A prosecution witness, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Olorunshola Olusegun has narrated before a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) how he disarmed his colleague, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi, the suspected killer of a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem.
ASP Olorunshola testified as the fifth prosecution witness before Justice Ibironke Harrison.
Led in evidence by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, the witness said they were on patrol for 24hours, adding that he was the operational officer in charge of patrolling the neighborhood.
He said: “I am a Police officer with number AP-155460, I joined the police force on the 1st of March 1992. I am presently attached to the Ajah police station.
“On December 25, 2022, we were scheduled to go on patrol for 24hours.
I was at Ajah police station. I was one of the operational officers in charge of patrolling the neighborhood. We have the patrol team divided into various sections and areas of patrol.
“I know the defendant, his name is Drambi Vandi. We are colleagues on patrol together, he was on patrol from Ajah to Ilaje while mine was from Ajah to Sangotedo. All patrol officers on the said date, left the police station after parade. After the parade we left for our duty posts. Two hours later, I came back to the station somebody rode down on a bike, he met me where I was sitting. The man on bike reported that one of our ASP Drambi Vandi has shot a pregnant woman and has tried to be disarmed by some men at the hospital.
“After the rider passed the information, I went straight to inform the DPO. The DPO called the Anti-crime patrol team 99, then he went with the patrol team to the hospital. After about 20 to 30mins, the DPO came back with the ASP standing there.
“When he came back, he was wearing a native shirt on his uniform trouser and he was dangling his rifle on his left shoulder. When the DPO came in, he was led with two other armed police men . So myself, the DPO and the entourage went to the charge room. The DPO instructed that he should be disarmed and detained.
“He handed his rifle over to me, there in the charge room because I am next in command to the DPO. After handing over, the armourer whose office was right in front of the charge room asked me to give him the rifle. His name is Inspector Adamu (the armourer). I don’t know what the armourer did because I just handed over the rifle.
He said the defendant was standing right there in the charge room with the DPO.
During cross examination, defense counsel, Mr Adetokunbo Odutola asked the witness if he had made a written statement in respect of this matter and Olorunshola said yes.
“The statement was made in front of the state CID, Panti and I can recognize it, he said.
After he had confirmed the statement, the defense counsel sought to tender the statement and Dr Martins did not object to it. The statement was marked as Exhibit P6.
Are you here to help the court in determining the truth or you are here to protect “your bread and butter?” or to save your job or cover up the real truth?
Olusegun replied, I am here to tell you what I know and what I heard.
Odutola requested for exhibit pw6 and asked for the defendant’s educational qualification.
“I have my WAEC/SSCE in 1982 in addition to in-house police training. I wrote the statement myself between five and six days after the incident. I cannot specifically say the time but I think it is on a Sunday morning around 10am.
Reminded that while giving evidence, he said that there is a mob trying to disarm the officer at the hospital, he answered ‘that was the information that I heard but he was disarmed inside the charge room’.
“I also did not meet the DPO at the hospital, I do not know how many of them went to the scene but when the DPO came back he was with the defendant and two other policemen.
Would it surprise you when you find out that other witnesses stated that the defendant was disarmed at the hospital? Defense counsel asked.
The Attorney General objected to the question saying that the counsel should not subject the witness to answering questions that were not answered.
You confirmed that you disarmed the defendant by yourself
“Yes, I disarmed him by myself in the charge room at Ajah police station. I handed the rifle over to the amourer and left. He reaffirmed , we did not force him it was ordered.
Where you there when the armourer counted the bullets?
I handed over the rifle and left so I was not there when he counted the bullet.
Do you know whether the defendant was also there with the armourer?
The defendant was there when I handed his rifle over to the armourer.
As a Senior police officer (ASP) what is the procedure when you disarm officers. Do you just disarm or the bullets are counted before you leave?
As a standard procedure, if you have been accused of any offence relating to bullets, the first thing you do when you are disarmed, the armourer counts the bullets in your presence because it is the amourer that gave the ammunition.
And in the case where it is not the armourer who disarmed what is the procedure?
“The armourer must be there when you are disarming somebody.
Can you also tell the court apart from the rifle which you disarmed him, what other thing did you collect from him?
I would not know because the order was to disarm him and hand over to the armourer. I was standing beside him and he handed over the rifle.
Meanwhile the Attorney General told the court that they have presented the ballistics report, containing evidence relating to firearms involved in the death of Bolanle Raheem, to the defence counsel, Adetokunbo Odutola.
The state, on January 16 began Vandi’s prosecution for the alleged murder.
Its Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo, SAN, arraigned Vandi on a one-count charge of murder.
“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 read.
Vandi pleaded not guilty.
Justice Ibironke Harrison adjourned the case till February 2nd, 2023 for continuation of trial.