In furtherance of the commitment of the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to ensure justice in the murder case of, Omobolanle Raheem, the NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN on the 16the of January 2023, led other National Officers to the Lagos State High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square to observe proceedings at the commencement of the criminal trial of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi who has been charged for killing Omobolanle on 25 December 2022.
The Defendant was present in court, he was arraigned, and he pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge of murder.
The defendant was represented by counsel, while the State was represented by the Honourable Attorney General, the Solicitor General and the Director of Public Prosecution of Lagos State.
Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon, SAN led members of the NBA Omobolanle Raheem/Gafaru Buraimoh Ad hoc Committee to hold a watching brief for Raheem’s family.
The prosecution opened its case by calling one Inspector Matthew Ameh. PW1 was one of the policemen that were at the scene of crime, as he was on duty alongside the Defendant on the day of the alongside the Defendant on the day of the incident.
At the close of his evidence in chief, he was cross-examined by Defendant’s counsel.
Counsel to the Defendant could however not conclude the cross-examination and the charge was accordingly adjourned at the instance of the Defence.
On the application of the Honourable Attorney General of Lagos State and with the concurrence of Defence Counsel, the Court granted an accelerated hearing of the charge and it was accordingly adjourned to 25 and 26 January, 2023 for the continuation of hearing.
After the court session on 16 January, 2023, the NBA hosted a Day of Tributes in honour of Omobolanle Raheem at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, after which the NBA President led other members of the Bar to the Service of Songs as arranged by the family of Omobolanle Raheem at Olive Tree Parish, RCCG, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem was interred on the 17th of January, 2023 after a burial service was held at the same Olive Tree Parish, RCCG, Ikoyi, Lagos. The NBA was also represented at the event.
Beginning a spate of touching tributes by members of the NBA, family and friends of Mrs. Raheem, the NBA President confessed that it gave him “No pleasure” to render the tribute to our learned friend.
His words: “It is rather unfortunate and regrettable that the right to life has become one of the most abused rights in Nigeria today…Bolanle’s death is one death too many! She is just but one of the many Nigerians who have lost their lives at the hands of those who swore to protect them.”
He continued, “This ceremony is being held today because, Omobolanle, in her death, has become the enduring symbol of all innocent Nigerians who lost their lives at the hands of the police and other security agencies. Our police and other security agencies. Our tribute today is therefore not only to mourn our departed colleague and other citizens, but also to reaffirm our commitment to ensure that justice is done in their cases.”
Meanwhile, the NBA President met with the Inspector General of the Police (IGP), Alkali Baba Usman, on the 17th of January, 2023 at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The NBA President commended the IGP for his swift intervention with respect to the incident which led to the demise of Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem.
He insisted that Nigerians are resolved to ensure that the trend of extrajudicial killings must come to an end and that the NBA is taking the lead in that respect.
The NBA President further decried the pitiable conditions under which police officers operate and he offered the support and partnership of the NBA to advocate for and pursue better working conditions for members of the Nigeria Police Force.
The IGP thanked the NBA for the visit and commiserated with the NBA over the killing of Omobolanle Raheem. He restated the dedication of the Police to also ensure justice in this case and other similar cases including that of Gafaru Buraimoh and he accepted the offer of partnership by the NBA.BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis