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UPDATED: Tears as Arotile laid to rest in Abuja

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Tears and emotions flowed on Thursday as the remains of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile were laid to rest at the military cemetery on Airport Road, Abuja.

An ambulance belonging to the Nigerian Air Force with registration number AF 442, had brought in the body.

She was accorded full military honours as the hierarchy of the Nigerian Military led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin paid tributes.

The remains were lowered into the grave at exactly 11.05 am followed by a barrage of 21 gunshots.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and his wife; the House Committee Chairman on Air Force, Bala Ib’n Nalla and the family members of the deceased were also in attendance to pay their last respects.

The country was thrown into mourning last week Tuesdaywhen 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.”

NAF said Arotile was hit by an ex-classmate, Nehemiah Adejoh, who had no valid driver’s licence, noting that the matter, being a civil case, would be transferred to the Nigeria Police Force.

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