Following painstaking investigations by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) and the Nigeria Mission in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire, it is now confirmed that Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian living in Abijan was wronglyfully charged and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.
According to the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, 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.
The Commission, in a statement by Gabriel Odu of its Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, said plans were 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 a 10-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 Babalola of human trafficking hence her conviction for 20yrs although
the sentence was reduced to 10years from which she has served two years 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.
The Commission promised that it will continue to monitor the case as it unfolds.