Bolanle Raheem: I’ve never seen bullet tendered in court as murder bullet – Officer Vandi

A police officer, Drambi Vandi, who allegedly shot and killed a Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, on Christmas Day, closed his defence before a Lagos High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square on Wednesday.

Vandi is standing trial on a count charge of shooting and killing a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs Raheem, on Dec. 25, 2022, in the Ajah area of Lagos.

At the resumed hearing, the defendant’s counsel, Mr Jude Ugwu, led him in evidence.

Vandi told the court that he had never come across the bullet that was shown in court as the alleged murder weapon.

He said that the bullet was not the same ammunition in his rifle on the day of the incident.

Vandi narrated how he attended a local training school where he learned about arms and ammunition.

He said that the police are always given training every five months on rifles to refresh their memories.

The defendant said it was in the training school that he learnt about the different types of rifles, pistols and ammunition.

The defendant counsel, however, requested the court to produce exhibit P11(a), the bullet and magazine containing six bullets which is exhibit P19.

The witness, therefore, told the court that a portion of P19 was a shell of an assorted rifle used in an AK-47 rifle, noting that the exhibit was used in a long-range bullet.

He explained that the bullet shown in court could cover over 500 metres.

“If you line up ten people, this particular bullet will go through all of them.

“When it is shot at a close range, it can’t remain inside the person’s body and any object at close range, it must penetrate through it.

“It must pass through at least four objects. This is not the ammunition in my rifle on Dec. 25, 2022.

“The rifle is automatic. To use this bullet, you must cork the rifle and anyone around that area will hear the noise of the cork,” the defendant said.

He said that immediately the rifle was fired, the shell would fall right on the ground near the person that fired it and would remain at that point.

Vandi claimed that he had never seen the bullet until it was tendered in court.

The witness also said that the exhibit was not the type of ammunition used by the police.

When cross-examined by the Director of Public Prosecution, Dr Babajide Martins, the witness said that on Dec. 25, 2022, he was on duty at Ajah underbridge.

The witness said that he was on duty with a rifle which had 25 rounds of ammunition.

He explained that he had signed and booked the rifle from the armourer.

He also told the court that he was not the only officer that was armed on that particular day.

Vandi also narrated how he was arrested, detained and how he wrote his statement after the incident.

“I wish the deceased is alive and I regret her death. May her soul rest in peace,” he concluded.

The defendant counsel had earlier announced to the court that the defendant was their only witness.

He, however, prayed the court to give them 21 days to file and adopt their written addresses.

After listening to evidence, Justice Ibironke Harrison directed the parties to exchange their written addresses.

Harrison, however, adjourned the case until July 13 for adoption of final written addresses.

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