Two of the 25 rounds of ammunition allotted to Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi, were missing from his Ak-47 rifle shortly after he allegedly shot a Lagos-based lawyer Bolanle Raheem on Christmas Day.
Vandi’s colleague, Adamu Shuaibu, told the Lagos State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) that he noticed the shortage of bullets when he received the Ak-47 from another officer that disarmed Vandi.
Shuaibu was the armourer on duty at the Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah Division, Lagos where Vandi worked.
He testified while led in evidence by Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, at the resumed hearing of the murder charge against Vandi.
Vandi is accused of shooting Mrs. Raheem last December 25, around Ajah Underbridge, Lagos.
She was four months pregnant with twins.
The Lagos State government preferred a one-count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 against Vandi.
“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,” it reads.
Vandi pleaded not guilty
Testifying before Justice Ibironke Harrison, the witness said that on December 25, he received a call from Inspector Ameh Matthew, one of the officers at the scene of the incident, informing him that the defendant (Vandi) had shot a pregnant woman.
He said: “When I told the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) what had happened, he led a patrol team to the scene. I called all the station guards to fortify the station.
“Later, I saw Drambi Vandi and Supol Segun with the defendant’s rifle which he handed over to me immediately after he saw me coming out of the office.
“I personally disarmed Inspector (Fiyegha) Ebimine of his AK-47 rifle before cross-checking his magazine. The eight rounds of ammunition he booked were complete but when I checked the defendant’s rifle, I realized that only 23 rounds were found and two were missing.
“I immediately moved to the cell to speak with him and when I asked what happened, he started crying.”
When Onigbanjo asked him if he could identify the register with which he took record of arms and ammunition as of December 25, the officer responded in the affirmative. He also identified the register.
During cross-examination, defence counsel Mr. Adetokunbo Odutola asked the witness to tell the court what he did with the guns when he received them.
Adamu said after he collected both guns, he confirmed the number of ammunition.
He and the station officer then immediately transferred the guns to the State Crime Investigation Division (SCID), Panti.
He also explained that he didn’t count the bullets in the presence of the defendant because, after he was disarmed, the DPO ordered Vandi’s detention before leaving for the hospital.
He added that the tension was so high at that time.
The witness also explained the procedure when a rifle is returned to the armourer.
“The normal procedure when you return a rifle is that, I will bring out the magazine and count the ammunition in the presence of the person that I collected it from, and then sign after confirming.”
Justice Harrison adjourned till February 9 for continuation of the trial.