The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi, who is accused of killing Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem has said that the bullet which ended her life is unknown to him.
While testifying in his defence before the Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island, Vandi told Justice Harrison that the bullet in question did not come from his rifle.
Bolanle Raheem was shot and killed on Christmas Day while navigating a U-turn while driving beneath the Ajah bridge.
Vandi told the court that he had never seen the bullet until it was tendered in court.
He also disclosed the training officers receive on the use of arms and ammunition, explaining that he attended a local training school, where he learnt about the different types of rifles, pistols and ammunition for police officers.
Vandi added that he was taught how to couple and dismantle arms and ammunition.
Elaborating further, the accused police officer explained how the bullets in an AK-47 work.
“The magazine Exhibit P19), containing six bullets is the shell of an assorted rifle and it is used in an Ak-47, while the bullet (Exhibit P11a) is a long-range bullet.
“This one covers over 500 metres. If you line up 10 people, this 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 also any object at close range, it must penetrate through it.
“It must pass through at least four objects, and this is not the ammunition in my rifle on the 25th of December, 2023.
“The rifle is automatic. By using this bullet, you must cork the rifle and anyone around that area will hear the noise of the cork.
“Once it is fired, the shell will fall on the right side of the ground near the person that fired it and it will remain at the point of fire. The noise will be so loud when fired.
“I’ve never come across this exhibit before even all through my training and it’s not the type of ammunition used by the police.
“I was disarmed by the DPO at Budo hospital. I booked 25 rounds from the armourer which I signed for.
“The same ammunition was inside the magazine, same ammunition was disarmed.
“When I was disarmed, the ammunition was not counted in my presence at Budo hospital”, he said.
While being cross-examined, he narrated his version of the events which transpired on Christmas Day.
“On the 25th of December 2022, I was on duty at Ajah Underbridge, and I was with a rifle that had 25 rounds of ammunition which I booked from the armourer and signed for.
“I resumed duty in the morning, but I don’t know the time. I was with Inspector Ameh and Inspector Ibimene.
“I was not the only one armed, Ibimene was also armed but I was the last man on guard. I stood about 100 metres away from where the affected vehicle was parked.
“I went to the hospital with the driver, the deceased in the vehicle involved but not all of us were in the vehicle. Titilayo (the sister of the deceased) was not in the vehicle.
“I was half dressed, wearing a mufti when I was arrested at Budo hospital and I was taken to the police station where I wrote my statement.
“All of us were detained and we wrote our statements at Ajah and Panti. None of us was released before we were transferred to Panti”.
“I wish the deceased is alive and I regret her death. May her soul rest in peace.”
After hearing Vandi's testimony, Justice Harrison instructed the lawyers to file and exchange their written addresses and be ready for adoption of same in 21 days.
The case was then adjourned to July 13, 2023, for the adoption of final written addresses.
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