A Family’s Fury:The story of Tobi Falode

It’s been one year since Toba Falode, the son of Nigerian ace broadcaster, Aisha Falode, was gruesomely murdered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, without justice. Chiemelie Ezeobi and Rebecca Ejifoma write that the inability of UAE authorities to ensure justice is done in the manner Toba died, has failed to give closure to the family that spent everything to give their son quality education in the country
Indeed, time does fly. It was barely a year ago when the news filtered into Nigeria that Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba, the son of iconic sports broadcaster and member of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Aisha Falode was dead. He was just 19-years-old.

He was gruesomely murdered in far away Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he had gone to study after gaining admission to study Audio Production at the SAE Institute, sometime in October, 2013.

Initially, the details surrounding his death were sketchy and shrouded in mystery. All that was to change a few days later, when the shocked family began to ask the right questions and even flew to Dubai to unearth more information about it. The picture became clearer; he was pushed to his death from the 17th floor of his residence in Dubai.

For the family, it was a year filled with pains, disbelief and anguish but their pains were made more unbearable by the sole fact that the brains behind Toba’s death still remains free.

A Year Ago
It all began on February 15, 2014. Falode’s mother was woken up with a call by Nick Allison, a South African, that her son was dead. She was told he fell off from the balcony of his apartment located on the 17th floor of Manchester Towers, Dubai Marina, where he lived.

Two persons were fingered in his death; Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser, a Saudi national, and his British girlfriend, Olivia Richards Evans.

Because of the various inconsistencies in the Police report given to the family, Mrs. Aisha Falode, their legal counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo and another family traveled to Dubai in the UAE on Friday, the 18th day of April, 2014 and sought the opinions of those present in the apartment on that fateful day.

According to them, the summary of the accounts were totally different from what the police report indicated, thus ruling the case as an incident, a report the bereaved family has deemed as false.

The family said statements from eyewitness accounts revealed that Al-Nasser had stormed into the apartment sometime in December 2013 and ordered Ms. Richards out of Falode’s apartment while accusing him of having an affair with her.

That she said was the beginning of the sour relationship between the duo. Nothing happened again till the evening of February 14,  2014, when Toba, alongside one Ebele Oladeji Onwugbufor, Nick Allison and Joachim Santene went to a club in Dubai known as M Deck, Media 1 Hotel, Media City.

At the club, they were said to have met Al-Nasser and  Evans and another argument ensued. Afterwards the Saudi and his girlfriend left the club. But when Falode returned to his apartment, she said they were surprised to find Al-Nasser and Richards waiting outside the door.

The three apparently entered the apartment to talk and later moved outside to the balcony where a heated argument ensued. Seconds later, only Al-Nasser and Richards came back into the room to announce that Falode had fallen to his death.

But  Mrs. Falode noted that according to eyewitness accounts, Al-Nasser had blood spattered all over his shirt and he had bloody knuckles.

For the family, the claims by the duo that Falode fell to his death couldn’t de farther from the truth seeing that
the deceased’s body was lying meters away from the building (approximately 12 to 15 meters).

According to Falode, the position of the deceased’s  body was not consistent with someone falling from the balcony, else it would have been much closer to the building.

To her angst, she said although the police arrested all, the duo of Al-Nasser and Richards were interviewed separately before they were released to go  with the blood stained T-shirt he had on. The police had ruled the death as an accident because the deceased was allegedly drunk.

Remembrance and Quest for Justice
A year had rolled by and no justice had been gotten for Toba. Notwithstanding that, the Family had organised a thanksgiving service at the Trinity House, Zion Center, Lagos, on a certain Sunday.

The gathering was not just a thanksgiving service but also served as a reminder that justice delayed is justice denied. The church service was conducted by the senior Pastor, Ituah Ighodalo. At a certain point, the bereaved mother, Falode, couldn’t hold back the tears rolling down her cheeks
Afterwards, the bereaved family supported by well wishers walked to the altar for thanksgiving and they were blessed by the pastor, who prayed that God would comfort and console Aisha with the capacity to cope.

Ighodalo, preaching on the topic, “The Capacity to Cope,” assured the congregation that no matter what life throws at them, they will cope extremely well. He said, “God will compensate, honour and strengthen you.”

After the church service, the family and well wishers gathered at the reception still inside the church compound. At the gathering were Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and his wife, Roli, as well as renowned activist, the President of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin. THISDAY Managing Director, Mr. Eniola Bello also graced the occasion.

Odumakin while speaking said, “When Aisha first came to my office to talk to me, we started crying. Afterwards, we moved to the office of Festus Keyamo where we analysed the real story.

“According to Al-Nasser, Toba had sat in the 17th floor balcony where he was swing back and forth. Later Al-Nasser and Richards ran inside and told us that Toba fell but his body was found metres away from the building and Al-Nasser had blood stains on his cloth. He even claimed he wanted to save Toba but how come the blood stains? ”

On their demands she said, “Nigerians who travel outside the country face terrible moments because of hostility. We want a situation where value is placed on human life.

“Those people that died need justice. We are here to assure you that Toba will never die in vain. We went to National Assembly and we were assured that justice will be done. We are not just gathered to agonize but to organise so that Toba will get justice.”

To capture the pains of the family from the period of his death till date, his sister Tolu was called upon. Reading her speech, she said, “It has been one year since Toba passed. One year since the voice of Tyler Fray became silent. One year since the story of my family changed forever.
“I am grateful for the gift I got to share with my brother. In stepping out of the past couple of months that have stretched into the memory of a year, I still cannot believe it.

“We are still fighting the battle for justice. We still carry the banner of truth. And I think if Toba was here he would want to thank you all for honoring his memory with your presence today.

“He would want to thank you for providing the support and strength that aided my family in facing the fiercest storm in our lives. He would beam with his confident smile of hope and say thank you for acknowledging the time he spent on this earth.

“This day last year remains vivid in my memory for so many reasons. It was a day that carried the weight of death on its shoulders and crashed into my paradise of peace. It was a day that was filled with silent screams and violent echoes of pain.

“It was a day the spirit of Toba was called back to be with the LORD. A day that my family will forever remember and would never be able to forget.

“This day last year-our lives changed forever and we started a new unfamiliar and unwelcome chapter in our routines outside our comfort and outside our horizon of peace.
“I would however miss my brother, friend and confidant Tyler Fray. It pains me that so many did not get to experience the joy he brought into life, the smiles he managed to bring out of sadness and the laughter he birthed from tears.

“It pains me that he did not have a chance to tell his story himself without my words that fail to encompass the bulk of a man that was Toba. But I would try my best to give you an idea of the man that has brought us all together here today for a reason that would otherwise be avoided because in our presence is the memory of his death.

“And in his death is a story of sorrow and tears and pain. It is the grace of God that enabled us to survive this loss. Who was Toba? Toba was a young man full of life and dreams and ambitions.

“He was a man filled with hope for the future and packaged with lessons from the past. He was a spirit and a soul ready to fill the world with his gift. He was determined, focused and ready to leave his footprint in the sands of time.

“Toba was a mischievous brother, who always knew just the right words to say to get under my skin. He was a man that walked in the path of his dreams and trusted them to lead him to his destiny.

“Toba was a quiet, caring and loving son who was extremely protective of our mother. His words carried the weight of wisdom and he always knew what to say and how to say it to get his unique point across.

“He had an admirable perspective for life and believed it rewarded those who worked for success. And he was determined to be part of the successful. He could write down his dreams and paint them into pictures to give you a vision of his desired reality.

“He paid attention to his love for music and was inspired by different ideas and situations. His mind was a den of imagination and discovery. He reflected deeply on life and its mystery.

” He was a talent waiting to be discovered, a voice eager to be heard. Tyler fray was my brother. This is a glimpse of my brother Toba Falode. A man that was so eager to explore life and had his pathway lit with purpose. And in that purpose he was led to the peace of the Almighty so early in life.

“And yet I thank God for his life-I thank God for the gift of his presence-for 19 years I had the pleasure of watching a young keen loud boy full of laughter chase and annoy me in childhood before he became a young man I deeply respected and admire for the courage and fearlessness he had in following his dreams.

“For 19 years I was honoured to be his sister as I watched this beacon of dreams become a man filled with purpose and passion for life. For 19 years he coloured our lives as a family with the foundations of love, strength and joy and for those 19 years I am grateful.”
When it was her turn to speak,  Mrs. Falode said, “It was not meant to be this way. No parent should ever have to bear such pains no matter what. When things like this happen, I asked God that he should have shown mercy and I hold him to the promise of his Word.

“He said he would raise a wall of protection around us so where are you in all of these. The more I asked such questions, the more it was clear that He spoke but I did not hear, He showed me revelations but I did not see, He showed me signs but I was far away from Him and this was done to draw my attention.

“I stand before you now stronger than I was last year. It is because of grace and mercy of the same God. Even in my situation, my hope in Him has remained steadfast. It is a long process but God will see us through. Now I have a new foundation in Christ Jesus.

“Already, something is being communicated to Dubai through our office of the Attorney a general to theirs. Its a long process but something is being done.

“Nigerian blood is expensive. There is no need for any blood our youths to be spilt outside. Toba died under questionable circumstances and we call on the government to give us justice so that other youths outside will feel protected.’

When the Delta State Governor, Dr. Uduaghan picked up the microphone he said, “It is our responsibility to protect and look after our own whether in or out of Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that we have not been doing that very well but we are doing something now. There was this case involving a traditional ruler in Delta State. When President Goodluck Jonathan came to the state, I introduced the traditional ruler to him as the father of the girl killed in South Africa.

“He called the Foreign Affairs minister to take it up. Apparently, he wasn’t aware of the case. The gap can be in the middle but we hope there will be an improvement in the way government looks after its own.

“As a family man, like Aisha, we have a daughter and a son and I am very much connected to this case. As a medical doctor, one of the most difficult things to do is to console a parent. God will give you people to fill the vacuum.”

Seemingly short of words that would console the family he soon delved into singing the ancient hymnal; ‘It is well with my soul’. The song was apt and germane as it conveyed soothing words one couldn’t have told the bereaved family.

A Mother’s Heartfelt Cry
The deceased’s mother had also penned down some notes for the alleged murderers of her son. She said, “Exactly one year ago this day, a young man was murdered in cold blood. A man born into prominence and on the path of sure greatness. He was the pride of his family and the future of his country for he was wise beyond his years on earth.

“At 19, he was on the brink of getting his university degree. At 19, he wrote songs which directly questioned humanity and existence. At 19, he challenged the world and served God with all his heart. He was a son to be proud of, his name was TOBA TYLER FALODE.

“Questions deserve answers. When Toba was born, 20yrs ago, I knew I would be asking questions and I knew that somehow we would find the answers for together, we would ask, together we would seek answers and together we would fathom solutions.

“Not in my most frightening nightmare could I have thought that Toba will not be here today. He will not be here to help me navigate this overpowering darkness as I try to know why.

“Why did they do it, why do they hide it, why did they spill my son’s blood so innocently, why do they condone murder?

“Can the world help me? Can you help me ask the murderer of Toba Tyler Fray, FAISAL ALDAKMARY AL NASSER and his co-conspirator OLIVIA MELANIE RICHARDS EVANS why they killed Toba so cruelly?

“Faisal and Olivia, why did you take away the soul of Toba? What did he do to you? How could you kill and yet walk the streets free? Do you see his blood on your hands?

“I am sure your minds are twisted, yet you must see the monsters you have become…pushing a young man in his prime to his death from the 17th floor of a building that night in Dubai.

“The Director of life will call for the lights soon and your darkness would take another depth. For your end is near. We are not sleeping; justice is served though it may be slow.

“Be sure Faisal that the long arms of justice will catch up with you no matter how long and how far you run. Olivia, does he haunt your sleep? Surely a young woman like you must be living in horror knowing you are a cold blooded killer.

“Do not for a moment think that Toba’s soul will not get justice; we shall pursue justice the lawful way until you are in chains and begging for mercy.

“Yet, we leave you in the court of the all-seeing and omnipresent God. Your day will come; hasten your steps for His avengers are after you.”

In an interview afterwards with THISDAY at the one year thanksgiving service she said, “When you play back the tape of the events of the last one year, it’s really very difficult to come to terms with what has happened. Moreso, when you know that you have so many questions and you have answers to those questions that could lead to a breakthrough in bringing to justice those who have done this terrible thing.

“They took a young man full of hopes, dreams and joy and cut short his life so untimely. The people who should really push your case forward are the ones that do not want the case forward.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be asked a lot of questions about what they have done about young Nigerians, not only Toba Falode, who had to die in similar circumstances in the last couple of years.

“What is the Foreign Affairs Ministry and embassies in this country doing? Absolutely nothing. We have had the Ministry of Justice make a case for Toba but it is such a complex situation where they cannot push it without the input of the Foreign Affairs which is where we are having the stumbling block because we need them to be able to get to the justice department in Dubai and they are the ones slowing down the process.

“So the people to blame are those in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the permanent secretary of the ministry. They should let us know what they have done about Toba, Alamesiegha and the girl in South Africa and others in Cyprus and all Nigerians killed abroad. This will make this country what we all desired and envisioned.”

On the role the Dubai Police played to vindicate the suspect she said it still boils down to the ministry of foreign affairs. She said, “We have given them the facts of the case as it is. We have given them witnesses, statements-oral, pictorial and oral, which attested to what happened. We can’t do more than this. They have all the documents with them.

“The suspect is walking free on the streets of Dubai as though nothing happened. That is the sore aspect- that you will take a life, you should be held questionable for your actions. If the government is not helping you to get that, it really breaks the heart.”

A Family’s Petition
The petition to the Federal Government, by counsel to the bereaved family, Festus Keyamo, had read: “That sometime in December, 2013, the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser stormed the apartment of the deceased, Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba Falode and ordered Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans (his supposed girlfriend) out of Toba’s apartment, accusing her of having an affair with Toba Falode.

“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.

“That in the evening of the 14th of February, 2014, Toba with his three friends went to a club in Dubai ,where they met the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans .

“That again an argument started between Faisal and his supposed girlfriend and this quarrel continued till both of them left the club.

“That the quarrel was to the effect that Faisal was still accusing her of dating Toba. That shortly after the two left the club, Toba and his friends also left the club.

“That on getting to his apartment, Toba again met Faisal and Miss Olivia who was crying in front of his door, waiting for him. That Toba let them into his apartment.

“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 slightly varied).

“That a serious argument with raised voices and raised hands went on at the balcony. That 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 spatter all over his shirt and bloody knuckles. There was also a noticeable cut on his finger.

“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 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, one of them had to shut Faisal up when this repetition of “at least 25 years in jail” kept going on and on.

“That at the station, Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans were kept away from the rest and were interviewed separately, whereas the other three were kept at a separate room and interviewed separately.

“Later that night, Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans were released to go home without taking the blood stained dress from Faisal. Meanwhile, the other three were charged with drinking and other sundry offences and are facing these charges in court at present.”

Also, the Nigerian Ambassador to UAE, Ibrahim Auwalu, was petitioned but till date, no justice has been gotten despite the appeal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu  Tambuwal, to the Dubai authorities to find the killers of Toba Falode.

Succour for Bereaved Families
While the Falode’s and several other families who have undergone the same pains await justice, Falode has taken a step further to look for ways to cushion the pains families who have been victims of such bestial deaths in foreign countries.

According to her, “We are working on starting a foundation to give support for grieve of loss of young Nigerians.”
Indeed, many who gathered at the event were worried that it has become a routine for Nigerians to be killed in foreign countries without justice.

 

 

It’s been one year since Toba Falode, the son of Nigerian ace broadcaster, Aisha Falode, was gruesomely murdered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, without justice. Chiemelie Ezeobi and Rebecca Ejifoma write that the inability of UAE authorities to ensure justice is done in the manner Toba died, has failed to give closure to the family that spent everything to give their son quality education in the country

Indeed, time does fly. It was barely a year ago when the news filtered into Nigeria that Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba, the son of iconic sports broadcaster and member of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Aisha Falode was dead. He was just 19-years-old.

He was gruesomely murdered in far away Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he had gone to study after gaining admission to study Audio Production at the SAE Institute, sometime in October, 2013.

Initially, the details surrounding his death were sketchy and shrouded in mystery. All that was to change a few days later, when the shocked family began to ask the right questions and even flew to Dubai to unearth more information about it. The picture became clearer; he was pushed to his death from the 17th floor of his residence in Dubai.

For the family, it was a year filled with pains, disbelief and anguish but their pains were made more unbearable by the sole fact that the brains behind Toba’s death still remains free.

A Year Ago
It all began on February 15, 2014. Falode’s mother was woken up with a call by Nick Allison, a South African, that her son was dead. She was told he fell off from the balcony of his apartment located on the 17th floor of Manchester Towers, Dubai Marina, where he lived.

Two persons were fingered in his death; Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser, a Saudi national, and his British girlfriend, Olivia Richards Evans.

Because of the various inconsistencies in the Police report given to the family, Mrs. Aisha Falode, their legal counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo and another family traveled to Dubai in the UAE on Friday, the 18th day of April, 2014 and sought the opinions of those present in the apartment on that fateful day.

According to them, the summary of the accounts were totally different from what the police report indicated, thus ruling the case as an incident, a report the bereaved family has deemed as false.

The family said statements from eyewitness accounts revealed that Al-Nasser had stormed into the apartment sometime in December 2013 and ordered Ms. Richards out of Falode’s apartment while accusing him of having an affair with her.

That she said was the beginning of the sour relationship between the duo. Nothing happened again till the evening of February 14,  2014, when Toba, alongside one Ebele Oladeji Onwugbufor, Nick Allison and Joachim Santene went to a club in Dubai known as M Deck, Media 1 Hotel, Media City.

At the club, they were said to have met Al-Nasser and  Evans and another argument ensued. Afterwards the Saudi and his girlfriend left the club. But when Falode returned to his apartment, she said they were surprised to find Al-Nasser and Richards waiting outside the door.

The three apparently entered the apartment to talk and later moved outside to the balcony where a heated argument ensued. Seconds later, only Al-Nasser and Richards came back into the room to announce that Falode had fallen to his death.

But  Mrs. Falode noted that according to eyewitness accounts, Al-Nasser had blood spattered all over his shirt and he had bloody knuckles.

For the family, the claims by the duo that Falode fell to his death couldn’t de farther from the truth seeing that
the deceased’s body was lying meters away from the building (approximately 12 to 15 meters).

According to Falode, the position of the deceased’s  body was not consistent with someone falling from the balcony, else it would have been much closer to the building.

To her angst, she said although the police arrested all, the duo of Al-Nasser and Richards were interviewed separately before they were released to go  with the blood stained T-shirt he had on. The police had ruled the death as an accident because the deceased was allegedly drunk.

Remembrance and Quest for Justice
A year had rolled by and no justice had been gotten for Toba. Notwithstanding that, the Family had organised a thanksgiving service at the Trinity House, Zion Center, Lagos, on a certain Sunday.

The gathering was not just a thanksgiving service but also served as a reminder that justice delayed is justice denied. The church service was conducted by the senior Pastor, Ituah Ighodalo. At a certain point, the bereaved mother, Falode, couldn’t hold back the tears rolling down her cheeks
Afterwards, the bereaved family supported by well wishers walked to the altar for thanksgiving and they were blessed by the pastor, who prayed that God would comfort and console Aisha with the capacity to cope.

Ighodalo, preaching on the topic, “The Capacity to Cope,” assured the congregation that no matter what life throws at them, they will cope extremely well. He said, “God will compensate, honour and strengthen you.”

After the church service, the family and well wishers gathered at the reception still inside the church compound. At the gathering were Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and his wife, Roli, as well as renowned activist, the President of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin. THISDAY Managing Director, Mr. Eniola Bello also graced the occasion.

Odumakin while speaking said, “When Aisha first came to my office to talk to me, we started crying. Afterwards, we moved to the office of Festus Keyamo where we analysed the real story.

“According to Al-Nasser, Toba had sat in the 17th floor balcony where he was swing back and forth. Later Al-Nasser and Richards ran inside and told us that Toba fell but his body was found metres away from the building and Al-Nasser had blood stains on his cloth. He even claimed he wanted to save Toba but how come the blood stains? ”

On their demands she said, “Nigerians who travel outside the country face terrible moments because of hostility. We want a situation where value is placed on human life.

“Those people that died need justice. We are here to assure you that Toba will never die in vain. We went to National Assembly and we were assured that justice will be done. We are not just gathered to agonize but to organise so that Toba will get justice.”

To capture the pains of the family from the period of his death till date, his sister Tolu was called upon. Reading her speech, she said, “It has been one year since Toba passed. One year since the voice of Tyler Fray became silent. One year since the story of my family changed forever.
“I am grateful for the gift I got to share with my brother. In stepping out of the past couple of months that have stretched into the memory of a year, I still cannot believe it.

“We are still fighting the battle for justice. We still carry the banner of truth. And I think if Toba was here he would want to thank you all for honoring his memory with your presence today.

“He would want to thank you for providing the support and strength that aided my family in facing the fiercest storm in our lives. He would beam with his confident smile of hope and say thank you for acknowledging the time he spent on this earth.

“This day last year remains vivid in my memory for so many reasons. It was a day that carried the weight of death on its shoulders and crashed into my paradise of peace. It was a day that was filled with silent screams and violent echoes of pain.

“It was a day the spirit of Toba was called back to be with the LORD. A day that my family will forever remember and would never be able to forget.

“This day last year-our lives changed forever and we started a new unfamiliar and unwelcome chapter in our routines outside our comfort and outside our horizon of peace.
“I would however miss my brother, friend and confidant Tyler Fray. It pains me that so many did not get to experience the joy he brought into life, the smiles he managed to bring out of sadness and the laughter he birthed from tears.

“It pains me that he did not have a chance to tell his story himself without my words that fail to encompass the bulk of a man that was Toba. But I would try my best to give you an idea of the man that has brought us all together here today for a reason that would otherwise be avoided because in our presence is the memory of his death.

“And in his death is a story of sorrow and tears and pain. It is the grace of God that enabled us to survive this loss. Who was Toba? Toba was a young man full of life and dreams and ambitions.

“He was a man filled with hope for the future and packaged with lessons from the past. He was a spirit and a soul ready to fill the world with his gift. He was determined, focused and ready to leave his footprint in the sands of time.

“Toba was a mischievous brother, who always knew just the right words to say to get under my skin. He was a man that walked in the path of his dreams and trusted them to lead him to his destiny.

“Toba was a quiet, caring and loving son who was extremely protective of our mother. His words carried the weight of wisdom and he always knew what to say and how to say it to get his unique point across.

“He had an admirable perspective for life and believed it rewarded those who worked for success. And he was determined to be part of the successful. He could write down his dreams and paint them into pictures to give you a vision of his desired reality.

“He paid attention to his love for music and was inspired by different ideas and situations. His mind was a den of imagination and discovery. He reflected deeply on life and its mystery.

” He was a talent waiting to be discovered, a voice eager to be heard. Tyler fray was my brother. This is a glimpse of my brother Toba Falode. A man that was so eager to explore life and had his pathway lit with purpose. And in that purpose he was led to the peace of the Almighty so early in life.

“And yet I thank God for his life-I thank God for the gift of his presence-for 19 years I had the pleasure of watching a young keen loud boy full of laughter chase and annoy me in childhood before he became a young man I deeply respected and admire for the courage and fearlessness he had in following his dreams.

“For 19 years I was honoured to be his sister as I watched this beacon of dreams become a man filled with purpose and passion for life. For 19 years he coloured our lives as a family with the foundations of love, strength and joy and for those 19 years I am grateful.”
When it was her turn to speak,  Mrs. Falode said, “It was not meant to be this way. No parent should ever have to bear such pains no matter what. When things like this happen, I asked God that he should have shown mercy and I hold him to the promise of his Word.

“He said he would raise a wall of protection around us so where are you in all of these. The more I asked such questions, the more it was clear that He spoke but I did not hear, He showed me revelations but I did not see, He showed me signs but I was far away from Him and this was done to draw my attention.

“I stand before you now stronger than I was last year. It is because of grace and mercy of the same God. Even in my situation, my hope in Him has remained steadfast. It is a long process but God will see us through. Now I have a new foundation in Christ Jesus.

“Already, something is being communicated to Dubai through our office of the Attorney a general to theirs. Its a long process but something is being done.

“Nigerian blood is expensive. There is no need for any blood our youths to be spilt outside. Toba died under questionable circumstances and we call on the government to give us justice so that other youths outside will feel protected.’

When the Delta State Governor, Dr. Uduaghan picked up the microphone he said, “It is our responsibility to protect and look after our own whether in or out of Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that we have not been doing that very well but we are doing something now. There was this case involving a traditional ruler in Delta State. When President Goodluck Jonathan came to the state, I introduced the traditional ruler to him as the father of the girl killed in South Africa.

“He called the Foreign Affairs minister to take it up. Apparently, he wasn’t aware of the case. The gap can be in the middle but we hope there will be an improvement in the way government looks after its own.

“As a family man, like Aisha, we have a daughter and a son and I am very much connected to this case. As a medical doctor, one of the most difficult things to do is to console a parent. God will give you people to fill the vacuum.”

Seemingly short of words that would console the family he soon delved into singing the ancient hymnal; ‘It is well with my soul’. The song was apt and germane as it conveyed soothing words one couldn’t have told the bereaved family.

A Mother’s Heartfelt Cry
The deceased’s mother had also penned down some notes for the alleged murderers of her son. She said, “Exactly one year ago this day, a young man was murdered in cold blood. A man born into prominence and on the path of sure greatness. He was the pride of his family and the future of his country for he was wise beyond his years on earth.

“At 19, he was on the brink of getting his university degree. At 19, he wrote songs which directly questioned humanity and existence. At 19, he challenged the world and served God with all his heart. He was a son to be proud of, his name was TOBA TYLER FALODE.

“Questions deserve answers. When Toba was born, 20yrs ago, I knew I would be asking questions and I knew that somehow we would find the answers for together, we would ask, together we would seek answers and together we would fathom solutions.

“Not in my most frightening nightmare could I have thought that Toba will not be here today. He will not be here to help me navigate this overpowering darkness as I try to know why.

“Why did they do it, why do they hide it, why did they spill my son’s blood so innocently, why do they condone murder?

“Can the world help me? Can you help me ask the murderer of Toba Tyler Fray, FAISAL ALDAKMARY AL NASSER and his co-conspirator OLIVIA MELANIE RICHARDS EVANS why they killed Toba so cruelly?

“Faisal and Olivia, why did you take away the soul of Toba? What did he do to you? How could you kill and yet walk the streets free? Do you see his blood on your hands?

“I am sure your minds are twisted, yet you must see the monsters you have become…pushing a young man in his prime to his death from the 17th floor of a building that night in Dubai.

“The Director of life will call for the lights soon and your darkness would take another depth. For your end is near. We are not sleeping; justice is served though it may be slow.

“Be sure Faisal that the long arms of justice will catch up with you no matter how long and how far you run. Olivia, does he haunt your sleep? Surely a young woman like you must be living in horror knowing you are a cold blooded killer.

“Do not for a moment think that Toba’s soul will not get justice; we shall pursue justice the lawful way until you are in chains and begging for mercy.

“Yet, we leave you in the court of the all-seeing and omnipresent God. Your day will come; hasten your steps for His avengers are after you.”

In an interview afterwards with THISDAY at the one year thanksgiving service she said, “When you play back the tape of the events of the last one year, it’s really very difficult to come to terms with what has happened. Moreso, when you know that you have so many questions and you have answers to those questions that could lead to a breakthrough in bringing to justice those who have done this terrible thing.

“They took a young man full of hopes, dreams and joy and cut short his life so untimely. The people who should really push your case forward are the ones that do not want the case forward.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be asked a lot of questions about what they have done about young Nigerians, not only Toba Falode, who had to die in similar circumstances in the last couple of years.

“What is the Foreign Affairs Ministry and embassies in this country doing? Absolutely nothing. We have had the Ministry of Justice make a case for Toba but it is such a complex situation where they cannot push it without the input of the Foreign Affairs which is where we are having the stumbling block because we need them to be able to get to the justice department in Dubai and they are the ones slowing down the process.

“So the people to blame are those in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the permanent secretary of the ministry. They should let us know what they have done about Toba, Alamesiegha and the girl in South Africa and others in Cyprus and all Nigerians killed abroad. This will make this country what we all desired and envisioned.”

On the role the Dubai Police played to vindicate the suspect she said it still boils down to the ministry of foreign affairs. She said, “We have given them the facts of the case as it is. We have given them witnesses, statements-oral, pictorial and oral, which attested to what happened. We can’t do more than this. They have all the documents with them.

“The suspect is walking free on the streets of Dubai as though nothing happened. That is the sore aspect- that you will take a life, you should be held questionable for your actions. If the government is not helping you to get that, it really breaks the heart.”

A Family’s Petition
The petition to the Federal Government, by counsel to the bereaved family, Festus Keyamo, had read: “That sometime in December, 2013, the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser stormed the apartment of the deceased, Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba Falode and ordered Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans (his supposed girlfriend) out of Toba’s apartment, accusing her of having an affair with Toba Falode.

“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.

“That in the evening of the 14th of February, 2014, Toba with his three friends went to a club in Dubai ,where they met the said Faisal Aldakmary Al-Nasser and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans .

“That again an argument started between Faisal and his supposed girlfriend and this quarrel continued till both of them left the club.

“That the quarrel was to the effect that Faisal was still accusing her of dating Toba. That shortly after the two left the club, Toba and his friends also left the club.

“That on getting to his apartment, Toba again met Faisal and Miss Olivia who was crying in front of his door, waiting for him. That Toba let them into his apartment.

“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 slightly varied).

“That a serious argument with raised voices and raised hands went on at the balcony. That 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 spatter all over his shirt and bloody knuckles. There was also a noticeable cut on his finger.

“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 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, one of them had to shut Faisal up when this repetition of “at least 25 years in jail” kept going on and on.

“That at the station, Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans were kept away from the rest and were interviewed separately, whereas the other three were kept at a separate room and interviewed separately.

“Later that night, Faisal and Miss Olivia Melanie Richards Evans were released to go home without taking the blood stained dress from Faisal. Meanwhile, the other three were charged with drinking and other sundry offences and are facing these charges in court at present.”

Also, the Nigerian Ambassador to UAE, Ibrahim Auwalu, was petitioned but till date, no justice has been gotten despite the appeal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu  Tambuwal, to the Dubai authorities to find the killers of Toba Falode.

Succour for Bereaved Families
While the Falode’s and several other families who have undergone the same pains await justice, Falode has taken a step further to look for ways to cushion the pains families who have been victims of such bestial deaths in foreign countries.

According to her, “We are working on starting a foundation to give support for grieve of loss of young Nigerians.”
Indeed, many who gathered at the event were worried that it has become a routine for Nigerians to be killed in foreign countries without justice.

THIS DAY