Arotile: NAF reveals identity of driver, others

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The Nigerian Air Force has revealed the identity of the killer of the late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, was reported by The PUNCH to have made this known at a briefing in Abuja on Sunday.

He 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.’

Daramola added that 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, he 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 unfortunate incident.

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 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.”

Daramola said Arotile was rushed to NAF hospital in the base but was confirmed dead at 04.45pm.

He stated that the three ex-classmates were immediately detained and subjected to alcohol test but no such substance was found in their systems.

But it was discovered that Adejoh had no driving licence.

Meanwhile, Daramola had earlier announced that Arotile’s remains would be interred at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on Thursday July 23, with full military honours.

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