A police inspector, Matthew Ahmen, who was a colleague of ASP Drambi Vandi, the police officer who allegedly killed a lawyer, Mobolanle Raheem, on Monday, told a Lagos State High Court that the Ajah Divisional Police Officer warned them against shooting any civilian.
Ahmen, who was led in evidence-in-chief by the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Moyosore Onigbajo, SAN, told Justice Ibironke Harrison that on December 25, 2022, when the incident happened, he and his colleagues resumed duty at 6am in their office at Ajah.
The witness said, “The DPO told us that on no account should anyone use firearms, except someone was in danger or our lives were being threatened.”
He said the three of them were posted to Ajah under bridge and Vandi was the leader of the team.
The witness, who noted that he enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force in 2001, stated that while they were conducting stop and search, another colleague, Dimini, was in front, while he was at the middle; Vandi was at the back.
Ahmen said when Dimini saw a car coming and he flagged it down, the car did not stop.
According to him, when the car got to where he stood, he also flagged it down but the driver did not stop.
“The next thing I heard was a gunshot and I looked back to see what was happening; I saw that a windscreen was falling down.
“The next thing I saw again was a dark woman who jumped down from the vehicle and I heard her saying, ‘Oga you have killed my sister.’ The woman held him (Vandi) and before I and Dimini could get to them, they had entered the car, locked it and left,” he added.
Ahmen said after the shooting, he and Dimini returned to the station.
He said, “Vandi entered the same vehicle and they drove him away; we did not know where they went to. While we were at the station, we saw that the DPO brought ASP Vandi to the station with the police patrol vehicle.”
Earlier, Vandi was arraigned on one count of murder preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.
He was accused of killing Raheem at the Ajah under bridge, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos State.
The state government said Vandi unlawfully killed the pregnant woman by shooting her in the chest.
According to the prosecution, the offence contravened Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Consequently, the AG told the court that he had two witnesses and they were ready for trial.
Trial commenced immediately as Ahmen was called as the first prosecution witness.
After his testimony, the case was adjourned till January 25 and 26, for continuation of trial.
The President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, and some of his members and the chairman of the Lagos Island NBA branch were also present during the trial on Monday.
Maikyau said the presence of his team in the court was to demonstrate commitment to pursue the case to a logical conclusion.
“Never again will matters like this be swept under the carpet under our watch; we would not let it happen,” he added.
We’re Committed to Tackling Crime, Terrorism, Gaidam Assures INTERPOL
The Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, has conveyed Nigeria’s dedication to fostering effective partnerships with INTERPOL member countries to tackle crimes, combating terrorism and maintain global peace as well as commitment to ensuring public safety and upholding the principles of justice, according to a statement signed by the Ministry’s Deputy Director, Press, Bolaji Kazeem, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP).
The Minister who led the Nigerian delegation comprising Vice President Africa (INTERPOL), AIG Umar Garba (RTD); Director, Police Inspectorate Department (PID) Mrs. Bola Blessing Aderele; Head (INTERPOL, National Crime Bureau), AIG Lanre Bankole and others are attending 91st Interpol General Assembly in Vienna, Austria to commemorate the Centenary Celebrations.
The Minister expressed optimism about the future prospects of international cooperation in combating crime and reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to working closely with Interpol and its member countries to ensure a safer, more secure world Gaidam acknowledged the pivotal role played by Interpol in promoting global security through its extensive network, data-sharing mechanisms, and operational support as well as funding of infrastructure in Nigeria.
“The centenary celebrations of Interpol served as a moment of reflection and appreciation of a century of international collaboration in law enforcement among member countries. Our active participation in the event further solidified Nigeria’s role as a responsible and proactive member of the international law enforcement community,” the Minister said.
He added: “Our presence highlighted Nigeria’s commitment to international security and cooperation as well as a renewed commitment from all member countries to work collectively in addressing the evolving challenges of crime in the 21st century.”
The Interpol General Assembly is an important platform for global law enforcement agencies to engage in constructive dialogue, exchange best practices, and strengthen collaboration in combating transnational crime.
During the assembly, discussions encompassed various topics, including the latest advancements in policing techniques, emerging security challenges, and strategies to enhance cross-border intelligence sharing.
The delegates deliberated on initiatives aimed at countering terrorism, cybercrime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other forms of transnational criminal activities. The momentous event witnessed the gathering of 196 member countries from Africa, Asia, and Europe.
United Nigeria Airline Suspends Flight Dispatcher over Code Error
The United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) has suspended the flight dispatcher who entered the wrong code to the dispatch document on Sunday, for a flight to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, which ended up at Asaba airport..
The flight dispatcher (names withheld), according to reports, was issued a suspension letter on Tuesday, by the management of the airline following an outcry from the public, which caused the carrier avoidable embarrassment.
Although the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is already investigating the incident, the suspension of the Dispatcher will remain in place until after the conclusion of the probe.
Head, Corporate Communications, United Nigeria Airlines, Mr. Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, confirmed the suspension.
Uchegbu clarified that the suspension is not a sack, “but an action to enable investigation.”
The flight Dispatcher, on Sunday, entered into the dispatch document ABB, which is the code for Asaba International Airport, Delta State, instead of ABV, the code for Abuja airport.
Commenting on the incident, President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Comrade Galadima Abednego, described the situation as worrisome.
Speaking in Kano at the ongoing National Air Traffic Communicators’ Association of Nigeria (NACAN) 10th Annual General Meeting/Conference, Galadima said: “I would not like to call it a diversion. It is quite a worrisome situation, where an aircraft that is Abuja bound found itself in Asaba. It has serious safety and security breaches.”
Kano Residents Protest over Appeal Court Judgment
A wave of fresh protests have broken out in the Kano metropolis as thousands of residents on Wednesday trooped to the streets demonstrating their rejection of the Appeal Court judgment sacking of Governor Abba Yusuf.
The appellate court, on September 20, upheld the verdict of the State Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, which sacked Yusuf and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),Nasir Ganuwa, the authentic winner of the March 18 governorship election in the State.
The tribunal had ruled that 165,663 votes garnered by Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) were invalid on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus reducing his votes to 853,939 while those of the APC rival remained at 890,705.
Yusuf, who was not satisfied with the tribunal judgment, took his case to the Appeal Court only for it to uphold the verdict.
With the outcome of the appeal court, there has been tension in the state as several groups who are in support of Yusuf have been holding sporadic protests against the ruling which they see as a travesty of justice.
Different groups had also reportedly fixed protests but were dispelled by security operatives who prevented them from going ahead with the demonstrations to prevent break down of law and order.
However, despite concerted efforts by the police and other security agencies, the protesters defied all warnings and took over the streets in the city to protest the ruling of the appeal court.
The protesters were seen carrying placards as chanting slogans like “We will not accept it”; “We will not allow it”; “Kano belongs to Abba”; “Our mandate must be restored”; “Injustice exposed in CTC”; among others.
It was gathered that efforts by security operatives to disperse the protesters were abortive as they stood their ground and refused to back off.