The Nigerian federal government has requested the full autopsy of Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian who was sentenced to 20 years in prison on suspicion of human trafficking in Ivory Coast and who suddenly and mysteriously died in prison.
The request for an autopsy was stated in a statement by the Head of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and the Head of the Media Commission’s Media Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Monday.
Dabiri-Erewa said NIDCOM’s attention was drawn to the Itunnu case about five months ago, describing his death as a tragic blow when the Nigerian mission to Ivory Coast paid for and hired a lawyer to handle the appeals procedure of the Itunnu case.
He said, “Unfortunately, Itunu died suddenly while everyone was on deck seeking legal and diplomatic intervention from Nigeria for them Itunu was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a crime he apparently did not commit.
He accused an Ivorian of robbing his home and insisted that a lawsuit be filed against him He claimed that the defendant, who was linked to a police officer from Ivory Coast, asked him to close the case, but he refused.
She continues to press charges against him, alleging that he used a different name (not his real name) to file the case and that he somehow turned the robbery case into a human trafficking case against him.
He was later sentenced to 20 years in prison while the Nigerian Mission in Ivory Coast, supported by the Nigerian community, provided him with a lawyer, paying part of the attorney’s legal fees to appeal the verdict while he was around diplomatic intervention by the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mission workers in Nigeria also visited the Itunu Prison, which is more than four hours from Abidjan During the visit, it was reported that Itunu had diabetes complications and was hospitalized.
It was alleged that the medical expenses were covered by the Nigerian Mission through the mission’s lawyer, but unfortunately, he died suddenly after a few days in the hospital.
However, Dabiri-Erewa assured: “However, his death will not stop his appeal to the court to acquit him of the charges against him.”