The court room was filled to the brim, someone would have thought it was the Michael Jackson child molestation case with Gavin Arvizo that was being re-tried.
They court made it clear that no camera would be allowed into the court room, so most TV and Magazine representatives that hadn’t come with an audio recorder had to delete every file on their phone memory card so that there would be enough space on it to record the whole trial on tape.
Richard sat at one end on the court room in a customed cubicle that was designed to restrain his movement. He had a sober and confused look, he was still trying to understand why so many people had come to witness the trial and how they even found out about it. “Blogers,” he sighed. “If only they can all blog about things that matter like soCHISTAR.”
At the other side of the court room was Zainab and of course, Boniface – her lawyer.
Zainab looked quite attractive in her grey coloured plain top and a blue pencil jean.
“So I got your email yesterday and noticed that you filed a three count case. I’m aware of the stolen car issue, the supposed attempted murder so what’s the third count?” Zainab asked.
“Do you remember what happened five years ago, about a week after you married Richard?”
Zainab looked confused. “Not really, what has that got to do with this case?”
“Well you sacked your manager for stealing two million naira from your account without any reasonable excuse.” Boniface paused for second, he knew Zainab won’t take what he was about to say lightly. “Well, I have reasons to believe that Richard is the person who actually stole it and he used the money to establish his own video company.”
Zainab face turned red in anger, “that bastard!” she cursed.
Jummy sat right behind Zainab with John and Samuel by her side, she tried her best to say nothing.
The noisy atmosphere became as quiet as a grave yard as the presiding judge, in person of Judge Oditah Fidelis walked in to the court room from his chambers and the court staff screamed, “court rise!”
Everyone in the court room stood up as the watched Oditah walked to his seat which was directly at the front of the whole court room. As soon as he sat down, everyone in the court room sat down too.
The court staff then went ahead to announce the case that was about to be tried to the public and confirmed the presence of everyone that had something to do with it.
“Mr Richard, you have heard all you are charge for, what’s your plea? Guilty or not guilty?” Judge Oditah asked.
“Not guilty your honour,” Richard replied.
“I want to believe you are aware of the consequence if you are eventually found guilty? This court doesn’t take cases of Car theft and attempted murder lightly.”
“Yes I am, and I still stand by my plea. I’m innocent your honour,” Richard replied. His face straight.
“Okay then,” so can I hear the opening statements please,’ the Judge finally said to Boniface. He was a fairly old man who was at the wrong side of sixty, and he was known to be a no-time-to-waste kind of Judge, the longest case he had ever tried lasted just two hours, he hoped this case would be far less than that.
Boniface adjusted his tie, and placed his wig properly on his head before he stood up.
Judge Oditah was irritated by his Boniface gesture, he had no time to waste and this silly barrister was adjusting his wig.
“Do you want to comb your hair too?” Oditah asked and the whole court roared in laughter, even Zainab’s lip curved into a smile.
“No, your honour, I was just…”
“Oh! Keep your just to yourself and tell me what I want to hear, why should I send this young man over here to prison,” Oditah cut in.
“As you please your honour.” Boniface cleared his throat and walked to the front of the court room, he faced the audience and started.
“My fellow Nigerians, we are all here not because we have nothing to do with our precious time or because we just love being in courts. But we are here to prove that this man,” Boniface pointed to Richard, “Mr Richard Anderson, has taken the law into his hand and knowing broken a long list of laws. Firstly, he attempted to murder his wife in cold blood and when that didn’t work he went ahead to steal her car and if he hadn’t been caught red handed, he probably would have gone…”
“Objection! False charge, my client to be considered innocent of all charges until he is proven guilty,” Tony who had been sitting and listening in silences stood up and scream.
“Objection sustained,” Oditah said and turned to Boniface, “you heard the man, please lets stick to things that are already proven.”
“Okay your honour.” Boniface replied and then faced the crowed to continue, “I have reasons to believe that Mr Richard Anderson is also responsible for the missing two million naira that led to the wrongful sacking of Zainab’s manger five years ago. Are we going to let this man go scot free and give him the chance to make Mrs Zainab Anderson life a living hell? And maybe when he is done with her, he might look for a second prey which might be our friends or love ones?” Boniface asked and gave a puppy face, “No!!!” about half of the whole court roared. “I didn’t think so too.” Boniface then turned to Oditah, “that my case your honour.”
Oditah nodded and let Boniface return to his seat before he looked at Tony, “your opening statement.”
Tony, a smart looking man of thirty. Without wasting much time, he stood up and went to the front of the court room.
Tony cleared his throat and began speaking, “In all my years of service as a lawyer, I haven’t seen any case that is as ridiculous at this one, and in my humble opinion, I’ll say it’s just a waste of this court’s valuable time. And this are my reasons. Firstly, my client, Mr Richard, is being charged with a case of attempted murder all because of someone recorded a forged tape an placed it in her house. How can we even be sure that the prosecutors aren’t responsible for placing the evidence there? Okay, let’s say that’s true and we let it pass. How can you possibly think that Mr Richard who is a well known producer and a wealthy one at that would steal just two million naira from his own wife? Doesn’t that sound really stupid? And finally, he is charged with grand theft auto all because of two people had been tortured or maybe bribed to say so,” Tony paused and turned to the judge, “your honour, this case is obviously a waste of your precious time and I request that its being adjourned. Thank you,” Tony replied and walked to his seat slowly.
Judge Oditah had a comical way of judging each case, he always took a jotter and a pen to court and after each round of, he rate them and give them scores. So as Tony went to sit down he picked up a pen and wrote in his jotter:
PROSECUTOR – 0
DEFENDANT – 1
This simply meant that Tony and Richard had won the first round.
He kept a straight face and turned Boniface, “your witness please.” He said.
Boniface adjusted his suit and wig once again before standing up, then went to the front of the court, “the first witness on my list is miss Jumoke Olukoya, if you are here can you please walk up to witness box?”
Jummy stood up immediately, and in the process nearly pushing the table at her front to the floor. She walked to the witness box glaring at Richard who purposely avoided her glare.
The court staff then walked up to Jummy, “are you a christian, muslim or atheist?”
“Christian,” Jummy replied.
He gave her a bible, “can you please place your right hand on the bible and repeat after me?”
Jummy did as she was told.
“I Miss Jummy Olukoya,” Jummy repeated after him. “Do swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”
The court administrator then walked away as Boniface walked toward Jummy.
“Miss Jumoke, how are you feeling?” He asked.
“Am good,” Jummy paused and then added, “I think.”
“You think? Why aren’t you sure?”
“Well, I dunno, maybe because after all Richard had done to Zainab, he still stands here and opens his dirty mouth to deny it all.” Jummy said with disgust.
“What do you mean by ‘deny it?’ Where you there when he committed any of the crimes he committed?” Boniface asked.
“I don’t have to catch him red handed, I know Zainab and I know Richard, I’ve been a family friend since like forever and I know what they can both do. The evidence against Richard says it all. At least, I was the one who found the tape,” Jummy said.
Boniface face brightened, “speaking of tape, I’ll like to submit before the court, evidence number one,” Boniface walked to his table and picked up the I pod from his suitcase and offered it to the court administrator, who then handed it over to Judge Oditah.
“In that I pod, is a recorded conversation where Mr Richard instructed someone to kill Zainab. The voice has been run through our data base and it has been proven to be Richard’s voice without any reasonable doubt.” Boniface explained and handed over a report with the federal government stamp which proved his claim.
Judge Oditah nodded in approval, it seemed like Boniface had done his home work. He the switched on the I pod and played it and listened to the contents.
“What’s funny Dr. Dan?”
“This wife of yours which you despise so much isn’t dead, and am so sure when I resuscitate and stabilise her, she would still divorce you.”
“No! She can’t wake up, kill her now!”
“I’m done killing for you! You need to be taught a lesson.”
As soon as the Judge was done listening to it, he shrugged, “So where is this Dr. Dan now? Don’t you think he has some questions to answer too?”
And that was when it all became crystal clear to Boniface. His source had told him Richard had brought a secret witness known as Daniel and in this tape, a daniel was being called. Two Daniels in one case.
“Coincidence? Nah, I think not.” Boniface murmured to himself. He had a perfect Idea.
TO BE CONTINUED A.S.A.P
Oya! dont run yet! kindly drop your thoughts before you leave ;D, thanks.