A Kaduna Magistrate Court, on Wednesday, granted bail to two brothers in connection with the July 14 road accident that claimed the life of Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna.
The NAF had, on July 24, handed over three suspects; Nehimiah Adejoh, Festus Gbayegun and Igbekele Folorunsho, to the Police for further investigation and possible prosecution on their involvement in the accident.
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The Police, on Wednesday, arraigned Nehimiah Adejoh, who was allegedly behind the wheel of the vehicle that knocked down Arotile, and his brother, David Adejoh, who owns the vehicle, before Justice Benjamin Hassan.
Nehemiah was arraigned on a four-count charge of causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, driving without drivers licence and driving without authorization of the owner.
His brother, David, was arraigned on a two-count charge of negligent conduct and causing danger to person or property.
The two suspects pleaded not guilty.
Prosecution counsel, DSP Martins Danjuma Leo, prayed the court to remand Nehimiah in prison custody, arguing that the police were still investigating charges of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide against him.
However, counsel to Nehemiah, Aliyu Ibrahim Omachi, argued for bail, saying the suspect was a first time offender and had already spent over four weeks in detention.
Justice Benjamin granted bail of N1 million to Jeremiah and N500,000 to David and ordered both defendants to produce two sureties each who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court, are engaged in legal businesses and present a Bank Verifiable Number that corresponds with their information.
He adjourned the case to August 24 and 26 for commencement of hearing.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State police command said it was investigating two offences surrounding the death of the late Flying officer; a criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide as well as traffic offences.
The police said while they have completed investigations on traffic offence, investigation on criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide was ongoing.
Flying officer Arotile was killed on July 14 after a Kia Sorento SUV, allegedly driven by Nehimiah Adejoh, knocked her down while reversing to exchange pleasantries with her.
Other occupants of the vehicle were Festus Gbayegun and Igbekele Folorunsho.
The three suspects were said to be former school mates of the deceased at the NAF Secondary school Kaduna.
Arotile was later buried with full military honour at the National Military cemetery in Abuja on July 23, 2020.
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