The first prosecution witness, Inspector Matthew Ameh, a member of the patrol team led by ASP Drambi Vandi has told the Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square that the police were conducting a stop and search on Christmas Day when Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem was shot.
Led in his testimony by the Attorney General of Lagos, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Moyosore Onigbanjo, the witness said the car in which the late Raheem was riding with members of her family did not have a number plate and it was flagged down by the police officers.
He said Vandi who was the leader of their team was behind while he was in the middle, and another colleague, was in front.
According to the witness, his colleague who was in front was the first person to flag the car down but the car did not stop.
“I also flagged down the car, the car did not stop for me. The car is a Toyota vehicle and it has no plate number. I saw people in the car. I don’t know how many people in the car because it did not stop.”
“Please clarify, it does not have number plate or you did not see the number plate,” the AG asked.
“It had no number plate,” came the response.
“After that the next thing I heard was a gunshot. I looked back to see what was happening, I saw a car in which the windscreen was falling down.
“The next thing, I saw is that one dark woman jumped down from the vehicle. She held SUPOL Vandi and she said ‘Oga you have killed my sister’.
“The woman held him. The next thing, they entered the car and they all zoomed off.”
The witness also testified that while Vandi and the other officer were armed, he was unarmed.
After the car zoomed off with Inspector Vandi, he and his colleague went back to the office without knowing his whereabouts.
“Later the DPO brought back inspector Vandi with the patrol before taking them to Panti. The incident occurred around 1pm on the faithful day.
Under cross examination by counsel to Vandi, Adetokunbo Odutola, the witness repeated that he did not know the number of people riding in the car because the car didn’t stop for search. He also repeated his earlier testimony that the deceased family’s vehicle had no number plate.
The witness also testified that there was no threat from the family to the police patrol team.
After his testimony, the witness was discharged and the court adjourned proceedings till the 25th & 26th of Jan. The court also ordered an accelerated hearing of the matter.
Before the testimony, Vandi was arraigned on a one count charge of murder.
The charge reads, “that you ASP Drambi Vandi on the 25th day of December 2022, at Ajah Road long the Lekki Expressway, Lagos unlawfully killed one Omobolanle Raheem by shooting the deceased in the chest contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
When the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.
Vandi, an Assistant Superintendent attached to the Ajiwe Police Station in Ajah, Lagos State, allegedly shot Bolanle Raheem while she was returning from an outing with her family members on Christmas Day.