Tolulope Arotile until her death was the first female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force. She is a promising talent to the the nation born on 13th December, 1995. Her dedication to duty and commitment in the service to the nation was outstanding and highly commendable.
According to the report released by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola on behalf of the NAF on Saturday 19th July 2020 stressed that it would have been ideal for the entire investigation to be concluded before details on the incident are released, the NAF, in sensitivity to public concerns occasioned by the spread of false information, appreciates the imperative to provide more clarity at this very difficult moment.
He pointed that the details being revealed today have already been communicated to the Arotile Family, who ideally should be allowed to mourn their daughter and sister in peace, but for the unfortunate nature of the sad occurrence.
According to the preliminary investigation has revealed that Late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, a Squadron Pilot at the 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group (405 HCTG) Enugu, attached to the Air Component of Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, just completed her Promotion Examinations and was with her sister Mrs Damilola Adegboye in Kaduna awaiting deployment for her next assignment. Mum and Dad of Late Tolu Arotile
Based on report from Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Tolu received a phone call from her colleague, Flying Officer Perry Karimo who wanted to discuss arrangements for their return to Enugu and after the Late Arotile placed a call through to Squadron Leader Diepiriye Batubo, the Group Operations Officer (GOO) of 405 HCTG, who was in Minna at the time, to clarify issues regarding her deployment.
Tolu was dropped by her elder sister at the Base Mammy Market at about where she proceeded to photocopy and laminate some documents. It was while she was returning from the Mammy Market that 3 of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School Kaduna named; Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, drove past her in a Kia Sorento SUV, with Registration Number AZ 478 MKA. It is noteworthy that Messrs Adejoh, Folorunsho and Gbayegun are all civilians who live outside NAF Base Kaduna, but were on their way to visit one Mrs Chioma Ugwu, wife of Squadron Leader Chukwuemeka Ugwu, who lives at Ekagbo Quarters on the Base.
In their quest to greet her upon recognising tArotile, after passing her, Mr Adejoh, who was driving, reversed the vehicle in the process struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear which make her hit her head on the pavement and she was rushed to the NAF Hospital Kaduna for treatment and later reported dead.
The three classmates were immediately detained at the Air Provost Wing and subjected to Toxicology Tests at the NAF Hospital but no traces of alcohol or psychotropic substances were found in their systems but it was discovered that the driver of the vehicle, Mr Nehemiah Adejo, did not have a valid driver’s license.
The case will be handed over to the Nigeria Police with a view to further investigating and charging the suspects to court in accordance with extant laws.
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