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Arotile’s death: Court charges suspect with culpable homicide – not punishable by death

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A Chief Magistrate Court 1 sitting in Kaduna on Thursday released two of the three people charged with the killing of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.

The suspects were arrested and arraigned by the Kaduna State Police Command following the death of Arotile on July 14 as a result of injuries she sustained when she was knocked down by a vehicle driven by Nehemiah Adejor, her secondary school mate,

At the hearing, Martins Leo, the prosecution counsel asked the court to discharge Folorunsho Igbekele Faith and Gbayegun Deji, 2nd and 3rd suspects, as they were occupants in the car and the investigation did not find them wanting.

However, Nehemiah Adejor, who is also the first suspect who drove the car that killed the Air Force Officer, is charged for culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy.

Chief Magistrate Benjamin Hassan in his ruling said based on the police investigation, Folorunsho and Gbayegun were exonerated from available evidence at the court’s disposal.

He also stated that the decision was arrived at, after receiving legal advice from Bayero Dari, the state’s Director of Public Prosecution, saying that the 2nd and 3rd suspects had no case to answer.

The court noted that there was no premeditation in the death of the Flying Officer Arotile, but “there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the 1st suspect,  Adejor, for culpable homicide not punishable by death.

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Muhammad Jalige, Police Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, had stated in a report  Adejor  would be arraigned at the State High Court for culpable homicide not punishable with death on September 3, 2020.

“Based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, the 1st suspect, Nehemiah Adejor, is going to be arraigned at the State High Court for culpable homicide not punishable with death on the 3rd of September, 2020,” Jalige said.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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