The trial of classmates of celebrated late, Tolulope Arotile who reportedly knocked her down with a vehicle that eventually led her death has been handed over to the Police, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) affirms.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, announced the development while briefing the public on the outcome of preliminary investigation of Arotile’s death.
NAF had earlier said the driver of the vehicle, Mr Nehemiah Adejo, did not have a valid driver’s license while revealing his identity on Sunday.
Daramola said the case was a civil matter and would, therefore, be handed over to the police with the hope of charging the suspects to court. He said, “Being a civil case, the matter will be handed over to the Nigeria Police with a view to further investigating and charging the suspects to court in accordance with extant laws.”
Recall that the death of Arotile who was Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot led to a public outcry with Nigerians calling for an investigation into her demise. She died from head injuries on last Wednesday when she was knocked down by a car at the Kaduna NAF base.
Giving a report of a preliminary investigation carried out, the Dramola said the late Arotile met three of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School now Air Force Comprehensive School, Kaduna, on the day of the incident.
Daramola said, “Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, drove past her in a Kia Sorento SUV, with registration number AZ 478 MKA. It is noteworthy that Messrs Adejoh, Folorunsho and Gbayegun are all civilians who live outside NAF Base Kaduna, but were on their way to visit one Mrs Chioma Ugwu, wife of Squadron Leader Chukwuemeka Ugwu, who lives at Ekagbo Quarters on the Base.
“Upon recognising their schoolmate, Arotile, after passing her, Mr Adejoh, who was driving, reversed the vehicle, ostensibly in an attempt to quickly meet up with the deceased, who was walking in the opposite direction. In the process, the vehicle struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear, knocking her down with significant force and causing her to hit her head on the pavement. The vehicle then ran over parts of her body as it veered off the road beyond the kerb and onto the pavement, causing her further injuries.”
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