The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Timothy Adegoke, the Master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University, assumed a new dimension on Saturday following an allegation that the deceased was buried by workers of Ife Central Local Government with the consent of the police.
Abiodun Williams, counsel to the detained owner of Hilton Hotel and Resorts, Chief Rahmon Adegoke, has now urged the police to widen the scope of their investigation to cover the new allegation.
Williams, in a petition dated November 21, and addressed to Osun State Police Commissioner, claimed that some people working close to where the corpse was dumped reported the matter to the local government authorities who, in turn, contacted the police to seek their consent for burial.
According to Williams, the police subsequently granted the request.
“You will recall that some of the suspects in your custody allegedly confessed to dumping the corpse of late Mr Timothy Adegoke in the bush, they did not admit to burying him. You will equally recall that during the interview you granted to Rave 97.1 FM Radio on the 22nd day of November 2021, there it was insinuated that some of the suspects confessed to have buried the corpse in the bush at about 2km to the hotels somewhere along Ede Road, Ile-Ife, Osun State. However, there is now a strong rumour peddled by some people to the effect that that position may not be correct after all.
“It was the officials of the Department of Public Health, Ife Central Local Government, Ile-Ife that buried the deceased, having received clearance from the officers of the Nigerian Police of one of the Divisions in Ile-Ife. We could not establish which of the divisions in Ile-Ife gave the clearance. However, we are of the view that, if the information is correct, discreet and diligent investigations will establish it,” the lawyer said.
Williams further explained that if the police could establish that officers of the Public Health Department, Ife Central Local Government were the ones that buried the corpse of Adegoke, it would go a long way in assisting the pathologists in their quest to unravel the circumstances that led to Adegoke’s death.
“It would stop the question: ‘why did those that buried the corpse of Mr Timothy Adegoke keep silent all this while and allow an innocent man to be languishing in detention?
“We also gathered from the stories going round in the public domain that the artisans, workers and business owners around the premises where the body of late Timothy Adegoke was initially found reported the case to the police; who in turn cleared the officials of the Department of Public Health, Ife Central Local Government, Ile-Ife to bury the corpse.
“We heard that activities leading to the burial of the deceased young man were properly recorded on video and pictures taken by the officials,” he added.
The lawyer implored the police commissioner to “use your good office to confirm the truth of the information stated here-above for the purpose of truly determining what role each of the suspects and/or anyone or officers of government played in the events that led to the death and burial of Mr. Timothy Adegoke to ensure that justice is done above all things.”
“We are of the view that if the information relating to the burial of the corpse of the deceased is promptly investigated, it would further establish the innocence of our client,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Ife Central Local Government, Hon Olayera Elugbaju, had earlier told The Nation that speculations that some staff of the local government had been arrested by the police for their involvement in the burying the corpse of Adegoke in a shallow grave were untrue.
“No staff of the secretariat was arrested by the police. I cannot confirm to you now if our staff buried the corpse of Adegoke until I see the file they record corpses that the local government had buried in the time past,” the chairman said.