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Itunu Babalola: Deceased’s Family, FG Reject Autopsy Result, Demand Justice


EMMANUEL Babalola, the father of Itunnu Babalola, a.k.a Bekky Paul, who was wrongfully jailed and died in a Cote d’Ivoire prison on November 14, has rejected the autopsy report on her daughter.

The 24-year-old, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail over trumped charges, was buried in Ibadan, on December 4.

The bereaved father dismissed the autopsy report when he paid a thank-you visit to the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in her Lagos office.

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He said the autopsy report which was written in French did not reflect “the true situation of the cause of death of Itunnu.”

According to a statement on Tuesday by the Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols, NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, titled, ‘Itunnu: Father rejects autopsy report, asks for FG’s support,’ Babalola, who wept uncontrollably, said he got somebody who interpreted some aspects of it to him.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the result of the post-mortem test.

The bereaved parent reportedly said, “My daughter was framed up and was wrongfully jailed. It is painful that they lied against her after breaking into her apartment and stealing her property. But it is even disheartening that she died mysteriously in prison after the intervention of your Commission when she was about to be freed.

“I don’t believe that she died of natural cause. I spoke with her on Wednesday in good health condition; how come she died two days later vomiting blood and claiming it was sepsis in her respiratory system. This is unacceptable.

“That is why I’m here to thank you for all you have done for me on her and through you appeal for justice for my late daughter.”

Babalola reiterated his call on the Federal Government to ensure that his daughter’s name was cleared of the allegation and make sure that those who framed her up as well as those responsible for her death were brought to justice.

He stressed that while in prison, his daughter complained of poor treatment by the Ivorian government, noting that she was poorly looked after and suffered health complications.

“She told me how they took her to hinterland prison from the Cote d’Ivoire capital, Abidjan, a journey of about five hours, and imprisoned her there to discourage those championing the case as well frustrate the cause of justice,” he noted.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the Babalola family again and assured the father that the matter would not be allowed to go away like that.

The NIDCOM boss confirmed that the autopsy said Itunu died of “Acute respiratory disease as a result of sepsis,” adding that the autopsy left a lot of doubts “because there are gaps in the medical report which calls for more investigation.”

Dabiri-Erewa said that some group of lawyers have indicated their willingness to take the matter up with the ECOWAS court to seek justice for Itunnu.

“On behalf of the Commission, she provided some financial support for the family to cushion the effects of losing a breadwinner,” the statement said.

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