The Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has stated that whether alive or dead, the Federal Government of Nigeria will ensure justice for Ms. Itunnu Babalola, a Nigerian woman who died in an Ivory Coast prison lately.
This was disclosed by the Commission’s spokesman, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, during the deceased’s funeral at the Sango Cemetery in Ibadan.
The late Babalola, also known as Becky Paul, was allegedly convicted for a crime she did not commit.
“It’s a sad moment for the family of Itunu and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Balogun, who led the Federal Government delegation, was reported by NAN as saying.
“This is part of the Federal Government and citizens’ diplomacy.
“The Federal Government has been involved in this matter since the story broke out. The lady was wrongfully accused of something she didn’t do.
“She was jailed and the Federal Government intervened, but we got to know very late.”
Balogun stated that the Federal Government intervened through the country’s mission in Côte D’Ivoire and that she was assigned a lawyer.
According to him, the lawyer filed a court appeal against the case, and her sentence was lowered from 20 to 10 years.
He said: “We were pressing for justice until she was suddenly taken away from City to Interland so that they could perfect her justice.
“Unfortunately, we heard she developed complications in prison and within a few days, she passed on when we were close to getting justice for her.”
Balogun, who also serves as the Director of NIDCOM’s Media, Public Relations, and Protocols, said the government had sought an autopsy, which they had completed.
He said, “Based on this, the lawyer who appealed the case is pressing on to ensure justice for Itunu.
“Since she is the breadwinner of the family, the government will not leave the family alone. We’ll assist the family to the best of our ability.”