ASP Vandi beat the flies buzzing around his head away again and muttered some unintelligible words . The Sergeant on Patrol with him looked at him curiously. That was the 3rd time Vandi was swatting the irritants away. He was getting increasingly agitated. Sergeant Bello had asked him if all was well and he had replied in the affirmative, saying “na just dis shege flies wey no gree leave me”. The only problem was that Bello could not see any flies around Vandi or anywhere around the checkpoint. He had thought of placing a call to the DPO when Vandi suddenly cocked his gun and pointed it at the imaginary flies. “Dan ubanka. You come near me again, I shoot you”. He however hesitated when it appeared Vandi had calmed down. He had suddenly gone still, barely moving. You would think he was on the parade ground or in a trance in the red-garment church he attended. At about that same minute, Omobolanle navigated her car, containing her husband, Sister, and 4 kids around the noisy danfos under the Ajah bridge. As her car emerged from behind the row of mini-buses filling the air with chants of “Obalende, Obalende”, she came face to face with Vandi who had one hand up, waving it around in front of him like a faulty table fan while the other hand held a gun which pointed towards her. “Blood of Jesus” she screamed as she slammed on the brakes just as a loud bang rang out from Vandi’s gun. She felt an indescribable pain, very briefly, before she lost consciousness, never to reawaken.
The needless, gruesome, and totally inexplicable murder of seven month pregnant Omobolanle Raheem sent the entire country into a state of perplexity. Even for a nation largely inured to the bestiality of blood letting and senseless killings, whether by those paid and armed with the people’s taxes to protect them or by drug-ravaged bandits running amok in the north or their demented cousins in the South East who have vowed to lay desolate the very land they claim to be setting free, this particular killing was one that greatly shocked. For some reason, maybe because it was Christmas day and she was doing the perfectly ordinary things tens of millions of other Nigerians were doing at the same time – enjoying the yuletide season, or it was the fact that she was seven months pregnant with twins, something about the senselessness of her killing just didn’t sit right. Well, at least to the majority of normal, rational people who could not excuse it for any reason. However if, like me, you thought the scenario described above leading up to the death of Omobolanle was quite ridiculous, then you are not the Force PRO of the Nigeria Police, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi. As far as the gentleman who replaced the highly effective Frank Mba is concerned, Vandi killed Omobolanle under the influence, not of drugs or alcohol, but some mystical forces that merely used him as a tool to achieve their nefarious ends. We couldn’t really blame him for killing the 41 year old lawyer, wife, daughter, mother, and Sunday School teacher. It was ‘eedi’ at work. For non-Yoruba speakers, ‘eedi’ is a type of curse that makes you behave in an unthinking manner that is guaranteed to get you into destiny-altering trouble
Speaking on a talkshow on Splash FM Radio, Adejobi asserted that “We are in Yorubaland here now. I’m sure many agbalagbas will know what is called efun, eedi, aransi, asaasi,…Whatever happens in the physical realm is controlled in the spiritual realm. That’s the spiritual aspect of it….” He then goes ahead to wax glowingly of the man that is accused of murdering Omobolanle, even to the extent of suggesting that while Vandi might have been a pawn in the evil hands of the manipulators of the spiritual realm, Omobolanle might not have been the direct target of the scheme but her death could have been meant to bring sorrow to a third party. He goes further to state that “it is not in the law (I guess as a defence). Lawyers will tell you it is not in the law but o wa o. As a man, when you wake up in the morning pray against it that don’t let me misused today (sic)…..” Even if one is able to get over the flippancy he brought to such a tragic event, the thought process of the foremost Spokesman of the nation’s Police Service triggers serious concern. The absolute lack of empathy for the family of the deceased is worrisome. In the almost 3 minute video clip , not once did the gentleman express sorrow at the tragedy his man had visited on this poor family. While he might have done so in a segment not captured in the said clip, I find it totally unconscionable that the Police could be speaking so glowingly of this alleged murderer even for a second while the body of Omobolanle is still in the morgue. What was the purpose and to what end? What did he hope to achieve? Should the Spokesman of the Nation’s Police Service be putting forward a defence for the alleged killer while investigations have not been concluded? A defence which even he concedes is not admissible in law? Yet he goes ahead to put it out there on public radio. Was he speaking as the protector and enforcer of the laws of the land or as a Babalawo? If the sentiments expressed by Adejobi reflect the mindset of the Nigeria Police, where then will justice for Omobolanle come from? Since the Police, whom he speaks for, have already concluded that forces beyond the control of Vandi orchestrated the killing of Omobolanle, how diligent would the investigation into this dastardly shooting be? More worrying, if we have a Nigeria Police Service that believes that it’s men can be overtaken by demons and made to kill innocent pregnant mothers on Christmas day, who do Nigerians turn to when it happens?
It is heartwarming that the Attorney General of Lagos State has elected to personally prosecute the case. That gives a certain level of assurance that justice will be done and will be seen to be done. People with the mindset of this Police Spokesman cannot be trusted to handle either the investigation or the prosecution as getting justice for the victim and her family is obviously not their priority. It tells a sad tale that despite the clamour for the reform of the Police Service, people like Vandi still have access to guns and people like Adejobi still represent the Police. The reforms have to be system wide and far-reaching. There is obviously much greater work that needs to be done beyond disbanding SARS and giving out complaints numbers. Vandi and other killers in uniform on the streets are mere symptoms. The disease spreads much higher up the chain
May justice be served in the case of Omobolanle Raheem!