The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said it will demand at least N5billion compensation for the family of slain Lagos lawyer Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem.
It will also monitor the trial of Assistant Superintendent, Drambi Vandi, who shot and killed Mrs. Raheem in Lagos on Christmas Day.
NBA Lagos Branch member and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), in a statement on Thursday, said he was appointed to lead the monitoring team.
Mrs. Raheem, an expectant mother, was in her car in the Ajah area of Lagos on her way back from church with her family when she was shot.
Adegboruwa said: “The NBA Lagos in conjunction with the NBA President, Mr. Y.C. Mikyau, SAN, has decided to be part of the prosecution of the policeman as part of its efforts towards securing quick and effective justice for the family of the deceased.
“In this regard, the NBA will be partnering with the Ministry of Justice during the trial.
“Mr. Adegboruwa has in turn obtained relevant briefing from the Hon. Attorney-General of Lagos State and has secured the assurances of an accelerated prosecution once the case file is received from the police.”
“The NBA is also seeking monetary compensation for the family of Mrs. Raheem from the government of Lagos State, the Federal Government, and indeed the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission, through its Human Rights Committee.
“The NBA will seek for payment of damages not less than five billion naira in addition to the prosecution of the killer cop.”
Adegboruwa urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to follow the model that he adopted during the EndSARS Judicial Panel to “pay compensation to the family of Mrs. Raheem immediately since it is an established fact that her life was terminated illegally by a policeman.”
The SAN called for the immediate implementation of the EndSARS Judicial Panel Report in which far-reaching recommendations were made in relation to:
“1. Psychological orientation for all police officers in the handling and use of weapons;
“2. Training for police officers on basic human rights observance and enforcement;
“3. Improving the welfare of all police officers in terms of their take-home pay, conditions of service, their places of work, and residences in order to make them more conducive;
“4. Recruitment of more police officers to reduce the pressure upon the existing officers whose number is not adequate to effectively police the country.”
Adegboruwa believes it was unacceptable that the issues that led to the 5 for 5 demands of the youths and the EndSARS protests in 2020 had not been addressed despite repeated promises from the government.
He urged the government and the relevant authorities to “go beyond mere press statements of lamentations on the gruesome murder of Mrs. Raheem and to accelerate the prosecution of the killer and payment of compensation to the family of the deceased and all other victims of police brutality”.
By Robert Egbe
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