Just in case you are an official LASTMA and are yet to see the gorgeous pictures from the Golden Sands Launch/Signing you can see them here: http://tlsplace.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/golden-sand-launch-all-the-pictures/
Enjoy Episode 6 of Tricia’s Nightmare
Kofo got to Isaac John from Surulere five minutes before Maro walked in. That was how bad the traffic coming out of the airport had been. Seated in one of the corner sits in the internal secluded area was Ivie and a man. He approached them and sat down quietly. “Good afternoon,” he said. “I didn’t expect we would have company”. He of course knew that Ivie was into “runs” but it was none of his business. What was his business though was when one of her toyboys was brought into discussing Tricia’s fate. As if getting his drift, she offered “this is Taju, and he is a brilliant lawyer. Tricia refused his services once on account of me, but we were hoping you would be able to convince her to see reason why she needs someone other than those state organized stooges.”
Kofo had chosen to watch them from an obscure seat for a few minutes before showing herself. She walked up to the table and stretched her hands out to Maro “Kofo,” she said. He got up and welcomed her, pulling a seat “please sit, I’m very glad you’re here.”
It was now Ivie’s turn to wonder. “And who might this be?” she asked with some incredulous element in her voice. “This is Kofo, and she was first officer on crime scene. She will be helping us with the case.” Turning to Kofo, he said “I guess you know Ivie already. The gentleman is…” she cut in “Barrister Taju Badiru. If he is the attorney you have gotten for Tricia, he will do. But he must know that he is up against a yeoman’s task here. He must punch big holes in the prosecution’s case or it’s to the gallows for dear Tricia, and I’m not being unnecessarily gloomy, just plain honest.”
Taju spoke up “I appreciate your honesty, and I’m assuming there are elements of this case we are yet to discover that you can help us shed light on. Who is prosecuting?”
“Olu Williams,” she responded. Maro let out a whistle. Ivie asked with worry written all over her “what is it?”
“They gave her the man that is probably the best prosecution lawyer in criminal cases in the pay of the government.”
“So you know him,” Kofo quipped.
“Who doesn’t?” he responded. “Ruthless, calculating, detailed and precise. He is the toughest opponent you can imagine, and he has the state’s power on his side.”
“But win, we must.” It was Maro, showing a determination that hadn’t been there before.”I’m wondering if there isn’t more to this. Why are they throwing all this at Tricia?”
Kofo agreed with him internally, but chose not to say anything.
“There’s one small issue we are forgetting. Before Taju can even be her attorney, Tricia must appoint him to be so. And the last time we went to see her, she literarily chased us out.” Taju nodded in agreement with Ivie.
Just then, Kofo’s phone rang. She checked who it was. Olu Williams. She quickly showed those seated and then took the call
“Hello Olu, how may I help you?”
“So you thought you could blindside me with the doctor’s opinion stuff and first officer at site talk? You do know that the state attorney defending her will not do anything stupid to jeopardize this case. He will agree to whichever doctor I chose, and you can be sure what song my doctor will sing”
“Well, we’ll just have to see about that, don’t we?”
“There’s nothing to see there. Even your opinion as first officer at the site won’t hold water against a qualified doctor’s opinion in court.”
“As I have said, we shall see,” she replied curtly. “Now, Olu, if you have nothing else to say, good afternoon.” She hung up quickly.
She turned to the rest of the people around the table. “We had better gotten Tricia to accept you, Mr. Lawyer fast.”
Teju had spent a few hours in Lagos and he had done the first thing necessary. In the UK, he would have had to go to a police morgue and gotten special clearance, but here in Nigeria, he only needed a wad of notes in the right mortuary in Ikeja and he was able to have a look at Bruno’s corpse and even take some photographs. It helped to establish that the guy was truly dead, and the death certificate they had gotten was no fake.
He called Peter as he left the place. His employer didn’t like the news. “Find something out that will help us,” he had said. What he had really meant, Teju knew was to find some irregularity in the death that would remove the obligation to pay such a huge sum. He had researched the story and from what he had gathered online, Bruno had been killed by his lover. He had to find out why, and where that lover was. He knew he had to deal with the police to get anything. That 4000bucks might just not be enough. He wouldn’t like asking Peter, but he knew he would get what he needed when he needed it. He took a taxi to his Ikeja hotel and began to make some calls. He had to find the first officer at the crime scene.
Kofo had to leave the rest of them. Also, Taju suggested that with their last experience, he didn’t think Ivie going with them to see Tricia was such a good idea. Hence, she grudgingly left them. So Taju and Maro took a cab and found themselves stuck in traffic on Ikorodu Road for over an hour. The heat in Lagos that afternoon was stifling and by the time they had gotten to the Ojuelegba police station, they were tired and cranky. Taju knew his way around and in no time, they were asking to see Tricia. Dudu stepped forward and asked roughly “and who are you?”
Maro stepped forward and answered “My name is Maro Dickson, and Tricia happens to be my woman. I came as soon as I heard and would like to see her.” A light passed across Dudu’s eyes and he said “wait for some minutes, let me ask my oga.” Taju wanted to say something about rights, but caught the look in Maro’s eyes and hushed. When the policeman came back out, an eagle looking fellow was behind him, and as he came in, hands shot up in salute with shouts of “shun sir!” ringing through the air.
“Dickson as in Chief Dickson?” the man quizzed as soon as he reached them. Maro rolled his eyes internally but managed a smile “I am not the chief just yet, only is his son.”
“The son of the lion is a lion,” he replied with a smile that looked more like a cat grinning. “Olu Williams is my name, and I am told you have some relationship with Tricia.”
“She is my fiancée and I rushed down as soon as I heard her matter. I’m certain there is some kind of mix up. The Tricia I know is the most gentle and shy soul there is.”
“I’m afraid there is much you do not know. But I’ll let you see her on name recognition. Normally, we wouldn’t, but for a Dickson, I’ll make an exception.”
“Thank you very much sir. I’ll be sure to show my appreciation,” Maro said, shaking Olu’s hand. Dudu who had disappeared while they were talking reappeared now to lead them to where Tricia was.
Back in his office, Olu cursed his luck. He knew that somehow, Kofo was involved in all this, even though he hadn’t seen her physically. Maro appearing out of the blues was quite unlucky and he was a powerful Dickson. They were the ones in power at the center now, and it would be wise to play cautiously. He dialed AIG Saranja
As Olu was making that call, Kofo’s phone rang too. Teju had been lucky and after making inquiries from press contacts he had gotten through the blogger who had first carried the story, he had parted with some thousands of Naira and Kofo’s number. It was he who was calling Kofo now. Kofo had ignored the calls the first two times. This Tricia’s matter had taken her out of the office a lot and the paperwork was piling up. But the caller had been persistent and she had eventually picked it up. “Hello,” she said, not bothered that the irritation was evident on her voice.
“Hello, this is Teju Bello.” The voice was British accented but it seemed the individual had made an effort to douse the accent. “How may I help you, Mr. Bello, seeing that I’m pretty busy right now? I need you to go straight to the point.”
“Would you have an interest in Tricia Abah’s murder case?”
Kofo became instantly alert “and why would you want to know if I was? And let’s say I was, how would that concern you sir?”
“I think you should make out time to see me urgently. I think there’s more to this case than meets the eye.”
“Well, Mr. Bello, while I’m curious to see you, you could be the prosecution’s agent for all I care. So you need to convince me in your response or forget about seeing me.”
“I think we might be able to prove that Tricia did not kill Bruno, if we work together,” he responded.
“Tomorrow morning, 7 a.m. Call me.” she said
He was about to hang up when he thought of something “Oh, and do not tell any of the people tied to this case about me. It really could be any of them.”
“Understood,” she responded, and then he hung up.
Tricia couldn’t guess at who had come to see her. The silent light skinned officer who had come to get her didn’t volunteer anything and she was too terrified of him to ask him anything. She quietly trudged along. Waves of relief flooded over her when she entered the small visitor’s room and she saw Maro. Without bothering about the others in the room she flung herself into his arms “Thank God you came. I thought no one was coming for me again.” Maro just held her and the way he held her spoke more volumes than any words he could ever muster. He held her like she was still his own. She had not been abandoned.
Dudu stepped in to separate them and she quickly went over to the small chair provided for her opposite her visitors. It wasn’t until she was seated that she saw that Maro hadn’t come alone. He had company. A dark cloud passed over her face when she saw who it was. Why had Maro come with this man?