I heard sound of gunshot that killed Bolanle Raheem, police officer tells court

Bolanle Raheem pregnant lawyer killed by policeman in Lagos

One of the policemen at the scene when pregnant Bolanle Raheem was fatally shot by ASP Drambi Vandi on Christmas Day has told the Lagos High Court that he heard sound of the gunshot that killed the Lagos lawyer.

First prosecution witness Insp. Matthew Ameh told said this during cross-examination by Vandi’s counsel Adetokunbo Odutola on Wednesday.

Mr Ameh had said the same thing when Mr Vandi was first arraigned before the court on January 16 for allegedly killing Mrs Raheem, by shooting her in the chest.

He had narrated how he, Vandi and another officer Insp. Ebimine Fiyegha were deployed at Ajah Under Bridge, Lagos to conduct stop-and-search operation.

Ameh narrated that a Toyota car without number plate was flagged down by Insp. Fiyegha, but the driver did not stop to be checked.

The witness said that he also flagged the car to stop, but the driver did not stop.

He said that the next thing he heard was a gunshot which came from Vandi and noise indicating that Mrs Raheem had been shot.

Responding to another question by the defence counsel, Ameh insisted that the noise he referenced in his statement could not have been anything but a gunshot sound.

“When you hear the sound of a banger, it is different from a gunshot sound. A tyre bust sound is different from a gunshot,’’ Ameh told the court.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel and attorney-general of Lagos State Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), Insp. Fiyegha, the third police officer at the scene of the alleged murder confirmed Ameh’s testimony.

He said the trio of police officers at the scene of the incident was led by Vandi.

Fiyegha also corroborated Ameh’s account of the shooting, saying he also heard the noise shortly after the deceased and her husband slowly drove past him and Ameh in a Toyota Venza.

“One woman was in the passenger seat; a man was driving. I flagged the vehicle down. It didn’t stop. They passed me. I wondered why.

“He was not speeding. Ameh also flagged him down but he didn’t stop,” Fiyegha told the court.

He said after the car had passed, he heard a gunshot from the back and asked Ameh what was going on.

The witness told the court that afterwards a crowd gathered and swooped on Vandi, brought him out of a commercial minibus where he was hiding and put him in the deceased’s car.

Responding to questions from Onigbanjo, the witness said the Venza posed no threat to him or the public when it drove past.

The witness, who earlier stated that he was armed, denied firing his weapon.

Prosecution had earlier told the court that Vandi committed the offence on December 25, 2022, at Ajah Roundabout on Lekki- Expressway, Lagos.

According to Onigbanjo, the defendant killed the lawyer by shooting her in the chest.

He said that the offence contravened the Criminal Law of Lagos State (2015)

Presiding Justice Ibironke Harrison adjourned hearing to January 26 for continuation of trial.