The Lagos State Government has closed its case in the murder trial of the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi, who allegedly shot Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem on Christmas Day.
The prosecution closed its case after calling the eleventh witness, a pathologist, Dr Oluwaseun Williams.
Led in his testimony by the Lagos State Solicitor General & Perm Sec, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the witness told Justice Ibironke Harrison that after inviting the deceased’s husband, Gbenga, and the investigating police officer to identify the corpse, his team proceeded with an internal examination where various injuries were identified and recorded.
He said the injuries were external to internal, resulting in multiple defects, mainly on the anterior chest and on the left auxiliary fold.
“On internal examination, there were multiple visceral injuries, specific ones, which include multi rib fractures, multiple injury to the intercoastal spaces, and injury to both lungs.”
“The examination conducted on the deceased, established three factors as the cause of Bolanle Raheem’s death which are; haemorrhagic shock; destruction of the chest visceral and musculoskeletal tissue,” the pathologist said
The pathologist also mentioned in his testimony that the postmortem report confirmed the deceased was pregnant, adding that the gun shot was at a close range.
Under cross examination, the defence counsel, Adetokunbo Odutola asked the witness if could determine through his postmortem report, the person who pulled the trigger that killed the deceased, to which the witness said, ‘no’.
Mr Odutola also contended that the expert witness based his postmortem records on media reports, but he responded that all conclusions were made on findings discovered at the autopsy.
Dr Williams said the degree of explosive force of a bullet discharged from an AK-47, is thousands of the magnitude of a fire hose, that will penetrate into the body, whether the individual is standing or sitting.
After his testimony, the court discharged the witness and the prosecution closed its case.
The defence counsel, then requested for leave to file a ‘no case submission’ seeking to quash the charge against the defendant.
Following his submission, Justice Harrison ordered both counsel to file their motions and written addresses and adjourned to February 28, 2023 for the adoption of the court processes.
At last Thursday’s sitting of the court, the police ballistician from the Forensic Science Laboratory of the force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon
Adeyeye Bamisope had testified as the 10th prosecution witness.
He told the court that part of his tasks was to examine and analyse the firearms, bullets and other components of the suspected weapon that shot the pregnant lawyer last Christmas day.
He also said that in relation to the incident, he examined the two firearms and ammunition carried by the defendant and one inspector Ebimine on the day of the shooting.
His findings revealed that the weapons were AK. 47 and the magazine attached to each firearms were capable of taking thirty rounds of calibre 7.62mm ammunition.
”Examination conducted in their barrels revealed residue of burnt propellant; an indication that the firearms were recently fired and that their working mechanisıns are in order, meaning they are lethal weapons”.
The witness also noted in his report that he detected some display malfunctions on the selector of the firearms which is used to select levels such as safe, automatic and semiautomatic mode but which appeared loose and stiff at some level.
He concluded that “both guns aren’t 100 percent reliable”.
Supol Adeyeye also told the court that he examined the vehicle the Raheem’s were in at the time.
“A bullet core (“inner bullet”) was recovered lying on the floor between the back left side door and back left passenger sit. The bullet’s metallic fragments were also retrieved from the corpse during autopsy. They were found to be broken copper bullet jacket, one bigger and two tiny ones which are all from the same source”.
According to the witness, this gained its present shape due to impact on a resistant object probably a bone, and so it had lost some vital parts which could be used to identify the specific firearm that recently fired it.
Another Police Inspector, Adeyemo Olubunmi from the SCIID Panti who investigated the homicide also presented to the court, the two rifles which were admitted as exhibits but later returned to the police.
While testifying, he revealed that the weapons were among those coupled after the destruction of many rifles from the armoury at Ajah due to the post #Endsars destruction of 2020.