REACTIONS: Issues In Abike Dabiri-Eruwa Radio Interview; More Facts Unveiled – By By Kenny Johnson


It was quite surprising that David got the video clip straight from the station before anyone else, edited the short clip of where Abike was apparently warning the presenter, posted just that bit on his social media handle, even before the station uploaded it on its YouTube page.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Heads Nigeria’s Diaspora Commission


The Abike Dabiri-Eruwa video currently trending online has it journalist was calling to ask questions about the Nigerian girl who was locked up and died in a prison somewhere in West Africa on false charges and that Abike Dabiri-Eruwa, a special assistant to the president on diaspora was seen telling the radio presenter not to take the call. Abike was at the radio station for a Q & A session

However, more facts have emerged on the circumstances surrounding the two or three minutes clip of the over 30 minutes video of Lagos Talks 91.3 FM circulating on social media.

According to accurate and reliable sources, Abike was invited for what was described as a “short interview” on Lagos Talks 91.3 FM, after she had concluded one on the sister station, Classic FM, within the same premises. She was actually leaving the premises when the head of station pleaded with her to stop-by for a “short interview“ to shed more light on the trending topic of Itunu Babalola (aka Becky Paul), a Nigerian, who died in Cote d’Ivoire prison. She made it clear that she had limited time but obliged them.

After about fifteen minutes into the program, the presenter called for a break, during which Abike expected the program to end. During the break, sources in the studio said Abike overheard the presenter’s responses to the Producer about one “David”, a journalist, who was already on line.

Wondering why the Producer would have already had someone on line without even informing the guest of a phone in, Abike was said to have told the presenter to tell him that he has a few questions to answer and he should come in for a one-on-one, for both of them to debate the issues in contention thoroughly rather than come through in the most unprofessional manner the station had come up with. Despite that, Abike stayed on.

Realising that there was a plan unknown to her, Abike expressed her displeasure to the presenter at the unprofessional conduct of the station which already had called in the person, before even informing her it was a phone in program, not a “short interview”, and had made it clear she had limited time.

However, after expressing her displeasure, both Abike and David thrashed out issues during the conversation.

Investigations show that the program was not live streamed as some erroneously thought but was posted a day after the live interview.

It was quite surprising that David got the video clip straight from the station before anyone else, edited the short clip of where Abike was apparently warning the presenter, posted just that bit on his social media handle, even before the station uploaded it on its YouTube page.

A full view of the program revealed that the engagement, which went back and forth for a while, still left two thorny issues unanswered:

1. David had, in May 2021, circulated the picture of a consular officer, Mr Abdulrasak Olateju, accusing him of extorting Itunu of N2m funds.

However, investigations had earlier shown that this allegation against Mr Olateju was false.

According to a statement on the website of the Nigerian mission in Cote Divoire, which corroborated testimonies by some Nigerians in Côte d’Ivoire who rallied round to support Itunnu, members of the Nigerian community and staff of the mission (including Mr Olateju himself) immediately mobilised funds for a quick intervention, with Mr Olateju as a contact person. The limited funds they raised was utilised to begin work on the unfortunate case of wrong accusation against Itunnu Babalola. This was to ensure a speedy start of processes rather than waiting for unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks of applying for funds.

David’s allegation has been proven to be totally false but if however he or anyone has any concrete information on the contrary, he had been asked to show evidence which he hasn’t been able to. The false allegation had left the officer, who has worked with the Nigerian mission in Ivory Coast for 14 years, depressed and disheartened, with David posting his picture and UBA cheque book on line, on a false allegation.

Secondly, was the curiosity of why David would ask Itunnu’s father for his bank account details to raise funds to bring Itunnu’s corpse when he knows he is not in a position to do so. Was he expecting Côte D’Ivoire to hand over Itunnu’s corpse to him in a case being handled by the Nigerian govt? What was his motive?

According to earlier statement by the Nigerian mission in Côte D’Ivoire, since Itunnu’s plight broke out in May this year, the mission had engaged the services of a lawyer and had succeeded in transferring the case from the hinterland to Abidjan for the appeal to begin before Itunnu’s sudden death occurred.

Recall Itunnu had already served two years out of a 10-year jail term. What this meant was that she had been convicted by the country’s judicial system, and the first step was to appeal the judgement, which Nigeria did before her unfortunate demise.

Such transfers and appeals, which according to legal practitioners, could take years in some instances, was done in those months with the intervention and persistence of the Nigerian mission in Côte D’Ivoire.

While condoling the family on the unfortunate incident, the mission had demanded a full autopsy while NIDCOM, headed by Abike, had officially reported to Interpol to unravel the role played by an Ivorien police fingered in the incident and insisted that, even in death, Itunnu must get justice.

Sources, however say Itunnu’s corpse is being awaited anytime this week for burial. We learnt autopsy has been concluded while final documentation, including COVID tests, are also being concluded.

Watch the contentious video:

KENNY JOHNSON wrote through

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