Re: Father of boy found dead in hotel room wants IG’s intervention
THE said Michael Afeso checked into the hotel on the night of Friday, October 23, 2015. The room he checked into had earlier been reserved for him by one of his friends, who checked in earlier the same day. His friends who were with him that night confirmed that on arrival at the hotel, the deceased sat out with them at the pool bar where they all had drinks together before retiring to his hotel room to meet his girlfriend, which he said was being expected.
At about 12.15pm the next day, one of the hotel’s house-keepers who was carrying out their routine clean-up at the check-out time tapped on the deceased’s door but did not get any response. He felt probably the deceased would later call the Front Desk for an extension of his stay. He checked again at about an hour later and discovered that the room was still locked. At about 2pm, the House-Keeper said he walked up to the Front Desk officers to confirm if the occupant of that particular room had checked or called them but got a negative response. At that juncture, he felt compelled to get the master key from the Front-Desk with a view to accessing the room. He said he got into the room to discover the lifeless body of the deceased still lying on the bed.
The attention of the management of the Hotel was quickly drawn to the matter. Almost immediately, the management reported the matter both to the Ajah Divisional Police Headquarters and the Area “J” Command. Officers of the Division led by one Supol Owoseni moved into the Hotel. The officers duly questioned some members of staff, took pictures of the incidence room, took their time to watch CCTV footages that same night and thereafter, moved the corpse to the morgue at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba.
Curiously, a manager and a chef in the hotel were picked up for further questioning by the police. This was in spite of the fact that there was no scintilla of complicity on the part of the hotel and above all, the food that was served by the chef was not even opened by the deceased. Moreso, the CCTV footage that covered the deceased never indicated a foul play. At a point, the IT Room of the hotel became a beehive of activities as both the police and members of the deceased’s family along with their lawyer were jointly visiting to view CCTV footages.
All efforts to effect the release of the members of staff of the hotel who were picked up for questioning were abortive as the Ajah Division firmly maintained that investigations were still inconclusive. However, the matter was eventually transferred to the State CID, Panti, Yaba around October 29, 2015. An investigating team led by one Supol Tony with Mr. John Babalola as IPO again visited the hotel and interrogated all members of staff they considered relevant to the investigation.
At a point, the lawyer representing the deceased’s family became convinced that the hotel had no hand in the death of Mr. Afeso. He even requested that the hotel assists the bereaved family financially. However, the lawyer representing the hotel advised the other party to be patient in view of the fact that releasing any sum of money to the deceased’s family at the time may send wrong signals to the public.
After spending about two weeks in an unjustifiable detention, the hotel manager and chef were reluctantly released by the police, who were becoming convinced of the hotel’s innocence. About three days later, the police informed the hotel management that an autopsy had been carried out and the result showed that the deceased died of heart failure.
It is imperative to point out that there was no point at which the hotel was uncooperative in the course of the investigation. It is also maliciously untrue as reported in some quarters that it was after the police and a lawyer were brought in that the hotel was “compelled to show the video recording of the CCTV.”
Both the police and the lawyer representing the deceased’s family will always, in good conscience, attest to the fact that the hotel did not only on their own volition informed all concerned parties that it has CCTV that could help in the investigation but also optimally cooperated in the course of the investigation.
Also heavily mischievous is the claim by one writer who clearly has a knack for playing to the gallery that an attempt was made to edit the footages and that the hotel manager denied the claim that somebody passed on in the hotel room. It is absurd to imagine that the same hotel that reported the incident will be the one that will deny same in another breathe. The article does not only reek of mischief designed to cast aspersion on the image of the hotel but also underscores the depth of the writer’s junk journalism.
The allusion to overtures that the hotel caters for the burial ceremonies is a figment of the imagination of the writer. It is noteworthy that in the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 2015, the lawyer representing the deceased’s family informed the lawyer to the hotel that the remains of the deceased will be interred on Friday, November 20, and inquired if the hotel was willing to assist the family of the deceased. The hotel’s lawyer noted that albeit the information was rather sudden but that he will nonetheless ensure that the hotel shows some “concern.”
It is expedient to point out that Jonaith Hotels & Suites is and remains an exquisite world of royalty and ambiance in a very secured environment.