Slain Lawyer: You’ve case to answer, court tells killer cop

THE Lagos High Court, sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, yesterday, dismissed a ‘no case submission’ filed by the suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Drambi Vandi, who allegedly killed a pregnant Lagos-based lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, on December 25, 2022.

Justice Ibironke Harrison ordered the defendant to open his defence as a ‘prima facie’ has been made against him.

Vandi had filed his application on February 28, 2023 before the court, in a bid to have the charge brought against him by the Lagos State government quashed on grounds of weak 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, had established sufficient oral and documentary evidence linking the defendant to the crime, which required an explanation from him.

The court added that the evidence of the defendant, being the only other eyewitness 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 a reasonable doubt,” the court held.

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 eyewitnesses and a pathologist.

Delivering the 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 ammunitions upon his arrest for the shooting.

While reacting to the ruling, the defence counsel, Gbenro Gbadamosi, told the judge that the defence team will review the ruling and decide on whether to file an appeal.

But the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, 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 applied for a date for further hearing.

The case was adjourned till May 16, 2023, for the defendant to open his defence.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *