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Air Force Arrests Two Suspects Over Arotile’s Death

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Two men have been arrested by the Nigerian Air Force over the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.

Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State on Tuesday, a statement from the air force said.

Speaking in an interview, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, said the military service had begun an investigation into the death of the late pilot.

He added that whatever information needs to go out will be made public, adding that the investigation may eventually go beyond the confines of the air force.

His statement:  “First of all, in my first statement, I said she died from a road traffic accident. I further clarified the nature of the road traffic accident where one of her excited classmates who saw her reversed his car which led to him hitting her and knocking her down. This led to head injuries and a lot of haemorrhaging which ultimately resulted in her death.”

“The two boys are in custody and the NAF will do a thorough investigation into the matter. It is a routine process – our own processes that are ongoing because it happened inside a NAF base. At the appropriate time, whatever information needs to go out will go out. But we cannot pre-empt that investigation process.

“Whatever needs to be known will be known; it is standard practice. So, we are investigating the circumstances leading to her death by a road traffic accident. It is an investigation because it may go beyond NAF.”

NAF had earlier on Friday announced that the late Arotile will be buried next Thursday at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, with full military honours.

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