The Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island has ordered lawyers to file their written addresses in the trial of the Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP) Drambi Vandi charged with the killing of a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs. Bolanle Raheem, on Christmas Day.
Justice Ibironke Harrison ordered the lawyers to file the same before the next adjourned date. The order was made after the defendant, Drambi Vandi closed his defence before the court.
Vandi was the only witness who testified in his own defence.
After his testimony, his counsel, Mr. Jude Ugwu, told the court that the defendant was closing his defence and would need 21 days to file and adopt his written address.
“We shall be asking for a date for filing and adoption of the final written address. We would prefer twenty-one days to enable us to finish up,” he said.
In his testimony before the court, Vandi told Justice Harrison that the bullet presented in court which was said to have killed Bolanle Raheem did not come from the rifle he carried on the 25th of Dec., 2022. He also claimed that he had never seen the bullet until it was tendered in court.
He also spoke about the training that police officers receive on the use of arms and ammunition. He explained that he had attended a local training school, where he learnt about the different types of rifles, pistols and ammunition for police officers. He also added that he was taught how to couple and dismantle arms and ammunition.
According to him, police officers in the barracks, get proper training every five months about the handling of rifles to refresh their memories.
He also explained to the court how the bullets in an AK-47 work.
“The magazine Exhibit P19), containing six bullets is the shell of an assorted rifle and it is used in an Ak-47, while the bullet (Exhibit P11a) is a long-range bullet.
“This one covers over 500 metres. If you line up 10 people, this bullet will go through all of them. When it is shot at a close range, it can’t remain inside the person’s body and also any object at close range, it must penetrate through it.
“It must pass through at least four objects, and this is not the ammunition in my rifle on the 25th of December, 2023. The rifle is automatic. By using this bullet, you must cork the rifle and anyone around that area will hear the noise of the cork.
“Once it is fired, the shell will fall on the right side on the ground near the person that fired it and it will remain at the point of fire. The noise will be so loud when fired.
“I’ve never come across this exhibit before even all through my training and it’s not the type of of ammunition used by the police,” the witness said.
He further testified that “I was disarmed by the DPO at Budo hospital. I booked 25 rounds from the armourer which I signed for. The same ammunition was inside the magazine, same ammunition was disarmed. When I was disarmed, the ammunition was not counted in my presence at Budo hospital.”
While answering questions under cross-examination by the Director of Public Prosecution, Dr. Babajide Martins, the witness also testified about the events of last Christmas Day.
“On 25th of December 2022, I was on duty at Ajah Underbridge, and I was with a rifle that had 25 rounds of ammunition which I booked from the armourer and signed for.
“I resumed duty in the morning, but I don’t know the time. I was with Inspector Ameh and Inspector Ibimene.
“I was not the only one armed, Ibimene was also armed but I was the last man on guard. I stood about 100 metres away from where the affected vehicle was parked.
“I went to the hospital with the driver, the deceased in the vehicle involved but not all of us were in the vehicle. Titilayo (the sister of the deceased) was not in the vehicle.
“I was half dressed, wearing a mufti when I was arrested at Budo hospital and I was taken to the police station where I wrote my statement.
“All of us were detained and we wrote our statements at Ajah and Panti. None of us was released before we were transferred to Panti”.
“I wish the deceased is alive and I regret her death. May her soul rest in peace,” he concluded.
After listening to the testimony, Justice Harrison directed the lawyers to file and exchange their written addresses and be ready for adoption of same in 21 days.
She then adjourned further proceedings in the case to 13th July 2023 for the adoption of final written addresses.