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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Bolanle Raheem: Lawyer’s husband narrates how Nigerian policeman killed pregnant wife on Christmas day

Husband to late Lagos lawyer, Bolanle Raheem has revealed how an Assistant Superintendent of Police now identified as Drambi Vandi shot and killed his wife on Christmas day at Ajah.

Gbenga Raheem who was with his wife in the car at the time of the incident narrated what led to the untimely death of Bolanle who was reportedly pregnant.

Bolanle, 41, was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead.

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Vandi, who was attached to the Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah, Lagos State, was said to have spent 33 years in the police force and reportedly took the fatal shot unprovoked.

“On December 25, my wife, nieces, nephews, and cousins, who had come for the holiday, all went to church. On our way back, my wife said since it was Christmas Day, we should take everyone out, so, we went to a supermarket at Abraham Adesanya, then to Domino’s Pizza.

“After that, we headed towards Ajah to do a U-turn to come back to Abraham Adesanya. When we took the U-turn, we saw policemen stopping some vehicles. As we approached them, they said we should stop, and in the process, we heard a loud sound on my wife’s side window. All of a sudden, I saw blood gushing out of her chest.

“I immediately ran out; my sister-in-law, who was also with us, ran out and held the policeman; he cocked his gun at her too. Talking to him was pointless, so I went to see if anything could be done; I saw my wife gasping for breath, and by that time, my sister-in-law had brought the policeman into the car and pushed him into the front seat.

“We drove to a hospital but they said they couldn’t handle it; we eventually took her to Grandville Hospital, where she was confirmed dead. The policemen took her body and put it in the truck; they wanted me to follow them but I said I needed to go and settle my children.”

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Confirming the sad incident, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police, SP, Benjamin Hundeyin, described the incident as “unfortunate and avoidable.”

He confirmed that the suspected officer who shot Raheem dead and two other of his team members have been arrested and in detention to be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Yaba, for further action.

Hundeyin who described the incident as “unfortunate and avoidable,” added that the ASP that shot and two others with him have since been taken into custody. “They are to be moved to the SCID for further investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed shock and sadness over the mindless shooting of “a harmless citizen” by a police officer whose primary job  was to protect the same citizen. 

Sanwo-Olu sympathized with the family, friends and associates of the deceased, pledging the state government’s full support and cooperation with the police authorities in their investigation to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the shooting, that led to the untimely death of the innocent citizen, with a view to ensuring that justice is served.

He said: “I have studied preliminary reports on the matter and have instructed the appropriate Government officers to immediately get on it. We must ensure speedy justice for the late Bolanle. Our Government cannot sit back and watch our citizens killed by the same law enforcers that should ordinarily protect them.”

Sanwo-Olu, however, appealed to residents to remain calm and not take the law into their hands on the matter, assuring residents that the government will live up to her responsibilities and get justice for the late Raheem.

The Governor, prayed for the repose of the late Bolanle Raheem’s soul, asking God to grant her immediate family and friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

The Inspector-General of Police, IG, Mr Usman Baba, has condemned the shooting and killing of the legal practitioner, describing the incident as unfortunate and ordered speedy investigation and prosecution of the officers responsible for the ugly and unprofessional act.

He said the act didn’t portray the Nigeria Police Standard Operating Procedure and core values.

Baba commiserated with the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased and prayed for the repose of her soul.

He pledged to ensure that justice prevailed in the case and warned officers and men of the Force to be professional and people-oriented in the discharge of their duties.

Baba urged police officers to always operate within the ambit of the law, adding that the Force leadership would not condone any inappropriate or unprofessional acts.

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