A policeman, Inspector Sunday Akagu, has told a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island, how Assistant Superintendent of Police Drambi Vandi, the suspected killer of a Lagos-based lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, asked him for a bullet to replace his after shooting the woman on Christmas Day.
Vandi is standing trial on one count of murder, preferred against him by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.
He was arraigned on January 16, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed hearing of the trial on Thursday, Akagu, who is the sixth prosecution witness, recounted what transpired after Vandi shot Raheem in the chest.
The witness, who was led in evidence by Onigbanjo, said his colleague asked for a bullet to replace his because it was not complete after the shooting.
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“In the process of going to the police station, the defendant (Drambi Vandi) said, ‘Odogwu,’ that’s my nickname, ‘Help me with one ammunition’ and I said, ‘No, where will I replace it? Why will I give you my ammunition?’ I got provoked and told my colleagues what he requested,” he added.
When Onigbanjo asked if he obliged his colleague’s request, he replied, “No, over my dead body.”
The seventh prosecution witness, Olatunji Olagunju, the Investigating Police Officer of the case before it was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, said he was at the station around 1pm when one Enema Titilayo (the deceased’s sister) “ran to the station and reported a case of conspiracy and shooting.”
Olagunju told the court that he was part of the team that drove to the three hospitals the deceased was referred to before her death.
“We drafted the police and took her corpse to the Yaba Specialist Hospital and deposited her corpse,” he added.
While narrating his encounter with the defendant, Olagunju said he “saw him hiding under a staircase” at the hospital.
In the course of his investigation, the witness said “the statement of the suspect was taken with caution while the statement of the complainant was taken voluntarily.”
“Before I transferred the case, what I found out during my investigation was that the defendant fired the gun and at the same time his ammunition was not complete.
“As of the time of his arrest, I saw him with a civilian top on police trousers,” he added.
During cross-examination, the defendant’s lawyer asked, “Did the complainant say she saw him shoot?”
“She knows him. She didn’t mention his name because she didn’t know his name. She already held him hostage at the Ajah bridge,” the witness replied.
When asked how many officers went to the first hospital, he said eight, contrary to the testimony of the first witness, who said five.
When he was asked to mention their names, the witness explained that he was recently posted to the division and was not familiar with their names.
“Would it surprise you that one of those who went with the DPO said there were only five?” the lawyer asked.
“That’s not true. We were eight,” he replied.
He said after Raheem was declared dead at the third hospital, three policemen took her body to a mortuary.
Speaking on the “three instances” that made him conclude that it was his colleague who murdered Raheem, he said, “When the gun was shot, the husband of the deceased came down and held the cop and took him to Budo (the first hospital) hospital.
“The second instance was that two (officers) out of the three held guns on that day. When they brought their guns to the station, only Sup Vandi’s gun had a shortage of two bullets, while the other one was complete.
“The third is that the policeman hid under a staircase and he changed his uniform to another one with a gun at hand.”
Justice Ibironke Harrison adjourned the case till February 8 and 9, for continuation of trial