An Assistant Superintendent Of Police (ASP) Olorunshola Olusegun who disarmed an officer, Drambi Vandi charged with the killing of a Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, on Christmas Day, testified on Wednesday at the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) as the 5th prosecution witness.
Led in evidence by the Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, the witness told Justice Ibironke Harrison how he disarmed Vandi.
He said, “I am a Police officer with number AP-155460, i joined the police force on the 1st of March 1992, presently attached to the Ajah police station.
“On December 25, 2022, we were scheduled to go on patrol for 24hours.
“I was one of the operational officers in charge of patrolling the neighborhood. We have the patrol teams divided into various sections and areas of patrol. While I was on patrol from Ajah to Sangotedo, Vandi was on patrol from Ajah to Ilaje.
“All patrol officers on the said date, left the police station after parade. After the parade we left for our duty post.
Two hours later, I came back to the station. I saw somebody ride down to the station on a bike, he met me where I was sitting. The man on bike reported that one of our officers, ASP Drambi Vandi has shot a pregnant woman and some men at the hospital had tried to disarm him.
“After the rider passed the information, I went straight to inform the DPO. The DPO called the Anti-crime patrol team 99, then he went with the patrol team to the hospital.
“After about 20-30mins, the DPO came back with the ASP and some other officers. When they came back, Vandi was wearing a native shirt on his uniform trouser and he was dangling his rifle on his left shoulder. So myself, the DPO and the entourage went to the charge room. The DPO instructed that he should be disarmed and detained.
“He handed his rifle over to me, there in the charge room because I am next in command to the DPO. After handing over, the armourer whose office was right in front of the charge room asked me to give him the rifle. His name is Inspector Adamu Shaibu. I don’t know what the armourer did because I just handed over the rifle. The defendant was standing right there in the charge room with the DPO.”
While answering questions under cross examination from the defence counsel, Adetokunbo Odutola, the witness admitted that he made a written statement in respect of this matter. He was shown the statement which he confirmed and the court admitted it in evidence as an exhibit.
The witness also testified that he wrote the statement at the State CID, Panti about 5-6days after the incident.
He said, “I had my WAEC/SSCE in 1982 in addition to in-house police training. I wrote the statement myself between five and six days after the incident. I cannot specifically say the time but I think it is on a Sunday morning around 10am. Patrol was still on because we were going and coming in”.
When asked to clarify his earlier testimony that the biker mentioned that a mob was trying to disarm the officer at the hospital, the witness simply said that this was the information the rider gave him but he insisted that Vandi was disarmed inside the charge room.
The witness also testified that the standard procedure after disarming is for the bullets to be counted but said in this case he was not there when the armourer counted the bullets.
He said, “I handed over the rifle and left so I was not there when he counted the bullet. Do you know whether the defendant was also there with the armourer? The defendant was there when I handed his rifle over to the armourer”
“As a standard procedure, if you have been accused of any offence relating to bullets, the first thing when you are disarmed, the armourer counts the bullets in your presence because it is the amourer that gave the ammunition.”
He insisted that the armourer must always be present when anyone is being disarmed.
After the testimony, the Lagos State Attorney General informed the court that the ballistics report, containing evidence relating to the firearms involved, was now ready and same had been shared with the defence counsel.
Justice Harrison has adjourned the case till February 2 for continuation of trial.