By: Rahmatullah Mahmud

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has demanded that the Federal and Lagos State Government pay family of slain female lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, N5 billion as compensation for the loss and pain suffered from the legal practitioner’s death.

NBA has also requested that it be allowed to monitor trial of Assistant Superintendent of police, Drambi Vandi, who allegedly killed their colleague on Christmas Day in Ajah axis of the state.

The lawyers’ demands were announced on Thursday through a statement released NBA Lagos Branch member and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

Adegboruwa disclosed that he has been appointed to lead the monitoring team for the lawyers for the case on the legal practitioner who was an expectant mother in Lagos.

He urged the state 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.”

Accordingbto the statement, “The NBA Lagos in conjunction with the NBA President, Y.C. Mikyau, 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.”

Meanwhile, he has recommended 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”.

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