Olagunju Olatunji, an investigating police officer, and Sunday Akaju, an officer attached to the Ajah police division in Lagos state, have testified in the trial of Drambi Vandi.
Olatunji and Akaju appeared before Ibironke Harrison, the presiding judge of a Lagos high court, on Thursday.
Raheem, a lawyer, was shot dead on December 25, 2022 in an incident involving Vandi.
Testifying before the court, Olatunji said he was the investigating police officer (IPO) in charge of Vandi’s case, adding that he was at Ajiwe police station when the deceased’s sister came to report the incident.
“In the course of my investigation, the statement of the suspect was taken with caution while the statement of the complainant was taken voluntarily,” he said.
“The case was later transferred to the SCID in Yaba for further discreet investigation.
“Before I transferred the case, what I found out during my investigation was that the defendant fired the gun and at the same time, his ammunition was not complete.
“As at the time of his arrest, I saw him with a civilian top on police trousers.”
During cross-examination, Adetokunbo asked Olatunji why he concluded that it was the defendant who fired the bullet that killed Raheem.
“There are three instances. When the gun was shot, the deceased’s sister and husband came down and held the cop and took him to Budo Hospital,” Olatunji responded.
“The second instance is that two out of the three officers on patrol duty held guns. When they brought their guns to the station, only SUPOL Vandi’s gun had a shortage of two bullets while the other one was complete.
“The third is that after the incident, the police officer hid under a staircase and he changed his uniform to mutfi with a gun at hand.”
The defendant’s counsel asked the witness whether it is out of place for a police officer to wear mufti.
“It is not part of the ethics of the job,” the police inspector responded.
“Is that the first time that you will see a policeman wear mufti and carry a gun?” the counsel asked.
“No,” he said.
Giving an account of what happened, Akaju told the court that he was on patrol at Ado road, Ajah, with three other officers on the day the incident happened.
The police inspector said during the patrol, he received a “distress call” from the DPO of Ajiwe police station that the patrol team should return to the station.
He added that after the patrol team got to the station, he and some officers went with the DPO to Budo Hospital, where the Raheem was initially taken to.
“The DPO went with us to Budo Hospital because our patrol vehicle is the only good one. Then the DPO ordered us to take the defendant to the station,” he said.
“In the process of going to the police station, the defendant said ‘Odogwu (my nickname), help me with one ammunition’.
“And I said ‘there is nowhere to replace it and why will I give you my ammunition?’ I got provoked and told my colleagues what he requested.”
Asked by Moyosore Onigbanjo, the state counsel, whether he gave the ammunition to the defendant, Akaju said, “No, over my dead body”.
During cross-examination, Odutola Adetokunbo, counsel to the defendant, asked the police inspector to state when Vandi was disarmed after the incident.
“I was not there when he was disarmed,” he responded.
“When the defendant entered your vehicle at Budo hospital, was his gun with him?” the counsel asked.
“I don’t know,” the police inspector responded.
The counsel again queried: “So, the defendant’s gun was with you in the patrol vehicle?”
“No. I don’t know. They disarmed him before we got to the hospital,” he responded.
“You told the court that he asked you for the bullet, which gun would he then put the bullet in if he had been disarmed?” the counsel asked.
“I don’t know,” Akaju responded.
After the cross-examination of both witnesses, the judge adjourned the case till February 8 and 9.