Damilola Adegboye, the immediate elder sister of Tolulope Arotile, has spoken out and demanded an investigation into the cause of her death.
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) yesterday revealed that Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s First female combat helicopter pilot, was hit with a car driven by her ex-classmate
Tolulope Arotile died at age 24 as a result of head injuries she sustained from the accident, which happened at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna state.
Damilola Adegboye, has now stated that the family isn’t convinced she died in a freak accident and is demanding a full-scale investigation into the cause of the accident.
Speaking with Punch, Damilola Adegboye wondered how the reverse of a vehicle could kill a person in such a manner.
“We in the family are not convinced that Tolu can just die like that in a freak accident. I know that the military is well trained in the art of investigation, we want them to carry out a thorough investigation that can convince us beyond all doubts that the incident that led to her death was real.”
She said on the day of the incident, she and Arotile were sleeping in a room before she received a call.
“A call came into her phone which she picked but from the way they spoke, I knew the caller must be a senior officer calling her to come to Airforce base. She felt reluctant and I offered to drop her off.
One hour later, I read online that something serious had happened to her. I couldn’t believe that somebody I just dropped off is dead,” she explained.
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, also called for a coroner inquest into Tolulope Akosile death, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin.
See statement below;
“Nigeria the demented chicken sucked one of its finest eggs yet again with the killing of flying officer Tolulope Arotile on the road in Kaduna on Tuesday.
“A statement by the Nigerian Air Force told some truth that she died but spewed some untruth in saying that: ‘it is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile who died today, 14 July 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.’
“It was only eyewitness accounts that unofficially released that it was a colleague of hers who reversed his car to knock her down on the road.
“The statement added that, ‘Until her death, ?Flying Officer Arotile, who was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Service.
‘During her short but impactful stay in the Service, late Arotile, who hails from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, contributed significantly to the efforts to rid the North Central States of armed bandits and other criminal elements by flying several combat missions under Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State.’
“Unofficial accounts say she just returned from a combat operation before she was knocked down to death.
“We, therefore, do not accept that her death was an accident until the report of a coroner says how she died and how a supposed attempt to stop and greet could come with a deadly impact.
“We say this against what is known of the infiltration of the forces by sympathizers and agents of Boko Haram
“We recall the report years back of such agents revealing the routes and timing of movements of our troops to Boko Haram who ambushed them.
“The inquiry should look into all the links of the colleague who killed her and we must know the identity.
“Meanwhile, we sympathize with the grieving family of Tolulope who has been thrown into deep mourning following the killing of their ft daughter not in combat but within the barrack.
“May her soul rest in peace.”