A High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square annex, Igbosere, Lagos Island has convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, a suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi, for the murder of Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs Omobolanle Raheem.
Justice Ibironke Harrison held that the prosecution, the Lagos State Government, has proven the case against the convict beyond all reasonable doubt.
“The court finds the defendant guilty on one count of murder. You will be hanged by the neck till you are dead.” the judge held.
On January 16, the Lagos State Government arraigned Vandi before the court for shooting to death the 41-year-old pregnant lawyer at the Ajah underbridge checkpoint on December 25, 2022.
The convict faced a one-count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
On July 14, Justice Ibironke Harrison fixed the date for judgment after taking the final addresses of parties in the case.
The suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police, Drambi Vandi, is standing trial for allegedly shooting the 41-year-old pregnant realtor at the Ajah underbridge checkpoint, on December 25, 2022.
Upon the close of the case of both sides, the Director of Public Prosecutions in the state, Babajide Martins, and defence counsel Jude Egwu informed the court that they were ready to adopt their final written addresses.
The Defence Counsel informed the court that the Defendant’s final written address was filed and dated June 20, 2023, and in reaction to the Prosecution’s written address, a reply on points of law was filed on July 12, 2023.
The Defence Counsel relied on all the paragraphs of the written address in support and adopted the same as the argument for the case of the defence, urging the court to uphold the argument and discharge the defendant.
Mr. Egwu argued that the case of the prosecution was based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence and was not compelling enough to convict the defendant.
The Prosecution informed the court that the prosecution’s written address was filed on July 5, 2023. He relied on all the arguments therein and prayed the court to convict the defendant.
The Prosecution urged the court to disregard issues raised by the defence in its final written address and reply on points of law. He added that the issues about contradictions raised by the defence are not fatal nor can occasion a miscarriage of justice.
“The ballistician’s evidence in court did not exonerate the defendant and never mentioned that the bullet did not emanate from the gun of the defendant.
“The ballistician mentioned during his testimony in court that the bullet was so damaged and shattered, making it difficult for identification.
“The testimonies by PW6 and PW7 respectively directly testified against the defendant, directing the court’s attention to the IPO’s- (PW7) testimony, to the effect that the sister and husband of the deceased held on to the defendant after the shooting, and the fact that he was seen taking cover under the staircase of the hospital without his uniform and wearing mufti.
“PW6 testified that the defendant asked him for one ammunition after the incident.”
The prosecution argued that the action taken by the defendant to fire the ammunition was deliberate and direct in killing the deceased.