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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Raheem: NBA suspicious of police, condemns lackadaisical attitude

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday said it was no longer comfortable with the way the Nigeria Police Force is handling the killing of a Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, Channels report.

The Bar also said it was dissatisfied with the way the police is handling the matter since the lawyer was shot dead by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi.

“We have some suspicion about how this matter is being handled right now by the police,” said NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau on a live TV programme.

“I listened to the Force Public Relations Officer yesterday (Wednesday). He talked about certain processes that had to be followed.

“I do not agree with that because that does not represent the position of the law.

“If you look at the provisions of the Police Act 2020, 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 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 objecting the prosecution or investigation of that police officer,” Maikyau said.

The NBA President said the Nigerian public should not be made to wait perpetually for the police to go through their so-called internal procedure before the prosecution of the suspect. “I see some lackadaisical attitude in that respect,” he said.

“I say this because once you allow time in this manner to pass, then so many things can happen,” Maikyau noted.

Similarly, the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday approved the suspension of Vandi after the recommendation of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

Vandi, who was attached to the Ajiwe Police Station in the Ajah area of Lagos, had on Christmas Day shot at the victim.

The cop and his team were said to have tried to stop Raheem and her family members as they drove back home from a Christmas Day church service.

Raheem, it was gathered, was shot when the car she was in tried to make a U-turn under the Ajah Bridge. The victim was rushed to a hospital but was confirmed dead.

The NBA subsequently demanded N5bn damages for the family of the victim and immediate justice on the matter.

The killing of Raheem has attracted outrage with many Nigerians including top presidential candidates for 2023 calling for police reforms. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has also condemned the murder of the lawyer. The sad incident occurred just about two years after the #EndSARS nationwide protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

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