NAF opens investigation into Arotile’s death, two suspects held

The Nigerian Air Force on Friday said that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of its Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, in a road accident, adding that two persons were being held.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made these known in an interview with newsmen during the week.

The air force said the female officer sustained head injuries from the accident when she was “inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force secondary school classmate while trying to greet her.”

Arotile, a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, hailed from Iffe in the Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, and contributed to the efforts to rid the North-Central states of bandits and other criminal elements by flying combat missions.

She was particularly a squadron leader in Operation Gama Aiki in Minna Niger State.

Prominent figures, including President Buhari had mourned over her death.

A Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, however, on Thursday raised suspicion over the death of the female officer, rejecting the road accident ordeal and calling for a Coroner’s Inquest into her death.

NAF spokesman, Daramola, said “The two boys are in custody and the NAF will do a thorough investigation into the matter. It is a routine process – our own processes that are ongoing because it happened inside a NAF base. At the appropriate time, whatever information needs to go out will go out. But we cannot pre-empt that investigation process.

“Whatever needs to be known will be known; it is standard practice. So, we are investigating the circumstances leading to her death by a road traffic accident. It is an investigation because it may go beyond NAF.”

Meanwhile, NAF confirmed that the remains of Tolulope Arotile will be laid to rest with full military honors at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on Thursday, 23rd of July 2020.

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