Genevieve and Tiwa returned to the bureau to see for themselves. There was nothing in the flash. Genevieve decided to go and see Peter to tell him. She took a taxi there.
“Fred Adebayo was maneuvered. The person he worked with fucking betrayed him.”
“That is it. I have told barrister Kemi about it.”
“You have to go to that party. Ask questions.”
“I will. You can trust me on that.”
“Why didn’t Tiwa follow you?”
“Her doctor advised her to rest.”
“She needs it. Send my regards to her. I am fucking grateful to both of you.”
“I will let her know.” She said. “Have you see Skeleton?”
“I saw him when the head of warden addressed all the prisoners in the morning. He wasn’t looking good at all. I will try to talk to him tomorrow. We will be given tasks.”
“I hope they won’t tell you to cut grass.”
“It’s better than washing plates.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Genevieve asked in a surprised tone.
“I’m not fucking kidding you. The prisoners here are many.”
“Now I understand. How have you been coping? You haven’t lost weight.”
“My sister has been bringing food to me. She has to tip the officers at the counter before they can give me the food if not I would have died. I can’t fucking eat their food here. If the soup or stew is not watery, there won’t be chicken or turkey.”
Genevieve looked into his eyes. “Peter Harold, you will never stop to amaze me.”
In the evening, Tiwa tried to reach the doctor. She was pacing around the living room. This time, his phone rang and he answered.
“Thank God!” Tiwa said. “Doctor Timi, I have been trying to reach you. Your brother gave me your number.”
“That is why I turned on my phone. Jim sent me an email and told me about you. Any problem?”
“No problem at all. I am calling to ask for a favor. I need to know the result of an autopsy concerning a murdered victim.”
“I am unaware about that. I have not been around.”
“I know doc. I really need your help. It could save an innocent man from going to jail.”
“Even if I know about it, it is unethical to tell you.”
“I know. I promise I won’t mention your name. I need an authentic report of the result.”
“Do you think there will be an inaccurate one?”
“It is possible.”
“I have to think about it detective.” Timi said in a worried tone.
“Even if I say yes, you will have to wait for me to return next week. I can’t tell anyone at the hospital to check for me. I don’t know who to trust.”
“You are right,” Tiwa said. “Please get back to me when you think about it.”
Kemi collected the invitation cards and gave Genevieve her own. Men were supposed to wear black suits and any color of tie. As for the women, they ought to wear dinner gowns. She called Quincy to inform him. They were eating dinner when Genevieve told him she knew the country she wanted to visit.
“Where will you like to go?” Quincy asked her.
“Must I have a reason?”
“Yes.” He gave her a look that made her smile.
“Tiwa is going there to give birth and I want to be there for her.”
“It’s a nice thing to do but do you really want to spend your vacation there?”
“Yes. It will be fun to have the four of us there. I told Peter about it and he thinks I should be there when Tiwa gives birth.”
“Peter should think of how he will get himself out of that place instead of him advising you on what to do.”
“Are you saying going to Canada is a bad idea?” Genevieve asked him.
“No. It’s a good idea. I will work towards it but I hope the case will be over before Tiwa gives birth.”
“I hope so. Peter told me he has a plan on how the judge will grant him bail.”
“What is he planning?”
“He didn’t tell me.”
“I hope he is not planning something that will cause him to stay longer in prison.”
“Peter is a smart man. He won’t plan anything that will jeopardize his chances of getting out of that place.”
Peter was among the prisoners clearing grass. He sighted Skeleton doing the same thing but he was far from him. His portion was the largest. Peter thought of a way to get to Skeleton. They were two officers monitoring them. They were up to fifteen prisoners clearing.
Peter focused on his chore and started to cough to get everyone’s attention. All eyes were on him and Skeleton saw him.
“No give us cough here o.” One of the officers said.
“I need water.” Peter said.
“Shut up your mouth!” the second officer barked. “You never finish wetin you supposed do, you dey ask for water. You dey very lazy!”
Peter stopped coughing and looked at him angrily. “But I am tasty.”
“I said shut up! You want make I beat you? Killer!”
Peter was furious but had to hide it. He thought to himself.
Who was he to call him a killer? The moment he gets the hell out of this place, he would go after the officer. He would have him investigated for corruption. There was no way he was not into fraudulent deals at the station.
“Instead of am to clear, he dey ask for water.” The second officer said to his colleague. “Water kill you.”
They began to laugh. While they were not paying attention to the others, Skeleton had managed to swap places with other prisoners. When he was a bit closer to Peter, he told the officers he wanted to urinate.
“Maybe you go give that fool your urine drink.” The second officer said and laughed.
Skeleton pointed to a corner close to Peter. “Can I urinate there?”
“If you like urinate for that killer head, he no concern me.”
The officer walked towards another prisoner to inspect what he was doing. His co-worker appeared unconcern about what was going on. Skeleton moved close to Peter and acted as if he wanted to urinate.
“Barrister Peter,” Skeleton whispered. “I didn’t know you have been arrested.”
“Yes, I have. I am working to get both of us out of this place. Do you know when all of us will come out like this?”
“I think it’s next week but I don’t know if we will be clearing the bush.”
“When we have this opportunity to see again, I want you to do something for me.”
On Saturday, Tiwa called Genevieve to wish her good luck. When Genevieve and Quincy arrived, Kemi and Jason were waiting for them. The four of them looked dashing in their outfits.
Kemi introduced Genevieve and Quincy to Jason before they went in. Two hefty men checked their invitation cards before they entered into the elaborate and beautiful living room. The men and women looked richly dressed. Cynthia Ogbonna Ojukwu and two men walked in. One of the men appeared to be the husband, Kennedy Ojukwu. The other man was tall. He was their bodyguard.
Denzel came alone and walked towards them. He was still single and a doting father to his son. Denzel had spoken to Quincy on the phone but never met him physically. They exchanged pleasantries and he greeted Genevieve.
“I am a fan of yours.” She told him. “It is a pleasure meeting you.”
“Thank you.” Denzel said. “Please enjoy yourself and have fun.”
“Thanks. I would like to know what the occasion is about.”
“It’s just a party for his family, friends and employees.”
“That means his employees are here.”
“Yes. I think all of them.”
A beautiful woman came to whisper to Denzel and he smiled. He looked at the two couples.
“I have to go. I need to greet Larry Ogbonna and his family.”
“No problem.” Genevieve said.
“Okay.” Kemi said.
Denzel shook Quincy and Jason’s hands and left with the woman. Tiwa watched him as he walked to greet Larry and his wife. Larry was a fine looking man in his sixties. His wife was chubby and pretty. Genevieve thought of a way to get close to Larry when his wife and Denzel leave him. Champagne and small chops were shared. People were laughing, chatting with each other and having a good time.
“What are you going to do now?” Kemi asked Genevieve as they stared at Larry. He was laughing with two men.
“I have no choice, I have to go and meet him now.”
“What about those men with him?”
“If I should wait for them to leave him, others will go to him. Don’t worry, I know how I will get his attention. He hasn’t met me before.”
Genevieve went to meet Quincy and told him what she intended to do. She opened her purse to bring out a small mirror to look at her face. She asked one of the waiters for the guest-toilet and he directed her there. She went to the toilet to remove her wedding ring, apply more lipstick, readjust her cleavage and came out.
She walked towards Larry who was talking to an older man. They noticed her looking their way. The men focused their eyes on her. Genevieve smiled at Larry and the older man excused himself.
Larry took her hand to peck, and he dropped it. “Hello pretty. I don’t think I have met you before.”
“That’s true. I have always wanted to meet you.”
He grinned. “Today is your lucky day. I hope you came here alone.”
“If I did, do you want me to do something for you?”
“You seem like a smart woman.” He looked around and gazed back at her. “I could show you around my home.”
She chuckled. “Relax, I am not running away. You didn’t even ask for my name.”
“Bad manners.” he said with a smile. “Your beauty captivated me. What’s your pretty name?”
He frowned at her. “Is this a joke?”
“No.” She moved closer and glared into his red eyes. “If you know what is good for you, tell your dogs to free Peter. You know he is innocent.”
“You dare come into my home to question me? Are you not afraid?”
“I am not afraid of you. Peter is innocent.”
Larry smiled mischievously. “I heard two female detectives came to see me. Where is your partner?”
“I am not with my partner.”
“It means you want to die alone.”
“What makes you think I came here alone?”
“Today is indeed your lucky day. I don’t know anything about what is happening to Peter. Get out of my house.”
“I am sure you don’t want to create a scene here. How would your guests feel when I call you a murderer?”
“I have never killed before, you will be my first.” He sneered.
Genevieve smiled. “I want you to know that Peter will be free and the real culprit will be put to justice.”
“Go to hell.” He walked out on her and went inside his house.
Unknowingly for Genevieve as she turned to walk away, she mistakenly bumped into a man. His drink almost spilled on him.
“I am very sorry.” Genevieve said and looked at his face. He looked familiar.
“It’s okay.” He smiled at her.
“You must be Larry Ogbonna’s accountant.” She said trying to get information.
“No, I am not his accountant. I am his personal assistant.”
She quickly stepped away from him the moment he wanted to start a conversation with her. She didn’t want that. She signaled Quincy with her eyes as she approached the door. He followed her as she stepped outside.
“I want us to leave.” Genevieve told him as they walked towards his car. “I don’t want Larry Ogbonna to see me with Kemi and her husband. I will send Kemi a text to notify her.”
“That’s okay.” Quincy said. “What did he said?”
“He denied it and threatened me but I think I met the person Femi Adebayo was with.”
“Yes. Fred’s girlfriend showed Tiwa and me some pictures. One of Fred’s friends is Larry’s personal assistant. I remember Mirabel calling him Osi.”
“Why didn’t you ask him if he knew Fred?”
“He might try to cover his track. We will investigate him furtively.”
Quincy drove and on their way home, Genevieve called Kemi to explain why they left.
“No wonder he visited Mirabel more than once,” Tiwa said to Genevieve in her office on Monday morning. She had narrated everything to her. “He must have felt guilty for what he did.”
“But why will he do such a thing to his friend?”
“Money.” Genevieve responded. “Money is the root of all evil.”
“I know.” Tiwa smiled at her. “I really missed last night. I can imagine the look on his face when you told him you are a detective.”
“Why are some men like that? Well, I am glad you got something.”
After they chatted on what to do, they went for lunch and came back to the office. Tiwa placed a call to Leroy’s office. Two minutes later, Leroy knocked on the door and entered.
“Detective Tiwa, you said I should come.” Leroy said to her.
“Yes. Genevieve and I concluded you will the best detective to monitor someone. We would have asked officer Lanre to do it but he has been following us around. We want you to follow a man named Osi but we don’t have his picture for now. If we need his picture we have to go to Mirabel’s place.”
“Why can’t we check social media? Do you know his surname?”
“I will call Mirabel and ask.” Genevieve suggested.
She called Mirabel and she told her his surname. She thanked her and cut the call. “His name is Osi Sunday.”
“I will tell Idara to check.” Leroy told her.
“There might be several Osi Sunday on Facebook or Twitter. Please let me know when he does so that I can point him to you.”
Idara checked Facebook and saw three people bearing the same name. Genevieve pointed at the real Osi and Idara printed out his picture. Genevieve told Leroy the name of the company where he worked. Leroy planned to start following him the next day. He would go and wait outside the company during closing hours.
The following day, Kemi, Genevieve and Tiwa visited Peter and told him everything that happened. Leroy drove to Larry’s company. At 5:32pm, he saw Osi driving out. He looked at the photo more time just to be sure it was Osi, Leroy carefully traced him to his residence.
Before the trial began, Tiwa spoke with Doctor Timi. He was not yet back but he assured Tiwa he would do his best to help her. On the first day in court, Kemi went very early to the station to check on Peter. When she saw Peter, she was shocked. He had a swollen eye and there was a cut on his upper lip.
“What happened to you?”
“I did this on purpose.” He said as he groaned faintly in pain.
“I planned with Skeleton. I told him to lie when he is in the cell with his cellmates.”
“To lie about what?”
“That he heard me planning to deal with an officer when I get out of here. One of his cell mates told the officer and he beat me up.”
“What! What did you do that for?”
“For my bail to be easy,” Peter explained. “I am supposed to fucking sue! You have to tell the judge that my life is in danger. I am not safe here.”
“It’s a good plan but you could have gotten yourself killed.”
“Well, I fucking did not.”
Kemi gave him an uncertain look and shook her head pitifully.
In the afternoon when Kemi arrived at the court, she saw the detectives and told them not to freak out when they saw Peter. She told them what he had done.
“Peter is a fucking idiot.” Genevieve said.
“I can’t believe he did such a thing to himself.” Tiwa asked Kemi. “Do you think it will work?”
“It is likely to work.”
“I hope it would.”
They went inside. Peter’s siblings, Osi, Henry, Mirabel, father of Fred and inspector Kesmond were there. Genevieve saw Cynthia’s bodyguard sitting alone. An officer brought Peter in handcuffs, and everyone stared at his face. The cuffs were taken off him and he sat beside Kemi. When Judge Ofili walked in; everybody stood up. He sat down and they did the same.
“Now, let’s proceed.” Ofili stated.
Kemi quickly stood up. “Your honor, I will like to ask for a request before we begin.
“What is it?”
“The defendant was badly beaten in prison. His life is at stake. Peter Harold has not been convicted for murder. He wants to go home. He is not a criminal, he doesn’t have a criminal record and he is been treated as one. I want you to grant him bail.”
The jury looked at the judge’s direction.
He spoke. “Peter Harold was declared wanted before he was caught. Don’t you think a wanted man is dangerous to the society?”
“If he is dangerous, he would have killed someone.”
“Have you forgotten why he is here? He killed…”
“Allegedly killed, your honor.” She corrected him.
He sneered. “Don’t ever interrupt me.”
“I am sorry your honor.”
He heaved a sigh and glared at Peter before looking back at Kemi. “He is granted bail of fifty million naira.” The judge hit the gravel.
“What!” Kemi exclaimed. “Peter Harold is not a politician.”
Peter’s eyes widened. His siblings were speechless. Tiwa and Genevieve stared at each other stunned. Barrister Cynthia smiled. The jury and the people in court were surprised too.
“It is way too high your honor.” Kemi said to him. “The defendant can’t afford that kind of money.”
“That is final barrister Kemi.” Judge Ofili looked at Cynthia. “Can the persecutor start now?”
Cynthia stood upright. “Yes your honor.”
Kemi sat down and felt disgruntled and muddled. She glanced at Peter. He was obviously boiling in anger. He gestured closer and she could feel him breathing hard.
“If I manage to get out of this mess, judge Ofili is the first person I will fucking slit his throat. He deserves to die.”
Kemi knew he didn’t mean it. Peter was only furious and he deserved to be. The only way to set Peter free was proof he wasn’t the one that pulled the trigger. Only evidence could make Peter Harold a free man again.
To be continued….