The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said it has some reservations about the way the Nigeria Police Force is going about handling the case of Bolanle Raheem, a lawyer shot dead in Lagos on December 25.
Raheem, the lead consultant of Croston Homes, was killed in an incident involving a police officer, now identified as Drambi Vandi, around the Ajah axis of Lagos state.
The lawyer was said to be pregnant at the time of her death.
Speaking on Thursday in an interview on Channels Television, Mike Maikyau, NBA president, described the incident as “barbaric and evil”.
Maikyau, who also countered some earlier comments by Muyiwa Adejobi, NPF spokesperson, said the NBA is closely monitoring the situation and will explore all options under the law to ensure that justice is served.
“We are taking steps to follow this matter through to its logical conclusion. We have set up a committee to interface with the attorney-general’s office in Lagos state and also the police with respect to this matter,” Maikyau said.
“All the options available to the family will be exhausted as much as possible and also, as the law permits the Nigerian Bar Association to participate in this process, we are going to do so.
“We have some suspicions about how this matter is being handled right now by the police. I listened to the force public relations officer yesterday when he was at your programme and he talked about certain processes that had to be followed before the investigation would commence.
“I do not agree with that because that does not represent the position of the law. Of course, if you look at 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.
“Of course, I do not agree that the Nigerian public would have to wait for this police officer to go through the internal procedure or mechanisms of the Nigerian police to first dismiss the officer before he can be investigated and prosecuted.
“Once you allow time in this manner to pass, then, so many things can happen.”