Slain Lawyer: IG Recommends Suspension of Killer Cop
•Again, assures justice must prevail
•House condemns Omobolanle Raheem’s killing
•Seeks ban of alcohol, hard drugs consumption by officers
•Ex-NBA chairman seeks stringent legislation to curb incessant killings by police
Kingsley Nwezeh, Udora Orizu and Gbenga Sodeinde
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, yesterday, recommended the immediate suspension of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi, the officer attached to the Ajah Divisional Headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command, that was responsible for the shooting and killing of Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem, while waiting for the detailed report on the incident.
A statement issued by Force Headquarters said the IGP noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer was in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
He said the suspension was also expected to create an enabling environment for necessary legal procedures to uphold justice in the case without interference.
“The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer”, he said.
The IG also reaffirmed, “the commitment of the force to the rule of law and assured the public of his administration’s commitment to ensuring that justice is not just done but seen to have been manifestly done in the matter.”
He, therefore, appealed to the public to remain calm as all hands were on deck to ensure justice prevailed while measures were in place to prevent future occurrences.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives at plenary yesterday condemned what it described as the senseless killing of a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Omobolanle Raheem, who was shot in Lagos by policemen on Christmas Day.
The lawmakers while demanding thorough investigation into the killing, said police officers should be banned from consuming alcohol and other hard substances capable of inhibiting their sense of reasoning.
The resolutions of the lawmakers were sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by, Hon. Babajide Obanikoro (APC, Lagos)
Moving the motion, Obanikoro lamented that on the fateful day, without any altercation one of the officers shot Mrs. Raheem who was seven months pregnant with twins, on the spot.
He expressed concerns that same incident happened on December 7th, by officers from same police station, who gunned down a young man, an incident that sparked unrest then.
He expressed concern that such incidents occur often across Nigeria, and the officers involved usually get away with killing innocent citizens they swore to protect.
Adopting the motion, the lawmakers while agreeing that the Nigerian Police Act on the general conduct of the police officers should be reviewed, observed a minute silence for the late Raheem.
Meanwhile, former NBA Chairman in Ekiti State and Human Rights Lawyer, Samuel Olakanmi Falade has called on the National Assembly to promulgate law that would put a stop to what he described as gross indiscipline in the Nigerian police.
Irked by the development in Ajah, Lagos, Falade who condemned what he described as a brutality act in a telephone chat with THISDAY, yesterday, said, “we must rise up to fight this because the innocent victim was a respected learned colleague who was brutally killed with pregnancy.
“An injury done to one is an injury to all; I feel pained to the marrow that a colleague of ours was wasted by a drunk Police Officer in such a circumstance.
“Though, I quite appreciate what the National and Ikeja branches are doing, but we must do more, a peaceful protest to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State will not be out of place.
“When a colleague of ours was molested the other time, we took steps, but foot dragged, we need to send a message to put a stop to this nonsense. What if the person was from this branch?
“All hands must be on the deck to stop this, which is becoming unbecoming, I call on the National Assembly to pass law to curb this insanity.
“A law should be passed at both the national and state Assemblies against blood thirsty and undisciplined officers and men,” Falade added.