Nehemiah and David Adejo pleaded not guilty before a Chief Magistrates Court in Kaduna when they were arraigned for their involvement in the vehicular death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

Arotile, Nigeria's first ever female combat helicopter pilot, died on July 14, 2020 after she was hit by a vehicle driven by Nehemiah at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Kaduna.

Nehemiah was arraigned on four counts bordering on causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, driving without drivers licence, and driving without authorisation of the owner.

Nehemiah Adejoh was driving without a driver's licence when he ran over Arotile [TheCable]
Nehemiah Adejoh was driving without a driver's licence when he ran over Arotile [TheCable]

David, as owner of the vehicle, was charged with negligent conduct while causing danger to person and property.

After an argument on bail from both the prosecuting and defence counsels, the presiding Magistrate, Benjamin Hassan, granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.

Hassan adjourned the case till August 24 and 25 for hearing.

Arotile was buried at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja in July [NAF]
Arotile was buried at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja in July [NAF]

NAF ruled last month that Arotile's death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, and significant bleeding resulting from being struck by the vehicle, a Kia Sorento SUV.

The Force said Nehemiah was Arotile's former classmate who had been excited after spotting her walking through the base and accidentally knocked her down reversing the vehicle.

The accused was in the vehicle with Igbekele Folorunsho, and Festus Gbayegun who were arrested in the wake of Arotile's death and handed over to the police.

Arotile flew several combat missions under Operation Gama Aiki in Minna, Niger State.

She was buried with full military honours in a ceremony which took place at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on July 23.