It was reported last Tuesday, that Nigeria’s First Female Air Combat Pilot, Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, was killed in an accident. The Squadron Pilot at the 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group, Enugu, subsequently died from loss of blood and trauma to the head at the 461 NAF Hospital, Kaduna, after being hit by a Kia Sorento SUV, in NAF Base, Kaduna.
Following Arotile’s death, her family, groups including the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, had called for an investigation into her death.
According to the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Comm. Ibikunle Daramola, the suspected occupants of the Kia Sorrento SUV, Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, were all former schoolmates of the deceased at the Air Force Secondary School. They are currently in Police custody as the case undergoes investigation.
But according to the report obtained from PUNCH yesterday, Sunday, the Air Force gave more insights into the accident. It said the driver, Adejoh was reversing the Kia Sorento SUV when it hit Arotile who fell and hit her head on the tarmac. The car also ran over parts of her body after knocking her down. The Squadron Pilot at the 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group, Enugu, subsequently died from loss of blood and trauma to the head at the 461 NAF Hospital, Kaduna.
The PUNCH learnt that after investigations, the culpable person among the suspects would face manslaughter charges and on conviction, is liable to seven years’ imprisonment, according to Section 28 of the Road Traffic Law which provides that where reckless and dangerous driving has caused the death of a person, the accused person shall be guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment of seven years.
It is noted that all three occupants of the KIA Sorrento SUV are all civilians who were classmates with her years back, at the Air force Secondary school Kaduna.
As reported by PUNCH, It was while she was returning from the Mammy Market at about 4.30pm that three of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School, Kaduna; Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, drove past her in a Kia Sorento SUV, with registration Number AZ 478 MKA.
Upon recognising Arotile after passing her, Daramola disclosed that Adejoh 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.
“Flying Officer Arotile was subsequently rushed to the 461 NAF Hospital Kaduna for treatment, while Mr Folorunsho (one of the occupants of the vehicle) who is also an Accident & Emergency Nurse at the St Gerard Catholic Hospital Kaduna, administered First Aid. Arotile was confirmed dead by the On-Call doctor at the 461 NAF Hospital at about 4.45pm on 14 July 2020, as a result of the head injuries,” the NAF spokesman disclosed.
After the incident, Daramola said the driver and the two occupants of the car were immediately detained at the Air Provost Wing, 453 Base Services Group Kaduna as investigations began.
He also said they were subjected to toxicology tests at the 461 NAF Hospital but no traces of alcohol or psychotropic substances were found in their systems, noting, however, that Adejo did not have a valid driving licence.