Fresh facts have emerged that the ex-classmate who knocked down Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile is a civilian who had no valid driving papers.
The country was thrown into mourning on Tuesday when the Nigerian Air Force first announced that the country’s first female combat helicopter pilot died from a road traffic accident at the NAF base in Kaduna State.
The air force said the female officer sustained head injuries from the accident when she was “inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force secondary school classmate while trying to greet her.”
Quoting military sources on Saturday, Channels Television reported that the sources, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the civilian driver, accompanied by his friends, visited his relations at the Airforce base located in Mando area of Kaduna metropolis on the day of the incident.
It added that upon interrogation, the driver and former classmate, who is now in custody with another occupant of the vehicle, has no valid driver’s license.
Meanwhile, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said Arotile would be buried Thursday, July 23, at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, with full military honours.
Arotile, a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, hailed from Iffe in the Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, and contributed to the efforts to rid the North-Central states of bandits and other criminal elements by flying combat missions.
She was particularly a squadron leader in Operation Gama Aiki in Minna Niger State.
Notable Nigerians, including the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), had since Wednesday expressed shock over her death.