A coalition of 223 women groups- Womanifesto, has called for speedy trial of ASP Drambi Vandi, the policeman who allegedly shot a Lagos lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem on Christmas day.
Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Convener of Womanifesto and Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Akiyode-Afolabi on behalf of the group demanded justice for the murder of the 41-year-old lawyer, while describing unlawful use of force as a threat to life, liberty, security and equal protection under the law.
“We demand the speedy prosecution of Drambi Vandi to the full extent of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and other applicable laws.
”The family and friends of the deceased Omobolanle Raheem deserve justice and compensation for their loss and trauma.
“Womanifesto is appalled by the unjust murder of Raheem and we are calling on the Lagos state government and the Nigerian Police to prosecute ASP Drambi Vandi.
“We call for a speedy, thorough, transparent and open investigation, this is a death too many by reckless police officers,” she said.
Akiyode-Afolabi said the Nigerian constitution was clearer on right to life of citizens as a fundamental human right which cannot be arbitrarily taken by anyone unlawfully and that right to life shall be protected by law.
She said that the police were often quick to use force and firearms unlawfully.
According to her, unlawful use of force is a threat to life, liberty, security and equal protection under the law.
She said it was important to note that there were strict international standards governing how and when police can use force, or firearms.
Akiyode-Afolabi said one of which was the UN Basic Principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement actors which stated that police officers should only use lethal force or firearms as a last resort.
She added that such force was strictly necessary to protect themselves from imminent danger or serious injury and when other options were not sufficient.
Akiyode-Afolabi said that the police must show accountability for this death and several others.
She added that they should consciously and intentionally end police brutality and harassment which was a major infringement of human rights.
She said that Sections 222 and 223 respectively of Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 clearly defined murder as a capital offence and prescribe its punishment.
She said that Section 73 discusses the offence of abuse of power.
Akiyode-Afolabi said that ASP Drambi Vandi’s criminal actions have violated Omobolanle’s right to life, personal dignity and freedom.
She said that he deprived her family of the enjoyment of family life through this merciless killing.
“As a group, we are committed to joining other Nigerians and in particular, the Nigerian Bar Association, to ensure we walk with the family and meaningful Nigerians to see that justice is done.
“We commiserate with the family as we demand holistic police reforms that are sustainable and beneficial to public security.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group consisted of NGOs namely: WARDC, 100 Women Lobby Group, Women Aid Collective, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative and Above Whispers Media Foundation.
Other personalities included: Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Adenike Grange, Moji Makanjuola, Saudatu Mahdi, Josephine Effa-Chukwuma, Esther Eghobami, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa, Bisi Fayemi, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, Julie Oyegun and Josephine Anienih.
Others were Prof. Funmi Para-Mallam, Ene Obi, Fame Foundation, Ebere Ifendu, Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigerian Society, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights and Action Aid, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Transition Monitoring Group, Nigerian Women Trust Fund and Dorothy Njemanze Foundation.