The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has revealed that the retrial of a Nigerian, Itunu Babalola, said to have been wrongfully incarcerated in Cote D’lvoire, is to commence under a new, unbiased prosecutor.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Gabriel Odu, the commission’s Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit officer, in Abuja, on Friday, March 19.
According to him, following painstaking investigations by the commission and the Nigeria Mission in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, it had now been confirmed that Babalola, a Nigerian living in Abidjan, was wrongfully charged and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.
Also, the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the Charge D’Affaires of the Nigerian Mission in Côte D’Ivoire, Mr Mohammed Gana, had sent officials of the mission to Bondoukou, a city eight hours away from Abidjan when the case was first brought to his attention.
Gana was quoted as saying that plans were underway to engage the services of a lawyer, to prove the innocence of Babalola at the Court of Appeal.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the accused had spent two out of the 10-year jail term passed on her, for an offense she did not commit.
“Reports indicate that the new prosecutor, assigned to the case, has given assurances of a fair and unbiased review and retrial of the case, to secure the release of Babalola.
“The reports also indicate that the former prosecutor, in collaboration with the police, allegedly twisted the case and accused Babalola of human trafficking hence her conviction for 20 years, although the sentence was reduced to 10 years from which she has served 2 years so far.
“Babalola, whose family is from Oyo State, Nigeria, has been living in Bondoukou, Cote d’Ivoire, for a long time but got entangled in a legal battle, when she reported the burglary of her house to the police.
“On efforts made to secure her bail, the prosecutor said it is only the court that can grant her bail, as she has already been convicted, we will continue to monitor the case as it unfolds,” he said.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...
INVESTIGATION…PARKVIEW ESTATE: Exclusive images of how billionaire property developer incurred Lagos govt‘s anger
Many have seen the demolished building, but not many know the circumstances that led to the teardown of the about...
INVESTIGATION… N.3bn down the drain, as Enugu communities suffer from dry taps
In November 2020, three organizations and the Enugu State government celebrated the completion of N300 million worth of projects that were expected...
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....