Court dismisses police officer’s “no-case” submission in murder of Lagos lawyer
By Chinyere Omeire
A Lagos High Court on Monday dismissed a “no-case’’ submission filed by ASP Drambi Vandi, who allegedly shot a Lagos-lawyer, Mrs Omobolanle Raheem to death on Dec. 25, 2022.
Vandi had filed his “no-case’’ application on Feb. 28, praying the court to quash the charge preferred against him.
His counsel, Mr Gbenro Gbadamosi, had earlier argued that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses called in the case were inconsistent and did not link Vandi to the murder.
Presiding Justice Ibironke Harrison, held, however, that the prosecution, led by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) had established sufficient oral and documentary evidence linking Vandi to the crime.
Vandi has a case to answer, Justice Harrison ruled.
“The prosecution has established a prima facie case requiring some explanation by the defendant.
“The court isn’t looking at the credibility of the prosecution witnesses at this stage. The court will not delve into the substantive case right now.
“The only real issue now is whether a prima facie case has been made by the prosecution and not whether it has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt,’’ Justice Harrison held.
She ruled also that the evidence of the defendant, being the only other eyewitness who is yet to testify before the court, would shed light on what happened on Dec. 25, 2022.
Before the prosecution closed its case on Feb. 15, it had called 11 witnesses made up of eight police officers, some of who are colleagues of the defendant; two eye witnesses and a pathologist.
Counsel to the defendant told the court that the defence team would review the ruling and decide on whether to go on appeal or not.
In his submission, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Babajide Martins, said an interlocutory appeal would not stop the continuation of the trial in line with the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws of Lagos State.
He consequently applied for a date for further hearing.
The case was adjourned until May 16 for the defendant to open his defence.
Vandi was arraigned on Jan. 16, on a one-count charge of murder.
The prosecution stated that the defendant shot and killed the 41-year old pregnant property lawyer by shooting her in the chest in Lekki area of Lagos on the day of the incident.
It submitted that the offence contravened the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Vandi pleaded not guilty to the charge