I am Aisha Falode, Mother of 19 year old Toba Falode. Iâ€™m giving the following statement as fact in the unfortunate death of my son. Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba Falode, who was a student of SAE Institute, Dubai in the UAE admitted to study Audio Production in October, 2013 and resided on the 17th floor of Manchester Towers, Dubai Marina. In the early hours of the 15thof February, 2014, I received a call from the security guard at my sonâ€™s apartment block informing me that something serious had just happened to my son, Toba. I then immediately called his close friend, Nick Allison, a South African, who then informed me that my Toba had passed on from falling from the balcony of his 17th floor apartment.
Upon hearing this, I made various frantic calls to Tobaâ€™s pastor (his guardian in Dubai), to go to the scene. After which I was informed that the police had arrested all those at the scene and also taken the body of my son away. Four family members then proceeded to retrieve my sonâ€™s body and also met with the Deputy Director of the Jebel Ali police station, who read out the preliminary report to the family and mentioned Faisalâ€™s name which was mysteriously missing in the report that was later given to the family.
The summary of the police report is as follows:
a. That they confirmed that Toba died in the morning of the 15th of February 2014 at approximately 4am.
b.That they indicated that this occurred around the premises of Tobaâ€™s apartment, the Manchester Tower, Dubai Marina.
c.That they confirmed that there were 5 other people with him at the time of his death – (4) four boys and 1 girl – a Nigerian, a French Canadian national, a South African andÂ a Saudi national. The girl is British.
d.Â That close to the time of the accident, Toba was on the balcony of his flat with his alleged girlfriend.
e.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.
f.That his girlfriend was still there with him, and was warning him to be careful.
g.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.
h.That his friends all rushed down and found him lying dead in front of the apartment block.
i.That they then called the Police who took charge of things.
j.That all statements of the witnesses as described above were similar and that they were all interviewed separately.
k.That forensic evidence including the examination of Tobaâ€™s body at autopsy did not reveal anything to contradict this version of events.
l.That there were no injuries on Tobaâ€™s body inconsistent with a fall from a great height as the cause of his death.
m.That there was no evidence of bruising or other injury to indicate anything else could be blamed as the cause of his death.
n.That based on their findings, they decided therefore not to conduct a full internal autopsy.
o.That if from their investigations they had even the slightest indication of anything other than this version of events they would definitely have conducted an autopsy.
However, because of the various inconsistencies in the Police Report given to my family, and because I know the apartment layout very well and my motherly intuition I knew something was not right. So I decided to investigate further by myself accompanied by a family member and my family lawyer Mr. Festus Keyamo.
We travelled to Dubai in April and met with some of my sonâ€™s friends who were present in the apartment on that fateful day.
The summary of the accounts of these friends were totally different from what the police report indicated and revealed a weak attempt by the authorities in Dubai to hide facts that pointed to the fact that my poor son was murdered.
This account, the friends (witnesses) in question volunteered to give as written statements to me.
Summary of account as follows:
a.That sometime in December, 2013, the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser stormed the apartment of my deceased son Oloruntoba Falode and ordered Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans (his supposed girlfriend) out of Tobaâ€™s apartment, accusing her of having an affair with Toba.
b.That 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.
c.That in the evening of the 14th of February, 2014, Toba, together with his friends, namely, Ebele Oladeji Onwugbufor,
Nick Allison and Joachim Senteni went to a club in Dubai known as M Deck, Media 1 Hotel, Media City.
d.That at the club, they met the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans who were also at the club.
e.That again an argument started at the Club concerning Olivia, and shortly after this, Faisal and Olivia left the Club.
f.That shortly after the two left the club, Toba and his friends also left the club.
g.On their return to Tobaâ€™s apartment, Toba, Nick and Deji were shocked and surprised to find Faisal and Olivia outside Tobaâ€™s Apartment door, waiting and Olivia was crying hysterically and appeared frightened while Faisal, however appeared calm, with a determined look on his face.
h.That after they all went into the apartment,Â after which Toba, Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans entered his room â€œto sort things outâ€.
i.That shortly after, the three of them exited the room and moved on to the balcony of the apartment on the 17th floor.
j.That there were signs of serious argument coming from the balcony with raised voices and flaying hands by faisal visible through the glass door of the balcony.
k.That after about twenty seconds Faisal and Olivia 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.
l.That at this point they all rushed downstairs to see Tobaâ€™s dead body lying meters away from the building (approximately 12 to 15 meters).
m.That the position of my Tobaâ€™s body (which can still be verified today) was not consistent with someone falling from the balcony (in which case the body would be much closer to the building) but was consistent with someone that was violently pushed from the balcony.
n.That the police arrived thereafter and arrested all of them to the station.
o.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, Olivia remained hysterical.
p.That at the station, Faisal and Olivia were kept away from the rest and were interviewed separately, whereas the other three were kept in a separate room and interviewed separately.
q.The witnesses were clear that the above account was what was narrated and written as statements at the police station, A vital piece of information deliberately omitted in the Police Report which did not make any reference to the presence of Faisal or Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans on the balcony when Toba allegedly fell.
r.That Faisal was released without taking the blood stained T-shirt from him as should have been done in any investigative matter.
I am appealing to my Government that I have done much more than I should do as a grieving mother who was left with no option but to start investigating my own sonâ€™s murder by myself. I implore the Nigerian Government to prevail on the authorities in Dubai to re-open the investigation into the murder of my son Toba Falode and to bring to book Mr. Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans both of whom murdered him in cold blood.
The loss of a son is not what any parent should have to suffer, let alone a brutal murder. I do not wish this on any one because the pain is not only excruciating but almost unbearable.
JUSTICE MUST PREVAIL NOT ONLY FOR MY DEAR TOBA, BUT ALSO IN HONOUR OF THE MEMORY OF ALL THE OTHER YOUNG LIVES THAT HAVE BEEN CUT SHORT BRUTALLY. IF NO ONE ACTS EVERYONE IS AT RISK OF THIS UNFATHOMABLE PAIN.
I am asking for justice for my son and prayers from everyone that God in his infinite mercy gives my family and I the strength to bear this great loss.