A Nigerian lady who died in Cote D’Ivoire prison, Ms Itunnu Babalola (Becky Paul), has been laid to rest at Sango cementry, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Representative of the family and the elder brother of the deceased, Mr Olaolu Babalola, told Daily Trust after the internment that the family wanted justice for his late sister, saying; “the family knew she knows nothing about the allegations levelled against her.”
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Speaking on the incident, the representative of the federal government, Director Media, Public Relations of Nigerians in diaspora commission, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, promised that the government would ensure justice for the deceased.
Balogun said: “It is a sad moment for the family and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This is part of the federal government and citizens diplomacy. The federal government has been involved in this matter since the story broke out. The lady was wrongfully accused of something she didn’t do.
“She was jailed and the federal government intervened but we got to know very late.
“The federal government intervened through our mission in Côte D’Ivoire and we got a lawyer for her.
“Our lawyer appealed the case in court and the sentences were reduced from 20 years to 10 years.
“Yet, we were not satisfied because we knew she didn’t do what she was alleged of. We were pressing for justice until she was suddenly taken away from City to interland so that they can perfect her justice.
“Unfortunately, we heard she developed complications in prison and within a few days, she passed on when we were close to getting justice for her.
“This is our message, the federal government of Nigeria is pressing on to getting justice for Itunu Babalola, weither alive or in death.
“We are pressing on for the changes and the federal government has demanded autopsy which they have carried out.
“Based on this, the lawyer who appealed the case is pressing on to ensure justice for itunu. Since she is the breadwinner of the family, the federal government will not leave the family.
“We will assist the family to the best of our ability to comfort the pains of losing the breadwinner and their loved daughter.”
In his sermon, a clergy, Daniel Otakoya, said the death of Itunu could be a breakthrough for Nigeria as a nation, urging Nigerians to keep praying for the country, rather than cursing the nation.
He urged well-to-do Nigerians to learn from the death of Itun who was brought back to the country after her death in the diaspora.