Bolanle: Ballistic Report Prepared; Court Told by Witness How Vandi Was Disarmed
An officer named Drambi Vandi, who was charged with the murder of a lawyer from Lagos named Bolanle Raheem on Christmas Day, was disarmed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Olorunshola Olusegun, who testified as the fifth prosecution witness on Wednesday at the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).
The witness described to Justice Ibironke Harrison how he disarmed Vandi while being escorted into court by the Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo.
He said, “I am a Police officer with number AP-155460, i joined the police force on the 1st of March 1992, presently attached to the Ajah police station.
“On December 25, 2022, we were scheduled to go on patrol for 24hours.
“I was one of the operational officers in charge of patrolling the neighborhood. We have the patrol teams divided into various sections and areas of patrol. While I was on patrol from Ajah to Sangotedo, Vandi was on patrol from Ajah to Ilaje.
“All patrol officers on the said date, left the police station after parade. After the parade we left for our duty post.
“Two hours later, I came back to the station. I saw somebody ride down to the station on a bike, he met me where I was sitting. The man on bike reported that one of our officers, ASP Drambi Vandi has shot a pregnant woman and some men at the hospital had tried to disarm him.
“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 20-30mins, the DPO came back with the ASP and some other officers. When they came back, Vandi was wearing a native shirt on his uniform trouser and he was dangling his rifle on his left shoulder. 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 Shaibu. I don’t know what the armourer did because I just handed over the rifle. The defendant was standing right there in the charge room with the DPO.”
Under cross-examination by Adetokunbo Odutola, the defense attorney, the witness answered questions and acknowledged that he had drafted a statement regarding this topic. After being shown the statement, he gave his approval, and the court admitted it as an exhibit.
The witness also stated that he wrote the statement at Panti’s State CID, perhaps 5–6 days after the incident.
He said, “I had 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. Patrol was still on because we were going and coming in”.
The witness just stated that this was the information the rider told him when he was questioned about his earlier evidence that the motorcyclist mentioned that a mob was attempting to disarm the cop at the hospital, but he insisted that Vandi was disarmed inside the charge room.
The witness further testified that counting the rounds is routine procedure after disarming, but he said that in this instance he was not there when the armorer did it.
He said, “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 standard procedure, if you have been accused of any offence relating to bullets, the first thing when you are disarmed, the armourer counts the bullets in your presence because it is the amourer that gave the ammunition.”
He stipulated that whenever somebody is disarmed, the armourer must be present.
The Lagos State Attorney General advised the court following the testimony that the ballistics report, which contained evidence relating to the relevant firearms, was now ready and had been given to the defense attorney.
The case has been postponed until February 2 so that the trial can continue.