Bolanle Raheem: Lawyer’s Spouse, Sister Recount Last 24hrs Before Killing

    Advertisement The husband of late Lagos-based lawyer Bolanle Raheem Gbenga testified today in the trial of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi, … Continue reading Bolanle Raheem: Lawyer’s Spouse, Sister Recount Last 24hrs Before Killing

Bolanle Raheem. Credit: Twitter/@InibeheEffiong



The husband of late Lagos-based lawyer Bolanle Raheem Gbenga testified today in the trial of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi, who was charged with the murder.

Gbenga, who testified as the third prosecution witness, told Justice Ibironke Harrison that the late Bolanle was rushed to three different hospitals before she finally passed on.

Led in evidence by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Moyosore Onigbanjo, the witness said, “My name is Gbenga Raheem, a property developer in Lagos. “I live at Lekki Gardens Estate at General Point, Abraham Adesanya, Ajah.”

“Omobolanle Raheem was my wife, and we got married about 10 years ago, and on the 25th of December, 2022, on Christmas Day, the whole family woke up to a surprise gift I had given to everyone because I had gone out the previous day to get gifts. The children woke up to their gifts under their pillows. And for my wife, I wrapped a set of jewelry and put it by her side. So she woke up that morning, and she was very glad.

“Though she’s pregnant, we had an intimate moment that morning because she was very glad.”

“After that, we had a light breakfast in the morning with the children.” After we finished, we went to a nearby church with the new car she was gifted the Friday before Christmas Sunday.

A property developer gifted her the car because she had met her target. She was a very hardworking woman. The car was a Toyota Venza.

Normally, we go to the RCCG, but on that particular Sunday, our own church was doing a general program at Surulere called Go-A-Fishing. So we decided to go to a nearby church, which was where we got married. My wife was close to the founding pastors, and the headquarters are located next to Lagos Business School Ajah. They were some of the people who brought her up spiritually when she was growing up, and they had also just lost a son. So, my wife went to greet them after service. When she finished greeting everyone, we left. My wife decided we should take everyone out for pizza.

We bought ice cream, yoghurt, and pizza, then we went to Domino’s Pizza in the direction of the Ajah Bridge. We ate the Domino’s pizza and ice cream there, and from there we went towards Ajah Bridge to do a U-turn. As I did, I saw police officers ahead of me. I don’t really know how many of them were there.

I kept going, following the car in front of me, then the car slowed down, so I went to its left and overtook the car. There was an officer on my left who said I should park. While I was trying to park because he was actually following me, all of a sudden I just heard a loud sound on my wife’s side of the window. The window got smashed, and I saw blood on her chest. I quickly parked to the right and ran out of the vehicle.

My sister-in-law, Titi, who was sitting directly behind my wife with the five children at the back, also ran to the police officer.

We ran to meet the officer; he was the only one I really saw. I didn’t see the others because he was the same person who raised a gun at Titi, so I made a conscious effort to identify him.

I was devastated, holding my head seeing blood on my wife’s chest, My life crumbled. Then I heard the boys in the area shouting that we should block the road in order to raise an alarm and let people know what the police had done.

When asked if he could recognize the police officer, the witness answered yes.

He was asked if the defendant in the box is the police officer and he said he looks like him

“He looks like him or he is the one?”

“He is the one that shot my wife” was the reply.

“Titi grabbed the officer who shot my wife and started shouting ‘you have shot my sister, you have killed my sister as she pushed him to the front seat where my wife was sitted.

At that time my wife was still conscious, I sped off with the car forgetting that Titi had not boarded the car. I left her happened there.

I ran to take her to the hospital. The officer was sitting at the front seat with my wife.

When we got to Abraham Adesanya we did a U-turn there. We got to the first hospital, Budo Hospital, and I carried her inside. I was shouting, “Please help, help! Emergency!” “My wife has been shot!” I carried her into one of the emergency rooms upstairs, and one of the doctors came and said he could not handle that matter there. He then said we should take her to the next hospital, which was Doren Hospital.

At Doren Hospital, I asked for the emergency room and shouted for help.

The doctor asked what and I told him my wife was shot and the police were aware. It was then I noticed that the officer was no longer with me. I don’t know how he didn’t follow me to the hospital, I only know he helped me put her in the car at Budo hospital.

I begged the doctor to please help save her life that my wife is pregnant. They brought oxygen and placed it on her nose, then they brought cotton wool for her chest to absorb the blood.

She tried to pray but the doctor said she should not talk. later she said, she can’t breathe, she can’t breathe.

After a while, the doctor said we needed to take her to another hospital, Grandville at VGC.

When they brought the oxygen cylinder I pleaded with them to save her, I went to my car to pick up my phone and showed them my account balance that money is not the problem, they should just save my wife.

So when they said we needed to take her to VGC, I said, okay let’s go, where’s the ambulance, when they went to get the ambulance, they came back to say the driver is not around. I told them to give me the key that I can drive the ambulance, they said the driver is with the key.

At this point I noticed my wife was getting weak, I told them to help me carry her into my car and begged the doctor to follow us because at that point they had started pressing her chest. So when the doctor did not want to follow because according to him, he was the only doctor on duty, I asked him to give me a male nurse who was there and I tried to push the nurse into my car and he said I was harassing him, which was true.

When I saw they were not going to come along at all, unnoticed that a Police van had come to Doren, I told them we were told to go to Grandville hospital.

I left Doren to go to VGC with the police officers who followed in their van. We got to vgc, I was told the hospital was on the other side of the road. We had to go out again to the express and the police van still followed behind.

When I got to Grandville, I ran out of the car and shouted “emergency.” A lady doctor came out; I thought they would rush her in, but instead, they started checking for a pulse, It was then they discovered that she had passed on. I was shattered.

“I couldn’t talk again and the police carried her by themselves into their van. I looked at her lifeless body at the back of the van and said, my wife is gone.”

It took me a while to put myself together because everything was over. The police said they needed to take the body to the island and that I should follow them.

I now tried calling Titi to know her whereabouts to tell her what had happened and to ask if the children were fine and to take them home because the police had asked me to follow them with my wife’s body.

I could not reach her, I asked the policemen where my children were, and they said they are fine, I said, “where are they?”

When they could not give me a clear answer. I told them to give me an officer who will be coordinating with me because at that point I was weak.

They took a few minutes to deliberate on what to do but I insisted I needed to know the children were fine before I go with them.

We now agreed that I should go and sort out the children and meet them at the police station. So I left them, at this point I had no strength in me and was driving very slowly.

I went towards Ajah. One of my neighbors who stays very close to my estate saw me and was honking at me, Baba G how far, but I could not respond. I was so shattered, I had no strength in me.

At this point he knew something was wrong because I was just going slowly, when I got to Budo hospital, I parked and he also parked. He screamed because my clothes were stained with blood and asked what happened. I told him.

The children were at Budo hospital where I had taken off to the other hospital. I told my neighbor that he should just help me take them to the house.

I asked where my children were, they said they were upstairs and I told them to bring them down for him.

I told him that I was going to get my charger at home too since I did not know how long I will be at the police station and I also told him to drive slowly so I can get back to the house and pick up the charger before he gets to the house with the children.

When I got home, I saw my sister in the house, she asked where everybody was and I could not answer her, I went upstairs to take my charger.

I told her the children were coming and that she should take care of the children.

I left to go back to the police station, my sister-in-law later called me because she was now with her husband, she had contacted him. I told them what had happened briefly that my wife had died and that I was going to the police station. I saw them at the gate of the main express. Then they followed me to Ajiwe police station, we got there and they took us to the DPO’s office.


Later on they said I needed to write my statement, so I wrote on everything that happened. My neighbors in the Estate came to the station also.


Q:  Did you threaten the lives of the policemen you saw?

A: Not at all, he said.

Q: Did your sister-in-law threaten the policemen?

A: All the windows were up, so we didn’t have any interaction with them.

As you approached the checkpoint before your wife was shot, was there any form of unrest going on?

There was no arrest whatsoever, everything was normal before we got there.

As you heard this sound, and you saw blood all over your wife, was there any damage to your car?

A: Only the side window was smashed.

Under Cross Examination from counsel to the defendant, Adetokunbo Odutola, the following exchange ensued between the witness and the lawyer;

Q: On this unfortunate day, you said you had made a U-turn and you saw police officers. Was it the first officer you saw who flagged you down?

A: When I turned, I didn’t immediately see the police officers, they were in front and I followed the line of cars till I got to them. I went past the first officer like everything was normal. It was the second officer on my left who said park park! When he said it, there was a car in front of me on my right, and I wanted to park properly.

Then I heard a sound, saw the window by my side shattered and I saw blood on my wife’s chest so I quickly parked to the right. The first officer was behind me on my right.

Q: Was the second officer armed?

A: I can’t remember! I can’t even remember if the first officer was also armed.

When I parked, we ran to the officers, Titi also ran to hold the officer to say “see what you have done”and he raised his gun at her and then people started shouting that we should block the road. And not let the officers go.

Can you tell the court what position the defendant was?

A: When I parked, Titi came out from the back seat so we both rushed to the back where our vehicle came from. He was behind us. He came toward us. I didn’t really see the other officers coming towards us. That’s when Titi was shouting, “You have killed my sister,” and then he raised his gun at her. I was a bit cautious, but I was holding my head, and then people were saying, “Don’t let him go, block the road, don’t let them go.

Q: When you were told by the second officer to park, did you notice any officer in front of you?

A: Not really sir; I was concentrating on the man on my left.

Q: Did you see any of the officers pull the trigger or shoot at your late wife?

A: No. I heard a sound; the window was shattered.

Q: For purposes of clarification, did you see the defendant shoot at your wife or pull his trigger?

A: No, I didn’t see him. There was an officer on my left. When we came down, I saw him raise his gun at my sister-in-law. I was a bit bothered and took caution so as not to aggravate him more.

Q: I put it to you that the gun could have come from anywhere?

A: This is my wife, whom I have lost. I’d appreciate it if you are sensitive, sir, even though you are trying to do your job.

Q: Is it possible, that the bullet could have come from any other person but the defendant?

At this point, the Attorney General raised an objection to the line of questioning. He specifically said, “The question is asking the witness to speculate as to what he did not see, and I urge the court to disallow the question.”

“What my learned colleague is trying to do is force the witness to say what he wants to hear.” These are things he can say in his address or bring witnesses to say. He is not to force the witness to make a conclusion; it is for the court to make a conclusion.

Q: How many minutes would you say you spent before going back to the police station?

A: When the incident occurred and Titi pushed him to the front seat, I took off without her to Budo, but to the point where they declared her dead at Grandville; maybe the driving time was not more than 40 minutes. We spent the most time at Doren. About 10-15 minutes at Doren.

Q: After which you had to go home and settle your children. How long was that?

A: From Grandville to get the children, going home to drop the children and pick my charger, and then back to the police station, was not more than 30 minutes.

Q: From the scene, is it right to say, Titi dragged Vandi to the front seat? Was he still with his gun?

A: I can’t tell! My wife was still alive so I didn’t care about him. He went with me to Budo, I didn’t bother anymore about him after that.

Q: can you recall that you also made a written statement at the police station? If you see a copy of it, can you recognise it?

A: Yes.

The statement was admitted as evidence as an exhibit.

Q: Can you please read from line 15 where it says, “as we were in the process…”

A: As we were in the process, we just heard a loud sound on my wife’s side window and I saw my wife’s chest gushing with blood and I came down to rush towards the officer…”

End of cross-examination. The next witness is called.

She said, “My name is Enemah Titilayo Falilat, living at Ikorodu.” Bolanle Raheem Basirat is my elder sister. The first daughter of my mom

On the 25th, Sunday, we woke up, and she told me to prepare chicken and chips for her. She said we are not going to Redeemed Church because they are having a service at Teslim Balogun Stadium, and the place is far. After that, she told me we would go to a nearby church, where the service would start at 9 a.m.

We went to Word Assembly Church. After service, the daughter said, “Daddy, we are going out; you promised to take us out.” So we moved to the roundabout where Abraham Adesanya was when my sister agreed that he should take us out. We went to Adibba Supermarket, where we bought ice cream, yoghurt, and other things. From there, he turned round the roundabout and moved to Dominos Pizza. We left there around after 12. I was in the car with my daughter Sarah & my four children, and my sister’s daughter.

I was sitted at the back of my sister with all the children. Then my sister was talking to her husband and suddenly we saw the policeman at the Ajah roundabout where we were to do a U-turn to go back to Abraham Adesanya. So we passed the first one; I don’t know what happened;, maybe he signaled the other one, and I just shouted, “Stop!” I said you should stop! We were in one lane, and cars were passing in the other lane. So there was no how we could stop immediately.

I was still looking at him and I saw him carrying the gun and immediately the bullet, I thot it was just the windscreen that the man used to hit. I just saw my sister, we heard the sound and I heard my sister say, “Gbenga, the bullet has hit my chest”. After she said it a second time, her head dropped, and her tongue came out. I shouted Mummy Semilore, but she didn’t say anything, so I quickly ran out of the car and went to her and said, “You just you, my silver, and after a while we couldn’t identify the Venza anymore, and another driver told us they had turned, and the one who owned the Korope said he couldn’t continue.”.

So they put me in another Korope and the guys said the only way they could help me was to take me to the police station. So I went to the police station, and the two Hausa guys followed me to Ajiwe. When we dropped, they told me to shout so that the DPO would come out, so I entered the station and started shouting, “I need DPO, and he finally came out.” He asked questions and went back in. I then tried to reach my husband via phone, but it took him 2 hours to get there.

Back at the police station, I started shouting, “DPO!” I told you, your boys have shot my sister to death; now you people can see. They were begging me to calm down and take heart. They had moved the body to a mortuary in Yaba. When we complained that they took her body to the mortuary without telling the family, they now agreed to take us there. I saw her lying flat.

They were asking me what happened. I didn’t use my hand to write anything. They asked me to sign.

Under cross-examination, the defendant’s counsel asked if the witness made a statement at the police station.

They asked me to tell them what happened. They wrote, and I signed afterward.

Q: If you see that statement that they used their hand to write, would you recognize it? Yes!

The statement was tendered and admitted as evidence as an exhibit.

Q: Did you see any of the policemen pull his trigger or shoot, or fire at your sister?

A; The only person I saw was him, the defendant carrying the gun, and the bullet came out and hit my sister, and that’s why I ran to him.

Q: How many policemen were armed?

A: I saw the defendant

Q: Did you see the bullet come out of the defendant’s gun?

A: He was the one holding the gun and facing us.

“I know what I saw that day. I can’t go grab another cop when he was the one who shot and I went to grab him.

Q: Is it possible you weren’t yourself and didn’t notice who shot?

A: At the police station, I told the DPO that it was the defendant who shot the gun, and he didn’t say anything.

Even when I got home, the children said, “Mummy, do you know that the man even said, “What have I done?”

After the cross-examination concluded, the defense counsel expressed concern that he had yet to see the ballistic report and that we did not want to surprise him.

The attorney general assured him that this would not happen as the prosecution had also not seen the report that was being put together by the police.

Justice Harrison then adjourned the case to February 1st and 2nd for further proceedings.