FG, family reject autopsy on Itunu Babalola who died in Ivorian prison

Itunu Babalola

The Federal Government and the family of the late Itunu Babalola who died in Côte d’Ivoire after she was wrongly jailed have rejected the autopsy on the cause of her death and called for justice.

According to the autopsy, Ms Babalola died of sepsis complicated by acute respiratory distress, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa revealed on Tuesday.

Babalola, 24, a native of Oyo State got entangled in a legal battle when she reported to the police that her house in Bondoukou, Cote d’Ivoire had been burgled.

She was said to have been charged to court and the prosecutor, in collaboration with the police, allegedly compromised the case and accused her of human trafficking.

Babalola was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison which was later reduced to 10 years, but she died on November 14, 2021, two years into her jail term.

“I am not a doctor but when I looked at the autopsy report itself, ‘Sepsis Complicated by Acute Respiratory Distress’, that is not acceptable even to me without being a doctor and I don’t think that should be acceptable,” said Mrs Dabiri-Erewa.

“I believe that Nigeria should not just let this matter go just like that. We need to demand justice.”

“How come she just died after everything has been done for her release?” she asked.

The deceased’s father Emmanuel Babalola also appealed to the Nigerian government for help.

The commission presented an undisclosed amount of money to Mr Babalola as support to the family.

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