Another Police Officer, Inspector Ebimine Fiyegha has narrated to Justice Ibironke Harrison of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, on how a Lagos-based female lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem was alledgedly shot dead by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Drambi Vandi.
According to the second prosecution witness, Inspector Ebimine told the trial judge on Wednesday that he also heard a gunshot at the scene of the incident.
He gave this testimony while being led by Attorney-General, and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.
The Police Inspector claimed he heard the “noise” shortly after the deceased and her husband slowly drove in a Toyota Venza past him and the first prosecution witness, Inspector Matthew Ameh, who had earlier testified.
According to him,”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,” Ebimine told the court.
He also said shortly after, he heard “a gunshot from the back. I asked Ameh, ‘What is going on?'”
The witness told the court that later on, a crowd gathered and swooped on Vandi, brought him out of a Korope (commercial minibus) where he hid, and put him in the deceased’s car.
Ebimine explained further,”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 informed the court that Vandi’s response was the same when he called him about some minutes later.
While Ebimine was asked questions by Mr. Onigbanjo, he responded that the Venza posed no threat to him or the public when it drove past.
Onigbanjo asked,”As the Toyota Venza drove past, was there any threat to your life?”
Ebimine replied, “No, no, no, no.”
The witness insisted that the driving did not also posed any threat to the general public.
The Police Inspector said though he was armed while on duty, he didn’t fire his own weapon.
Earlier, the first prosecution witness, Inspector Matthew Ameh while concluding on his testimony which began on commencement of Vandi’s trial on January 16, 2023, insisted during resumption of the proceedings that on the day and at the scene of the killing, he heard “a noise” indicating that Mrs. Raheem had been shot.
He said this under cross examination of the witness, which the Defence Counsel, Mr. Adetokunbo Odutola.
The witness explained that the noise he heard could not have been anything else but a gunshot sound.
His words, “When you hear the sound of a banger, it is different from a gunshot sound. A tyre bust sound is different from a gunshot sound,” the Police Inspector maintained.
However, the deceased’s husband Gbenga Raheem and her sister are scheduled to testified as the third and fourth prosecution witness.
Recall that the Lagos State Government on January 16 began Vandi’s prosecution for the alleged killing of 41 years old Bolanle, a property lawyer with over 10 years of call-to-bar experience who was killed on Christmas Day during a stop and search duty in the Ajah area of Lagos.
The Attorney-General, and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Onigbanjo, SAN, arraigned Vandi on a one-count charge of murder.
The charge, dated December 28, 2022, and marked LD/20598c/22, alleged that Vandi killed Raheem contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
“ASP Vandi on the 25th of December 2022 at Ajah roundabout along Lekki-Epe Expressway Lagos in the Lagos Judicial Division unlawfully killed one Omobolanle Raheem (F) by shooting her in the chest,” the charge read.
But the suspect denied the charge during his arraignment.
Suspended ASP Vandi, attached to the Ajiwe Police Station in Ajah, Lagos, is accused of shooting Raheem while she was returning from an outing with her husband, sister and other family members.
Meanwhile the Defence Counsel hinted at his intention to visit the scene of the crime, adding that he would also like to examine the ballistics report for the weapon and ammunition allegedly used by Vandi.
The trial judge advised the lawyer to make a formal application and subsequently adjourned till Thursday for continuation of trial.