Gbenga, the husband of the late Lagos lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, has narrated how his wife struggled to survive as three hospitals denied her treatment.
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that Omobolanle was shot to death on Christmas Day by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Drambi Vandi, in the Ajah area of Lagos.
The victim’s husband told a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Thursday that his late wife received the Toyota Venza in which she was shot as a gift on Friday, December 23, 2022, two days to her death.
A property developer she worked for was said to have given her the car as reward for meeting her target.
Gbenga, who was led in evidence-in-chief by the Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, stated that they got married 10 years ago and on Christmas Day, the family woke up to surprise gifts she bought the night before and placed under the pillows of members of the family.
The witness, who testified before Justice Ibironke Harrison, narrated that he also gave his wife jewellery as a Christmas gift.
“Though she was pregnant, we had an intimate moment that morning and she was really glad. After that, we had a light breakfast and we went to a nearby church with the new car gifted to her.
“We stay at Ajah and on Sunday we normally go to the Redeemed Christian Church of God at Ikoyi. But on that particular Sunday, our church had a general programme we call ‘Let’s go a fishing’ at Surulere.
“So, we decided to go to The Word Assembly Church where we got married 10 years ago, because my wife was very close to the founder of the church because they brought her up spiritually while she was growing up.
“They had also lost a son, so we went to greet them after service. When she finished greeting them, my wife said it would be nice if we could get everyone pizza.
“So, we went to get ice cream and yogurt at Domino’s Pizza near Ajah under bridge. We then went towards Ajah under bridge to make a U-turn to come back towards Abraham Adesanya, because our house is a few bus stops before Abraham Adesanya.
“As I did the U-turn, I saw police officers ahead and the car in front of me slowed down. I overtook the car and there was an officer on my left that said I should park.
“While he was still saying that I should park because he was following me, all of a sudden, I heard a sound on my wife by the passenger’s seat window; the window was smashed. I saw blood gushing out of her chest.
“I quickly parked and ran out with my sister-in-law, Titi, because the children were in the car and she was seating directly behind my wife. She was the one that had the four children in the car; we just had one daughter,” he said.
The witness explained that after they got out of the car, his wife’s sister held the defendant and he pointed his gun at her that he would shoot her.
He said, “I held my head; I was devastated. It was a bad dream and my life was just going blank. Then, some guys said we should block the road and raise the alarm so that people could see what the police had done.
“My sister-in-law pushed the defendant in front of the car and said, ‘You shot my sister, you killed my sister’; my wife was still conscious. I sped off and left my sister-in-law to take my wife to a hospital.”
He said the first medical facility, Bodu Hospital, referred him to Doren Hospital.
“The defendant was following me but I didn’t know how he stopped when we went to Doren Hospital. I was crying and shouting that the doctor should help me to save my wife; I said she was pregnant, save her life.
“They brought an oxygen can and put it in her nose and a needle in her hand and cotton wool to try and absolve the blood.
“She tried to pray and the doctor told her not to talk; she said I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe and after a while, the doctor said we need to take her to Granville Hospital at VGC.
“When they took the oxygen cylinder away, I knelt and pleaded with them to save my wife. I went to pick my phone from the car and showed them my account balance. I said expense was not the issue.
“So, when they said we needed to take her to Granville Hospital at VGC, they went to get the ambulance; when they came back, they said the driver was not around.
“I told them to give me the key so that I could drive it; they went inside and came back in a few minutes and said the driver went with the key. I now noticed that my wife was getting weak.
“I begged the doctor to follow us; at that time, they had started pressing her chest. So, when the doctor didn’t want to follow me, I said please give me the nurse, because the doctor said he couldn’t leave the hospital as he was the only one around.
“As I was about to leave, I saw a police van and told them that they said we should go to Granville Hospital; they followed me.
“When I got to Granville, I ran inside and started shouting, ‘Please help me, my wife has been shot.’
“Then, a female doctor came out; I thought that they would have taken her in, but she started checking her pulse and then said she had passed on.
“I was shattered; I couldn’t speak again. The police picked her and put her in their van, and I just looked at my wife’s lifeless body and I was like my wife is gone. It took me a while to put myself together because everything was over,” he added.
The deceased’s sister, Mrs Titilayo Enema, in her evidence, corroborated Gbenga’s statement.
She said she saw Vandi with a gun and when she heard the gunshot, she thought the defendant only hit the windscreen.
“I just heard my sister say, ‘Gbenga, bullet has entered my chest’; she repeated it the second time. Immediately, her neck just dropped, her tongue was out, then her eyes closed.
“I shouted, ‘Mummy Semilore!’ I ran out of the vehicle and held the police officer and said, ‘You just shot my sister now’. The defendant pointed his gun at me and said, ‘I will shoot you.’
“When I held him because of what he did, I was scared later until I saw two boys who came out and said I should hold him; I then became bold.
“Then I said, ‘Oga, it is either you shoot and kill me just the way you have done to my sister; I will not leave you’. I dragged him and said, ‘You will sit down near my sister that you just shot’.
“Then I saw my brother-in-law and thought he would join me, but he was rolling on the ground. I noticed that the defendant wanted to enter the patrol van; I dragged him down. He saw a mini-bus and wanted to enter, I also dragged him down.
“I went to Ajiwe Police Station and started shouting that I wanted to see the Divisional Police Officer, but they kept telling me that he was not around.”
During cross-examination, the witness insisted on seeing the defendant with the gun.
The case was adjourned till February 1 and 2 for continuation of trial.