NAME: Folu Obata
WEIGHT: 97 lbs.
FAVORITE POD: Thai noodles with fried chicken and beer
Favorite TV Show: “Da Vinci’s Demons”
DREAM CAR: Nissan Micra
GOALS: Become a nurse and have a family
FATHOM BEHIND INTERVIEW: “I really didn’t want people to read the newspaper stories about the incident, and see that my son died in my arms. It made me so embarrassed.”
QUESTION TO ANSWER: “How can my son die in my arms?”
FAVORITE HARDWARE: “There are a lot of hard hardware that I like. I really like the measuring tape.”
“Kai is still home; I would like him to live. I am not taking his funeral money,” said Folu Obata, a 30-year-old Nollywood actress in Nigeria. Her son, Kai Osunde Obata, died on Oct. 29, 2017, in the middle of a monthlong delay to determine the cause of his death at a toll gate. The hearing process kept the coroner from ruling on whether the death was suspicious, and has led to a yearlong legal battle.
Obata claimed in an interview with The Washington Post that her son’s death was a “tragedy,” but suggested that his death could be attributed to Lagos’ notoriously corrupt police system.
“They did not attend to my requests for them to give me answers,” she said of the state’s lawyers who appealed against her family’s claim.
Her case is not unique. A recent report from Human Rights Watch alleged that the Nigerian government was “acting with deliberate indifference to the health needs of toll gate payers.”
Obata says Kai would have made it out alive if the traffic police had responded properly after his accident in the early morning of Oct. 29.
She says the toll police officer tried to force a 21-month-old girl into an ambulance, and did not offer Obata her son’s body.
The officials insisted on an official document from the military that proved he was a soldier, and even took the family to their home before returning his body to her.