By G9ija

The Federal Government said it is taking steps to get a Nigerian lady, Itunu Babalola, who was jailed for 10 years in Cote d’Ivoire, out of prison.

It said it would secure the services of a lawyer to take up the case and get justice for the 23-year-old.

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Charge d’Affaire of the Nigerian Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Mohammed Gana, sent officials of the mission to Bondoukou, a city eight hours outside Abidjan, when the case was brought to his attention.

Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement on Friday, by Gabriel Odu of NIDCOM Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, disclosed that Babalola had spent two out of her 10-year jail term.

The statement was titled, ‘Nigerian wrongfully incarcerated in Cote d’Ivoire’s prison, Itunu Babalola: Facts of the matter.’

It read in part, said, “Plans are underway to engage the services of a legal luminary  to prove the innocence of Itunu Babalola at the Court of Appeal  after the accused had spent two years out of a 10-year jail term for an offence she did not commit.

“Reports indicate that the new prosecutor assigned to the case has given assurances of a fair and unbiased review and retrial of the case to secure the release of Babalola.”

The NIDCOM said reports indicated that the former prosecutor, in collaboration with the police, allegedly twisted the case and accused Babalola of human trafficking, hence, her conviction for 20 years which was reduced to 10 years.

Babalola, who hails from Oyo State, was said to have been living in Bondoukou, Cote d’ivoire, for a long time but got into trouble when she reported the burglary of her house to the police.