Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile Of The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Has Been Buried In The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Arotile was winged as the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on October 15, 2019, after completing her flying training in South Africa.
She died from head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base, Kaduna on July 14, 2020.
The deceased pilot was buried in a ceremony which took place at the National Military Cemetery in the capital city on Thursday, July 23.
The deceased’s family members were in attendance at the burial alongside the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal, Abubakar Sadique.
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, was also present at the burial in honour of the 24-year-old Kogi native who has been hailed as a national hero.
The true nature of Arotile’s death has been debated in public with some suggesting NAF’s official account is not convincing.
NAF recently released a statement to chastise those using her death to push ‘meritless, misguided ethnic, and religious agendas’.
Force spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the deceased was killed in an accident when three of her former classmates, all civilians, spotted her walking on the base and accidentally knocked her down while trying to get her attention.
“The vehicle struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear, knocking her down with significant force and causing her to hit her head on the pavement.
“The vehicle then ran over parts of her body as it veered off the road beyond the kerb and onto the pavement, causing her further injuries,” preliminary investigations revealed.
NAF ruled that Arotile’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, and significant bleeding resulting from being struck by the vehicle.
The three involved in the accident have been identified as Nehemiah Adejoh, who drove the car, Igbekele Folorunsho, and Festus Gbayegun.
Adejoh, it has been revealed, was driving without a licence at the time of the accident.
NAF said during the weekend the case will be handed over to the Police.
The deceased pilot flew several combat missions under Operation Gama Aiki in Minna, Niger State.
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