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: ROUND 3. DEFENDANT: 1 PROSECUTOR: 1. “Mrs Anderson, you may step out of the dock.” Judge Oditah said to Zainab. Zainab sniffed and slowly walked out of th “No, who?” “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 they 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,” they 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?” “Yes.” “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?” “Yes.” “More than twice?” “Yes.” “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.” “No.” “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?” “Yes.” “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 it’s your word against the Government,” he said. “So back to my questioning, yes or no replies only, can we proceed?” “Yes.” “Did you arrange for Zainab’s car to be stolen?” “No.” “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 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 least 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 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.
Nobody stood up, Tony gave Richard an inquiring look and Richard gave him an I-don’t-know look. Tony sighed, “Doctor Daniel, are you present in this court room?” The audience stared at their selves 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, and 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 holds on to failure, he strives and moves 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 an excerpt from this movie and my client isn’t a robot who remembers everything 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 nothing 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 smiled, 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.