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COTE D'IVOIRE POLICE WRONGFULLY SENTENCE NIGERIAN TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON FOR REFUSING TO DROP CHARGES AGAINST THE NEPHEW OF A DPO

A police DPO in Cote d'Ivoire maliciously conspired with a public prosecutor to wrongfully sentence an innocent 23-year-old female Nigerian trader to 20 years in prison. 


David Hundeyn, a Nigerian journalist who broke the story revealed that the apartment of the victim, Itunu Babalola, a trader living in Bondoukou was burgled and items worth N300,000 stolen


Police investigations revealed that the thief was a 14-year-old boy living in the area.


The boy's father also confirmed that his son, a habitual thief, stole and sold the items. 


When Miss Babalola reported the incident to the police, the DPO offered to settle her with about N100,000, stating that the culprit is his nephew.


Things quickly spiralled out of control when Itunu refused the settlement fees citing a disparity between the amount she lost and her settlement offer. 


The Ivorian police publicly arrested her at her residence for the theft of her own items, she was subsequently made to spend 4 days in police custody then given an option to either drop the case or face the court. 

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Itunu, who erroneously trusted in the Ivorian justice system, chose to go to court rather than dropping the case, marking the beginning of another nightmare.


Itunu, who chose to go to court under an alias, Becky Paul, to avoid bringing her family's name into disrepute was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for human trafficking. She has so far spent a year and four months at the Bondoukou Remand and Correctional facility in Cote'd'ivore.


SILVER LINING FOR ITUNU BABALOLA


Seems like the horrors of the past year would soon be over for Itunu as Abike Dabiri, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has waded into the matter.


In a statement released on Friday, the Commission confirmed Itunu's innocence following painstaking Investigations into her case.


It reported that a new prosecutor has been assigned to take over Itunu's case while the country awaits the court to grant her bail. 


Below is the press statement released by NIDCOM: 


NIGERIAN WRONGFULLY INCARCERATED IN COTE D'IVOIRE'S PRISON, ITUNU BABALOLA: FACTS OF THE MATTER.



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 offence 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.

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