Recall that on February 28, 2023, Vandi filed a ‘’no case submission” before the court in a bid to have the charge brought against him by the Lagos state government, quashed on grounds of weak and inconsistent evidence linking him to the murder.
However, at the resumed hearing of the case, Justice Ibironke Harrison held that the prosecution led by the Attorney-General of Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, had established sufficient oral and documentary evidence linking the defendant to the crime, which required an explanation from him.
According to LIB, the court added that the evidence of the defendant, being the only other eyewitness who had yet to testify before it about the incident, will shed light on what happened that day.
“The prosecution has established a prima facie case requiring some explanation by the defendant. The court isn’t looking at the credibility of the prosecution witnesses at this stage. The court will not delve Into the substantive case right now. The only real issue now is whether a prima facie case has been made by the prosecution, and not whether it has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt,” the court held
Eleven witnesses comprising eight police officers, some of whom were colleagues of the defendant; two eyewitnesses and a pathologist have appeared before the case since the case commenced.
Delivering the ruling, the court noted that some of the witnesses had testified that they saw him shoot the deceased that day and that the defendant’s rifle was short of two ammunition upon his arrest for the shooting.
Reacting to the ruling of the court, the defence counsel, Gbenro Gbadamosi, said his team will review the ruling and decide on whether to file an appeal. However, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins, said an interlocutory appeal of this nature will not stop the continuation of the trial in line with section 273 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws of Lagos state and applied for a date for further hearing.
The case was adjourned till May 16, 2023 for the defendant to open his defence.
Late Raheem was shot dead on December 25, 2022, while on an outing with her family. She was pregnant when she was murdered in front of her husband and their daughter.