Archive | November 2012

Foyegbe – A Tale of Two Hunters

Didn’t quite get a Reader’s Corner submission that made the cut this week, so I’m posting an excerpt from a book I have not published yet, of the same title. Enjoy.

TL

hunters 2

The story is told of two young hunters in a small town called Ojo-ola. The first was called Foyegbe, while the second was called Ajirebi. They were both very skillful and sharp hunters and also very good friends, who often went on hunting expeditions into the deep forests together. However, Ajirebi was a more skillful hunter than Foyegbe, as he was naturally stronger, bigger and faster. He usually had a bigger catch than Foyegbe. Now, since there was an abundance of prey in the bush, they had not learnt to preserve their game. They went to hunt everyday, ate what they could of their game with their families and sold the rest cheaply at the village market.

The truth was that they were living from hand to mouth. If there was no catch on one day, there was no food for that day. However, one day, Foyegbe sat to think. He began to ask himself some questions. Why must I wake up every early everyday, go hunting for a good part of the day and return with nothing home for tomorrow? What would happen if there were no catch for a whole week? What would happen to their families if he and Ajirebi fell sick at the same time? What would happen if there was a serious fire in the forest one day, killing everything living there? He saw how unwise their approach was and decided to learn how to preserve his catch. He created the art of roasting meat, and began to roast the leftover from his daily catch, rather than selling them cheaply at the market. Very soon, people began to seek him out, offering big money for his roasted meat. This was because the roasted meat was less messy, better tasting and longer lasting than the raw meat.

 As demand for the roasted meat began to increase, Foyegbe began to buy raw meat cheaply from Ajirebi, roast it and add to his stock. Soon, Ajirebi’s family too wanted roasted meat. Rather than take the pain to learn to roast his meat from his friend, Ajirebi would sell his own raw meat cheaply and then buy roasted meat from Foyegbe at a very high price. In no time at all, Foyegbe became the wealthiest man in the village and he was respected by both high and low. Ajirebi’s fortune (which was quite small before) steadily dwindled, as no one was interested in his raw meat again. The only person who bought raw meat was Foyegbe. Because of this, Ajirebi was totally helpless and at Foyegbe’s mercy. This influenced Ajirebi’s choices. Because of his disadvantaged position, he made very bad deals with Foyegbe, which left him buried deeply in debts.

One day, Ajirebi had a great idea. He thought within himself – rather than hunting everyday, why not just trap live animals of both sexes, take them home and take care of them so that they can reproduce under his supervision. And that was exactly what he did. Before this time, there was no domestication. Ajirebi’s domestication idea was a first of its kind, just as Foyegbe’s roasting idea was a first of its kind. Unfortunately, even though this led to Ajirebi having more meat available, it did not translate into wealth for him. Rather, it translated into wealth for Foyegbe, because he continued to sell the meat cheaply to Foyegbe. This enabled Foyegbe to meet demand more quickly and expand his business.

Like the title of Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka’s book, The man (Ajirebi) died. His children, rather than develop their domesticated animal business into a more profitable venture, decided to sell it to Foyegbe. Of course, being the shrewd businessman he was, Foyegbe’s children bought the farm and the idea of domestication from them. Over the years, he had trained his children in the art of roasting, but more importantly on the value of using their minds more than their bodies. On his deathbed, Foyegbe’s final words to his children captured it all. With a weak voice, he told them

               “The secret of the wealth is not in having the meat,

                   But in the roasting of the meat.”

Ajirebi’s children soon finished their money and came back to work for Foyegbe’s children on the farm that used to be their own. They were employed as laborers, underpaid workers on a property that was their inheritance. Foyegbe’s children however took their father’s life lessons and dying words to heart and worked with their minds. They invented new ways to process and package the meat. They made suya, stick meat, spiced meat, sausage rolls, tasty fried meat, and many more. They brought in different kinds of meat ranging from bush meat, to chicken, turkey, goat meat, and it continues to grow. All these continued to make them tons of money and the Foyegbe wealth continues to grow exponentially. Of course, with money came respect, prestige, power and nobility. The descendants of a certain hunter are today the most influential people in Ojo-ola and environs.

hunters

ff on twitter @tundeleye

Flora – 15th Petal – Attraction

My good friends at Rainbow 94.1 FM are on the sidebare. Click the image to visit their website to see the great stuff they’re doing. And tune in to Rainbow FM to listen to The Law and You on Saturdays from 6:30PM. The anchor, TY is one of my lawyer consultants for Tricia’s Nightmare.

Enjoy Today’s Flora. TL

The flower has perfected the art of attraction. The flower needs its pollinators but does not go out to meet them. Rather it designs and packages itself in a way that is attractive and irresistible to these pollinators. In fact, the pollinators are so attached to the flower that they spend as much as two thirds of their life with the flower.

 

The law of attraction is very powerful. The best way to get what you need is to make yourself attractive to those who will provide you with these needs. I meet men and women everyday that want to marry someone who is “extraordinary” (that’s the conclusion I came to after listening to their partner criteria). The first question I ask such people is this: “imagine if such a person met you today. Are you the kind of person he or she would be attracted to?”

 

We must apply this, not just to seeking marriage partners but also to every area of life. You attract what you are. Add things to yourself regularly to increase you attractiveness, both mentally and physically. Attraction helps to drive passion and passion is a necessary fuel for our lives to be alive.

ff @tundeleye on twitter

Tricia’s Nightmare – Episode 9

I’ll be announcing a new giveaway next Monday, something around writing, and it’s gonna be real interesting. Y’all should look forward to that. Enjoy today’s Tricia’s Nightmare.

TL

Teju had finally been able to obtain the call records of Mrs Aisha Ujah’s phone records on Sunday night. Peter had gone to considerable lengths to arrange them for him and he had been able to extract all Nigerian numbers in the list. He quickly removed Bruno’s number and was left with about five numbers.

Three of them were not significant; she had called them less than thrice in the last six months and none of the calls were close to Bruno’s death date. The other two numbers were however another kettle of fish. He silently thanked the government of the day in Nigeria. Unlike what he had feared, getting the identity of the owners of the numbers wasn’t as difficult as he had thought it would be. There had recently been a SIM registration exercise mandated by the Nigerian Communications Commission, and critically, the agency had created their own copy of the records. If the records had been safely in the network provider’s custody, it would have been a very tall order to get them out. But with the government agency, it was a different case. A few well placed wads of cash and guarantees that they were safe, the civil servants in the agency provided him with the names. He had been promised the response Monday morning and as he sat in the back of the courtroom and watched anonymous as Olu attempted to destroy Kofo’s credibility as a witness, he received an SMS from his source.

  • 08038205231 – Amedu Saranja
  • 07023205182 – Ivie Natasha Ovie

There was something familiar about both names that he couldn’t place his hands on. He itched to talk to run them by Kofo, but seeing that she was still in the witness stand, he rubbed his hand on his chin and said to himself

“patience Teju, patience.”

 ************************************************************************

Ivie woke up groggy that Monday morning. She knew it was Tricia’s first day in court but Taju had advised that she should not show up so as not to upset Tricia. So she lay in bed, flipping through channels and wondered what to have for breakfast. There was power from PHCN and the neighborhood was quiet from what would have otherwise been a chorus of overworked generators. She knew that by now, her compound of four flats would be empty as all the neighbors would have gone to work, they were of all those vampire-worker kind of stock that were on the road only in the dark.

She settled on plantain and eggs and got about slicing the plantain when her doorbell rang. She didn’t answer on the first ring, hoping that the person would just leave. She was in no mood to wear anything more than the flimsy t-shirt she was wearing. But when the visitor persisted and rang the bell for a third time, she hissed and went to the door just as she was. She peered through the peephole on her security door and saw no one at her door. She fumed, because she lived in one of those estates that didn’t have a fence and she assumed some kid had come to play with her doorbell until the kid heard her coming and then scampered away. She quickly opened the door, hoping to catch a glimpse of the kid so she could deal with him later. The moment she stepped onto the first of the two stairs in front of her door, she heard a voice say

“look here slowly, Ivie.”

She turned slowly to the right where the big flower pots were and found herself looking straight into the barrel of pistol.

 *******************************************************************

Back in the courtroom, Kofo received a small package containing an MP3 player plus small, earplugs and a pair of small cylindrical rechargeable speakers. There was a note attached to it, and the note said it was from Teju. It instructed her to listen to the only track on it with the earplugs and then share it with Taju. She quickly turned around and scanned the courtroom for Teju, and she saw him seated in the back. He didn’t give any indication that he recognized her and she didn’t either. She knew that sitting somewhere in the courtroom would be Olu’s agents, taking not of such things. She plugged in the earphones and plugged one of her ears so she could listen to it while being aware of the proceedings in court at the same time.

 ************************************************************************

Taju stood up and went to the front of the courtroom again, every illusion of a clean legal fight shaken away from his mind with Olu’s last theatrics. He had begun to speak about doing a re-examination of the witness but a firm shake of Kofo’s head stopped him in his tracks. It was obvious she just wanted to get off the witness stand at that time.

“The defense will now call its second witness,” he said and then turned around and scanned the courtroom before calling him. “Dr. Conrad Obochi, please take the stand.”

The small bespectacled form of Dr Obochi made its way to the front of the courtroom, wearing an oversized cream colored suit and cream colored shoes to match. Taju thought that it was the likes of Dr. Obochi that Nollywood must take its inspiration for how doctors were dressed in their movies from. The clerk administered the oath quickly and Taju began briskly

“Could you introduce yourself to this court?”

The doctor adjusted his spectacles and responded

“I am Dr. Conrad Obochi, chief medical officer and senior consultant of Wintonton Clinic. I had thirty working years as a medical doctor with twenty years of those spent specialized in field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a further specialization in Maternal Fetal Medicine. I have consulted for the Special Rape and Domestic Violence Squad since its inception and worked with the police force as an expert in rape cases for a combined fifteen years.”

Taju paused to observe the judge. He could see that she had the look of respect in her face that one professional had for another who was equally as accomplished in his field. He allowed himself a brief smile before continuing his questioning

“So would you consider yourself qualified to give an expert opinion on a rape case?”

The doctor’s hand went to his specs again and he answered “Yes I would be. As I mentioned earlier, I have consulted in this capacity for fifteen years now.”

Taju smiled again “What would you consider the standard time lapse between when a rape is reported and when the victim is brought to you?”

“The closer the time of examination is to the time when rape occurred, the more reliable the conclusions we can draw from them can be. So typically, the victim is brought to us within twenty four hours of when a complaint is made,” Dr. Obochi responded.

“So in Tricia’s case, which was brought to you about five days after the complaint was made, would you say standard procedure was not followed?”

The doctor finally took the specs off and placed it on top of the witness stand. His eyes looked tired as he responded “In this case, there was the complication of the murder charge on the victim. That is not typical; hence, I can say that though the victim was not brought in within standard procedure stipulations, it is understandable.”

“But in other to be clear,” Taju reiterated, “please answer in a yes or no manner, was standard procedure followed in this case?”

He half expected to hear Olu raise an objection to his questioning, but none came. Dr Obochi answered after a brief pause as if he was considering his answer “Yes, standard procedure was not followed,” he simply said.

“Obviously, the investigators had reason to delay this examination.” He again expected an objection to fly from Olu’s desk but none came. It seemed that Olu knew that the case would turn once the doctor gave his opinion. He continued

“In your opinion, doctor, did this fact adversely affect your ability to draw a definite conclusion when you eventually examined Miss Tricia?”

“In this case, the time lapse did not impede our ability to make definite diagnosis,” Doctor Obochi responded.

“So tell this court your conclusion upon examination of Miss Tricia, doctor.”

Doctor Obochi seemed to feel uncomfortable with his glasses off and put them on again

“From all our observations, there was definite evidence of recent intercourse. However, there was no trauma consistent with a forced penetration of her vagina as which would be expected if she were not a consensual partner in the intercourse. The only way intercourse could have occurred without such evidence is where the vagina is properly lubricated, once more indicative of consensual intercourse between Miss Tricia and her partner, most likely Mr Bruno on the said night.” He took his spectacles off again and looked at Taju with a straight face “Therefore, my conclusion is that Miss Tricia was not raped but had consensual sex with Mr. Bruno.”

Maro leapt to his feet “Liar! You clearly said she was raped when we were in your hospital” he screamed, before realizing where he was.

The judge banged her gavel and then addressed Taju “you will do well to advise the gentleman in your entourage to get a hold of himself and not interfere with proceedings in my courtroom any further otherwise he will be held in contempt of this court. Do you have any further questions for the witness, attorney?”

Taju was dumbfounded for a few moments, as the courtroom spiraled around him. how could this doctor lie through bare teeth like this? He saw that Olu had a smug smile on his face. The snake, he thought. What irked him though was that Kofo was equally smiling. What was happening? Had the two police officers been working together all along and had they just set him up to look utterly stupid? The doctor had been recommended by Kofo, and he could not help thinking that she was working in concert with Olu to secure a murder conviction in this case. He raced to his desk, and rummaged through the papers to find Dr. Obochi’s initial report. It was not there. The report was somehow lost in his file. That file had not been out of his sight since he got the report delivered to him. He felt the room spiral faster.

The he felt Kofo shoving something into his hand and mouthing the words “listen,” and “evidence” to him. He had enough of his wits on to put one part of the earphones into his left ear and press play on the MP3 player. He only needed to listen for a few seconds to hear that it was Dr. Obochi’s voice coming through loud and clear. He looked at Kofo with questioning eyes again and something in the way she looked back at him convinced him to trust her. He went with that instinct as she mouthed the words “evidence” again.

The judge was saying “Barrister Tajudeen, are you going to tell us if you have further questions for the witness or rummage through your papers all morning?”

Taju turned around dramatically and raised the MP3 player in his hands towards the judge “Apologies for the delay, my lord. I would like the court to adopt this device and its contents as evidence in this case.”

Olu’s eyes filled with suspicion as they darted from Kofo to Taju and for the first time since Dr. Obochi took the stands, he raised an objection “Objection my lord. This court cannot allow itself to be distracted from the matter by the defense’s shenanigans.”

The judge looked from one lawyer to the other and weighed the objection briefly and then responded.

“While I am skeptical as to how whatever is contained on your player will be of effect on this case, I am equally concerned as to the prosecutions sudden objections to evidence he is yet to observe. I will therefore humor you and adopt this device and its content as evidence, but I hope for your own sake that its contents are as important as you make them out to be.”

Taju bowed and said “thank you very much your honor. I have taken the liberty to also provide these portable speakers,” and he held up the rechargeable speakers “to amplify it for the whole court to hear.”

Then he walked over to the clerk’s table and put the player and the speaker on the desk and connected them. The moment he pressed play, a piercing screech filled the courtroom and then a voice, loud and clear. The small speakers were more powerful than they looked.

“Doctor, you are handling a case that is of peculiar importance to us and your testimony will be critical,” the voice said.

The doctor’s wispy voice responded “and which case might this be good sir?”

“How did you get this!” Dr. Obochi shouted, gripping the witness stand as if he would tear the top off.

Taju paused the playback and addressed an ashen faced Dr. Obochi “doctor, as this is a law court and not your examination room, I suggest that you let me ask the questions here. Since you have interrupted the playback, please confirm that the voice we just heard is yours before we resume listening.”

The doctor hesitated and Taju asked with a sarcastic raise of his eyebrow “it would seem the doctor has lost his voice. Let me repeat the question clearly for avoidance of ambiguity. Doctor Conrad Obochi, confirm that the second voice in the playback is yours.”

“Objection my lord, this would be coercion on the prosecutions part,” Olu hollered.

“Overruled!” the judge responded firmly. “The witness will answer the question in a simple yes or no manner.”

“Yes, the voice appears to be mine,” Dr. Obochi responded quietly.

Taju continued the playback as a hush ran over the courtroom

“The accused, Tricia was brought to you for examination as regards her allegations of rape.”

“Oh,” the doctor said “that young lady. Yes, she was truly raped.”

“Ahh, doctor,” the other voice replied “you will not report that. You will report that there was no rape in this case, irrespective of your findings.”

Doctor Obochi’s wispy reply was “but I cannot do such a thing. All the evidence suggests she was indeed raped and I have sent a report saying so to her lawyers. You see,” he paused here and Taju imagined he would have been adjusting his specs “I cannot contradict a report I have sent and that has my hospital’s letterhead and my signature in court.”

There was a ruffling sound and then the other voice said “would you be referring to this report?” Apparently, the person had produced the report because Doctor Obochi screamed in his now characteristic way

“How did you get this?”

The voice chuckled and said “doctor, we have our means. Now that  this obstacle to your cooperation is out of the way, we believe you will be willing to cooperate with us? You really do not have a choice in this matter.” The last line was said as coolly as the others, but it seemed to carry a threat that hung in the air. The doctor’s objections were feeble

“I have consulted for the police for fifteen years and I have never told untruths in any case. I will lose my license, my practice and my clinic if I do this and am discovered.”

“Doctor, we will make sure you lose all those things and” there was a pause and then a scuffle before the voice resumed “much more if you do not cooperate.”

And then the courtroom went quiet, as the doctor held his hands in his head.

ff on twitter @tundeleye

Reader’s Corner – When Your Man Supports the team that lost

Recall the Reader’s Corner post MY MAN VS THE GAME? https://tlsplace.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/readers-corner-my-man-vs-the-game/ 

Brenda writes a follow up to that article today. You’ll find it pretty interesting. She launched her mag recently and you can read more stuff from her here on her blog. http://mycookingzonewithbrenda.blogspot.com/


Number one rule don’t be in the losing team (*wink*… as if na you dey play the ball). 

In that article, I suggested that ladies should serve their men Asun or pepper soup as they watch a game of football…hehehehehe, on a second thought I think that might not go down low…ooops! I meant go down well especially if the dude’s team is losing. For example, imagine serving diehard Chelsea fans Asun or Pepper soup the Sunday Manchester United broke their hearts or when they lost to Juventus in the Champions League…na waste naa! Dem no go touch am!! 

So my new advice for the ladies is if his team is playing against a dated opponent or a high profile match in which pride and/or trophy is at stake…don’t bring anything edible to the table as he would be very uncomfortable to have it. You can, however, get him some lager or water to occasionally douse the tension and wet his throat especially if he is the screaming type *wink*. 

You may be wondering why I have changed my opinion…okay, as an amebo, let me tell you what happened! That Sunday, I went to a joint with 5 dudes to see the Chelsea vs. ManU match. 3 of them were Chelsea fans; 1 was an arsenal fan who believed Chelsea will win the match and 1 was my fellow Manchester united fan. 

To be honest, as the game started I doubted that my boys would win…but pampampam…the ball was in the net and it was ManU on top! That gave me hope and the feeling that we could really win the game.

 
Lest I forget; I was eating suya before the match started. I bought it as I watched Newcastle play Westbrom…the game was without tension because I was sure my boys would win…and yeah! I’m a Newcastle fan by location. 

When the Chelsea/Manchester United match started, I lost my appetite ‘cos I was tensed; I actually stopped eating the suya at one point. A friend had to remind me that the suya was getting cold but I couldn’t care less. When I saw the first goal, I was so excited that I dove into the Suya and ‘popped’ my Guinness Malt…hehehehe, no blame me! I had to pop something as champagne no dey! 

The funny thing was that 2 of the Chelsea fans and the silly Arsenal fan I came with were having Owo and Starch…immediately after the first goal, the food was abandoned! I so laughed at them and made jest of the whole thing! It was at this moment of pure ecstasy that Power Holding decided to withhold their power, and since the joint had no functional standby generator we had to leave for another joint.I finished my suya and Malt shaa ooo…but the Owo and Starch were left. 

On our way to base 2, I had to follow updates on my Mobile Football Score Centre and pampampam…RVP made it 2 nil, I nearly ran mad with joy! It’s really fun being in the winning team. 

When we got there, chei! If you see crowd! The thing was too much and people sat as if they were in a church or lecture room…everyone faced the large screen and the usual round table arrangement seen in joints was ditched. Nobody was in the mood to drink or buy anything. Even the guys who prepare Asu and shawarma left their stands to see the match too. 

When Chelsea scored their first goal, the joint erupted with loud insane screams. The Manager didn’t find it funny shaa…I heard him complaining that he was running a generator for the game, yet people wouldn’t buy things. He threatened to turn off the TV if people didn’t start ordering stuff. 

It was at the halftime break that tables were arranged, beer started flowing round the tables and my Chelsea fans-friends even had the ‘impetus’ to order isi ewu…they were lucky to have finished the isi ewu before Ivanovic was shown the red card; dem for abandon am as they abandoned the Owo and Starch. 

You should have seen my friends when we scored the third goal…even their lager turned into stone…they couldn’t swallow…hehehehehe. 

I thought about my previous article and I came back with another conclusion that you can only enjoy football with your man when he is watching a game in which his favourite team is not involved; or a game which he is sure that his favourite team would win. In such games, snacks and even isi ewu would do wonders. But if you have a feeling that the match is going to be a tough one which he really wishes his club should win…try and get him to go see the match with his friends or in a joint because I doubt if you would like to take the blame alone if things go wrong and his team loses. 


I am a lady and a Manchester united fan. I know how I feel when Manchester United is losing or the match is a dead heat not to talk of a guy. Hope I was able to clear the air. 

Thanks for your time once again. 

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Flora – 14th Petal – Balance

One of the most complex dependencies and inter-relationships in nature is that between flowers, their pollinators, predators on these pollinators and the ecosystem in general. There is a delicate balance that must be maintained. The slightest disruption of this balance can cause serious problems. The number of flowers directly influences the number of pollinators that survive and therefore of the predators that depend on these pollinators for food. The timing of the bloom of the flowers determines if the pollinators’ progeny will survive. Any events that breach the balance can therefore prove to be very fatal.

 

In life, we are involved in a complex array of inter-relationships and our words and actions have influence more than we know. There is a balance to life that we are a part of and must be careful not to brashly disrupt. A single word can create a chain reaction that will stun us, so we must be very careful.

 

Another perspective to the issue of balance is this. In life, there are usually extremes and people naturally want to tend to extremes. But the mature individual knows that it is the ability to balance between extremes that make life meaningful. Don’t become so serious that you forget to laugh. Yet you should not laugh so much that you are never serious. Don’t work so much that you neglect your personal and family well-being. You still must not spend all your time on yourself and your family that your wok suffers. You must learn balance in these and other issues of life in order to have a win-win situation all the time.

 

Without balance in our ecosystem our life cannot go on. This is how important the issue of balance is. God himself has helped set balance in the course of nature – there hasn’t been a year when we had all sunshine and no rain, all heat and no cold, all men-children and no women children born. Balance is key to survival.

There’s an advert on the sidebar I’m sure most prospective brides would be interested in (and grooms maybe). Please share.

ff on twitter @tundeleye

Tricia’s Nightmare – Episode 8

While Olu and company waited for Dr. Obochi in Lagos, AIG Saranja was making calls to ensure that the Tricia case was heard on Monday. It was a good thing that none of his other colleagues in the force saw the import of this case and merely saw it as something he was obsessed with because he had lost a grip on the real juicy parts of police business. He was happy to let them believe that. An hour later, he had secured assurances that the case would be heard at noon at the Lagos High Court, he called Olu. He didn’t bother with pleasantries “It was hard and I had to pull strings, but I’ve secured it. You jump the queue and will have the case heard on Monday. Now, you had better deliver. I need a guilty judgment for first degree murder for this case within one month.  Is that clear?”

“Yes sir,” Olu said quietly, even though he had stepped away from Dr. Obuchi’s office, he was still conscious of the company he had.

Olu wanted to explain to the AIG that the Monday hearing would be mainly to take the plea and then have the case adjourned for another two months before it was argued and if they were lucky sentenced on the same day. However, what was typical was that the case would then be adjourned further for sentencing. He knew the AIG knew this but it seemed the man was bent on getting the impossible out of him. Yet deliver, he must. He strolled back into the office just as Dr. Obuchi was emerging from the theatre with Tricia.

“Ha, detective, we were just waiting for you to return. My assistant is putting together the final report from my examination notes, but if you like, I can give you my general conclusions from examining the young lady,” the doctor said to him

“We’d be glad to hear, doctor,” he replied curtly.

“First, there is evidence of forced penetration of her vagina. There is bruising consistent with penetrating an unlubricated vagina forcefully. This and other observations therefore rule out the likelihood of consensual intercourse.”

Even as he spoke, Maro visibly let out a sigh of relief and Taju’s face lit up with a huge smile. Only Olu’s face remained stolid in the room. “Continue,” he said to no one in particular but the doctor guessed it was meant for him and so he did.

“Secondly, there are bruises on her face that indicate she was hit with considerable force which is consistent with her story of being hit, except,” he turned to Dudu as he said this “you would like us to conclude that she came about the bruises in your custody.”

“You give the facts and leave the interpretations to the court, doctor,” Olu growled at the little man.

“Doctor,” Taju asked, “surely you will be available to testify in court this Monday, wouldn’t you?”

“Most definitely,” the doctor responded, clasping his hands as if to say he was done and then turning to the door, he said “the report will be forwarded to your offices by tomorrow morning. Now, you will see my cashier to make the necessary payments.” With that, he was gone.

Olu turned to Dudu and with that they moved Tricia towards the squad car. At the door, he turned to the duo left in the room “I will see you in the court,” he said coldly and then turned away slowly.

***********************************************************************************

Taju and Maro arrived at Kofo’s office one hour later. The traffic had gotten worse since morning. Maro wondered how many man hours were lost in Lagos traffic daily.

“How did it go?” Kofo asked as they sat in her office, grateful that she at least had air-conditioning compared to the regular police office.

“Very well,” Maro responded, beaming with a smile. Kofo stood up to get them cold water from the small fridge in the corner of her office as Taju gave her the details of how it had gone with the Doctor Obuchi. “He is always dependable,” Kofo said and then turned to Taju “since the case will be heard on Monday, I have a niggling feeling someone is pulling strings for Olu to speed it up. Cases like this normally take longer to come to court, so they are anxious about something. How are you doing for witnesses?”

“None of the neighbors heard anything useful, so it comes to your testimony and the doctor’s. That at least will establish rape and we can then argue that there was provocation and maybe she acted in self-defense. Has time of death been confirmed?”

Kofo produced a manila file, “I had to pull strings to get this but get it I did. Time of death, 2A.M. Using her text message as reference for when the rape occurred, that puts it in a 30minute time frame. Close enough for the provocation to hold. How do we prove self defense though? He was killed just outside his room, not in hers?”

Taju rubbed his chin “that is a problem. She doesn’t remember him coming back or going after him herself.”

“Well, it could be because she was in temporary shock right after the trauma of rape, or that she is blocking out those memories unconsciously now to preserve some of her sanity. I did see the body right after Bruno was killed and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Today is Thursday, so we don’t have the time to get any psychiatric evaluation before Monday. Plus we’d have to fund that ourselves. The state prosecution is typically on a stringent budget and they won’t spend any money that they don’t absolutely have to.”

“Hmmm,” Taju said, his hand still on his chin, his brow furrowed in deep thought. “I always wondered about this. Would that be why the fingerprints on the knife that’s the murder weapon have not been taken?”

Kofo nodded a yes and both men shook their heads.

“I’m going to apply for an administrative bail for her on health grounds, since we are pleading rape. Of course, there can be no prosecution for the rape, seeing that Bruno is dead and hence a suit cannot be brought against him. But,” he paused and placed a hand on Maro’s shoulder, “we can at least leverage it to get her out of police custody for the duration of the trial.”

“I like all the things I’ve heard so far, except for one small problem,” Maro said, in a quiet voice that drew Kofo and Taju away from their brainstorming conversation into listening to him. “And what might that be?” Kofo asked.

“You seem to accept as a fact that Tricia killed Bruno and your defense is to justify why she killed him. She on the other hand keeps saying she didn’t kill him.”

*************************************************************************************

Olu sat in his office, browsing through a stack of files, searching meticulously for something. Each time he got to the end of one document and didn’t find what he was looking for, his eyes darkened with disappointment. After working into the early hours of Friday, and depleting his coffee stock considerably, his eyes lit up. He had found it at last. He cleared his table and set out for home. He would plan his assault in court from there. He left instructions with Dudu to buy Tricia a new outfit. Her look in court was crucial to his case.

*******************************************************************************

Three hours after Olu left for his house early Friday morning, Teju put a call through to Peter. He had made a return visit to the mortuary where Bruno was being held on Thursday and had parted with some more thousands of Naira before he could collect the samples he needed and had then called Peter to impress the criticality of this piece of evidence was. Somehow, he felt that doing his job would be intricately linked with sorting this Tricia’s case out. Now, as he called again he imagined that Peter ran his hand through his blond hair as he answered in a clear crisp voice “Hello Teju, how are you today?”

Ever polite Brit, Teju thought “did you get my package and my message?”

“Yes,” he responded, “but processing DNA samples that fast, over the weekend is going to cost us quite a bit.”

“I’m sure you’d gladly spend what you have to, to save nice insurance company four million pounds,” Teju responded with a chuckle, and then he added “I need the results by Sunday morning, latest.”

“You’ll get it without fail, Teju. Now I have to go into a meeting. We will talk on Sunday.” With that, he ended the call and Teju put another call through to Kofo. “Hi Kofo, how are you doing today?”

“Fine, fine,” she responded. “Any luck with my request?”

“Ah, thankfully, the money involved was enough to get Peter to pull all the stops and oblige me, so yes, we will have it on Sunday evening, in time for Monday. Now, I’ve got an appointment at Wintonton Hospital to see our dear doctor today. Let’s see what I will find.”

“Okay Teju, we’ll keep in touch. Thanks for all the help.”

“My pleasure ma’am. Just doing my job.”

******************************************************************************

The proceedings began in the Igbosere High Court at 10A.M even though Tricia’s trial had been slated to be the second case on that day. The court clerk called the court to order as Justice Toboriye Douglas sat down. She was a massive woman with streaks of grey hair interlacing the originally brown hair. She had built a reputation for herself as a judge every lawyer labored hard to be prepared in her court. After thirty eight years on the bench, ten of which had been spent in this high court, Taju quietly thanked his stars. He could at least be sure of one thing – his client would get a fair trial. Taju noticed that special care had been taken to make sure Tricia looked okay and cleaned up.

The preliminary introductions were quickly over and then the question was asked “how does the defendant plead?”

Taju was up on his feet “my Lord, my client pleads not guilty of all the charges brought against her by the state.”

In a normal case, once the plea was taken, the case would be adjourned for hearing. But this was no ordinary case – AIG Saranja had made sure of that. Justice Douglas towards Olu and invited the prosecution to begin arguing its case. Olu looked towards Taju with a shark-like smile on his face. The boy had better be prepared for a roforofo fight in this case or he would be torn to pieces.

Taju saw the smile on Olu’s face. He was glad he had Kofo on his side. He would not have survived the battle with Olu otherwise.

Kofo smiled where she sat with Maro behind Taju and Tricia. Her preparations had paid off. Olu and team had predictably tried to play a fast one. But they were ready for him.

“My lord,” Olu began as he stepped into the centre “this case is a straightforward case of first degree murder. All the facts and evidence points to the fact that the accused indeed was the only person who could possibly have killed the deceased in the manner he died at the time. She was the only one present in the house, and there was no sign of forced entry. The defense will try to make a case for provocation. This is immaterial…”

“Objection my lord,” Taju said, rising to his feet

“Sustained,” the judge said. “Prosecution will stay within the facts of the case without preempting the materiality of the defenses’ argument.”

Olu continued “We have filed all necessary evidence with the court, and will call no witnesses simply because Miss Tricia here was alone with the deceased when he was murdered. There were no witnesses for the crime, except for the perpetrator of the crime.”

He then adjusted his wig and walked briskly to his seat. The judge called the defense and Taju got up.

“My lord, my client, a young hardworking lady has been accused of murder.” He paused briefly and then continued “However, the prosecution has not made any effort to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Tricia killed the deceased. All the evidence that has been presented against her has been circumstantial. The fact that the door to her room was broken down was not considered. The prosecution has not attempted to determine that the murder weapon was used by my client that night or even ever at all. The basis of her guilt is purely her presence there from the prosecution’s perspective. There is no law that makes presence at a crime scene equal to being guilty of that crime. The defense would like to call its first witness. The defense now calls Police Superintendent Kofoworola Denton to please take the stands.”

The clerk led Kofo in taking the oath and then Taju approached her and then asked “Superintendent Kofo, please tell this court your recollection of the events of the morning of the 5th

“I received a call from my office at 6A.M that morning of a rape report at Number 5, James Robertson Street, Surulere. Thirty minutes later, I arrived at the venue with two of my detectives, and we knocked on the door to gain access as the door was locked from inside. Miss Tricia came to open the door for us, and I immediately observed the swelling and bruising on her face. I could see from the doorway that the door to a room which we later discovered to be hers had been forcefully broken down as with blunt force. We moved into the apartment to ascertain if her assailant was still in the flat, when we observed Mr. Bruno on the far side of the living room, right at the door of his room. I went over with one of my detectives for a closer inspection of the body and ascertained he was dead. There was a big kitchen knife sticking out of his left breast, and we observed that there was knife cuts on his hands as if he had tried to ward off blows and on his throat too. I immediately reported the case to the Homicide Division, secured the perimeter and arrested Miss Tricia.”

Taju asked “would your observation as the first officer at the site, and with your experience in such cases agree with Miss Tricia’s report that she had been raped?”

Kofo nodded “in my opinion, yes. There was evidence of forced entry into her room, as well as evidence that there had been a struggle in her room. Also, the bruising showed she had struggled with someone stronger than her.”

“What would you consider normal procedure to confirm a rape case?” Taju asked, turning dramatically towards Olu. Olu was making notes while Dudu behind him was furiously fiddling with his blackberry. Taju guessed they were researching something. His question had caused Olu to pause on the scribbling and look up.

Kofo answered evenly “in rape cases handled by my special unit, getting a doctor’s opinion is absolutely vital to the case.”

Taju strolled to his sit and picked up two pieces of paper “My lord, I present these two as exhibits.” Copies of the documents were circulated to the prosecution desk and the judge who scanned it quickly. “This,” Taju said, holding up the first of the documents is Detective Kofo’s initial report. It clearly states the incidence of rape. No action was taken by the prosecution to get my client examined by a physician. It took a memo to superior authorities and then the defense literarily stampeding the prosecution to get this done. One begins to wonder why such a salient issue was being swept under the carpet by the prosecution except for ulterior motives”

Olu jumped to his feet at that instant “objection my lord. That constitutes a malicious attempt to undermine the integrity of the state based on conjecture only.”

“Sustained. Defense counsel, stick to the facts of the case.”

Taju smiled and bowed slightly and then turned back to Kofo “one last question detective – observing Tricia’s frame as compared to Mr. Bruno’s physique, would you consider her physically capable of killing him in such a manner as you have described that he died?”

Kofo shook her head “Tricia is about 5feet 6inches tall, with a slight build. Bruno is over 6feet, with a heavy build and apparently in great physical condition before he died. It would have been impossible for her to overpower him and slash him repeatedly like that with a knife. The only way Tricia could have successfully killed him would be a sneak attack with a weapon like a gun which would kill him in one shot, or knocking him out with a huge object. There was no blunt force trauma as the autopsy shows, so that also didn’t happen.”

Taju turned to the judge and said “I have no further questions for this witness, my lord,” and then he turned around and took his seat.

Olu gathered the notes he had been writing and walked to the center. “Detective Kofo, you were the first officer at the crime scene. And the first person you arrested for the murder of Mr. Bruno was the defendant. Why is that so, if you believed that she was not the murderer?”

“At that point, she was the only person physically present at the time of murder. It was the logical thing to do, until the evidence was properly analyzed and she was eliminated as a suspect. You will agree that arresting her as a suspect is different from deeming her guilty under the law.”

Taju smiled. Kofo had this covered.

Olu then asked further “I recall that you inferred that Tricia was raped by the deceased because you saw bruises on her face and other evidences of rape at the crime scene. Following your logic, can we infer that Tricia killed Bruno since there was evidence of her presence at the time of death and you clearly saw that Bruno was dead when you arrived?”

It was Taju’s turn to shout “Objection my lord. That is not a question but a statement.”

“Overuled,” the judge responded.

Olu smiled as Kofo answered his query “in my response, I said the evidence pointed to the fact that Tricia had been raped, but didn’t conclude on who raped her. I also mentioned that only a doctor’s report could confirm that she had been raped. This is quite different from your inference where you concluded on Tricia’s guilt by circumstantial evidence only. Her presence there doesn’t mean she killed him.”

Taju heaved a sigh. She had managed it quite well again.

“Was it possible for Bruno to have killed himself in the manner you observed he died?” Olu asked casually.

“No, except his hand was detached from him and acted on its own that is.”

Olu laughed, “Of course not. He seemed to have been a perfectly normal human being with no alien DNA.” He paused and the continued his questioning  “You said the door was locked when you got there. Was it locked from inside, or outside?”

Kofo responded “It was locked from inside, yes.”

“And from your observation and all the police reports on the issue, there was no sign of forced entry?”

“Yes” Kofo answered.

“SO, we can conclude on the following.

1. Bruno did not kill himself

2. Nobody else had accessed the house. There was no record of anyone breaking in, so we can assume the only other person with Bruno was Tricia

3. Except a phantom killed him therefore, we can conclude that Tricia alone was the one that killed him”

“Your second inference in wrong sir. Someone who had the key could have gained access, killed Bruno and left.”

“Detective, I know you are used to asking questions, but in this court, I’m the counsel and I ask the questions,” Olu said coldly.

“The witness will do well to be guided,” the judge iterated.

“You also were of the opinion that there was no way someone of Tricia’s size could have killed someone of Bruno’s size the way he died. Is my recollection correct?”

“Yes it is,” Kofo replied tersely.

“Have you heard of Shock-Induced Super Strength?

“No,” Kofo responded.

“Allow me to read the report of the Smithsonian Institute to you on the matter and educate you.

‘Individuals have been found to be able to lift twice the expected maximum based on muscle mass calculations when in sufficient state of shock (flight or fright shock)’

It is not scientifically impossible therefore for Tricia to have in a state of shock, or adrenaline induced rage to gain the strength needed to commit this murder.”

“Objection my lord!” Taju interjected again, looking up from googling the report on his blackberry. “This report is disputed by the mainstream medical circuits, and while Smithsonian is a reputed institution in historical circles, they are hardly an authority amongst medical practitioners.”

“Sustained. Such opinions can only be admissible as expert opinions and the prosecuting attorney is not a doctor.”

Olu bowed and then moved towards his seat. Then as if remembering something, he turned towards Kofo and asked “I wonder, since this is a murder trial, why the defense is bent on translating it into a rape trial against the deceased. Could it be because of the special unit that you head, detective?”

“I beg your pardon sir, I volountarily transferred the case to the homicide department the moment I confirmed that Mr. Bruno was dead, even while at the crime scene,” Kofo replied, in an even tone which did not reveal the anger at his question.

“Then could it be because you are yourself a rape victim and have declared a personal vendetta against men because one man repeatedly abused you twenty years ago?”

Kofo lurched forward, the anger bursting through to the surface her being, uncontrollable and raging. She did not even hear Taju screaming “Objection my lord. She did not see anyone else in the courtroom but Olu. She had carefully kept this hidden from everyone and had never mentioned it to anyone, not even her mother or siblings.

“You viper,” she said to Olu at the top of her voice “I will make sure you are finished.”

Olu did not acknowledge her. He just turned to the judge and said “I have no further questions for this witness,” and walked calmly back to his seat.

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Reader’s Corner – Paint The Sky

Today’s Reader’s Corner post is by Ayooluwatomi. A beautiful story I must tell you. Follow her on twitter @IAm_Tomi and read more stuff from her on her blog http://tommyslav-island.blogspot.com

Enjoy The reading

ON THAT DAY, I stared at him from ‘toe to head’- Italian suede black shoes, Armani grey pants, Pink TM shirt. Beards clean shaven, acute eye brows and a baby dimple that danced around his smile. That is the description of the first man I had said, “Oh my gosh!” to at first sight.

With a smile that revealed his perfectly arranged set of white teeth, he handed me his file. “Tobi Adams” he introduced. I was still lost in my island. I pictured his lips near mine as he repeated his name again, this time with a brighter smile. BY GOD, I love this man!

“May I?” he asked motioning to a chair.

Just then I realised how stupid I must have looked. “Please do.” I said, hastily.

“I have been here twice last week to see you, but I was told that you have been away on official duties.”

I nodded in agreement. “I had this conference in Brazil to attend.”

He smiled as he also nodded. “I followed the whole conference. I am a huge fan.”

“Really?”

He nodded and flushed slightly. “Wunmi Olu-Williams, popularly known as WOW right from high school.” He started. I straightened in my chair as he continued. “Beautiful, Intelligent, and WOW!” he said. We both laughed and then he continued. “I don’t know how you possess all these features, you graduated with First Class Honours from Yale and then you proceeded for your residency at John Hopkins. You became a GP at 23, and of course you are a painter.”

“WOW!” I said. Tobi Adams had left me speechless. “How do you know so much about me, I probably won’t even keep my stats at hand” I said as I adjusted my glasses.

Tobi Adams shifted his weight against the swivel chair. “I did my home work properly.”

I grinned. “That’s some homework.”

“I was referred here after the Maggie’s case. I think I can be that lucky.” He said, with a smile.

My God, this guy is beautiful! Every time he smiles, I realise how good he looks, and with that smile, he just glowed.

“So what do you think?” he asked.

I stared at him confusingly. “What do you mean?”

He looked ahead. “My file…” He replied.

Oh the File! I had totally forgotten that I had his file on my desk. “Oh this,” I said, handling the file carelessly. “I think you are good.” I hadn’t even taken a look at it.

He raised an eyebrow with a smile. “Dr. Williams?”

I was caught! I sighed and smiled. “I am sorry Mr. Adams, but I have to say you are gorgeous.”

He blushed faintly. “Thank you.”

I opened the file and slowly started tracing the records. As I traced, the smile on my face faded, my hands got stiff and eyes went wet.

“What is it?” he asked, with a great deal of concern.

I fought back the tears in my eyes. “You are Leukemic?”

He managed a smile. “Yes.” he shrugged “But I don’t need you to cry on my account.”

“I am sorry, I just get emotional. It’s too soon, Maggie’s case just passed.” I said as I grabbed my handkerchief.

He grabbed my hands. “I know what you did with poor Maggie, she was a veggie before she met you, but Maggie died a proud woman.” He paused and cleaned the tears in my eyes. “I have lots of people feeling sorry for me already, and honestly, I don’t feel sorry for myself. I just want to live.”

“Why you?” I asked, dumbly.

He sighed and held my hands firmly. “Dr. Williams, I am hopeful.” He said with a smile.

I was struck by the purity of his smile. I fell in love that day.

TODAY is the funeral service of Tobi Adams and it is raining heavily. My heart is so weak. “Sorry for your loss, Dr. Adams” a man greeted as he dropped a tulip branch on Tobi’s casket. Yes, I became Dr. (Mrs) Adams six months after I met Tobi. I broke one of the most important ethics in the field to love Tobi. We had our wedding in Paris, it was a romantic getaway.

I returned into the house after everyone had left the funeral home. I fetched my Canvas and other painting tools. It was time to say bye to the man I loved and in what other way could I do it? I had to paint.

The perfect picture to me was the first day we had met when he held my hands and said, ‘I AM HOPEFUL’

So much hope in his eyes on that day. I tried my best to reflect it in the painting. I ended the painting with a note:

“In the rain, I had painted the sky with the tears that washed

my loved one away.

I have lived to see a lover’s final breath.”

I loved Tobi Adams.