The Nigerian Air Force says no autopsy was carried out on Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile because the circumstances surrounding her death were clear.
The Spokesman for the NAF, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, further stated that the family of the deceased wanted to move on quickly and did not demand an autopsy.
Daramola said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Friday.
He said, “On the issue of autopsy or otherwise that would have been initiated by the family but based on discussions with them and the fact that witnesses were there at the time she was taken to the Nigerian Air Force hospital in Kaduna, there were no doubts as to the cause of death which was head injury as a result of blunt force trauma caused by the vehicle hitting her from the rear.
“So, in consultation with her family, her father, Akintunde Arotile, said they wanted closure on this matter and that he was comfortable with the Nigerian Air Force’s investigation which of course is also being transferred to the police.
“Autopsy was not done because it wasn’t requested, the cause of death was already known based on the investigation and how she was taken to the hospital and the confirmation was made. There were no doubts in that regard and there was no request from the family for that specifically. No autopsy was done.”
According to the air force, Arotile, who was Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, died at the NAF base, Kaduna, after being hit by a car driven by her former classmate with two others onboard.
Daramola said contrary to claims by lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), the person that drove the car, Nehemiah Adejoh, which knocked down Arotile was not 36 but 24 and was a junior of the deceased in the Nigerian Air Force Secondary School.
He said the Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Corps were invited to investigate the incident.
The NAF spokesman said, “First of all, we carried out a preliminary investigation to determine those who were involved, their level of involvement, interviewed witnesses and looked at the scene. That was our own first phase of investigation because it happened on the base.
“The air force has its own air police directorate where we have forensic and K9 investigators many of whom are trained in and out of the country. Some of them also trained in police institutions and there is a lot of collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force Air Police Wing and the Nigeria Police. Immediately it occurred, we involved the police.”
Daramola said the case would be handed over to the police today.