- Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile is about to be laid to rest
- The Nigerian Air Force will conduct late Arotile's funeral with full military honours
- Governor Yahaya Bello is present at the event as the deceased is from Kogi state
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Remains of the deceased first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, is about to be laid to rest at the military cemetery, Abuja for interment.
Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, is one of the dignitaries at the event.
Arotile is from Ijimu local government area of Kogi state.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and women affairs minister, Pauline Tallen, are also present at the funeral.
The Nigerian Air Force had earlier announced that the 24-year old will be buried with full military honours.
The NAF recently released a report on the preliminary investigation on the death of Arotile.
Addressing journalists on Sunday, July 19, at the NAF headquarters in Abuja, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, spokesman of the service, gave a detailed explanation of what transpired.
He said Arotile was returning from the Mammy Market (a name residents in military bases across Nigeria commonly call their marketplace) at about 4.30 pm when the incident occurred.
His words: ‘‘Three of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School (now Air Force Comprehensive School) Kaduna; 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.
‘‘Upon recognising their schoolmate, Arotile, after passing her, Mr Adejoh, who was driving, reversed the vehicle, ostensibly in an attempt to quickly meet up with the deceased, who was walking in the opposite direction.
‘‘In the process, the vehicle struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear, knocking her down with significant force and causing her to hit her head on the pavement. The vehicle then ran over parts of her body as it veered off the road beyond the kerb and onto the pavement, causing her further injuries.’’
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, had described the death of Arotile as suspicious.
The respected Yoruba leader also called on the federal government to properly investigate the circumstances which led to the death of the 24-year old Kogi-born officer.
NAF Officers make history as first female fighter, helicopter combat pilots | Legit TV