Police Arraign Two Brothers over Death of First Female Combatant Pilot
Nehemiah Adejo and David Adejo, the two brothers who were detained for killing Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, were yesterday arraigned before a Kaduna State Magistrate Court on four-count charge.
Nehemiah was charged for causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, driving without driver’s licence and driving without authorisation of the owner.
David was charged with negligent conduct while causing danger to person and property.
Both accused persons pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Police prosecuting counsel, Mr. Martins Leo urged that Nehemiah be remanded in prison, arguing that there is pending investigation of culpable homicide against him.
However, counsel, to the accused, Mr. Ibrahim Omachi argued that his clients are first-time offenders and had spent more than four weeks in detention
The Magistrate, Mr. Benjamin Hassan, after hearing arguments from both counsels granted bail to the accused in the sum of N1 million with two sureties who must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and possess Bank Verification Number (BVN). The case was adjourned to 24 and 25 of August for hearing.
Arotile was killed by a reversing vehicle at the premises of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base, Kaduna.
The vehicle was driven by the Nehemiah, one of the accused persons who is said to be a former classmate and was reversing to greet the deceased.
NAF had last month unveiled the killers of the late Arotile.
It, however, ruled out foul play in the death, restating its earlier position that she was run over by a friend’s vehicle.
It said the deceased officer died of trauma due to the bleeding from head injuries she sustained in the accident.
NAF identified the three suspects being detained over the incident as Mr. Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr. Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr. Festus Gbayegun, saying they were her former secondary schoolmates, who would also be handed over to the police for prosecution.
Folorunsho and Gbayegun were not charged to court yesterday, but David Adejoh, the alleged owner of the car, was on the charge sheet.
At a media briefing on the preliminary investigation report on the death of Arotile in Abuja, the Director, Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said Arotile was run over by a friend’s vehicle and died of trauma to the head and bleeding.
“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,” he said.