SCID YABA (DETECTIVE OFFICE) SAME DAY
Detective Smith gets up from his chair and walks towards the door, Tega who is now without cuffs and sitting directly opposite Smith’s empty chair turns his head and trails him with his eyes as he makes to open the door, but he doesn’t; instead he just paces back and forth in the spacious office. A television sits on a stand in a corner with a VCR player and a DVD player placed on top of it. A small Canon ZR20 recording camera lying on a couch beside the TV is connected to the television with AV cables but the power is switched off. Odion is sitting on the same couch beside the TV where the camera is. He sits facing the only window in the office that has its blinds pulled up for enough ventilation to complement the ceiling-fan that is creaking slowly as if being rotated by an invisible hand. His chin rests on his cupped right palm, the folded arm supported by his thigh, while the other arm rests loosely on his other thigh; his gaze fixated on Tega.
“Tega” detective Smith calls as he stops pacing and faces Tega, “I asked them to take the cuffs off you because I needed to hear from you first before I decide the next step of action” he pauses for a reaction from Tega, but he simply sighs and shakes his head before throwing it backward – and exhales.
“I might not be 100% sure yet, that you killed Bola. But I’m sure that you have something to do with her death; the extent of that ‘something’ is what I am yet to prove. And to save all of us the time and stress that comes with investigation and staying behind bars till investigation is concluded, just tell me what you know about Bola’s death; give me a confession, and we will know what to do about it” he moves to his side of the table, leans forward and looks directly looking into Tega’s eyes.
“Detective, I have told you, I know nothing about Bola’s death. I didn’t kill her; neither do I know who did. And in all honesty, I don’t have a clue about why you arrested me for questioning, while you probably have the killer in custody”
“By ‘probably have the killer in custody’, you meant Dayo right?” Odion asks sitting up and using both his index fingers to demonstrate parentheses as he mentions the word ‘killer’
“The police arrested him, claiming they have some incriminating video. What do you expect me to say?” Tega turns to Dayo as he replies.
“Err… Odion, would you let me handle this by myself? If and when I need you to make any contribution as Dayo’s lawyer, I will tell you so” Smith cautions Odion who simply recoils back to his former sitting position.
“Now do you believe Dayo killed Bola, or in your opinion, we should be looking somewhere else?” Smith turns to Tega again
“Detective, you arrested Dayo, you claimed you have evidence and a motive, you even showed the video to his wife; who then am I to have a different opinion or theory on who did kill Bola or who didn’t, when I am not a policeman or an investigator?”
“Well, I agree with you. I have evidence and I have established a motive why Dayo would kill Bola, would you say you have a motive of your own for killing Bola?”
Tega sighs, sits up straight and thinks for a few seconds. “Detective, do I need to have a lawyer present?”
“Oh! By all means if you want to go that way, please do. I just think I need to have a gentleman’s talk with you first before we start talking bail and bail rejection due to the fact that we have damning evidence against you” Smith replies calmly as he sits on his swivel chair rocking it back and forth.
“What evidence?” Tega asks sharply
“Same one that connected you with Bola’s murder” Smith answers flatly
“There can’t be any, or maybe someone is just lying against me” Tega looks confused but he says with some confidence.
“Odion, could you please play tape again?” Smith asks Odion who has stayed quiet for a while
Tega’s face is a mask of shock as he watches the tape with his mouth agape. The tape does not directly link him to the murder but is enough to make anyone want to look his side. He had hired some guy to watch Dayo and his ‘mystery’ mistress he was talking about 4 days to his wedding. The guy came back same day with the picture of the woman, Tega was shocked as the woman in the picture turned out to be Bola. He felt bad for Bisi but he saw an opportunity for himself in a way. He would gather enough video and pictorial evidence and send them anonymously to Bisi while they are at the wedding reception, this would break her and cause a kind of unprecedented confusion and maybe mark the end of that wedding and marriage. And naturally; he would be there for Bisi, and he can then start planning how to scheme a total takeover. If he was lucky, Bisi would not tell the whole world about the evidence as not to shame her sister in public, but afterwards he can manipulate her to use the videos and pictures to blackmail Dayo into paying her off for the tapes and pictures.
His man was sitting in a car at the car park of the hotel where Dayo met Bola on his wedding day; he took pictures of the car Bola drove and her wearing the cheerleader costume as she was driving in, and then he recorded the parts where Dayo walked out of the hotel back door, to the car, and then got in. He also recorded the continuous shaking and rhythmic movement of the car afterwards indicating people in there were either having sex or doing something close to sex.
But the video he is now seeing seems to have come from a CCTV camera and only shows Bola driving in and his man doing all the snapping of pictures and recording of videos before driving out soon after, there is no part showing Bola’s car afterwards. The video ends and detective Smith speaks first
“You might be wondering how we knew that man was working for you; and why the video was on your man and not on Bisi” Smith asks with a wry grin on his face. He pauses… no one says anything.
“Odion here obtained this video from the hotel. Luckily for us, your man, who by the way is now in custody, does not know so much about video surveillance, or maybe he didn’t think the hotel will have functioning CCTV cameras. We also discovered that you called your guy at exactly 9:46am on that same day, my contact at the phone company gave me the transcript of your call, this is what you said…” he pulls out a paper from beneath a file on his table. “Dude, how far? Everything is set for the reception? Don’t mess up abeg!”and he replied you “Boss, everything is set, it will happen just before the reception just like you want it” Smith pauses again to read Tega’s reaction, his forehead is suddenly a pool of sweat and his breath, a little quicker.
“I swear, I didn’t kill Bola, I swear to Almighty God. Please, believe me, please…” he turns to Odion who sits still without any expression on his face and back to detective Smith who has a wry smile plastered across his face.
“Well, now that I have your attention, you need to know that sadly, we don’t have any video of Bola being killed yet, and neither does the hotel have it. Because, maybe by chance or intentionally; Bola drove in and parked her car at a particular point where the roving CCTV has a blind spot. The camera couldn’t pick anything from that angle and your man drove out few minutes after Dayo joined Bola in the car and probably while they were still having sex. So, we know your man didn’t kill her, but who did? We tried to trace the owner of that blue Toyota Sienna, the car was not registered to anyone, and it seemed the car did not even exist until that day. We are not sure of anything yet, is there a second man hired by you? Was there someone hiding inside Bola’s car all along or even in the car park? Is there a chance that we can unravel this murder case today? Well, maybe your video can help us; your man said he turned everything over to you at the church while the photographs were still being taken right after the wedding. So, Mr. Tega Onoja, save me some time and provide this video in your possession, and maybe, just maybe you can save yourself some jail time.” Detective Smith concludes with a stern look on his face.
“Errrr…” Tega makes to say something but instead a droplet of tear streams down his face, he wipes it off and is about to make another attempt at talking when his phone rings.
“Detective, could you please tell him to pick the call and put the phone on speakers please?” Odion asks Smith politely. Smith nods towards Tega and mouths “Speaker, be normal”. Tega pulls out his phone from his pocket, picks the call and places it on the table. Bisi’s voice comes alive hysterically.
“Tega, Tega, are you there? Are you still at the police station?” Smith indicates with his head for Tega to say he is not.
“Yes, Bisi I’m here. And No, I am no longer at the police station, the police made a mistake. We have sorted it out. I was going to call you. How are you?” he says calmly
“I don’t know, there is a problem, a big one”
“Errrr…” Tega looks from Odion to Smith, they both nod persuading him to ask what the problem is.
“Are you alone” Bisi asks. Odion and Smith both give Tega a stern warning look as if to tell him to play along. He complies.
“Yea, yea, I’m alone” he speaks convincingly enough
“Someone saw us, someone has our video; they just sent it to me” she says, her intermittent sobs cutting through her words.
“Calm down, who saw us where? What video”
“At my bridal shower, inside the Tundra, when we were having sex, please come, please…” she blurts out
“Whaaaaaat!” Odion and Smith both exclaim before they realize Bisi is still on the phone.
“Tega, whose voice is that? Tega!”
“Errrr… No, I’m coming right away…” Tega replies but Smith presses the red button; he quickly adjusts himself after the surprise, and turns to Tega
“So this is it, you were having sex with your best friend’s fiancée, you fell in love with her; and then you discovered that your best friend was sleeping with his fiancée’s sister. Then you plotted to use two stones to kill one bird by killing Bola, then release evidence to Bisi, so that Dayo will be in jail for Bola’s murder, while you run off with Bisi at the end of the day. Very smart, very very smart – you deserve to be applauded” he claps for him thrice with contempt written all over his face as he gets up from his chair.
“I swear I didn’t kill Bola, I don’t know anything about her death. I will tell you everything you need to know about this case, I will tell you everything I know, but you need to believe me, I didn’t kill anyone. Someone else is behind this, please.”
“Officer” Smith calls out to one of the policemen, he comes in. “Process this man, and lock him in cell 2 until I get back” he turns to Odion.
“Odion, let’s get to that hospital and see Bisi, this case is getting a lot more interesting”