Drambi Vandi, suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police, will know his fate on April 3 when a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island, will decide whether he would be set free or go in for it over the killing of Bolanle Raheem, a Lagos-based lawyer on December 25, 2022.
This comes against the backdrop of the “no case submission,” the senior police officer, who allegedly pulled the trigger that killed the lady, said to be pregnant at Ajah under-bridge roundabout, while returning from a church service with the husband and other members of the family, filed to clear himself of blame.
Justice Ibironke Harrison, who reserved the date after Vandi’s lawyer, Adetokunbo Odutola, adopted his final written address on the no-case submission application filed before the court on February 20, 2023, asking the court to dismiss the suit and discharge, as he had no case to answer.
The police officer, through the lawyer, had told the court to note among other things that none of the eyewitnesses saw the defendant shoot and that the ballistic report of the gun allegedly fired expressly stated that the bullet cannot be linked with any of the firearms recovered from the police officers at the scene.
Odutola also urged the court to note the testimony of the pathologist who confirmed that the death of the deceased was a result of a gunshot injury at the left auxiliary fold and the bullet moved from a posterior to anterior and the bullet pierced through the chest.
Stressing that the pathologist had also testified that it was not his duty to know who shot the deceased, but to determine the cause of death and the trajectory of the injury, he said based on what he described as the “inconsistency and contradictions of the prosecution witnesses “from top to bottom,” the court should quash the charge the police officer and discharge him accordingly as the prosecution had failed woefully in its attempt to make a prima-facie case against him.
He further argued that the evidence led and the documents tendered do not present a compellable case of suspicion, however, minute to enable the court to order the defendant to enter his defence.
The prosecution led by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, had however countered the arguments and urged the defendant to defend himself insisting that the prosecution had successfully made its case against him.
After listening to the arguments of both parties, in the case which began effectively on January 16, with Inspector Matthew Ameh, one of the police officers, who was present at the crime scene testifying, Harrison adjourned the matter till April 3 for ruling.
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice who personally led the prosecution had arraigned Vandi on a one-count charge of murder, which was filed on December 28, three days after the incident, alleging that Vandi killed Raheem by shooting her in the chest, an offence contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Following the plea of not guilty, the case continued till February 15, when the prosecution closed its case against after calling 11 witnesses which included police officers, the husband and sister of the deceased, the ballistician and the pathologist, Dr. Oluwaseun Williams.