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Burial of Late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile set to start off in Abuja

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Flying Officer Tolulope Sarah Arotile, the first Nigerian female Combat Helicopter Pilot who died following head injuriessustained in Kaduna, when her Classmates of Airforce Secondary School ‘accidentally’ hit her is set for burial today at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

The controversial circumstance surrounding Arotile’s death has raised concerns from different sections thereby calling for a probe of the death.

The Nigeria Air Force has released an official statement on their findings, saying the classmate that knocked her over has been handed over to the Nigeria Police.

In a six-point note signed by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore, Ibikunle Daramola, said that “Having carefully considered the foregoing, the preliminary investigation concluded that:


“The death of Flying Officer Arotile was caused by blunt force trauma to the head and significant bleeding resulting from being struck by the vehicle.”
 On 14 July 2020, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), and indeed the entire Nation, was thrown into mourning as a result of the death of one of our shining young stars in the person of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the NAF’s first female combat helicopter pilot.


Her unfortunate demise has elicited an overwhelming outpouring of condolences, prayers and support to the NAF as well as the Arotile Family. This has no doubt been so, not just for Tolulope’s outstanding accomplishments at the tender age of 24, but also because of her sterling personal qualities of excellence, hard work, dedication to duty, confidence and courage, which endeared her to her superiors, subordinates and peers in the Service.

Unfortunately, because of the peculiar circumstances of the incident that led to her death, a rash of falsehoods, innuendos, conspiracy theories and the likes have been propagated in the public space, especially on Social Media. The NAF sincerely hopes that the findings of the just-concluded preliminary investigation into this unfortunate and painful incident will address the misinformed issues raised in the Social Media on the tragedy.

Moreover, while it would have been ideal for the entire investigation to be concluded before details on the incident are released, the NAF, in sensitivity to public concerns occasioned by the spread of false information, appreciates the imperative to provide more clarity at this very difficult moment.

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