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NIDCOM gives update on Nigerian lady ‘wrongfully jailed’ in Cote d’Ivoire

The Nigerians In Diaspora Commission has said it is working to prove the innocence of a Nigerian lady, Itunu Babalola, who is incarcerated i...


The Nigerians In Diaspora Commission has said it is working to prove the innocence of a Nigerian lady, Itunu Babalola, who is incarcerated in Cote d’Ivoire.

A statement signed by Gabriel Odu for the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit of NIDCOM, revealed that the Commission has been able to confirm that the lady was charged and incarcerated for a crime she didn’t commit.

The Commission said plans are underway to engage the services of a legal luminary to work on the case which has seen her spend two years out of the 10-year sentence she was handed. 

The statement said, “Following painstaking investigations by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and the Nigeria Mission in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, it is now confirmed that Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian living in Abidjan was wrongfully charged and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.

“According to the Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, 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.

“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-year jail term for an offense she did not commit.

“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 Babalolo 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. We will continue to monitor the case as it unfolds.”