Lay Legal Episode 5 (A series)
Police officer: ...You have the right to remain silent as anything you say can
be used against you in the court of law. You are entitled to an
attorney, if you don't have one, the state will provide for you.
Please kindly follow us to the station.
The above ‘charge’ by the cop is misconstrued by many to be a command to
keep silent; on the contrary it is actually the constitutional right of the person
being arrested not to say a word until his or her attorney arrives. I'm at this
point tempted to lecture us more on arrests and prosecution, but that would
be for another time, back to the story.
Those words were said to Sade as she was being arrested for complicity in the
kidnap of Hon. Justice Dakata. She couldn't believe her senses as she was being
led away in the police vehicle. She made frantic efforts to call her parents, but
the police officers would have none of that. They insisted she got to the station
before she could make or take any calls. She tried to keep her cool, but there
was little or nothing she could do about fretting as her signature distress had
doubled. She was distraught. Everything happened so fast and she ended up in
a cell filled with multiple time offenders. Immediately she stepped foot in the
cell, a lady whose only physical female feature would be her scheide grabbed
her by the waist and made to plant a French kiss on her lips and then she woke
up. It was a horrible dream. She was terrified, her heart raced. She was
drenched in her own sweat. She quickly sat up and peered into the dark for a
few seconds and then picked up her phone to check what time it was. It was
just 12:35 am. She wished the day was closer to morning time. The willingness
to go back to sleep was absent. She thought of something to take her mind off
the nightmare and eventually get her eyelids drooping once again.
(She calls Mercy)
Mercy: Sade what's up?
Sade: I just had a very bad dream.
Mercy: And I am supposed to come help you kick out the boogieman?
Sade: No... No... I'm not kidding. Is there any chance in hell that I have a hand
in the kidnap of Justice Dakata?
Mercy: You are not making any sense. Firstly you had a bad dream. Now you
are a kidnapper?
Sade: That's what the dream was all about na. I was arrested for the kidnap of
Mercy: Babe go back to sleep. That was just a silly nightmare. You! Can you
even hurt a fly?
Sade: Babe it was so real. What if someone is planning to frame me up? What
Mercy: ...Abeg shut up and go back to sleep. U be photo na, wey person dey
Sade: I hear. God bless you bye-bye.
(Mercy calls back.)
Mercy: Hey, it's just a dream. You'll be fine and if anything threatens your
freedom, know that you are like a little sister to me; I'll protect you
with every cell in my body.
Sade: Thanks, I appreciate. By the way, why are you not asleep?
Mercy: Tomorrow, errm, I mean today is Ima's case. I'm trying to be watertight
with my line of questioning for her husband who's testifying today.
Sade: Oh okay. Wish you the best.
Mercy: Thanks. See you in the morning.
Sade: In the evening you mean. Remember I took the day off.
Mercy: Oh yeah. See you in the evening then. Bye.
Sade: Bye thanks.
(12 Hours Later)
Mercy: Mr Akoh, you told this court just a few minutes ago that the Petitioner
was having an affair with her colleague. Do you have anything in this
court this morning to substantiate that claim?
Mr Akoh: I know what I am saying, this woman is a cheat.
Mercy: Please sir my question is straight to the point. It requires a yes or no
Mr Akoh: No.
Mercy: Thank you sir. Sir, because your suspicion on the Petitioner was very
high, you had the justification to batter her at will, lock her out of the
house, seize her phones and refuse to provide for the baby.
Mr Tunde: My Lord, I object to that line of questioning. The witness just
admitted that he has nothing to prove that his wife was cheating.
That line of questioning should be put to rest.
Court: Overruled! Mr Akoh Answer the question.
Mr Akoh: It wasn't suspicion, I was sure, I saw the messages they sent one
Mercy: That's why you battered her every day.
Mr Akoh: She cheated and I didn't batter her every day.
Mercy: Okay you battered her, say 5 times?
Mr Akoh: I didn't batter her 5 times.
Mr Tunde: My Lord!
Court: Mr Tunde, Please sit. Mr Akoh, answer the question.
Mr Akoh: Fine! I can't remember, but she got what she deserved.
Mercy: My Lord, the Respondent says he can't remember how many times he
battered the Petitioner and how many times he refused to provide for
the baby and how many times he locked her out of the house.
That will be all for this witness.
“Tomorrow, errm, I mean today is Ima's case. I'm trying to be watertight with
my line of questioning for her husband who's testifying today”. Those were
Mercy’s words as regards the court proceedings we just witnessed. One would
wonder if the short cross-examination session she just conducted was all that
she stayed up all night for. Well, Mercy actually thought the witness would be
a tough nut to crack, so she outlined and rehearsed so many leading questions
to make him admit guilt. The witness however turned out to be emotionally
driven and had forgotten every single thing his lawyer, Mr Tunde told him.
Mr Akoh: Barrister, sheybi I will win this case?
Mr Tunde: Oga please move away from the court, it is still sitting.
Mr Akoh: OK sorry, but I hope...
Mr Tunde: ... Yes o. With the nonsense you did in there? Ahh. The only lifeline
you have now is hope. I mean you did the exact opposite of all that
I told you. What is wrong with you?
Mr Akoh: But I told the truth, she’s a cheat.
Mr Tunde: Oga, please I have another case in another court, if you will excuse
me. (He walks away).
Mr Akoh: Barrister, Barrister...
Mr Tunde: Come to the office later please.
Observing from a distance were Mercy and Ima, with a mischievous smile on
Mercy’s face; feeling accomplished. With the evidence Mr Akoh just gave, she
knew the case was theirs for the taking. She picked her phone to call Sade and
excitedly relate the experience, but just before she could dial her number,
Sade’s call came in. Sade had made a very disturbing discovery. She spoke
erratically; unable to make complete sense at the moment. The poor girl was
never accustomed to fear or inconvenience, and there came the ominous
discovery. How would she cope? Would Mercy’s promised protection suffice in
quelling her distress? Subsequent scenes will reveal.
1. Schiede-(German) vagina.
2. na – (pidgin) emphasis.
3. Abeg – (pidgin) Please.
4. U be photo na, wey person dey frame na- (pidgin) (sarcasm) you are a
photograph, that’s why you can get framed.
5. Sheybi - (pidgin) - are you certain.
6. Oga –(Yoruba; pidgin)- in the context used above- Sir; Mr
7. I hear- (pidgin) I heard.
8. Yes o. -(pidgin) of course
AUTHOR : LEONARD OKOJIE,ESQ
GLORIA EWA IJENEBE
For comments and feedback, contact Mr Leonard Okojie on : email@example.com