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 I am wrong, I just want to understand the pattern here.” “Okay” “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 had she started making plans of suing Richard, her car mysteriously disappeared?” “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.” “Yes.” “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. “Go ahead.” 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 and 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 then 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:
ROUND 2. Prosecutor: 1 Defendant: 0. 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. “Counsellor, 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 somehow 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 response and choose her words wisely, “I’m not entirely 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 sense 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 Mrs Zainab, have you been entirely faithful to your husband?” Zainab shrugged, 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 known 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 filed 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. “Yes.” “Okay then, so does that mean you don’t recall this face?” Tony turned to the door and just like clockwork, 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’s ears 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 fate 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.” “Go ahead.” 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-fuck-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 anymore and Richard was also a cheat. I have caught him red handed more than once cheating in different manners and since we were just weeks away from being divorced, I decided to try and move on. I agree that whatever I had with Clement was wrong in all aspect but 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 shining white handkerchief then handed it over to Zainab to dry her eyes, “I’m so sorry Mrs Anderson.” Tony sat on his seat and couldn’t take it anymore, “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.