The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Sunday revealed the identity of the killer of the late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, explains their side of the story in a briefing at Abuja.
Daramola gave the name of Arotile’s ex-classmate who drove the vehicle that hit Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot as “Mr Nehemiah Adejoh”.
The NAF spokesperson also said the matter would be handed over to the Nigeria Police Force being a civil case.
He said the details of the 24-year-old pilot have been communicated to her family who is still mourning their daughter and sister.
Giving a report of a preliminary investigation carried out, the NAF spokesperson said that 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 unfortunate incident.
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He 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 recognizing 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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Daramola said Arotile was rushed to NAF hospital in the base but was confirmed dead at 04:45pm.
He explained that the three ex-classmates were immediately detained and subjected to alcohol test but no such substance was found in their systems.
“It was however discovered that the driver of the vehicle, Mr Nehemiah Adejo, did not have a valid driver’s license.
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“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,” he added.