Lagos Begins Trial Of Cop Who Allegedly Killed Lawyer Bolanle

The Alleged Killer Cop, Vandi & Late Bolanle

The Lagos State Government today, commenced the trial of Mr. Drambi Vandi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) for the alleged murder of a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem, on Christmas Day.

Lagos State Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo, SAN, arraigned Vandi at the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on a one-count charge of murder.

The charge, marked LD/20598c/22 and dated December 28, 2022, alleged that Vandi killed Raheem contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

“ASP Vandi had on the 25th of December 2022 at Ajah roundabout, along Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, in the Lagos Judicial Division unlawfully killed one Omobolanle Raheem (F) by shooting her in the chest,” the charge stated.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty.

Onigbanjo informed Justice Ibironke Harrison that the prosecution had two witnesses namely: Mr. Matthew Ameh and Mr. Ebimini, both Police Inspectors.

He called Ameh into the witness box and examined him before the judge.

The witness testified that he, Ebimini and Vandi were colleagues at the Ajah Police Division, adding that Vandii was the leader of their three-man team, on the day of the incident.

Ameh, who said he had been in the Force since 2001, told the court that Ebimini and Vardi were armed on the day of the incident.

He further told the court that before they were posted out for work that morning, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Ajah Division cautioned all the police units under his control against indiscriminate firearms use.

“That as we were going out, our duty was to protect life and property, that on no account should anyone use his firearm unless someone’s life is in danger or your life is in danger.”

He stated that they were on a “stop and search” duty under the Ajah Bridge on Christmas Day when a Toyota car approached.

He said: “Ebimini was in front, I was in the middle while Supol Vandi was the last man behind (us).”

Ameh said as the car approached Ebimini, he flagged it down but the car drove past.

The witness said: “It didn’t stop for him. The car got to where I was, I flagged it down; it didn’t stop for me.

“The next thing I heard was a gunshot. I looked back to see what was happening and I saw the vehicle with the glass falling.”

He told the court that “It was the front screen (windscreen)” that fell off.
“The next thing I saw again was a dark woman jumping down from the vehicle and holding Supol Vandi and said: ‘Oga, you have killed my sister.’

“The woman held him and before I and Ebimini could get to them, they had entered the car, locked it, and zoomed off. We do not know where they drove to.”

He said when they returned to their police station, their Divisional Police Officer (DPO) drove in with Vandi in a patrol van.

Following partial cross-examination by Vandi’s counsel, Mr. Adetokunbo Odutola, the judge acceded to Mr. Onigbanjo’s prayer for an accelerated hearing of the case.

Justice Harrison adjourned further proceedings till January 25 and 26.
Earlier proceedings were delayed for over an hour following Odutola’s absence.

Justice Harrison stood down Vandi’s arraignment until the lawyer showed up at past 11am.

The judge, upon being informed of the presence of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, (SAN), and Ikechukwu Uwanna, the NBA Lagos Branch Chairman, urged them to make interim arrangements for a lawyer to defend Vandi pro bono. Which Mr. Maikyau agreed to do.

Vandi, an Assistant Superintendent attached to the Ajiwe Police Station in Ajah, Lagos State, allegedly shot Raheem while she was returning from an outing with her family members.

He was arrested and appeared before Chief Magistrate C.A. Adedayo on December 30, 2022, a day after the Police Service Commission (PSC) approved his suspension.