Suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi has been sentenced to death by hanging for the fatal shooting of Lagos-based lawyer Bolanle Raheem on Christmas Day. The judgment was delivered by Justice Ibironke Harrison at the Tafawa Balewa Square annex division of the Lagos State High Court, marking the culmination of a high-profile trial that has captivated the nation.
Justice Harrison unequivocally dismissed Vandi’s defense, asserting that it had no leg to stand on. The conviction rested on the compelling testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses, who provided overwhelming evidence that left no room for doubt. This decisive ruling was pronounced on July 13, following the completion of final written arguments presented by both sides.
Vandi, who had initially pleaded not guilty to the murder charge when arraigned on January 16, 2023, was denied any reprieve as the court expedited proceedings. The Lagos State Government had accused the suspended police officer of shooting Mrs. Raheem in the chest at the Ajah Roundabout on the Lekki Expressway on December 25, 2022, in violation of Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The prosecution, led by former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), presented a formidable case, summoning a total of 11 witnesses, including eight police officers, to testify. Their case concluded on February 25, leaving Vandi with limited options.
In a last-ditch effort, Vandi’s defense counsel, Gbenro Gbadamosi, filed an application on February 28, seeking to quash the charges. However, on April 3, the court decisively dismissed this plea, affirming the strength of the prosecution’s evidence.
As the legal battle continued, on May 31, Vandi took the stand as the sole witness for the defense before eventually closing his case. The trial has now concluded with the ASP facing the ultimate penalty for the tragic events of that fateful Christmas Day.