The husband of Bolanle Raheem, the lawyer who was shot and killed by a policeman, ASP Drambi Vandi on Christmas Day, on Thursday, told a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square that the defendant also threatened to shoot his wife’s sister.
Gbenga Raheem, who was testifying as the fourth prosecution witness, told the trial judge, Justice Ibironke Harrison that when his sister-in-law got out of the car, after the incident, she held the defendant and he pointed his gun at her and said that he would shoot her.
Vandi was arraigned before Justice Harrison by the Lagos State government on a one-count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
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He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
While being led in evidence by the Lagos State attorney-general and commissioner for justice Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) Raheem said that they were on their way back home from a church service when the tragic incident occurred.
He testified, “As I did a U-turn under the Ajah bridge, I saw some police officers ahead and the car in front of me slowed down. I overtook the car and there was an officer on my left that said I should park.
“While he was still saying that I should park because he was following me, I heard a sound on my wife’s passenger’s window and it shattered and I saw blood gushing out of her chest.
“I quickly parked and ran out of the car with my sister-in-law, Titi, because the children were in the car and she was sitting behind my wife, she is the one that had four children that were in the car, we just had one daughter,” he said.
The witness also stated that after they got out of the car, his sister-in-law held the defendant and he pointed his gun at her so that he would shoot her.
“I was very conscious of him, I held my head, I was devastated, it was a bad dream that just happened and my life was just going blank, then some guys said we should block the road and raise an alarm so that people can see what the police had done.
“My sister-in-law pushed the defendant in front of the car and said you shot my sister, you killed my sister, my wife was still conscious. I sped off and left my sister-in-law to take my wife to the hospital.
“When we got to Bodu Hospital, I carried her inside and started shouting ‘emergency, please help, help my wife has been shot’. I took my wife downstairs and the doctor said he could not handle it and referred me to Doren Hospital.
“At Doren Hospital, I asked for the emergency room. I was shouting please help my wife who had just been shot, the doctor asked me how it happened, and I said my wife was shot and the police were aware.”
“The defendant was following me but I didn’t know how he stopped when we went to Doren Hospital. I was crying, shouting that the doctor should help me to save my wife, I said she is pregnant, save her life.
“They brought an oxygen can and put it on her nose and a needle in her hand and cotton wool to try and absolve the blood.
“She tried to pray and the doctor told her not to talk, she said I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe and after a while, the doctor said we need to take her to Granville Hospital at VGC.
“When they took the oxygen cylinder away, I knelt and pleaded with them to please save my wife. I went to pick up my phone from the car and showed them my account balance. I said the expense was not the issue,” he said.
The sister-in-law, Titilayo Enema, also testified as the fifth prosecution witness, who told the court that she saw the defendant carrying a gun and when they heard the gunshot she thought the defendant just hit the windscreen.
She said, “I just heard my sister say a Gbenga bullet has entered my chest, she repeated it the second time, and immediately her neck just dropped, her tongue was out then her eye closed.
“I shouted mummy Semilore, I ran out of the vehicle and held the police officer and said you just shot my sister now.
The defendant pointed his gun at me and said, I will shoot you.
“When I held him because of what he did, I was scared. Later I just saw two boys come out because the place was calm and peaceful. Then those two boys said I should hold him, I now became bold.
“Then I said Oga, it is either you shoot me and kill me, just the way you have done to my sister, I will not leave you. I dragged him and said you will sit down near my sister that you just shot.
“Then I saw my brother-in-law, I thought he would join me but he was rolling on the ground. I noticed that the defendant wanted to enter the patrol van. I dragged him down, he saw a mini-bus and wanted to enter, then I also dragged him down.
“I went to Ajiwe police station and started shouting that I want to see the Divisional police officer but they kept telling me that he was not around,” she stated.
During cross-examination, the witness who said she attended teachers training college, said she saw the defendant carrying a gun.
“I knew what I saw that day, I could not go and hold any other policeman when he was the one that shot and I went to grab him.
Asked if it was a reason for her not being herself that she didn’t know who shot the gun.
She said, “ I was at the police station and I told the DPO that he was the one that shot the gun, and the defendant couldn’t say anything.
“Even the children when I got home, said mummy, did you know that the man said what have I done”.
The judge has adjourned the case till February 1 for the continuation of trial.