The head of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has stated that the conclusion of the investigation into the murder of Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian woman who was “wrongfully detained” in Cote D’Ivoire will shock many.
The commission revealed that the last person who visited Babalola before her death was a Nigerian.
SaharaReporters, Eaglesforesight and others had reported in 2021 that the Nigerian government, through NIDCOM and the Nigerian Mission in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire said its investigation into the case of Itunu showed that she was innocent and was framed.
The government said the former prosecutor in Cote d’Ivoire in collaboration with the police twisted the case against Itunu and accused the woman of human trafficking, leading to her conviction for 10 years, out of which she had unjustly served two years.
Gabriel Odu, of the NIDCOM’s Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, issued a statement at the time which noted that the Nigerian government would move to rescue Itunu having established that she was framed up by the Ivorian government.
Meanwhile, at a media conference on Thursday at the state house in Abuja, Dabiri-Erewa revealed that the outcome of the probe would shock many Nigerians.
Speaking of the commission’s efforts to obtain justice for the deceased, Dabiri-Erewa revealed that a Nigerian who claimed to be looking into Babalola’s death’s circumstances paid her a visit just before she passed away.
The NIDCOM chairperson claimed that Babalola’s friends might also be implicated eventually.
Dabiri-Erewa bemoaned the inability to “truly” identify the suspect, who she characterized as a “dark, male who had a relationship with the girl,” due to the absence of CCTV evidence.
“The case is in court and I would not want to pre-empt what is in court but there are some sad things about that. Somebody visited her before she died, I’m saying this for the first time and that person is a Nigerian,” she said.