The mother of late Omobolanle Raheem, the lawyer who was shot dead by Drambi Vandi, a policeman attached to the Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah, Lagos State, has said the victim was pregnant with twins.
The bereaved woman, according to TheCable, spoke on Tuesday during a condolence visit to the family by the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi.
She said, “I cannot see my ‘The Law’ again. People usually call her ‘The Law’. She was taken away from me. She was pregnant with twins.
“She died with her glory. She left a five-year-old daughter behind. And they took her away.
“On Monday, my granddaughter came to me and said ‘Grandma Iju Ishaga, I saw you yesterday when you were crying; you were shouting; is it because of my mummy?’ And I said ‘yes’.
“Then she came again and told me, ‘Pastor Jerry said what God cannot do does not exist; so, grandma, stop crying’. And she kissed me on the cheek.
“It is not easy. A child that I have been training since childhood. I suffered over her. I hawked oranges; there is nothing I did not do.”
PUNCH Metro had reported that Vandi and his team tried to stop the car conveying Raheem and her family as they made a U-turn under the Ajah Bridge.
The policeman shot at the vehicle and Raheem was hit by a bullet.
She was rushed to a hospital where she was confirmed dead.
A senior security official at the Ajiwe Police Station, who spoke to PUNCH Metro, said Vandi claimed accidental discharge.
The source said, “He was being interrogated by the DPO and some senior police officers yesterday morning (Monday). He said he had cocked his gun to scare someone earlier and forgot to return it to safe. By the time the victim arrived at the checkpoint, he attempted to repeat the same act, but mistakenly pulled the trigger.”
The source disclosed that the killer cop was due for promotion next year.
“Vandi is a calm officer. He is due to be promoted to Deputy Superintendent of Police by February 2023 and retire in 2024 before the unfortunate incident.
“He was also not supposed to be part of the team that went out that morning. Besides, it was a pistol that was also assigned to him and not the AK-47. We don’t know how he turned out to be in possession of the gun,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, has said two policemen detained with Vandi would be released.
He said, “The two policemen arrested with the ASP who killed the lawyer will be released today (Tuesday) after giving their testimonies to the command. They were arrested because they saw what happened. They were not the ones who allegedly killed the woman. They have given their stories on what happened and the CP has ordered that they should be released while investigations continue.”
He stated that another policeman from the division who killed one Gafaru Buraimoh on December 7 would be charged upon the conclusion of investigation.
Reacting to the incident, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), directed the Nigeria Police Force to take “the strongest possible action” against the suspect.
The President, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, also assured the deceased’s family and members of the Nigeria Bar Association that justice would prevail.
He noted that the incident was “a stark reminder of the recurring menace of the mishandling of weapons” and a wakeup call to law enforcement agencies, including the police, to ensure full implementation of reforms instituted by the regime.
Also, the Police Service Commission, in a statement by its spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, condemned the killing and called on the Nigeria Police Force to improve the training of officers to end unprovoked shootings and killing of innocent Nigerians.
The National Human Rights Commission, while condemning the killing, said Vandi “has fallen short of standard operating procedure and professional ethics of the Nigerian Police Force.”
The commission, in a statement by its Deputy Director (Corporate Affairs and External Linkages), Fatimah Mohammed, said it would continue to monitor the process of investigation and prosecution of the officer to ensure that justice was served.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also sent a delegation to the family on Tuesday.
The group included the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN; Head of Service, Muri Okunola; Commissioner for Women and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Bolaji Dada; and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso.
The AG said, “We have the permission of Mr Governor to tell you that justice will be done in this matter. The matter will be charged to court as soon as the police send us the case file. I will be leading the prosecution to show the seriousness the government attaches to this matter.”
The Lekki Estates’ Residents and Stakeholders’ Association, also called for immediate action to stop the killing of its members by policemen.
The association’s President, Olorogun Emadoye, stated that the group had started engaging with relevant authorities to find lasting solutions to such incidents.