The Nigerian government and family of the woman who died in a prison in Cote D’Ivoire, Itunu Babalola, also known as Becky Paul, have rejected the autopsy result on the cause of the death of the deceased.
SaharaReporters had also on Tuesday reported that some lawyers volunteered to take up the matter with the Cote d’ Ivoire government at the ECOWAS Court.
Dabiri Erewa also said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has rejected the autopsy report, which she described as “unacceptable”.
She also noted that the police officer in the case had been reported to Interpol, saying; “We are not going to relent. That police officer must be questioned.”
While expressing NiDCOM deepest condolences to Babalola’s family, said that though she (Dabiri-Erewa) was not a doctor, the autopsy left so many questions unanswered.
“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.
“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.
According to her, the case had been transferred to Abidjan, the lawyer fees had been paid before the unfortunate incident.
“Even the lawyer said that the girl was not guilty of the crime she was accused of. This autopsy, even to me does not appear acceptable. So, I hope that we would not let the case go like that,” Dabiri-Erewa added.
“I am sure the Minister of Foreign Affairs will take the next necessary steps to demand from Cote d’Ivoire a lot more information than they have given about what happened to Itunu’s case.”
According to her, there is the need for African countries to treat one another with respect, decency and dignity.
“Again, it is a tough one, it is a tragic one. It should not have happened. If we let this go just like that, others will go just like that.
“How could this have even happened in another West African country? We will do all we can. Now that the autopsy report is out, there are more questions to ask. How was Itunu treated in prison? How come she just died like that when the next thing was for her to be released,” she asked.
The bereaved, Emmanuel Babalola told newsmen that he was convinced that his daughter was killed and he passionately called on Nigerians to ensure that justice is served.
He also commended the Federal Government’s efforts to get his late daughter released from the prison before she died as well as getting the corpse released.
He had said, “I am not satisfied with the cause of death of my daughter. The autopsy was read but I am not satisfied with it. When the Ivorian government took Itunu to hospital, she was bleeding, blood coming out of her mouth and nose, and I did not know what really happened until I heard suddenly that my daughter is dead.
“This has put me in sadness since then. I want the case to continue. I reject the autopsy.
“I want to know the cause of her death. I want the Nigerian government to please help me and investigate further what led to her death,” the father who wept profusely said.
Last month, the 23-year-old Nigerian lady, who was wrongfully incarcerated in Cote D’lvoire, died.SaharaReporters had on March 15 reported that Babalola, who was based in Bondoukou, Cote D’Ivoire was rotting in a detention camp for refusing to accept police “settlement” of N100,000 for the crime of burglary committed in her house.
SaharaReporters had gathered that when the police authorities saw that she was adamant and insisting on getting justice, they prepared trumped-up charges against her and sent her to detention.
However, several months after, the young lady died after being infected in prison.