A Lagos State High Court, sitting at Igbosere, on Monday sentenced to death by hanging Police Inspector Drambi Vandi, who killed a pregnant lawyer, Mrs Bolanle Raheem on Christmas day last year
The trial judge, Justice Ibironke Harrison, convicted Vandi of one-count charge of murder preferred against him, having found him guilty of the offense. “The court found the defendant guilty on one count of murder. You will be hanged by the neck till you are dead,” the judge held.
Inspector Vandi killed Mrs Raheem, an expectant mother, on Christmas Day in 2022 at the Ajah roundabout in Lagos. The police officer is attached to the Ajiwe police division in the Ajah area of the state. He was suspended two days after the incident.
The state government had preferred a one count of murder of the lawyer against the defendant and subsequently arraigned him.
Since the court trial started in January, the deceased’s husband, sister, police armorer, pathologist and seven others have testified against the defendant.
The prosecution tendered 27 exhibits.
Mr Vandi was the only witness who testified in his own defense. In his testimony before the court, Vandi told the judge that the bullet presented in court, which was said to have killed the deceased, did not come from the rifle he carried on the day of the incident.
He also claimed that he had never seen the bullet until it was tendered in court.
Mr Vandi was arraigned on Jan. 16 2023 on a count charge of murder but he pleaded not guilty. The court granted accelerated hearing on the case. The State alleged that the defendant shot Mrs Raheem in the chest on Dec. 25, 2022, at Ajah Roundabout, on Lekki- Expressway, Lagos State. The crime contravenes Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The prosecution team led by the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, called a total of 11 witnesses including eight police officers. The prosecution closed its case on Feb. 25.
On Feb. 28, the defendant through his counsel, Mr. Gbenro Gbadamosi, filed an application, praying the court to quash the charge against him.
On April 3, the court, however, dismissed the no-case submission. Justice Harrison held that the prosecution established sufficient oral and documentary evidence linking the defendant to the alleged crime, which required explanation from him.
On May 31, the defendant gave evidence and closed his case. His counsel had told the court that the defendant was the sole defense witness.
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