The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has unfolded plans to engage the services of legal service to prove the innocence of one Itunu Babalola who was wrongfully charged and incarcerated in Cote D’ivoire prison.
It stated that a painstaking investigation carried out in partnership with the Nigeria Mission in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire had confirmed that Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian living in Abidjan was wrongfully charged and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.
In a statement issued and signed by the Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, Gabriel Odu on Friday, said the Charge D’Affaires of the Nigerian Mission in Côte D’Ivoire, Mr Mohammed Gana, sent officials of the mission to Bondoukou, a city eight hours outside Abidjan when the case was brought to his attention.
It quoted the Chairman Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa as assuring that plans are underway to engage the services of a legal luminary to prove the innocence of Itunu Babalola at the Court of Appeal after the accused had spent two years out of a ten years jail term for an offence she did not commit.
She further said reports indicate that the new Prosecutor assigned to the case has given assurances of a fair and unbiased review and retrial of the case to secure the release of Itunu Babalola.
“Reports also allegedly indicate that the former prosecutor in collaboration with the police twisted the case and accused Itunu Babalola of human trafficking hence her conviction for 20yrs.
“Although the sentence was reduced to 10yrs from which she has served 2yrs so far.”
“Itunu Babalola whose family is from Oyo State, Nigeria has been living in Bondoukou, Cote d’Ivoire for a long time but got entangled in a legal battle when she reported the burglary of her house to the Police.
“On efforts made to secure her bail, the prosecutor said it is only the Court that can grant her bail as she has already been convicted,” Erewa explained.
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