The death of Itunnu Babalola the 21 years old Nigerian who was wrongfully jailed in Cote D’voire has continued to generate reactions. Among many wrongs in the death of Itunnu is that she should not have been imprisoned in the first place being that she was a victim of burglary attack in which she lost property worth over 300,000 naira. The authorities in Cote D’voire involved in the illegal prosecution and sentencing of Itunnu are also in the eye of the storm for their role in the death of the young innocent Nigerian.
The Nigerian mission in Cote D’voire is also not left out in the criticism surrounding Itunnu’s death. She died few days after contacting infection while in detention.
Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Dabiri-Erewa has come out to debunk rumours flying around that the commission did nothing to save the late Itunnu.
Responding to questions in an interview on ARISE, she said that since getting hinted on Itunnu’s plight in Cte D’voire, the commission in partnership with the Nigerian mission in the country and other Nigerians living there worked to see that Itunnu got justice as she was not supposed to be jailed at all, having committed no crime.The Nigerian mission in Abidjan went to see her while in detention.
The chairman NIDCOM said that the members of the mission even contributed money among themselves and the commission also, to foot the medical and legal bills of Itunnu.
Quizzed as to why staffs of the mission should contribute money when it is supposed to be the responsibility of the mission to bear the financial requirement of helping its citizens in such situations, Dabiri responded that the mission is poorly funded and that it was an emergency where they couldn’t wait for protocols to get funds for consular services.
She also warned that there are people trying to profit from Itunnu’s death by giving the father hopes of raising money to bring Itunu’s corpse to Nigeria whereas an autopsy has been ordered on the body.