Adedamola Daramola was shot during the fuel subsidy removal protest in January 2012.
The trial of Segun Fabunmi, the dismissed police officer accused of killing a protester during the January 2012 fuel subsidy protests, began on Tuesday with the prosecution calling two witnesses.
Olabisi Akinlade, the trial judge, refused to hear the defence lawyer’s plea to apply for a variation of his client’s bail conditions.
The judge had, two weeks ago, set a N250 million bail for Mr. Fabunmi, a former Divisional Police Officer, in addition to providing two sureties who must, each, have landed property in Lagos worth N100 million.
George Oguntade, the defence lawyer, informed the court of his intention to apply for a bail variation for his client.
But the judge said that she was “not ready to hear any variation.”
“This matter is for trial and I’m ready to go on,” Mrs. Akinlade said.
“I’m travelling. I’m not in a position to hear it. Serve the prosecution, let them respond. I’ll hear it at my convenient time,” she added.
Mr. Fabunmi, a former Chief Superintendent of Police, is facing a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, and causing grievous bodily harm.
Tuesday’s trial began with the Lagos State Government, the prosecution, calling Kunle Alabi, its first witness and an eye witness.
Mr. Alabi, a sound engineer, said that he was playing football at the front of his house on January 9, the day of the incident.
“There were about eight of us. Police came and parked their vehicles and the driver asked us to remove our goal post and leave there, which we did,” said Mr. Alabi.
The witness said that he had barely walked into his house when sounds of gunshots shattered the morning air.
“Everybody was running. I ran into my building, stood by the door, and was peeping from there.”
Mr. Alabi said that he saw Mr. Fabunmi snatch a gun from a fellow police officer and started shooting indiscriminately.
“Not quite long after they (the police) left, by the time everybody came outside, two boys have been shot.”
Mr. Alabi said that Ademola Abbey (also known as Adedamola Daramola) was also shot in the aftermath of the shooting.
“The boys around carried them to the hospital. By the time they came back, it was with Ademola’s corpse.”
The witness said that he was asked by the police to write a statement after he picked up a spent bullet, after the police had gone, and gave to the Baale of the community.
During cross examination, Mr. Alabi said he saw Mr. Fabunmi shoot into the crowd, though he noted that he could not tell whether it was the defendant’s bullet that killed the deceased.
Alimi Abubakar, the prosecution’s second witness, said that he was at the vendor’s stand when the shooting began.
After the police officers, who arrived in two vehicles, dispersed the crowd playing football, they began heading towards Yaya Abatan junction, Mr. Abubakar said.
One of the police officers shot into the air, and then into the ground, before his gun was snatched by Mr. Fabunmi who shot straight at them, the witness added.
A bullet hit Mr. Abubakar’s leg and he managed to crawl into a nearby mosque from where he said he saw Mr. Fabunmi pursuing some people into Abeokuta Street, a few metres away.
“When he got to the street (Abeokuta), he shot again, once,” Mr. Abubakar added.
Earlier, Mr. Oguntade had objected to the prosecution’s second witness giving his testimony in Yoruba language.
The lawyer said that Mr. Abubakar’s statement was written in English language.
The judge overruled him, saying that a witness can decide his language of choice during testimony.
Mr. Abubakar, 41, said that the gun used by the police officer was a “long gun.”
The witness caused a mild drama when the defence lawyer, during cross examination, asked him if he saw a bullet hit the deceased.
“Don’t ask me that kind of question,” he retorted in Yoruba.
After overcoming her initial astonishment, the judge told the interpreter to inform the witness that she could order for his arrest.
“I can order that he be rounded up. He may not go back to his house today. Tell him that,” Mrs. Akinlade said.
Mr. Abubakar said that he did not see the fatal bullet with his “two naked eyes.”
The court adjourned till October 25 and November 21 for continuation of trial.
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