Ajibola Abayomi

The House of Representatives has vowed to unravel circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian lady who recently died in an Ivory Coast prison under strange circumstances. 

The House also said all the action necessary to unravel this case would be encouraged, which may include a thorough coroners’ inquest to investigate the circumstances surrounding Itunu Babalola’s death.

From left: Mrs Babalola, the mother of the deceased, Hon Tolulope-Sadipe Akande, Mr Emmanuel Babalola, the father of the deceased, Mr Abdul-Rahman Balongun, the Head Media Unit of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission during a visit to the parents of the victim

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, stated this during a condolence visit to the parents of the deceased in Ibadan. 

Recall that the late Babalola, popularly known as, Becky Paul, was reported to have been sentenced for an offence she didn’t commit in the Francophone country.

Speaking in Ibadan, Akande-Sadipe said the Ivorian Ambassador to Nigeria, will have to ensure that this wrongful incarceration that resulted to the death of a Nigerian citizen was investigated urgently. 

Hon. Akande-Sadipe, reiterated that the House of Representatives is always committed to the safety of Nigerians in the diaspora, and will not rest until it gets justice for Itunu Babalola, even in death.

She said the Committee on Diaspora was not satisfied with the result of the autopsy carried out in Cote d’Ivoire, adding that “a thorough investigation on the matter must still be carried out”.

Akande-Sadipe, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government not to let Itunu’s death be swept under the carpet.

“Itunu will be vindicated and her name will be cleared. It is not going to stop here, I promise”, she said. 

Speaking during the visit, Itunu’s father, Emmanuel Babalola, in tears, said the family can only have closure through a thorough investigation into the cause of their daughter’s death, adding that through an independent toxicologist, the cause of her death can be established.

Thanking Hon. Akande-Sadipe for her kind gesture, Mr. Babalola reiterated that Itunu was victimised in prison and appealed to Federal Government to wade into the matter, urgently.

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