Two people, driver and owner of the vehicle which killed Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, have been arraigned in Kaduna. Tolulope died in an auto crash at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base, Kaduna, in July. The accused were arraigned before a Kaduna State Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge bordering on causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, driving without driver’s licence and driving without authorisation of the owner, negligent conduct and causing danger to person and property.
The accused, Nehemiah Adejo and David Adejo, however pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail. The Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Benjamin, after hearing arguments from counsel to the defendants and the prosecutor, DSP Martins Leo, granted bail of N500,000 each to Nehemiah and David. Benjamin then adjourned the case till the 24 and 25 of August and ordered the defendants to produce two sureties each who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and are engaged in legal businesses and present Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) that correspond with their information.
In his submission earlier, the prosecution counsel charged Nehemiah with a four-count charge of causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, driving without driver’s licence and driving without authorisation of the owner.
He pleaded not guilty. Also, David was charged with alleged negligent conduct while causing danger to person and property. He also pleaded not guilty. The prosecution counsel had prayed that the court allowed Nehemiah to be remanded arguing that there was a pending investigation of culpable homicide against him. However, Aliyu Ibrahim Omachi, counsel to Nehemiah, argued for a bail on the basis that his client was a first time offender and had spent more than four weeks in detention. The NAF had, in line with extant laws, handed over the three persons involved in the accident which led to Tolulope’s death to the police, saying it was a civil case. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Muhammad Jalige, had said the case of alleged culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy against the three occupants of the vehicle was still under investigation.