Wednesday, December 1

Outrage as Nigerian lady wrongfully jailed in Ivory Coast dies

Nigerians have continue to express deep anger over the death of a wrongfully jailed Nigerian lady, Itunu Babalola.

Sources said that 21-year-old Babalola from Oyo State was a trader based in Bondoukou, Cote d’Ivoire.

Another source said that her apartment was burgled by an Ivorian in September 2019 and she reported the incident to the police but DPO informed her that the suspect was his nephew.

The DPO reportedly offered her a settlement worth roughly N100,000 to drop the case, an amount lesser than the N300,000 worth of stolen effects but she refused.

Babalola was subsequently arrested after refusing the DPO’s settlement offer, charged to court for human trafficking and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

When the case was reported by a journalist in March 2021, the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission had said it was working to prove the innocence of Babalola.

NIDCOM, headed by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had confirmed that the lady was charged and incarcerated for a crime she didn’t commit.

“Following painstaking investigations by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and the Nigeria Mission in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, it is now confirmed that Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian living in Abidjan was wrongfully charged and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.

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“Plans are underway to engage the services of a legal luminary to prove the innocence of Itunu Babalola at the Court of Appeal after the accused had spent two years out of a ten-year jail term for an offence she did not commit.” Abike Dabiri Erewa said.

Nigerians were however jolted on Sunday night when a journalist who has been following the case, gave serial updates that Babalola contracted an infection in the Ivorian prison.

The journalist uploaded photos of the young lady in an emergency situation being attended to on a stretcher by medical personnel.

Many Nigerians were shocked that eight months after NIDCOM promised to ensure justice was served on the matter and secure the lady’s freedom, Babalola still remained behind bars in the Francophone West African nation.

The situation became unbearable for Nigerians when the journalist(Names withheld) announced later that the young lady gave up the ghost.

The APC controlled federal government of Nigeria was taken to the cleaners by the angry Nigerians who accused the government of being a failure home and abroad.

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