The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) says the retrial of Nigerian, Itunu Babalola, wrongfully incarcerated in Cote D’lvoire, is to commence under a new and unbiased prosecutor.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Gabriel Odu, the commission’s Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit officer, in Abuja, on Friday, NAN reports.
According to him, the Nigeria Mission in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire, has now confirmed that Babalola, a Nigerian living in Abidjan, was wrongfully charged and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit following series of investigations.
Also, the Charge D’Affaires of the Nigerian Mission in Côte D’Ivoire, Mr Mohammed Gana, was quoted as saying that plans were underway to engage the services of a lawyer, to prove the innocence of Babalola at the Court of Appeal.
“Babalola, 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.
“Reports indicate that the new prosecutor, assigned to the case, has given assurances of a fair and unbiased review and retrial of the case.
“Investigations carried out also indicate that the former prosecutor, in collaboration with the police, twisted the case and accused Babalola of human trafficking which led to her conviction for 20 years even tho the sentence was reduced to 10 years from which she has served 2 years so far.
“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, ” he said.