Damilola Adegboye, the sister of Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot who died on Tuesday due to head injuries sustained from a road accident at a naval base in Kaduna has demanded an investigation into her death.
Naval authorities claimed Ms Arotile was reportedly killed in a “freak accident” when a driver was reversing.
Ms Adegboye said in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday that the family is devastated by the untimely death. She, reportedly said, “We in the family are not convinced that Tolu can just die like that in a freak accident. I know that the military is well trained in the art of investigation, we want them to carry out a thorough investigation that can convince us beyond all doubts that the incident that led to her death was real.”
She said she and the deceased were in the room on the day of the incident, and Tolu was sleeping when a call came which she picked, “from the way they spoke, I knew the caller must be a senior officer calling her to come to Airforce base. She felt reluctant and I offered to drop her off.”
She later read online that something serious had happened to her.
Gani Adams, the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, has also called for a probe. Speaking through his spokesperson, Kehinde Aderemi, he described the death “as a personal loss, especially, to the Yorubas.”
He urged the international community to mandate the authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.
Mr Adams said, “Nigeria has lost one of its best brains in the military in such a suspicious circumstance,” Mr Adams said. “The late Tolulope Arotile’s short span in life was remarkable with a track record of being the first female combat helicopter pilot. The best we can do as a nation is to get to the root of the circumstances culminating in her death.” Ms Arotile was 24 years old.