By Lateef Adegbite
This is not the best of times for trigger –hungry Cops who indulge in heinous and senseless killings. This is because the police Authorities appear determined to use Drambi Vandi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, attached to Ijewe Police station, in Ajah and other members of the patrol team to set an example over what will happen to police officers engaged in unprofessional conduct in the discharge of their duties.
The Police Authorities may have been encouraged to apply the strictest disciplinary action against the killer of Mrs. Bolanle Raheem, a female Lawyer and member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, as President Muhammadu Buhari who is not happy over the heinous and senseless killing has directed the Usman Alikali Baba, led Nigerian Police Force, NPF, ‘’to take the strongest possible action against the culprits who were said to have been arrested and currently in detention.
An aggrieved Katsina state born Nigeria President had said that the Ajah incident on Sunday, December 25, 2022, was a stark reminder of ‘’the recurring mishandling of weapons and a wakeup call to law nforcement agencies , including the Police to ensure the full implementation of the reforms that had been instituted by the Administration on the subject of weapons handling as well as the protection of the rights of citizens’’.
The Presidential directive may have informed why Baba, the IGP, has recommended to the Police Service Commission, PSC, under the close watch of Justice Bata Clara Ogunbiyi, to suspend ASP Vandi for shooting and killing Mrs. Raheem a female Lawyer, while still awaiting for the report of the Investigation panel. Who shot and killed Mrs.Raheem
The IGP may have recommended the suspension of the Killer Cop to the PSC because it has Constitutional powers which bothers on ” Bridging, appointmement , promotion , disciplinary , dismissal, functions”. This is in addition to welfare function and other duties as may be directed by the President. On its own , the Comission could delegate duties to police Authorities to handle w when the need arises
It was not surprising why the Commission did not hesitate in approving the recommendation of the IGP for the suspension of Vandi over the killing of a Lagos Lawyer, MRS. Raheem. In a letter that was said to have been sent to the IGP, on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, duly signed by Justice Ogunbiyi, the PSC acting Chairman, she had staid that the Commission has carefully examined the facts of the case, observations and recommendation with respect to allegations against the officer who shot and killed Mrs. Raheem and granted ‘’approval for the suspension of the officer from duty with immediate effect’’.
Worried by the abuse of weapons by Cops, the PSC Chairman was said to have ‘’demanded a thorough investigation into the Ajah case and proper training of Police personnel on weapon management’’. .Ikechukwu Ani, spokesperson of the PSC, in a Statement on Thursday, December 29, 2022, had said that the suspension of the killer Cop is ‘’with immediate effect’’.
The killer Cop and his team were said to have tried to stop Mrs. Raheem and his family members as they drove back from a Christmas Day Church service. She was said to have been shot when the car she was on tried to make a U-turn under the Ajah bridge.
Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor who has been following up the case to ensure that the right thing is done had told those that cares to listen that ‘’there would be no cover-up in the investigation and prosecution of Vandi and his team members involved in the murder of the female Lawyer’’.
The governor had said that ‘’the outcome of the investigations of the case is very important to the state government and people of the state’’ , stressing that ‘’the people deserved to know the process leading to justice for the victim’’. He was said to have made his feelings known on December 29, 2022, when he met Baba, the IGP, at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Perhaps to ensure that incidents like this will never repeat itself again in the state in the future, the governor was said to have suggested an improved Collaboration between the Abiodun Alabi led Lagos Police Command and the state government. He was emphatic that ‘’there is need for improved Collaboration between the Lagos state Police Command the state government, noting that the state do not have any other Force to rely on during crisis.
He had wanted to know from the IGP during the visit when the killer Cop and his team will be charged to Court. Hear him: We have gotten a positive response and engagement from the Cop’’, he had said.
As a prelude to improved working relationship with the state police command, the governor may have gladdened the heart of the IGP when he promised of’ ‘‘providing additional equipment like body cameras for officersand engage in a joint Advocacy programme to enhance and improve public and Police Communication’’.
The Lagos state governor, who is seeking a re-election bid in the 2023, general elections in the state on the ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, may have left Abuja a happy man when the IGP, assured him that ‘’there will not be any cover-up in handling the case of the deceased female Lawyer and the culprits’’. He was said to have repeatedly told the governor in their discussion that ‘’there is not going to be any hanky-panky on the Ajah incident’’.
In spite of the fact that the IGP had said that ‘’justice will be serve the murderer of the Lagos based Lawyer, Mrs. Raheem’’, the Leadership of the NBA, has expressed ‘’suspicion about the way the Police Authorities is handling the killing of a Lagos based female, Lawyer, Mrs. Raheem. The Association on Thursday, December 28, 2022, had expressed displeasure over the lakadaisical attitude of the Police since the female Lawyer was shot dead by one ASP Vandi.
Appearing on Channels Television, Yakubu Maikyau, the NBA resident had said that they have some ‘’suspicion about how the matter is being handled right now by the Police’’. He was said to have talked about certain processes that had to be followed in carrying out their investigation to calm frayed nerves.
The NBA had said that that ‘’it will for payment of Compensation not less than N5billion from the Federal and the Lagos state government, including the NPF and the PSC, for the victim’s family. It was said to have urged Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor in a Statement by one Ebun Adegoruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN ‘’to follow the model that was adopted during the ENDSARS Judicial Panel to pay Compensation to victims family to do so in the case of Mrs. Raheem’s family immediately since ‘’ it is an established fact that life was terminated illegally by a policeman’’.
The NBA Leadership was said to have called for the swift prosecution of the killer Cop, psychological re-orientation for all Police officers in the handling and use of weapons, training of police officers on basic human rights observance and enforcement, improving the welfare of all police officers in terms of their take home pay , conditions of service in their places of work and residences in order to make them more conducive.
This is addition to the recruitment of more police officers to reduce the pressure the pressure that had been piled upon the existing officers whose number , Adegoruwa, had said is not adequate ‘’to effectively police the country’’. Good as the suggestions may be, Nigerians are watching to see how the deceased Lawyer’s case will end.