Court dismisses police officer’s ‘no-case’ submission in murder of Bolanle Raheem

The Lagos High Court on Monday dismissed a “no-case’’ submission filed by Drambi Vandi, who allegedly shot a Lagos lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, to death on December 25, 2022.

Mr Vandi had filed his “no-case’’ application on February 28, praying the court to quash the charge preferred against him.

His counsel, Gbenro Gbadamosi, had earlier argued that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses called in the case was inconsistent and did not link Mr Vandi to the murder.

Justice Ibironke Harrison held that the prosecution, led by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), had established sufficient oral and documentary evidence linking Mr Vandi to the crime.

Ms Harrison ruled that Mr Vandi has a case to answer.

“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 a reasonable doubt,’’ Ms Harrison held.

She also ruled that the evidence of the defendant, being the only other witness yet to testify before the court, would shed light on what happened.

Before the prosecution closed its case on Feb. 15, it had called 11 witnesses made up of eight police officers, some of whom are the defendant’s colleagues, two eyewitnesses, and a pathologist.

Counsel to the defendant told the court that the defence team would review the ruling and decide whether to go on appeal.

In his submission, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, 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.

Mr Vandi was arraigned on January 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 the Lekki area of Lagos on the day of the incident.

It submitted that the offence contravened the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

Mr Vandi pleaded not guilty to the charge.