The Guilty Episode 1

The Guilty Episode 1

 

Bamidele Ayodeji went through his case file again as he awaited the arrival of the trial Judge. This should be a pretty easy case for him. Everything was in place to get the conviction he wanted – the conviction he needed. The conviction he badly needed. It was a murder case. The victim was identified. She was poisoned by a bitter admirer who could not handle her rejection of his advances. This bitter admirer – the accused – was apprehended after dogged investigation by men of the Police Force. The proof of evidence before the court, established that the accused committed the murder. The accused also confessed to the crime and his confessional statement formed part of the proof of evidence before the court. As far as Bamidele Ayodeji was concerned, this was a done deal.

How the proceedings of the day were going to be conducted played out in his head.

Court Registrar reads the charge to the accused. He pleads guilty. Bamidele calls in his witnesses and tenders the incontrovertible exhibits. The accused counsel who is assigned to him from the Legal Aid Council cannot impugn any of the exhibits. The court will admit the exhibits including the confessional statement of the accused. The court will proceed to find the accused guilty of murder – he admitted committing the crime anyway – and then, sentence him.

“Ah,” Bamidele Ayodeji heaved a deep sigh of relief. He could not believe he would be getting his first conviction after five years as a Public Prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice. The infuriating words of Mr. Alex Oguntoyibo, his director at the Ministry, whizzed into his head.

“You are a good for nothing scumbag!” Mr Oguntoyibo had screamed at him the other day. “I don’t know how you got in here. Five years at this Ministry of Justice and you haven’t got a conviction? Of what use are you to us? Who employed you?! Who do you know?”

Mr. Oguntoyibo’s recent tirade at Bamidele was one of several of such heated words. He was always angry at Bamidele at the slightest provocation. Bamidele knew the reason for Mr. Oguntoyibo’s bad blood with him, and it had nothing to do with Bamidele’s work ethics or lack of achievements. When new recruits at the Ministry were hired, Bamidele Ayodeji was chosen by the Board of Directors at the Ministry over Mr. Oguntoyibo’s preferred candidate.

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“Court!” The yell of the Registrar announcing the entrance of the Judge jolted Bamidele Ayodeji out of his reverie.

Show time.

***

April 23, 2016

Hi.

[sent Today at 12:01pm]

Hello beautiful.

[sent Today at 12:05pm]

Hello dear.

[sent Today at 12:15pm]

Baby.

[sent Today at 12:17pm]

Talk to me love.

[sent Today at 12:30pm]

You’re just a fucking snob!!!!!!

[sent Today at 12:31pm]

Sorry about my earlier DM, my Oyibo pepper.

[sent Today at 12:35pm]

Sweetheart, it’s just that I love you and would like to date you.

[sent Today at 12:41pm]

Err. Okay.

[received Today at 12:42pm]

Err Okay? Just Err Ok? U’re just a fucking snob, aren’t you?

[sent Today at 1:00pm]

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Eze Chinagorom slammed his phone on the table as he cursed under his breath. He had been trying to get the attention of a lady he recently met on Twitter to no avail. He had not been keeping count, but this could easily be the one hundredth Direct Message he would be sending her since he started following her on Twitter and all she could say in response was “Err. Okay”.

Err Okay? Who did she think she was to treat him with such disdain? Kim Kardashian? He had over eleven thousand followers on Twitter who all worshiped him and looked to him as a mentor of some sort. He was a Twitter Celebrity and every girl whom he had DMed had responded affectionately to him. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with “EzeDollar” as he was fondly referred to on Twitter? The popular “EzeDollar!”

His phone buzzed and he picked the call.

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“Eze Dollar, where you dey?” the voice from the other end of the line enquired. It was his roommate from Unilag, Kazeem. They were to meet at a wedding event at Onike, Yaba.

“I dey the place already na.”

“The wedding venue? As in you don reach the event centre for Onike already?”

“Yes na.”

“I no believe you. The wedding don start?”

“Something wey we dey reception already. Wedding wey don almost finish.”

“Yepa! So how many chics you don block since you dey there?”

“Omo, I never see any Ogbanje yet o…”

“What of that Twitter babe wey you been talk say you go control? That one wey you say you go carry go the wedding as your date?”

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“That Nkem babe?”

“Ehen, yes! That one.”

“My guy, forget that babe. She be winsh. She no dey reply my DM sef. She just send one yeye reply like that now now.”

“Wetin she talk?”

“Omo, if I catch that babe ehn, I go just kill am walahi!”

Eze could hear Kazeem laugh at the other end of the line.

“Wetin she talk?” Kazeem asked again.

Before Eze could tell his friend what an ill-luck Nkem was, a young lady walked past his table. He caught a whiff of her perfume and turned towards her. She looked like Nkem, the Nkem he was recently messaging on Twitter. The Nkem he was just talking about.

“My guy, hold that talk for a second. I dey come,” he said to Kazeem.

With that, Eze dropped the call. He kept gazing at the lady as she took her seat a few tables from his. She was alone. Eze dusted invisible spots off his shirt, poured a drink in the red cup on his table, took the cup in one hand and stood up, walking towards the lady’s table. When he got there, he asked, “Hi. I could swear you look like someone I know – Well, someone I know on Twitter. Would you by any chance be NK on Twitter? Do you have the name “Nkem” as your bio?”

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The young lady took a good look at him. She could not place his face.

“And you would be?” she asked, needing some clarifications.

“Oh sorry about my manners. I am Eze – Eze Dollars on Twitter.”

“Oh, it’s you!” the lady said in a pleasantly surprised tone. “Yes I am NK – Nkem. I must apologise for not responding to your DMs on time… I have been really busy, especially this morning. I had to prepare for this event. The bride is my friend…”

“Oh, wow,” was all Eze could mutter. There was something different about the Nkem he was speaking to. She sounded different from the Nkem he was trying to have a conversation with on Twitter. She was warm and receptive, unlike the online Nkem who responded coldly to him.

“I must also apologise for my strong words on Twitter,” Eze said.

“Nah, it’s okay,” Nkem said with a wave of hand. “I get that all the time but I don’t take them personal. It’s just Twitter.”

“No, really, I mean it. I am sorry…”

“It’s okay E…”

“Eze. My name is Eze.”

“Yes, it’s okay Eze. Really.”

“To make up for my Twitter acts, I offer you this drink,” Eze said as he pointed his cup of drink to her.

Nkem smiled. “You know I can’t take that. I barely know you. But thanks.”

“You think I’m going to poison you?” Eze said with a charming smile on his face.

“Oh no no,” Nkem said. “It just feels weird. We’ve just met…”

“And I’m trying to apologise for my attitude…Please..” Eze took a sip from the drink as if to prove to Nkem it was not spiked.

“You’re charming in person. Alright, bring it.”

She collected the red cup and gulped its content.

 

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