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General News of Friday, 30 December 2022


Bolanle Raheem: We don’t trust the police with the handling of the murder case

Bolanle Raheem Bolanle Raheem

Yakubu Maikyau, the Nigerian Bar Association president, has said the body is suspicious of the Nigeria Police’s handling of the murder case of Lagos lawyer Bolanle Raheem by a policeman, Drambi Vandi, on Christmas Day.

The NBA president also said the killer cop had a similar case swept under the carpet in time past while speaking in an interview with Channels TV on Thursday night.

“I do not agree that the Nigerian public will have to wait for this police officer to go through the internal procedure before he can be investigated and prosecuted. I see some lackadaisical attitude in that respect. If that is what they are doing or saying, it creates a lot of suspicion in our minds,” explained Maikyau.

He added, “I say this because once you allow time to pass, so many things can happen. Don’t forget there is this story making the rounds about the possible involvement of this same officer (Mr Vandi) who took the life of Bolanle in the killing of a customs officer sometime in (the) mid-90s somewhere in Minna.”

The NBA president further said excuses for the delay in Mr Vandi’s prosecution are consistent with Nigerian Police Act.

“We have some suspicion about how this matter is being handled right now by the police. I listened to the force public relations officer yesterday, and he talked about certain processes that should be followed before the investigation will commence. And I do not agree with that because that does not represent the position of the law,” he added.

He noted that the provisions of the Police Act 2020, “if you read section 96 of that Act and also section 103 of that act, it is very clear that once a police officer is accused of having committed a particular crime, and in this particular case, the suspicion is that of murder, there is nothing that can be interpreted in that act as not allowing for the prosecution of that police officer or subjecting the prosecution or investigation of that officer to certain internal mechanisms of the police.”

The murder of Raheem has triggered nationwide condemnation, with President Muhammadu Buhari and citizens condemning it and calling for justice for the deceased.

Raheem’s brutal murder comes barely two years after young #EndSARS protesters shutdown major cities in the country, demanding an end to police brutality and extrajudicial killings by the notorious SARS.