Nora’s lawyer: “My client is innocent, and I am going to prove that in court today. An ordinary letter written by a man who felt his young wife had wronged him is not to be taken seriously” he said with a broad smile. My eyes met with Nora’s, she looked at me, with no emotions on her face, then she turned away.
Inside the courtroom, the court clerk called the case, and Nora was put in the defendant box. She looked different from the last time I saw her in court. She was relaxed and confident in the aqua colored dress she had on. She was a far cry from the angry woman the last time.
Leke: “What is she up to?”
Indimi: “Probably nothing, she may just be confident in her lawyer.”
Leke: “Is there a chance she can beat the rap, and go free?”
Indimi: “There is, but there is also a chance that she won’t. Her lawyer is ruthless and there is no telling what to expect” he replied, his face was serious, and he was concentrated on Nora.
Judge: “How do you plead?” the middle aged judge asked.
Nora: “Not guilty” she replied.
Judge: “prosecuting counsel?” Barrister Indimi walked up to the stand and stared at Nora for a while.
Indimi: “You were in the house of the Aboderines on the night that Folake Aboderine died, why were you there?”
Nora: “I had gone to give some files to Bamidele Aboderine, my boss then to peruse” she replied confidently.
Indimi: “You could not have waited till the next day?”
Nora: “No” she replied, without making any efforts to elaborate.
Indimi: “Could you tell this honorable court, what was so important that could not wait till the next day?”
Nora: “We had an investors meeting first thing the next day, he had to peruse those documents before the meeting, and there was no other way”
Indimi: “You see I didn’t expect you to give me so much detail, because it is expected that after more than ten years, the details would be sketchy.” He said, that was the first time since the trial that I saw Nora flustered. She sat up in her seat and looked towards her lawyer. Barrister Indimi walked to the table and picked up copies of the letter father had written to me, and distributed to the court. He even gave Nora a copy.
Indimi: “What you are all looking at is the letter written by a dying man. Where he confessed his sins to his son and asked for forgiveness. This letter says that Nora killed his wife, Folake, I really don’t know why we are having a trial. You killed his wife to pave way for yourself, as you married him just three months afterwards” he said.
Nora Lawyer: “Objection my Lord, badgering the witness” he said bolting out of his seat.
Judge: “Sustained, but next time don’t act like there is a live wire under your ass” he said and the courtroom burst into laughter.
Indimi: “Why would a dying man lie against you?” he asked
Nora: “He wanted to frame me”
Indimi: “No further questions” he went back to his seat as Nora’s lawyer went up to the defendant’s box.
Nora’s Lawyer: “What was your relationship with Mr. Bamidele Aboderine before the death of his wife?” he asked, and I looked at Indimi because I suspected something.
Nora: “I was his executive secretary, but he was always harassing me. I would come to the office and he would spank my butt or he would grab me by the groin. I wanted to leave the job but I had no other option, so I stayed. His wife knew, it was why she committed suicide”
Leke: “Liar! Do not desecrate my mother’s memories with your lies” I screamed out in anger.
Judge: “Counselor, advise your client before I throw him into jail for contempt” he said, and the barrister held my arm. I felt Banke’s hand on my shoulder, it was reassuring.
Nora’s Lawyer: “After the death of Mrs. Aboderine, what happened, did he stop harassing you?”
Nora: “No, it only got worse; he would demand that I come to the house. Then one day he raped me” she began to sob. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had thought that giving the incriminating documents to the EFCC was damaging my father’s reputation, but this was worse.
Nora’s lawyer: “At what point, did you decide to marry him”
Nora: “When I got pregnant for the rape, he asked me to marry him. I did, and I regret it ever since, because he battered me till I lost the baby.”
Nora’s lawyer: “Who did you confide in?” he asked, a smile on his face. He was obviously glad that the theatrics were working. I looked around; people were moved with all the sobbing Nora was doing.
Nora: “I confided in Mr. Jolomi, he was a staff at the company. I am sure the son knew about the affair and Jolomi’s knowledge about it, seeing as his first executive duty was to remove Mr. Jolomi from the company. They are just trying to set me up for what I didn’t do”
Nora’s lawyer: “No further questions” he said and walked back to his seat, with a smug look on his face.
Barrister Indimi walked out in a hurry
Indimi: “One last question, how did Mr. Jolomi go from being a low level staff in the human resource department, with just a HND, to being the president of the company shortly after your marriage to Mr.Bamidele? Nora just looked on; she opened her mouth to speak. But no word came out.
Indimi: “I am done listening to this bullcrap that…” he was interrupted by the Judge.
Judge: “Counselor, watch your language!” the judge hit his gavel
Indimi: “Sorry my Lord for my language. In fact I am done talking to Mrs. Nora” he said and went to the table where he grab an object inside a transparent evidence bag. The audience gasped when they saw what was in the bag.
Indimi: “This is the knife that was used in murdering the victim, I have the police report which says it was a knife and the cut of the knife, but the knife was never found. I also have the report from the forensic department which confirms that the fingerprint matches with Nora’s.”
Question: Will Nora’s lawyer be able to overturn the case and set her free?
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Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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