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How Nigerian Diaspora Commission Boss, Abike Dabiri Signalled Radio Presenter Not To Entertain Questions On Itunu Babalola Who Died In Ivory Coast’s Detention

November 30, 2021

She was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, which was later reduced to 10 years.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has been caught on camera signalling to a radio presenter not to entertain a question from a journalist, David Hundeyin, who wanted to ask a question on the death of Itunu Babalola, a Nigerian lady that died in prison in Cote d’Ivoire recently.

Babalola, a Cote d’Ivoire-based Nigerian trader who was wrongly accused of human trafficking died in the prison on November 15, 2021.

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She was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, which was later reduced to 10 years.

After Bablola’s death, many condemnations and criticisms greeted the NIDCOM CEO for not taking drastic steps that could have prevented the 26-year-old businesswoman in an Ivorian prison.

However, in a video seen by SaharaReporters on Tuesday, Dabiri-Erewa appeared to be dodging some questions pertaining to Babalola’s demise on a live radio programme on Lagos Talks 91.3FM where she was a guest.

Dabiri-Erewa was seen using both her head to nod in disagreement or refusal and her hand not to entertain a question from an investigative journalist, David Hundeyin, who first broke the news of Babalola’s predicament in Ivory Coast in March 2021.

On March 14, David Hundeyin, a journalist, had posted Babalola’s story on Twitter.

The post went viral and eventually gained the attention of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, NIDCOM chief executive officer, in a statement, had confirmed the report at the time, saying the commission was doing all it can to secure the release of Babalola.

In the video, however, the presenter had earlier said, “You know, he’s been very passionate about Itunu’s death. Unfortunately, but err… I can’t hear him right now. To be very honest, I’m trying to see if you want to ask any question.”

The NIDCOM chairman was shaking her head vigorously and at the same gesticulating with her hand to tell the lady presenter that she would not entertain Hundeyin’s question.

Hundeyin in the video had said, “Good evening, my name is David Hundeyin, and I’m actually a journalist who broke the news about Itunu Babalola in March, Now. I have a very…”