Yippe! A winner has emerged from my prediction contest. Scroll down to find out who it is.
And Just for the record, this episode is the longest I have ever typed and the one I made the most research on… My fingers hurts now. Read, and don’t forget to drop your thoughts. PEACe.
Boniface grinned. “That’s the problem. I don’t know where the Dr. Daniel is at the moment, but I have a feeling he might soon turn up.”
Judge Oditah hated Boniface smile, it was one of all those smart arse smiles of proud lawyers who think they know it all, “let’s hope you are right.” The judge finally replied. “You may continue with you questioning.”
Boniface turned back to Jummy, “So Miss Jumoke, do you know about the missing car?”
“Yes, I was at the club with Zainab when it was stolen.”
“Before it was stolen, were you aware that Zainab and Richard were having more than just marital problems?”
“Yes, I think Zainab was even considering a divorce before the whole thing got more complicated and she landed in the hospital.”
“So correct me if am wrong, I just want to understand the pattern here.”
“Zainab and Richard had marital issues, so Zainab decided to divorce Richard, right?”
“Yup, that’s right.”
“Okay, so after Richard learnt about the divorce, Zainab magically landed in a hospital few days later?”
“Yes, that’s correct too.”
“And just when she when she started making plans of suing Richard, her car mysteriously disappear?”
“Mysteriously? Nah. That arse hole over there stole it to spite Zainab!” Jummy blurted.
“Objection!” Tony yelled from his seat.
“Objection sustained. Miss Jummy, you are warned.” Judge Oditah responded. “You may proceed, barrister.”
Boniface nodded, “so miss Jummy, in summary. Zainab attempted to divorce Richard and then all sort of bad things that can’t really be explained started happening.”
“From your years of knowing the couple, how would you describe Richard in an emotional view?”
“Hmmm, well, let’s just say Richard doesn’t take defeat lightly and he is a control freak.”
Boniface smiled. He was sure his point had been passed and he was sure Judge Oditah had gotten it.
“That’s all Miss Jumoke. Thank you for your time.”
“You are welcome.”
Boniface turned to the judge. “I rest my case.”
Judge Oditah nodded in approval and watched Boniface go back to his seat. He turned to Tony, “would you like to question the witness?”
“Yes your honour,” Tony replied.
Tony sprung up from his seat and ransacked his suitcase in search of something. He beamed of joy as he found it – a single sheet document.
He took it and handed it over to Jummy.
“Miss Jumoke, can you please confirm if that’s a copy of your statement?” Tony said.
Jummy quick scanned it, and confirmed that was what she had written earlier, already typed. This people have very fast typist Jummy thought.
“Yes, it is.”
“Okay, good, can you please turn over and read the highlighted portion?” Tony replied.
Jummy turned the paper and saw a portion that was typed in a different font.
“…I know Zainab very well as we have been best friends for years and I can vouch that…”
“Thank you Miss Jumoke, you have already read the portion I want the whole court to hear.” He walked over an took the document back from Jummy. “So from what you just read, Zainab is your best friend right?”
“Yes, she is.”
“As your best friend, you can do anything for her right?”
Without thinking much, Jummy replied, “yes, I can.” She smiled at Zainab, who smiled back.
“Good. So there is every possibility that she told you to write all of this and because she is your best friend, you did as you were told?”
“She didn’t tell me what to write, I wrote what I know.”
“Not that the question I asked you. Is there a possibility she can tell you to write this?”
“The question is irrelevant since I wrote what I know,” Jummy replied, already getting pissed.
“Just answer the question! Is there any possibility that Mrs Anderson can tell you to write that?!”
“Miss Jumoke, please answer the question.” Judge Oditah added.
Jummy looked at Zainab and the at Boniface, then back at Tony. “Yes, but you have to acknowledge she didn’t tell…”
“Thank you miss Jumoke,” Tony cut in. He turned to Judge Oditah, “Your honour, I rest my case.” Tony walked back to his seat smiling. His intent was simple, he hoped the Judge would think that Zainab had told Jummy to write false things in her statement.
Judge Oditah picked up his pen again. This round was a tough one. The possibility of Richard being a Psycho who can’t take defeat easily and the possibility of Jummy statement being a lie.
He thought deeply, but briefly about it and wrote on his jotter:
He concluded that Jummy lying in her statement can’t affect much in this case but the possibility of Richard hurting Zainab because of she wanted to divorce him was more appealing. The score were now even.
The Judge rose his head and turned to Tony, “Your witness please.”
Tony smiled and stood up, “Mrs Zainab Anderson, can you please walk up to the dock?”
“Objection! The victim can’t be called as a witness!” Boniface yelled as he sprung up from his seat.
“She is the prosecutor as well as the victim, she is on my witness list and I have every right to call her to the dock,” John replied calmly.
“He has a good point,” Judge Oditah replied.
“But, your honour…” Boniface tried to say.
“Counselor, this is my court room and if I say she can be interrogated, then she can be interrogated.” Judge Oditah cut it, he then turned John, “you may proceed.”
Zainab stood up from her seat reluctantly but was some how sure of herself at the same time. She walked to the dock and sat.
“Mrs Anderson, what lead to your admission in the Lagos State Teaching Hospital?”
Zainab sighed, she thought of her responce and choose her words wisely, “am not entierly sure since I can’t really recall the entire event, but I know Richard knocked me out.”
Tony smiled, “are you aware that adultery is a crime under the Nigerian Law?”
Zainab could sence where he was heading to and didn’t like it. “What has that got to do with this case?” She asked.
“A lot actually. Just answer the question and I’ll tell you.” John replied grinning. He loved that Zainab was feeling uneasy.
“I’m not familiar with that portion of the law,” Zainab replied.
“Well, I’ll tell you. It is a crime punishable under the Law.”
“Good to know,” Zainab murmured then avoided eye contact.
“So miss Zainab, have you been entirely faithful to your husband?”
Zainab shruged she looked at Boniface who immediately saw something was wrong and he knew the start Zainab gave him meant “do something now!”
“Objection!” Boniface stood up.
Judge Oditah turned and gave Boniface an irritating glare. “What are you objecting to this time?”
“My client is being asked irrelevant questions. This isn’t a magistrate court where we are to talk about marital issues.” Boniface replied, and was glad the response made sense because he didn’t think before he spoke.
“Your honour, I’m aware that this isn’t a magistrate court. I know where am heading to and by the time am done, you would see the relevance it has to this case.” Tony replied immediately.
Judge Oditah looked at Boniface and the back at Tony. “You may proceed counsellor, I’m curious about where this is going. But hit the nail on the head quickly.”
“Yes your honour.” Without waiting for any additional statement, Tony turned back to Zainab, “can you answer the question now please? Are you a faithful wife?”
Zainab shrugged, she calculated there was no possible way they must have know about her and E.A, so this definitely had to do with Clement. “I’ve been faithful to Richard ever since we got married. I decided to explore my options only after I had filled for divorce,” Zainab finally replied. Being a smart lady, she definitely choose her words well but Tony wasn’t impressed.
“Please, can you just answer yes or no?” Tony asked. “Have you been a faithful wife?”
Zainab sighed, “well, I have!”
“You have?” Tony asked.
“Okay then, so does that mean you don’t recall this face?” Tony turned to the door and just like clock work, someone opened it and walked in. All the reporters and audience all turned to the door to see who just walked in. It was Clement.
As Zainab saw him, she felt like blood had rushed into her head and was about to faint. Boniface had a hint of what was going on and wondered why Zainab never told him that part of the story.
“Do you know this man?” Tony eventually asked as the drama subsided.
Zainab was speechless.
“I’ll take your silence as a yes. Agreed?”
Zainab still remained mute.
“Okay, since you have suddenly lost your ability to talk, let me do the talking for you and tell this court something that is missing from your statement.”
Everybody ear widened, even Judge Oditah smiled, this might turn out to be the most interesting case he has tried but he quickly straightened his face and hoped no one saw him smile.
“Mrs Anderson, you were still married to Mr Anderson when you met this young man over there, in person of Mr Clement. You took him to your matrimonial home and laid with him on your matrimonial bed. As Faith had it, Mr Anderson apparently got home at that same period and caught you and Clement red-handed. As any husband who truly love his wife would react, Richard started a fight with Clement and in the process he mistakenly pushed you and you fell down hard, so you passed out.” Tony paused to let what he had just said sink into the audience and Judge head before he continued, “so from this, we can see that my client is actually the victim here. Is it a bad thing to get angry? What ever happened to Zainab was solely her fault but she can’t accept that she was unfaithful so she blames it all on my client. And just for the record, Mr Clement knew nothing about her marital status and she didn’t bother to inform him neither. I rest my case.” Tony concluded and walked back to his seat.
It took the judge ninety seconds before he could talk, he was surprised from what he just heard and judging from Zainab silence, it was true. He turned to Boniface, “would you like to cross-examine the witness?”
Boniface took a deep breath and responded, “yes, your honour.”
Boniface stood up and walked to the front of Zainab. “When you married Mr Anderson, did you love him?”
“Of course I did.”
“Do you still love him even after all this has happened?”
Zainab sighed, she hadn’t expected such a question from Boniface and wasn’t sure if she was supposed to say yes or no, she decided to risk it. “In as much as I know I’m not meant to. I still have feelings for Richard.”
“So if you love him, why then did you have an affair outside your marriage?”
Zainab gave Boniface a what-the-fvck-are-you-doing stare, instead of Boniface to be asking her questions that would help matters he was asking questions that seemed to be worsening her case.
“Can you please answer the question?” Boniface asked, straight faced.
Zainab decided it was best she just played along and say the truth, “I and Richard weren’t working any more and Richard was also a cheat. I have caught him red handed more that once cheating in different manners and since I was we were just weeks away from being divorced, I decided to try and move on. I agree that what ever I had with Clement was wrong in all aspect but I Richard broke my heart by cheating several times and I had too much alcohol that evening so I was also drunk.” By the time Zainab was done talking, she was already crying.
Boniface smiled. He had gotten exactly what he wanted, he had hoped she would cry. The whole court seemed to have forgotten how Zainab had cheated and now glared at Richard for being such a player.
He dipped his hands into his pocket and brought out a shinning what handkerchief then handed it over to Zainab to dry her eyes, “am so sorry Mrs Anderson.”
Tony sat on his seat and couldn’t take it any more, “you have got to be kidding me,” he murmured, “objection your honour!” He yelled. “This isn’t a play and definitely isn’t Nollywood, so can we stick to the case?”
“That’s exactly what we are doing, this is the case, you brought up the issue of marital infidelity, I just wanted to make sure the court also saw it from Zainab’s perspective.” Boniface replied, he didn’t want to push his luck so he adjusted his tie, “but just for the record, I rest my case.” He walked back to his seat.
Judge Oditah sighed, this was definitely the toughest round so far and he really didn’t know who to give the point to. He picked up his pen and wrote in his jotter:
“Mrs Anderson, you may step out of the dock.” Judge Oditah said to Zainab.
Zainab sniffed and slowly walked out of the dock down to her seat. The court was strangely silent as everyone now felt her pain.
The Judge looked at the crowd and announced. “We would go for a ten minutes recess. When we return, the final witnesses would be questioned.”
The bailiff stood up and yelled, “All Rise!” As Judge Oditah walked back to his chambers. He need to rest and ponder over the case.
Tony walked to Richard as the whole court room became rowdy. “Were is the witness?” He asked sounding impatient.
“Calm down, he is coming. Trust me.” Richard replied.
“How can you tell me to calm down when I’m going to call him after the short recess?”
“I know him to be a living and walking calculating robot, he would be here when you need him. Trust me.” Richard replied, sounding confident.
Tony sighed and walked back to his seat frustrated. He needed something strong to win this case.
At the other side of the court, Zainab was still trying to gain her composure after crying.
“Why didn’t you tell me anything about this Clement guy?”
“Hey! Don’t go judging me. I didn’t think it would be relevant to the case and beside, its not something I’m proud of, it was one of my weak moments and I was too drunk… Really drunk.” Zainab replied.
Boniface wanted to push it but thought it would be wise to keep his trap shut, so he changed the topic. “Do you know who I filled in as our final witness?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll prefer to keep it a secret for now. We are going to win this case, trust me.” Boniface replied and winked at Zainab who wasn’t entirely impressed.
* * * * *
Eventually, ten minutes came and went. Judge Oditah came and after all due protocols were observed, he went to the bench and sat down, he braced himself for what was going to happen. He somehow felt this round would be a tough one.
“Before we proceed, can I have a word with both counsellors?” Judge Oditah asked as if the could say no, whereas they really didn’t have an option.
Boniface and Tony both approached the Judge.
“I want a precise and clean trial. No irrelevant questioning, no biting and pulling of hairs. I’ve I made myself clear?”
“Yes your honour,” the both replied in unison and walked back to their seat.
“Counsellor Boniface, your witness please.” The Judge said.
Boniface walked up to the front of the court. “Can Mr Anderson kindly walk up to the dock please?”
Half of the court was surprised exclaimed in surprise. The other half, alongside Judge Oditah smiled and had expected something dramatic like this to happen.
Richard looked at Tony seeking approval and Tony nodded, he had no choice. Richard walked to the dock.
“Mr Anderson, I’m going to be straight forward so kindly answer my questions with a yes or no. Is that fine by you?”
“Yes.” Richard replied.
“Good. Do you love Mrs Anderson?”
“Have you ever cheated on her?”
“That depends on what you mean by…” Richard tried to say.
“Yes or no please,” Boniface cut in.
Richard sighed. “Yes.”
“Have you cheated more than once?”
“More than twice?”
“More than thrice,”
Richard shrugged, he knew Zainab have caught him out with different girls more than a hundred times, even though she had never really caught him sleeping with any of them, but is that relevant? Cheating is cheating, he thought.
“Yes,” Richard sighed.
“Ah!!!” The audience exclaimed in surprise.
“So Mr Anderson, have you been a faithful husband?”
“Not entirely.” Richard replied and looked down at his feet.
“Yes or no please.”
“Are you the one in that tape which was played earlier?” Boniface asked.
Richard was speechless, he knew what saying yes meant, he decided to take the risk. “No.”
“I beg your pardon?” Boniface asked.
“I’m not the one in that tape,” he lied.
“But it was cross examined and scanned through our data base.” Boniface replied, un-believing.
“Well, your data base lied.”
Boniface shrugged, “do you remember you are under oath?”
“That tape was verified by the Federal Government of Nigeria, by saying the data base lied, you are simply saying the Government is a liar.”
“I don’t know about that, but I’m not the one in that tape.” Richard said with a tone of finality. Boniface realised that even if he asked Richard a hundred times, he would still say no so he moved on.
“So I guess its your word against the Government,” he said. “So back to my questioning, yes or no replies only, can we proceed?”
“Did you arrange for Zainab’s car to be stolen.”
“What do you mean by no? We have witnesses that claim you paid them to steal it.”
“The car you are referring to as stolen, is mine. I just took back what was mine.” Richard replied.
The whole court looked confused, Zainab couldn’t believe her ears.
“What exactly do you mean by that? Zainab bought the car with her hard earned money.” Boniface replied.
“Nope, she didn’t. I bought the car and gave it to her on our fourth anniversary. All receipts and records have my name and signature. Since we were obviously no longer a couple, I decided to take back my car.” Richard noticed as Boniface smile changed into a frown, “do you want to see the receipts? I have it here with me.”
Boniface frowned. Richard had a very good point and there was nothing much he could do about it. He decided to try again.
“Were you behind the missing two million that Mrs Zainab apparently wrongfully sacked her P.A for?”
“I currently have roughly sixty four million naira and that’s only in my Nigerian bank accounts. We can call the bank to prove this. Why on earth would I steal two million naira from my beloved wife when I apparently gave almost the same worth of food stuffs to orphanages round Lagos last year?” Richard replied.
“Five years ago, when you married Zainab, you weren’t even worth ten thousand naira. And that was when the two million went missing. And you stole the money from Zainab for reasons I’m not aware of to start your own video company. The only thing you have is your creative mind which you used to shot nice movies and musical videos which star rocketed you to massive fame and wealth, but sadly and obviously, you didn’t use your creative mind just to shot videos.”
“Objection your honour! False charge, my client is being told what he never did without any proof,” Tony yelled from behind.
Judge Oditah turned to Boniface, “until this court finds him guilty, he is to be considered innocent. So unless you want to be held in contempt, you had better have sufficient reasons and proofs to back your claim.”
“Fortunately, I have more than enough proof.” Boniface replied and walked up to his suit case and brought out a file. “At this point, I’ll like to submit evidence number two.” He replied and handed over the file to the court admin who then handed it over to the Judge Oditah.
“That file contains records of series of bank transfers from Zainab’s account to Richard’s. There were twenty bank transfers, made in a time limit of two weeks, and if you add up all the money that was stolen, it would sum up to two million. Nothing more nothing less. And please take note of the dates, it all happened five years ago.”
Judge Oditah scanned through the documents and saw Boniface was right. It was a collection of bank statements and all sort of bank documents which proved the money transfer has been made. But Judge Oditah still needed to be more convinced.
Boniface noticed this and explained, “apparently, Mr Richard needed the money badly to start up his video company, he refused to ask Zainab for it, probably because of his ego. So he somehow got hold of her E-banking details and started wiring the money to his account in small bits so that Zainab won’t notice. When Zainab started getting alerts, she assumed her P.A who she trusted with her finances was working on some sort of deal on her behalf but after a while of not seeing any report of the missing money, she called her P.A for an explanation ans since her P.A couldn’t explain it, she was sacked shamefully. Two months later, Richard bought a building around Oshodi and pimped it up with camera and stuffs like that, presently, he has branches all over Nigeria and the world at large but who wants to guess how much this particular Oshodi branch is still worth?”
“Two million naira!” The whole court echoed in response.
“Exactly! Your honour, I rest my case.” Boniface said and walked to his seat, feeling like a winner, at lease he finally had a reason to smile.
Judge Oditah was convinced, but theft of such manner had a bail option which Richard could pay easily, obviously, he sighed.
He turned to Tony, “do you want to cross-examine the witness?”
Tony knew Richard had handled the first two sues well and he also knew the evidence against him for the money theft was beyond any reasonable doubt. “No, your honour,” he replied.
“Okay, in that case, you may call your final witness.” Judge Oditah replied.
Tony watched as Richard walked out of the the dock and gave him a questioning look, but Richard didn’t look at him to reply. He decided to take the risk and call on his witness, hoping he had arrived.
Tony walked up to face the court, “Can Doctor Daniel please walk up to the dock?” He said.
The court went silent. One-third of the audience put two plus two together and guessed the Daniel is the one in the tape, another One-third guessed the same as the first set but wondered what was the point of calling Doctor Daniel now when the case seemed to favour Tony already. The final one-third just wondered who Daniel was and what he had to do with the case, another
Nobody stood up.
Tony gave Richard an inquiring look and Richard gave him a I-don’t-know look.
Tony sighed, “Doctor Daniel, are your present in this court room?”
The audience stared at theirselves in confusion, thinking that one of them might soon stand up and walk to the dock.
Judge Oditah looked at his wristwatch, the case was already almost two long hours, he didn’t like the idea of it breaking his former two hours record. “Counsellor, if your witness isn’t present. I’m afraid that we might have to move to closing statements.”
Just when Tony was about to nod in approval and move on, the doors of the court room flew open and two men walked in. Both dressed with proper traditional South African wears, from their dressing they were obviously from the Xhosa tribe. They both looked alike and seemed to be brothers but one was quite taller.
Tony face beamed with joy. “Doctor Daniel?” He asked.
“That would be me.” The taller one said.
“Okay, can you please walk up to the dock?”
“With all pleasure.”
Doctor Daniel walked up to the doctor and sat down.
“Hello Doctor,” Tony said.
“Hello.” Doctor Daniel replied indifferently.
Judge Oditah looked at his wristwatch and sighed, “counsellor, why don’t you keep the pleasantries for next time and go straight to the point.”
“Yes your honour.” Tony replied and requested that the Ipod be played again and it was.
“Are you the Dan that’s being referred to in the tape we just heard?” Tony asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“And what’s the name of the person you spoke to?”
“Richard.” Doctor Dan replied.
The whole court went wild, the case just got ten times easier. Richard was definitely going to go to prison, or so they thought. It took the continuous banging of gavel by Judge Oditah to restore order in the court room.
When the court room was back to normal, Tony continued with his questioning, “do you know that man over there?” Tony pointed at Richard who sat at the corner of the room.
“Yes, I do.”
“Who is he please?”
“That is Mr Richard Anderson, he is my employer.”
“Employer of what? If I may ask?”
“I’m a part-time actor. I have a movie acting contract with his company.”
“So is the Richard in that tape, Mr Anderson?” Tony asked.
“Yes, he is.”
Tony smiled. If the court doesn’t mind, I’ll like to play a scene from the movie that Mr Richard and Doctor Daniel shot three years ago.
Judge Oditah nodded and gave the approval.
Tony picked up the remote of the DVD player which was dragged into the court room and placed where everyone could see.
The scene was a scene which feature Doctor Daniel, Richard and an actress. In the scene, exactly the same conversation that was made in the Ipod recording was made.
On this discovery, the court went wild again. This time, it took the intervention of some uniformed men to restore order, no one even heard when the gavel was being banged.
When order was restored, Tony spoke. “This movie is one of Mr Anderson unsuccessful movie, it sold less than fifty copies worldwide. And my client isn’t the type who hold on to failure, he strives and move forward, now he is one of the best video directors in the world, and just like Tyler Perry, he acts in some of his movies. The tape is a excerpt from this movie and my client isn’t a robot who remembers every thing and you don’t expect him to remember a scene for a three years old unsuccessful movie. That is why he denied being the one in that tape. Who planted the tape in Zainab’s house and the reason behind it is yet to be known, but my client is not guilty of the attempted murder charge, I rest my case.” Tony replied and walked to his seat feeling good.
Judge Oditah sighed and turned to Boniface, “would you like to cross-examine the witness?”
Boniface looked at Zainab who was confused as hell, Boniface scratched his head. He knew the evidence was fake and Doctor Daniel had probably been offered more money that he could say no to. But he also knew that nothing he could say or do could reverse that. “Sneaky son of a bitch,” he murmured.
“What did you say?” Judge Oditah asked.
Boniface cleared his throat, “I said no your honour,” he was glad the Judge didn’t hear that.
“Okay then, I don’t think closing statements would be necessary since we all know where this case is headed.” Judge Oditah replied.
So we are going to take a short five minutes recess, and the verdict would be announced afterwards.
“Court rise!” The bailiff yelled as Judge Oditah retired to his chambers.
* * * * *
They say time flies… Well they might be right because five minutes came and went within the blink of an eye.
The prosecutors and defendants all stood up as judge Oditah passed his verdict.
He started with a boring speech which had to do with marriage counselling and stuffs like that before he finally got down to the verdict. He wore his eye glass and picked on a sheet of paper.
“On the charge of grand theft auto, this court finds Mr Anderson Richard… Not guilty.” He started and Richard grinned. “But we have to acknowledge the fact that the way he took the car was wrong and therefore, a fine of three million naira would be paid for any damages he might have caused.” Zainab smilled, she knew three million naira would easily get her a new and better car.
“For the charge of attempted murder,” Judge Oditah paused and watched as everyone in the court ate up their hearts in suspense. “This court finds Mr Anderson… Not guilty too.” From his seat, Richard felt the urge to jump out and start dancing, but he remembered he was an awful dancer so he stayed put and just scream from joy.
“Finally, for the charge of money theft. This court finds Mr Anderson… Guilty!” Richard smile slowly faded, Zainab was indifferent. “The proof shows that everything you have now is as a result of the stolen money, so all your bank accounts, and assets would be frozen right away and you are hereby sentenced to five years imprisonment… With hard labour. You have a hundred million naira bail option which would be paid to Mrs Zainab if chosen.” The Judge watched as Zainab stood up and started hugging everyone from Jummy to Boniface to John and even Samuel, while Richard slumped to his seat, he nearly fainted.
“This is my verdict.” Judge Oditah said and stood up to leave the court.
An ear deafening “All rise!” Followed.
TO BE CONTINUED.
At this point. I’ll like to say a big congratulation to “Clemzy” for giving the most similar prediction. Kudos. I’ll contact you via email tomorrow to give you your price. For more details and explaination on why he won, you can visit the #GiveAway topic and read the comment, I explained it all.
Oya! dont run yet! kindly drop your thoughts before you leave ;D, thanks.