Bolanle Raheem murder trial: Court ajourns case to today
…..Husband, sister expected to testify
Following the murder of a Lagos-based lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, Lagos High Court sitting at the TBS annex, Onikan has adjourned the case to today (Thursday) while a police inspector, Fiyegha Ebimine has testified to the court.
Recall that Raheem was allegedly killed last Christmas Day, by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi.
Ebimine told Justice Ibironke Harrison that shortly after he heard a gunshot fired while they were on patrol at the Ajah under-bridge on December 25, 2022, a female passenger in the vehicle where the deceased was hit rushed to ASP Vandi and accused him of killing her sister.
He added that a crowd gathered and swooped on ASP Vandi, brought him out of a Korope (commercial minibus) where he ran to hide in, and put him in the deceased’s car.
Inspector Ebimine who was led in his evidence by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) also confirmed the earlier testimony of his colleague, Matthew Ameh, that the defendant led their patrol team on the day of the shooting.
He added that it was after the deceased and her husband slowly drove past the police team and didn’t stop when their vehicle was flagged down, that he heard a gunshot from where the defendant was standing at his back.
The witness said he called the defendant thrice on the phone after he was taken away by the crowd to know what was going on but he told him to wait.
“One woman was in the passenger seat, a man was driving. I flagged the vehicle down. It didn’t stop. They passed me. I wondered why. He was not speeding. Ameh also flagged him down but he didn’t stop.
“Shortly after, I heard a gunshot from the back. I asked Ameh, ‘What is going on?’
“I was trying to find out what was going on. I called Vandi on the phone to find out. I said ‘Oga, what happened?’ He said ‘wait.’,”
He testified that ASP Vandi’s response was the same when he called him some minutes later.
The witness said the Venza vehicle which the deceased was in posed no threat to him or the public when it drove past.
He also told the court he was armed that day but didn’t fire any shot and that the defendant too was armed.
During cross-examination by defence counsel, AdeTokunbo Odutola, the witness also said he didn’t see the defendant pull the trigger that day.
After the cross-examination, Odutola said there was a need for the court to visit the scene of the crime in a bid to understand the accounts of the police officers better, adding that he was yet to receive the ballistics report for the weapon and ammunition allegedly used by ASP Vandi.
Justice Harrison advised the counsel to make a formal application and adjourned the hearing.
Expected to testify today (Thursday) as witnesses for the prosecution are the deceased’s husband, Gbenga Raheem and her sister.
On January 16, ASP Vandi attached to the Ajiwe Police Station in Ajah, Lagos, was arraigned for the offence of unlawfully killing Mrs Raheem by shooting her in the chest but he pleaded not guilty.