefore, my foremost duty to this country is to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all the extant laws. Consequently, I can never condone, hide or defend any form of criminality. If I did not sincerely believe in the innocence of Chief Dr. Ramon Adedoyin, I wouldn’t be here talking to you.
You witnessed the autopsy, what really happened during the exercise and how did it go?
Although I was at the mortuary of the Osun State University Teaching Hospital in Osogbo like every other person, I did not witness the autopsy as only the pathologists were allowed in. Notwithstanding this, I have supreme confidence in all the pathologists who performed the autopsy because they are professors of the highest reputations in Nigeria.
Was any part of Adegoke’s body removed?
I am not in a position to say this conclusively. I believe the pathologists will throw more light on this. Since the result of the autopsy is still being awaited, it will be highly prejudicial for me to answer that question peremptorily.
Some bloggers have continued to tell the general public different stories about Adegoke’s death. What could have been responsible for this?
Like a fellow learned colleague has said, when it comes to sensitive matters under police investigation, not a few citizens of this country are unreasonable and unrefined. It is in their character to get rather crude and barbaric. Instead of waiting for the conclusion of a police investigation, they are in the habit of poking their nose into police investigation activities and running senseless commentaries. This is not good for the peace, progress and tranquility of this country.
Some have alleged that the OAU MBA student’s death was premeditated because of certain circumstances. Why was the body in Ife and the phone in Ejigbo?
I am not obliged to what rumour peddlers are saying. I have absolute confidence in the Nigerian Police investigators to establish the truth and if anybody is found culpable, he or she should be made to face the consequences in court. It is for the police to establish culpability and for the court to judge accordingly.
Considering your recent experience, do you think social media should be regulated and why?
I don’t support that social media be regulated as this would run contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended. However, I will call for the promulgation of a law that restricts any comment, discussion or interview on any matter under police investigation pending the conclusion, arraignment and sentencing of the accused persons. This will be in line with the presumption of innocence enshrined in Section 36 (5) of the Constitution.
What damage has social media done to this case?
It has done a lot of irreparable damage to all the parties involved: the bond that holds the society and fragmentation of family and friendships. But I believe the truth will soon be unraveled.
How true is it that Chief Adedoyin has been suspended as Maye of Ile-Ife?
This is not true. It is part of the media trial and falsehood being peddled around. Dr. Ramon Adedoyin and His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II are very close and I strongly believe that the Ooni will not be comfortable with the ordeal that one of the foremost illustrious sons of Ile-Ife is passing through. To further puncture the falsehood, has there been any press release in respect of that from the palace of His Imperial Majesty?
How true is it that the chief’s son is on the run?
I don’t know how true this is. If his presence is needed by the police, I hereby call on him to submit himself to the nearest police station wherever he is. We have nothing to hide.
Why were there initial denials that Adegoke died in the hotel?
This is a question I have replied to repeatedly. The initial denial was because of lack of reflection of the money paid by the deceased into the company’s accounts. I believe he was either misled or inadvertently paid into a personal account of the receptionist instead of the hotel’s statement of account boldly displayed at the reception.
It has been alleged in certain quarters that some people are behind Adedoyin’s travails. Do you subscribe to this?
Certainly, there are some people who are fueling or profiting from his ordeals. However, I plead with social media influencers and the press to ensure that they obtain their information from the right sources before publishing so as to ascertain that they are not being used for ulterior purposes against the suspects.
What would you be telling the general public?
I want to plead with all the reasonable members of the public to maintain peace and hold on to their comments and views until the completion of the ongoing police investigation. We also sympathize with the family of the deceased and other persons affected by his death. We urge everyone to wait for the outcome of the police investigation and that of the independent pathologists.
Why is Chief Adedoyin still being held by the police if he was not at the scene of Adegoke’s death as being claimed?
No, he was not around when this incident happened. He was in Abuja and had to rush down to Ile-Ife on the 10th of November, 202, when he first heard about the case as that of a missing person. Of course, he was arrested for being the owner of the hotel. However, so far, he has never, in any way, been indicted by any of the suspects in police custody. The Osun State Police Commissioner confirmed this in his interview aired on Rave 97.1 FM Radio, Osogbo on the 22nd of November, 2021.
How soon is he likely to be released?
I don’t want to preempt the police, but he is ready to undergo all the due process of the law in order to be exonerated.
Initial reports on social media alleged that the suspects made a confessional statement which indicted him, how true is this?
Not at all. I will only react or respond to any outcome of diligent police investigation not the rumour on social media. And there was no time the police ever said he was in any way indicted by the suspects.