A Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square Annex, Lagos Island on Monday, dismissed the no-case submission of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi, who allegedly killed a Lagos-based lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, on December 25, 2022.
On February 28, 2023, the defendant filed an application with the court in an attempt to have the accusation brought against him by the Lagos state government annulled on the basis of poor and inconsistent evidence linking him to the murder.
But, Justice Ibironke Harrison held that the prosecution led by the Attorney-General of Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) had established sufficient oral and documentary evidence Linking the defendant to the crime, which required explanation from him.
The court added that the evidence of the defendant, being the only other eye witness who had yet to testify before it about the incident, will shed light on what happened that day.
“The prosecution has established a prima facie case requiring some explanation by the defendant. The court isn’t looking at the credibility of the prosecution witnesses at this stage. The court will not delve Into the substantive case right now. The only real issue now is whether a prima facie case has been made by the prosecution, and not whether it has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.”
Before the prosecution closed its case on February 15, it had called 11 witnesses made up of eight police officers, some of whom were colleagues of the defendant; two eye eyewitnesses and a pathologist.
In Monday’s ruling, the court noted that some of the witnesses had testified that they saw him shoot the deceased that day and that the defendant’s rifle was short of two ammunition upon his arrest for the shooting.
While reacting to the ruling, defence counsel, Gbenro Gbadamosi, told the judge that the defence team will review the ruling and decide on whether to Appeal.
But the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins, said an interlocutory appeal of this nature will not stop the continuation of the trial in line with section 273 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws of Lagos state, and he applied for a date for further hearing.
The case was adjourned till May 16 for the defendant to open his defence.
On January 16, 2023, the prosecution arraigned ASP Vandi on a one-count charge of murder.
The charge stated that he shot and killed the 41-year old pregnant property lawyer by shooting her in the chest, an offence contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.