I’d like to thank you all for coming to the Lagos Golden Sands book signing/launch, tweeting about it and supporting it in various ways. We did it! I appreciate you guys much and it was great meeting so many people in person finally after twitter, fb and bb convos. The pictures would come soon, plus there’s a video too.
Enjoy today’s Tricia’s Nightmare
Tricia lay on the floor, alone in her cell. She had often heard hilarious stories of cellmates maltreating newcomers but this had not been the case. She was alone in her cell and the darkness was driving her crazy. But even more, she had not heard anything from her family. She was certain that her mum must have heard by now and should have come here to see her. She waited and waited, and every sound of an approach to her cell made her jump in anticipation, only to be deflated in disappointment. Because of this, she did not sit up when her cell was approached until its door opened. A very light skinned man she had never seen before stooped over her and told her they would be leaving. She was hustled to a van and cleaned up enroute their journey. The whole drama in court was like a blur to her and in the daze, all she heard was the judge saying she should be held until the case was brought before a competent court. Again, she was hustled into the van and taken to the bigger police station at Ojuelegba. She was led to a small office by the fair man and seated behind the desk was a man who looked at her through hooded eyes like she was some kind of vermin who should be exterminated. He spoke with an air of disdain.
“I am Olu Williams, and I will be investigating and prosecuting your case. I will be frank with you. You will be tried for the dastardly act of cold blooded murder you committed. Some people will come to you to try and convince you to complicate this case by talking about some rape matter. You will be wise not to listen to them.”
“But he raped me and I didn’t kill him,” Tricia interrupted. Dudu stepped forward and scowled menacingly and she cowered but Olu held his hand up and he stepped back. “Look young woman, I am trying to help you here. If you keep saying such things, I will be forced to ask for the maximum punishment in a murder case. You will hang. But if you are a good girl and make this and easy case, there will be leniency in your sentencing.”
Her lips parted like she wanted to say something but Olu signaled Dudu and this time, he moved forward and yanked her to her feet by her left hand. Pain shot into her brain at the suddenness and force of the action. “That will be all, Miss Abah. You will be escorted to your cell now. I do have to prepare your case as soon as possible.”
AIG Saranja looked out of the window in his office. He hated the police force. The buffoon who was now IG had no business being superior to the likes of him. He had been passed over twice now on the IG appointment. The first time was almost understandable. The man who had been appointed then was politically crucial to the balance of power to the then Yoruba president. He had needed an Easterner at the helm of the police and army to balance off the power of some political elites in the North. It didn’t make it less painful though. But then, the sitting IG now was another matter. There was no logical explanation, whether geopolitical politics, seniority, clout and whatever else you wanted to consider as to why this clown should be his boss. And as is typical of such things, once he was IG, the guy had effectively cut off every income source he had. He was living on the goodwill of some senators now, but that wasn’t living. This Tricia’s case had dropped the answer into his laps. That boy Olu had a great track record of convictions and he had personally asked that the boy be put on the case. No one had protested as it seemed irrelevant to them. But they didn’t know what he knew and hadn’t been made the offer he had been made. The boy had better perform.
Two men landed in Lagos that day, with different interests in Tricia’s case. The first was Teju Bello, forensic investigator, tasked with locating some evidence of foul play that would invalidate the claims to millions of pounds that Bruno’s widow now made. The insurance man, Peter had simply on instinct sensed foul play and Teju thought he was right.
The other man was Maro Dickson. Something just wasn’t right. The Tricia he knew was no killer. After the initial shock after reading that story, he had sat down to think about the story well and had been unsettled enough to take some days off work and come to Lagos. He wanted to see Tricia himself and interview her. He would know if she was lying. He would be meeting her aunt in Ikeja shortly. He gripped his luggage and called one of the airport Taxis
Kofo had been in the back of Okafor’s magistrate court and had watched the charade that resulted in Olu being able to legally hold Tricia indefinitely now. She was now beyond convinced that Olu was going to go through with getting this girl convicted for murder without taking the rape into cognizance. She was back in her office now and powered up her laptop. She logged into her email and downloaded the pictures she had emailed herself from Tricia’s blackberry before handing it over to Olu. He had forgotten the power of technology. It was not like the old days when evidence could so easily be destroyed
She then penned a memo, indicating the necessity of doing getting a doctor’s opinion on whether Tricia was raped the morning she was arrested as the door had been broken down and the lady had reported that the victim had raped her in the wee hours of that morning, and since it was a report of rape that had brought the police to the scene, she believed the doctor’s opinion routine. She sent the memo to Olu’s office and copied the IG and sent another copy to the Ministry of Police Affairs. She would see justice done for Tricia. Then she called Maro
Maro had been enroute Ivie’s when the call came into his phone. He picked up the call and a voice that was evidently female but still lower pitched than most female voices he had heard said “Hello”, to him.
“Hello, may I know who is speaking?”
“My name is Kofo, and I believe that I’m speaking with Maro Dickson.”
“Yes, you are,” he said, wondering if this was one of those 419 callers, “how may I help you?”
“I was the first officer at the site of your friend, Tricia Abah’s residence when she called for rape.”
“Rape? I thought she was being held for murder?” Maro was confused.
“There was a murder, and she might have been the murderer, but there was also a rape, and she was the victim and the perpetrator of that rape is the one for whose murder she is being tried now.”
Maro whistled. He had been right, there was more to this than that blogger had reported. The report had conveniently left out the rape angle and had painted Tricia as a vengeful lover. Kofo was still speaking “she needs a good lawyer, can you get her one? I know the lawyer prosecuting her well, and he will extract the maximum penalty if we cannot get a lawyer that will puncture his case. And let me tell you, he is very good.”
Maro thought for a second. “I just got into Lagos now and will be meeting her aunt here in Ikeja. Where can we meet in like two hours?”
“Where in Ikeja are you meeting her aunt? I’ll join you.”
“Fantastic. I will text the location to you.”
She hung up and he extracted Ivie’s text and description of The Place on Isaac John Street and sent it to Kofo’s number after saving the number.
Olu was livid. That foolish Kofo had set him up. Now he had to get that doctor’s report and he didn’t want to take any chances. Good thing was, the girl was still using a state appointed attorney, so he could easily arm twist him into using a doctor of his choice. And he would ensure that the doctor gave only the report he wanted.
Oloye was by now very worried. His wife hadn’t called and she was supposed to have gotten to Lagos since yesterday but he hadn’t heard anything from her since she left him. He had tried to call her severally but her number wasn’t going through. And he didn’t have that nonsense Ivie’s phone number. He was on his way to the park now to inquire if the driver had returned from Lagos. When he got there, there was an unusual crowd. He approached one of the drivers and asked about the station wagon. Once he described the vehicle, the driver’s eyes went to the ground and he shook his head. Oloye grabbed the man’s shoulders and asked “what is the problem? En, what?”
The driver answered in pidgin “Oga, that station wagon get accident for road yesterday. Wetin I hear be say nobody for the motor survive am”
Oloye’s hands dropped from the man’s shoulders and his eyes became clouded. With a head hanging down in remorse, he began to go to the police station. Suddenly, the weight of his foolishness dawned on him. He could have paid for air travel, but rather put his wife in a car and now she was gone. He could have given his daughter the money for an apartment in Lagos, but he didn’t. Now she was in police custody for murder. He was a fool, an old fool.