DEPUTY Smith searched the face of the man shaking his hand and he felt threatened and protective towards Ola and his territory. He, however, couldn’t place his hands on the reasons. He was a lawyer, he couldn’t take his police work. Smith wasn’t in a relationship with Ola, although he used to crush on her when they first met but not anymore. He has taken her as his sister, so why was he feeling this way?!
Paul could feel the hostility in the air. He felt Smith didn’t like him. Why could that be? Was he in a relationship with Ola? He didn’t think so, Ola didn’t look like someone who will date a co-worker. So why was he having the feelings that Smith was protecting Ola? If I have to get to Ola, I will have to go through Smith or fight him off! “Paul, why are you thinking of getting into Ola’s panty?” He asked himself before shaking away his thoughts and coming back to the room.
Ola felt the tension in the room. A face-off was going on between Paul and Smith. She watched as each man sized the other up. Why they felt threatened by each other’s presence was a misery to her though! They had nothing in common! “Yes, they do. You!” Her sub-conscience replied her.
‘Nice meeting you barrister Balogun.’ Smith lied.
‘Same here but please call me Paul.’ Paul said forcing a smile.
‘No problem. You should call me Smith then.’ He said before facing Ola.
‘D.O. The family members are here.’
‘Great! Let’s get to work!’
SMITH led Ola and Paul to the conference room where the family members were sitting down. Their eyes were red from crying and they all had handkerchiefs but they had stopped crying. Ola’s heart broke as she saw the young boy again. Couldn’t the father get someone to watch over his son? She was angry at him again but she didn’t let it show. She caught the boy’s eyes and smiled. He smiled back.
‘Hello junior.’ She greeted the boy.
‘Good afternoon ma’am.’ Junior replied.
Ola knew she had to get Junior out of the room. He wasn’t meant to be there.
‘Junior, how about I tell one of my friends to show your around the station and then get you some ice cream and cake?’ She lured the boy.
‘Cool! Will I get to play with guns?!’ He asked excitedly.
‘No guns dear but she will show you many cool kinds of stuff!’
‘Okay! Daddy, can I go?’ The boy asked his father who looked worried. Not that his opinion mattered to Ola, but she understood that the boy has been brought up to ask for permission. She had the feeling Dr. Akin didn’t want to let his son go but she mouthed “he will be fine” to him and he gave permission.
‘Be a good boy, okay?’ Dr. Akin warned his son.
‘Yes daddy!’ The boy said fleeing from his chair to Ola’s side. Ola took him by hand and they left the conference room. She handed him over to an elderly policewoman whose job was to take care of children who found themselves in the police station. She headed back for the conference room.
‘Sorry people. We can’t do this in front of the young boy. Once again, I’m detective Ola, this is my deputy, Smith, and that’s the prosecutor, barrister Paul Balogun. Together we will be working to solve this case.’ She said to raised brows. They all looked like they had questions to ask.
‘Any questions before we commenced?’ She asked and they all nodded.
‘Okay. Ask away.’ She said and they all spoke at once. She raised up her hands and they all stopped. Ola was surprised that Kelvin had a question too. As she recollected, Kelvin didn’t know the victim, what could he have to say? She was curious.
‘Yes, Mr. Kelvin?’ All eyes in the room turned to him.
‘Please, what are we doing here? Are you guys not supposed to be out there looking for the criminal?’ He said and everyone in the room except for the people on the side of the law nodded. It seemed that was the question on everyone’s mind.
‘Well, we are already looking for the criminal! Like I said earlier, we need your help and statements. The things you will tell us will help us find the culprit. However, you can leave Mr. Kelvin as you have nothing to do with this case.’ Ola replied looking straight into Kelvin’s eyes. He looked relieved, in fact, he sagged into his chair with relief! Who wouldn’t get relieved when the police let you off the hook? But could there be other reasons for his relief? The policewoman in her asked. It was like Kelvin was reading her mind because he quickly sat up while the worried look came back to his face.
‘No, I can’t leave. I’m here to support my fiancée.’ He said grabbing Grace’s hand.
‘Very well but you have to sit in the waiting area while I talk to the people who have ties with the deceased.’ Ola told him. He looked like he was going to complain but he didn’t. He kissed Grace on the mouth before exiting the room. Ola had nothing against public display of affection but it seemed Victoria did as she gave the couple a bitter look.
‘Okay. We will give you a paper each to write down your last encounter with the victim and anything you think could help the case, then we will call you in for questioning one by one. Deputy Smith here will attend to you. Please feel at home and be free to ask for anything you need. Thank you. Dr. Akin, please follow me.’ She said as Smith went to a cabinet in the room and brought out folders, pens, and papers. Ola, Paul and Dr. Akin left the room.
THE interrogation room had been prepared. It was a poor lighted small room with a table and three chairs. A telephone hanged on a corner in the room. Ola and Paul escorted Dr. Akin into the interrogation room and showed him where to sit before they both sat opposite him. Ola opened the file on the table, “SUSPECTS” was boldly written on the file and Dr. Akin could read it!
Akin’s heart was beating like a talking drum. He could hear his heart in his ears. Why was I the first to be called? Was his name in this “SUSPECTS” file? He was so cold he could freeze water! He was beside himself with fear and anticipation. The lawyer has fixed his gaze on him like he was an open book being read. Dr. Akin felt naked! He wished this woman would get on with the questioning so he could know where he stood. He began to sweat.
Paul was watching Dr. Akin’s every move. The man was terrified and Paul could smell his fear in the room. The suspect has begun to sweat and he could see his clothes were beginning to get well. Why was he sweating? Why was he afraid? Did he have something to do with the murder? Or was he just scared of the police interrogation room?! Paul couldn’t wait to find out.
Ola knew everything that was in the file she was pretending to read, she just needed to make Dr. Akin feel uncomfortable and it was working. She nodded and sighed at intervals. She would look at the suspect and shake her head then go back to her file. She needed the suspect to talk first, like that she would know she had him.
‘Can we start with the questioning? I don’t like my kid to be alone with strangers!’ He said frustrated and Ola smiled behind the file knowing she had him where she wanted him.
‘Hmmmm. So tell us, when was the last time you saw your ex-wife?’ Ola asked putting down the file and picking up her notebook.
‘Yesterday evening, around seven.’
‘Tell us about the encounter.’
‘What’s there to tell? Is it a crime to see my ex-wife?’
‘No, it’s not a crime. Just tell us about the encounter Dr. Akin.’
‘Okay. I went there to pick my child. We said our greetings and I left.’
‘Were you two alone in the house?’
‘No! Victoria let me in even though she left some few minutes after I got there and my son came down to greet me. And as we were leaving She came down to kiss her son goodbye and she said hello to me and that was it.’
‘Okay Dr. Akin, you are being helpful. So what was her condition like when you saw her last? I mean was she okay, happy or sad?’
‘No, she was drunk!’
‘Drunk? Are you sure?’
‘Yes! She smelled of alcohol, in fact, she had a cup filled with one and she was shouty and mean as usual!’
‘Really? You know all these by she just saying hello to you? Drunk, shouty and mean?’
‘Eeehhhm. I mean that’s how she is when she’s drunk. Sorry I mean when she drinking!’
‘Hmmmmm. Okay Dr. Akin, do you know anyone who could’ve hurt your ex-wife?’
‘No, she was a peaceful woman and she didn’t have friends.’
‘Hmmm! How about you Dr. Akin?’ Paul asked.
DR. Akin looked sharply from detective Ola to barrister Paul with his heart in his mouth. The questioning started fine but it was getting dangerously for him. It was like the police knew what had happened and what he did. He was sweating profusely and his handkerchief was soaked wet. He couldn’t wait to leave the room and he needed water or whiskey but too scared to ask! His throat was dried and his confidence was gone too.
‘Why would I want to kill her?!’ He screamed.
‘For the money, or maybe your anger towards her for not letting you keep your child. We all know it was a bitter divorce. Talk to us Dr. Akin. We can help you.’
‘Help me? You are talking as if you have evidence against me already!’
‘Well, about the evidence, we have lots of it that lead towards someone. Tell us the truth so we can help you.’
‘What evidence? What do you have against me?’ He asked uncertainly.
‘We can’t tell you that but you can tell us the truth!’
‘Do I need a lawyer?’ He asked thoroughly scared and convinced they had him.
PAUL saw what was going on and he stepped in. He still had a feeling that Dr. Akin was innocent but he also had a feeling he was hiding something from them. If Dr. Akin got himself a lawyer, they might not be able to get the truth out of him. It was time to play the good cop and the bad cop.
‘Ehm, Dr. Akin, you have to understand that we are here to help you. We are your friends. If you tell us the truth, either you are guilty or not, it will help us solve this case, finds the killer and keep you out of jail! That is a pure truth!’ Paul said and he meant it.
Dr. Akin heard what barrister Paul said and he believed him. However, he felt they didn’t have any real evidence against him so he decided to play it safe. He wasn’t going to tell them anything!
‘That’s all I can remember for now.’
‘Okay Doctor. You have been very helpful. Please don’t leave town for now. We may need you back here.’
‘Okay, no problem. Can I ask you a question?’
‘How did she died?’ Dr. Akin asked.
‘Hmmm… I’m sorry I can’t tell you that for now because it’s still an ongoing investigation but how do you think she was killed?’
‘I don’t know! Is it the alcohol? Did she slip on the stairs? I told her the drinking would kill her!’
‘It wasn’t the alcohol. In fact, it could have saved her if she had gotten help on time…’ Ola replied.
‘Wow! Please find the killer. My son would miss his mother and I would like to be able to tell him how she died…’
‘We will do our best and talking about your son, please be careful what you say in his presence!’
‘Hmmm, okay. Thank you.’ He said extending his hand to Ola and Paul.
OLA and Paul watched as the doctor left the investigation room. His cloth was wet from the sweat and he appeared relieved that the questioning was over. Ola faced Paul and asked;
‘So what do you think?’
‘He’s hiding something from us but I don’t think he did it. However, what he’s hiding from us could help the case, implicate or exonerate him for all he knows!’ The barrister said.
‘Well, the day is still young. Who knows what we will find next! So who should we talk to next?’
‘Let’s talk to the sister.’
Ola went to the corner where the telephone was and she dialed a number.
‘Sergeant Adeoye, please bring in Miss Grace to the interrogation room.’ She said and hanged the phone.
‘Okay! Let’s hear from the sister!’
…to be continued…
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Written by Olatorera.
Edited by Olatorera.
© 2016 by IBIOLAT communications.