The mother of the deceased says the police in Dubai are shielding her son’s killers.
Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has petitioned Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry over the alleged murder of a 19-year-old Nigerian student in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE.
Oluwadamilola Falode, an Audio Production student at the SAE Institute in Dubai, fell to his death from the balcony of his 17th floor apartment in Dubai on February 15th.
Mr. Keyamo’s client, Aisha Falode, ace sports broadcaster and mother of the deceased, insisted that her son was pushed to his death and accused the police in Dubai of shielding the alleged murderers from Justice.
In his petition, Mr. Keyamo appealed to the ministry to prevail on the authorities in the UAE to reopen the investigation and bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.
“No American or British citizen can be slaughtered anywhere in the world without their governments asking questions,” Mr. Keyamo said.
“We as Nigerians place a lot of value on human life and so does our authorities. This message needs to be conveyed to the world at large, that not only do we have a system that can protect us, but we refuse to be intimidated by any law that protects the unjust, not only for our dear Toba, but also in honour of the memory of all the other young lives that have been cut short,” he added.
According to Mr. Keyamo, the report of the Dubai police’s investigation of the incident differed markedly from the accounts given by Mr. Falode’s friends.
Four days after the incident, when the Falode family travelled to Dubai to retrieve the remains of their son, they met with the Deputy Director of the Jebel police station, Mr. Keyamo said.
The lawyer said that the police investigator had the case file of their investigation which summarized their findings.
“They confirmed that Toba (the deceased’s middle name) died in the morning of the15th February at approximately 4 a.m.
“They confirmed that there were five(5) other people with him at the time of his death – (4) four boys and a girl – a Nigerian, a French Canadian national, a South African and a Saudi national. The girl is British.
“That Toba had been drinking and by the early hours of the 15th of February, 2014 had consumed a lot of alcohol together with the other witnesses who were with him in the apartment.”
The Dubai police’s findings further revealed that close to the time of the accident, Mr. Falode was on the balcony of his flat with his alleged girlfriend.
“That Toba was sitting on the railing of his balcony with his feet off the floor and that he was swinging in this position backward and forward.
“That his girlfriend was still there with him, and was warning him to be careful.
“That she later went inside the flat and shortly after, they all noticed that Toba was no longer sitting on the railings or on the balcony, and must have fallen down from the balcony railings.
“That his friends all rushed down and found him lying dead in front of the apartment block.
“That they then called the Police who took charge of things.”
The Dubai police’s forensic evidence, including the examination of the deceased body, Mr. Falode’s family were told, did not reveal anything to contradict this version of events.
“There were no injuries on Toba’s body inconsistent with a fall from a great height as the cause of his death and there was no evidence of bruising or other injury to indicate anything else could be blamed as the cause of his death.”
The police’s investigation also revealed that Mr. Falode’s blood alcohol level, taken after his death, was above the legal intoxication limits, and that based on their findings, they decided therefore not to conduct a full internal autopsy.
‘He was murdered’
Dissatisfied with the report of the police’s investigation, Mr. Keyamo said that he travelled, along with Mrs. Falode and one other family member, to Dubai on April 18.
While in Dubai, they met with Nick Allison, a South African student, and Ebele Oladeji Onwugbufor, a Nigerian student, also studying at SAE Institute in the UAE. Both were the deceased’s friends and were in the apartment on that fateful day.
“The summary of the accounts of these friends are totally different from what the police report indicated and has revealed a most shameful and disgraceful attempt by the authorities in Dubai to shield obvious murder suspects from the long arms of the law,” said Mr. Keyamo.
According to the account of events by Mr. Falode’s friends, sometime in December, 2013, one Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser stormed the apartment of the deceased and ordered his supposed girlfriend, Olivia Evans, out of the apartment, accusing her of having an affair with Mr. Falode.
“A fight was to have ensued from this confrontation, but for the intervention of other mutual friends. Since then, there was no love lost between Toba and Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser.”
In the evening of Valentine’s Day, Mr. Toba, along with Messrs Allison, Onwugbufor, and Joachim Santene, visited a club in Dubai known as M Deck, Media 1 Hotel, Media City.
“At the club, they again met the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans who came together to the club.
“That again an argument started at the Club concerning Olivia, and shortly after this, Faisal and Olivia left the Club.
“That Deji was emphatic that the quarrel was to the effect that Faisal was still accusing her of still dating Toba.
“That shortly after the two left the club, Toba and his friends also left the club.”
Back at Mr. Falode’s apartment, the deceased and her friends were surprised to see Faisal and Miss Evans waiting by the door. While the latter was crying hysterically, the former appeared calm, according to the deceased’s friends.
“That after they all got into the apartment, Toba, Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans entered his room “to sort things out”.
“That shortly after, the three of them exited the room and went on to the balcony of the apartment on the 17th floor (though the account of who first went to the balcony and who joined thereafter are slightly varied).
“That Deji was emphatic that a serious argument with raised voices and raised hands went on at the balcony. At some point Deji opened the curtains and saw this serious confrontation between the three of them going on.
“Shortly after Deji closed the curtains (about twenty seconds later) Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans came back into the room and announced that Toba had fallen off the railings. However, Faisal had blood splattered all over his shirt and he had bloody knuckles.
There was also a noticeable cut on his finger.
“It is significant to note that when Deji parted the curtains to look at the balcony, Toba was not sitting on the railing in the balcony.
“At this point they all rushed downstairs to see Toba’s dead body lying several meters away from the building (approximately twelve to fifteen meters).
“That the position of Toba’s body (which can still be verified today) was not consistent with someone dropping from the balcony (in which case the body would be much closer to the building) but was consistent with someone that was violently pushed or thrown from the balcony.
“That the police arrived thereafter and arrested all of them to the station.
“That before and during the journey to the station, Faisal kept repeating to the hearing of everyone that the maximum punishment for him would be twenty-five (25) years in jail and that the other boys should not worry. Meanwhile, Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans was hysterical and did not say anything.
“That at a point, Deji had to shut Faisal up when this repetition of “at least 25 years in jail” kept going on and on.”
At the police station, Faisal and Miss Evans were kept away from the rest and interviewed separately, whereas the other three were kept at a separate room and interviewed separately.
“Deji and Nick Allison were clear that it is the above account that was narrated and written as statements to the police, yet the Police Report did not make any reference to the presence of Faisal or Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans on the balcony when Toba allegedly fell,” Mr. Keyamo said.
“Later that night Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans were released to go home without taking the blood stained T-shirt from Faisal.
“Meanwhile, the other three were charged with drinking and other sundry offences and are facing these charges in court at present.”