“All rise!” the court clerk said as the judge walked up to the podium to take his seat as every one stood up to their feet, while I stood at the end of the courtroom, in the criminal box, together with Folake and the mysterious ‘baba’ who was also arrested by the police.
“My lord, This is the case of Mr and Mrs Olaniyi against Miss Bewaji on the murder of their son Tunde” The clerk added, presenting the judge with a file. Then the court proceedings began.
From the box where I stood, I looked at the faces of everyone present in the room. I saw the disappointed faces of my parents, although not disappointed that I might or might not have killed him which they knew I didn’t kill him. I couldn’t even hurt a fly, their disappointment was on the ill-luck that had befallen me and my inability to heed to their advise after my first experience with my boyfriend. Turning around again, I saw the face of my best friend Temi, and that of my roommate Tobi, all looking pale and moody.
My lawyer who represented me tried his best, proposing and opposing, defending and attacking, objecting and overruling, but the consequences stared me in the face. I was already doomed for death, even though my innocence was totally visible to everyone.
For two straight hours the court proceedings went on, followed by a short break, then another straight three boring hours of objecting and overruling. No postponement, No adjournment. This people were damn rich and wanted this case done and cleared that same day.
It was finally time to hear the judge’s judgement.
“With all sides heard and considered fairly without fear or favour, this is my judgement!” The judge announced, as the whole courtroom went silent.
“My first judgement goes to the ‘Baba’ who was contacted to do such dirty work for a desperate girl who was blinded by material things. I hereby sentence you to 7 years imprisonment with hard labour. Who knows the scores of people you have tied their destiny and stopped them from achieving their true goals in life”.
“And secondly, I hereby sentence Miss Folake, to 5 years imprisonment for using charm against an innocent man, who knows what you are capable of if you can do something like this just for money”
“And now, my final judgement goes to Miss Bewaji” my heart melted and I felt like just collapsing.
“For the murder of mister Tunde in cold blood at his apartment. I hereby sentence you to death by- -”
“Ghost! Ghost!! Ghost!!” came a loud cry from nowhere exactly in the courtroom.
Everyone had jerked up from their sits in panic and they all became frightened, even within a second the judge presiding was nowhere to be found.
Maybe one of the people he had wrongly sentenced to death came to haunt him..I laughed
Just then, a tall bold figure appeared on the door of the courtroom, as he entered everywhere went greatly scattered.
It was Tunde!
The joy and happiness that overwhelmed me immediately I set my eyes on him was something way more than ordinary.
I couldn’t explain the feeling, but I know I fell in love instantly. This time I was ready to admit it. I knew he couldn’t just die like that. My happiness knew no bounds as he came forward to the ‘criminal’s box’ and gave me a tight hug.
His parents were totally surprised and shocked, but their doubts vanished when he went closer to them and hugged them.
That was the happiest day in my life. I have just been vindicated. Tears of joy flowed down my cheeks as I enjoyed the atmosphere.
They had to send policemen to go bring back the judge to finish up the trial, after he had run for over 15 kilometers barefooted..
lolz, I think this judge has to be judged himself...
When the judge eventually came back, all panting and sweating,he sat back on his seat and began the proceedings.
The same doctor who announced to me and Peter that Tunde had died entered the courtroom. He then gave his account of what really happened.
“My lord, thus was what happened in regards to Tunde. Tunde was brought to our hospital by some of his friends and well wishers after he was found almost lifeless in his apartment. When he arrived the hospital, his condition was critically critical. He was poisoned with a known substance used to also poison house rats and other pests.
We started treatment on him immediately, but unfortunately his condition worsened until we thought he had passed on because he was not breathing at all. That was the same time we broke the news that he had died, but luckily and surprising to me, after you people had left, I was beckoned upon by one of the nurses who I sent to administer some injections to his lifeless body that Tunde was up and breathing”
The whole court listened as the doctor continued.
“So, I instantly began treatment again. And thank goodness, he survived it but with little strength from his bed, he ordered me not to inform anybody that he was alive again due to reasons best know to him. My lord, to cut the long story short, I present to you, the son of Mr and Mrs Olaniyi, mister Tunde” The doctor said, and smiled.
“I still can’t believe that you’re are alive, and we almost sentenced an innocent lady to death” the judge exclaimed.
“Yes my lord, I’m sorry for whatever inconvenience my little prank caused and was about causing, but I did it for my safety too” Tunde replied with a smile, stealing a glance at my weak and depressed face which was now flooded with smiles.
“So mister Tunde, lets get this trial done and over with. You alone knows who attempted murdering you, and you alone knows who was behind all of this. So with the power bestowed upon me as the judge of this court, I order you to say it out” The judge muttered.
Tunde smiled looked at the judge then looked back at me, looked at the judge and smiled at me again. He then turned and looked towards the courtroom.
Of all people I had expected Tunde didn’t even point at anyone when Temi stood up, hitting her palms hard on her seat, and started screaming on top of her voice.
“So you think you have nine lives ehn Tunde? I tried to kill you but here you are looking all healthy like nothing happened”.
I was shocked at her revelation.
“Temi what are you saying?” I asked her, doubting her initial words as I trusted her more like a sister.
“I was the one who tried to kill Tunde, Yes me, I put the rat poison in his food and went to give him in your name that day” Temi confessed openly forgetting that she was in court.
“Arrgh Temi, why would you of all people do this? Ah! Temi, i trusted you. I took you as a sister, I -”
“Shut up there! Who did you take as a sister, when I spent the whole night in the hospital with Tunde when you dumped him after making him go through the beating of his life in the hands of rogues, where were you? Where were you when I was the only one there to give Tunde all my help when he needed it. Where were you? Answer me, where?”
By this time we both were in our pool of tears.
“Temi, so because of just one night that is why you decided to kill him?” I asked in tears.
“One night? it may have been just one night to you but to me it was eternity. I felt like I had found the one who would love me for who I am. The helper I am, the caring woman that I am, but what did I get, after that night, he kept on chasing you even after you turned him down, oh! you foolishly turned him down, I loved him after that ‘just’ one night but he wouldn’t look towards my direction.
With all the hatred bottled inside of me, all you could foolishly do was to come to my apartment and tell me you had sex with him? Why wouldn’t I kill him, The hatred I have for you ever since Tunde started chasing you up and down is one that has never been seen before. I hate you with passion Bewaji! You took the only man I loved away from me, you- -.” Temi broke into tears, wailing as she bent her head down.
Tunde came towards me, smiled reassuringly and hugged me. The atmosphere in the courtroom was way out of natural. It was tensed but soothing. I just couldn’t believe that I had trusted someone like Temi.
After Temi’s confession, The judge sentenced her to 10 years imprisonment for attempted murder. I felt sorry for her, but didn’t show it visibly, you don’t suffer a witch to live.
I would always remember the friendship I had with her, it was what any best of friends would wish for.
Folake’s sentence of 5 years imprisonment was not overruled while the herbalist was also sentenced to 2 years improsionment with hard labour.
The judged declared me innocent, discharged and acquitted.
Thanks for reading through!
- Your comments will be highly appreciated.