Her pretty face unrecognized, bruises all over, including her neck. Her lifeless body on the floor and the back of her head shattered with a deep cut. Beside her, a hammer covered in blood and presumed to be the murder weapon. Who killed Funke?
In the elegant kitchen of her matrimonial home, Funke in her pink satin gown focused her eyes outside the window close to the washing sink. Her silence enraged Wole, her elder brother. He was dressed in a white shirt and grey trousers.
“Sign the divorce papers, Funke!” he barked. Her body jerked and a drop of the Lipton tea she was drinking poured. “What are you waiting for?”
“You won’t understand.” The only words she kept repeating to her brother no matter what he uttered.
Wole motioned closer to her; he could hear her heart beating faster. He placed his right hand on her shoulder and at that moment, she heaved a sigh.
“You have changed. I wonder why you can’t leave Oke. He has left this house for you. You have been separated for months now. Why can’t you sign the papers?”
As Funke turned to face him, he dropped his hand. “Wole, you won’t understand.”
“There you go again!” This time he screamed so loud, she had to shut her eyes. “What is wrong with you! Are you insane? You act crazy sometimes!”
When she opened her eyes, she burst into tears, hot tears dripping down her cheeks.
He shook his head in distress and looked around the kitchen one more time, he glanced at the broken cabinet and back at Funke.
“You haven’t called a carpenter to fix the cabinet.” He shook his head again. “I wonder what you do alone in this house. You neglect important issues and focus on irrelevant things. I hope when I return, you would’ve signed it!” Wole stormed out of the house. Funke continued sobbing.
At ten minutes after nine, Oke and his girlfriend, Tacha finished making love. He proceeded to wear the clothes he picked from the floor.
“Where are you going?” She questioned him and used the purple duvet to cover herself properly in the bedroom of her apartment. Oke had been staying there since the day he met her. At first, he stayed at a hotel for some time when he moved out of his abode.
“Remember I told you I have to make a transaction in the bank before you pulled me into the bed.” He told her and wore his shoes.
“But you enjoyed it.”
He grinned without staring at her direction. “Yes, I did, my love.”
She frowned. “Is the bank more important than that bitch refusing to sign the divorce papers?”
He turned to her, with the look in his eyes; he wasn’t pleased with that statement. Tacha cared less of what he thought. She needed him to speak some sense into his soon to be ex-wife.
“You are not saying anything!” She yelled.
“Stop yelling! I will speak to her again. I will see her.”
“I hope this time she would listen to you and sign the damn papers. You don’t love her anymore, you love me!”
“Yes, I do. Don’t worry, she will sign them.” He grabbed his handkerchief & wallet from the lamp table and pecked Tacha on the lips. “I won’t stay long.”
Tacha wore a smile before Oke walked out of the door.
Five hours later, newly promoted Officer Adesewa drove down to the residence of Funke. Dressed in a well-ironed uniform, she alighted and hopped out of the allotted car presented by her father, the new inspector general of police. At first, she declined the offer, getting privileges from him was not one of the reasons she became an Officer.
Beautiful Adesewa desired to help and protect people, especially to solve murder cases. Her late mother’s death remained a mystery to her. This would be her first homicide case. Pretty Adesewa motioned to the entrance and met some patrol officers and one of them led her inside the abode, to the kitchen, no broken cabinet. The officer that informed her was standing beside the body.
“A neighbour found the body and called.” He said to her.
Adesewa widened her eyes as she sighted the victim’s head. “This is murder.” She said. “This must have been done with rage and resentment. What could she have done to deserve this?” Adesewa wore gloves and observed the bruises on her neck.
“I believe she was strangled before her killer hit her hard.”
She ordered the body and murder weapon to be taken for further analysis. Adesewa looked over at the shelf; saw some documents and a mobile phone. She collected the papers to glance through and noticed the signature presumed to be the victim’s own. She checked the call logs on the phone, wiped out. She heaved a frustrated groan. Adesewa hoped, solving the case wouldn’t take long.
A few moments later, Adesewa left the kitchen to survey around. She made way into the master’s bedroom. She saw a red purse on the bed. She searched through it and found nothing to help the investigation. She entered the bathroom, looked into the wastebasket and something caught her eyes. Still wearing gloves, she dipped her inside to pick it up. The result from the pregnancy kit made her wonder.
Adesewa wore a questionable expression and quickly called the examiner to confirm if the victim was truly pregnant. She needed a response as soon as possible. Immediately after the call, she heard the deep voice of a man screaming.
She hurried out and saw an enraged man in a yellow shirt requesting to see his sister. An officer broke the sad news to him and explained the body has been taken for an autopsy, that didn’t stop him from making noise. Neighbours began to come out to watch the brouhaha. Adesewa moved towards him, she wasn’t wearing gloves anymore. “I am Officer Adesewa Salami of the homicide department….”
“I don’t care who you are! My sister can’t die! I saw her this morning!”
“Then calm down and let’s talk.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down!”
“It seems you have a temper. If you want to have a conversation concerning your sister, you need to stop shouting.”
Adesewa ignored and asked. “When exactly did you see her?”
Wole thought for a quick moment. “I think I came here around 7 am and left around 8.”
“Why did you visit her very early? There must be a reason.”
“I wanted her to sign the divorce papers. She is a victim of domestic violence but she won’t admit it. Her husband requested a divorce months ago. She refused to sign the papers. I have been begging her to sign!”
“What is her husband’s name?”
Adesewa took a deep breath. The question she was about to ask, would hit him hard. “Did you threaten to kill your sister if she did not sign the papers?”
“You said you have been begging her for months to sign them. How come she signed them on the day she was killed?”
“I don’t know! I am even surprised she signed them.”
“Did you threaten her?”
“No! I might have used some harsh words that I regretted later, but I didn’t kill her. This is the second time I am coming here today. I wanted to apologize for my tone towards her and help her with the cabinet.”
“She has a broken cabinet. I told her to call the carpenter but I doubt she would.”
“There is no broken cabinet.”
“That’s not possible!” Wole made way to the entrance but an officer stepped in front of him. “Get out of my way!”
Adesewa spoke instantly. “After you left your sister’s place, where did you go?”
When he looked at her, his eyes had turned red. “I went to the mechanic to collect my car. It has been there since yesterday.”
“Where did you go after you collected your car?”
“I went home and there is no need to ask who can vouch for me. I was alone.”
Adesewa took note of the wedding ring. “What about your wife?”
“She traveled out of the country.”
“Your wife traveled out of the country or you killed her too?” The officer blocking his way asked him.
“How dare you!” Wole pushed him on the chest and he fell to the ground. He quickly stood.
“You have assaulted a police officer, arrest him!” Adesewa ordered!
Handcuffs slammed across his wrist as the officer read him his rights.
“You can’t arrest me!” Wole barked at her.
Adesewa barked back. “Oh yes, I can!”
Adesewa watched as Wole was driven away in his car. Adesewa decided to speak with the victim’s neighbours before she would make a call to Oke and interrogate Wole again at the station. After questioning them, she called Oke to break the news; he sounded shocked and promised to see her at the station. He was on his way to see her. Adesewa arrived at the station and went to the interrogation room to question Wole.
“I didn’t kill my sister! Why would I?” He spoke with emotion in his voice.
“You tell me. A neighbour confirmed she saw you coming out from the house around a few minutes after eight. The thing is you were wearing a white shirt at that time. Why change?”
“I told you my car was with the mechanic. I had to trek to find a bike or a cab but as I was going, a vehicle splashed mud on me.”
“Are you sure it was mud, or blood.”
“It was mud! You can confirm from my mechanic. I went home after I collected my car.”
“I heard that before.” Adesewa paused and asked. “Do you know anyone that would want to kill your sister?”
“No, maybe her husband, but she signed the papers. Right now, I can think of anyone that would want to kill her. She was a good woman. I can’t believe she is dead.”
Before Adesewa could say anything, to her surprise, Wole began to cry. An officer knocked on the door and whispered to her. She stood and faced Wole.
“I will be right back.”
Adesewa met with Oke in her office. He appeared to have cried with the look in his pale eyes.
“Please, can you tell me what happened to my wife?”
That surprised her. “Your wife? I thought you wanted to divorce her?”
“Yes, but she is still my wife. She didn’t sign the divorce papers.”
“Yes. I believe it’s your turn to sign the papers but that’s not why you are here. Did you beat Funke when she was alive?”
He chuckled lightly. “I believe you have spoken with her brother. That man is full of lies. He never wanted his sister and me to get married. He is always spitting out lies about me!”
“You haven’t answered my question.
“No! I never hit Funke. If there is a scratch on her, Wole would blame me.”
“When last did you see Funke?”
He didn’t think before he answered. “Today.”
Her left eyebrow lifted. “Today?”
“Yes. I think after ten. I went to the bank before I went to see her.”
“How long did you spend there?”
“I don’t know, maybe thirty minutes. I just wanted to remind her to sign. I promised my girlfriend that, she forced me to speak with her, you can confirm from her.”
“Are you saying she didn’t sign the papers when you got there?”
“No, that’s why I am surprised when you told me she signed the papers.”
“What could have made her change her mind?”
“I have no idea.”
Adesewa thought, only a neighbour saw Wole leaving the residence. How come no one saw him? Maybe someone else went there too without anyone noticing. Oke’s girlfriend could be a suspect. She thought.
“Hold on.” Adesewa stepped out to make a call to the examiner.
“I was about to call you, Officer,” the examiner spoke. “Can you come for an update on the autopsy?”
“I will, as soon as I am through with what I am doing. Did you confirm if she was pregnant?”
“Yes, five weeks pregnant. How did you know?”
“I will explain later doc. What about the murder weapon? Is your assistant through with it?”
“Yes. There were no fingerprints.”
“I will see you later.” She ended the call and returned inside. She tore a sheet of paper and gave it to Oke. “Write the home address and phone number of your girlfriend now.”
“Why?” He asked in a confused tone.
“Write it now!”
“I don’t have a pen.” He remained calm. She gave it to him and he wrote the details. She took it from him. “Can you tell me why you need that?”
“Your girlfriend is likely a suspect.”
“No way! Tacha would never kill anyone.”
“Your girlfriend seems desperate for you to end your marriage.”
“What if she finds out that you are responsible for Funke’s pregnancy? She wouldn’t like that.”
Oke rose on his feet. “That’s impossible! She can’t be pregnant.”
“Funke and I have not been intimate for the past two months. If she is truly pregnant, I am not responsible!”
Adesewa stared at him stunned.
“Keep in touch. Do not leave town.” Adesewa said to Oke.
“I won’t. I have nothing to hide.”
The Officer returned to the interrogation room. Wole had stopped crying.
“You kept me waiting. I am not a murderer. You should go out there and find her killer! You are not doing your job. Who made you a police officer?”
“Watch the way you talk to me.”
“I need to make a call to my lawyer.”
“That makes you look guilty.”
“I am innocent.”
“Then prove it!”
“Your sister was three weeks pregnant.”
He didn’t look shocked but wore an uncertain mien. He blinked his eyes and gazed into hers. “Have you asked Oke?”
“Yes. I let him go a few minutes ago. He is not responsible for it.”
Wole bowed his head, closed his eyes tightly and shook his head.
“Look at me and answer. I don’t have time to waste.”
He opened his eyes and looked at her. “She was having an affair.”
This time, Adesewa had to sit down. “I thought you said she was a good woman. She was cheating on her husband.”
“Her husband was cheating on her too.”
“That doesn’t give her the right to cheat. She should have signed the papers if she wanted to have an affair.”
“That was what I did not understand. She wouldn’t give me an explanation, Funke was always crying!”
“How do I find this man?”
“I have never met him. She told me about him. His name is Efe.”
“I will check for his number on her phone. I will call him.” Adesewa rose.
“Can I go?”
“No. You assaulted an officer of the law.”
“I didn’t push him hard. He purposely fell. Please, I need to leave this place and go to the hospital where they took my sister.”
She felt pity for him, but it wasn’t enough to allow him to walk out of the station. Adesewa walked out of the room to call Efe. She only told him she needed to speak with him regarding Funke. He directed her to his place of work. She got there and knew he was a furniture maker. He led her inside to talk.
“What can I do for you?” He asked. “Did Funke report me to you?”
“Why would she report you to me?”
“She broke up with me a few days ago. I have been calling and begging her to take me back.”
“Are you aware she was pregnant for you?”
He was surprised to hear that. Adesewa felt he could be pretending.
“That’s good news.” he smiled and hesitated. “Wait, you said she was pregnant. Did she abort it?”
“No. She was killed today.”
Efe started to laugh. “Is this a joke?” When he didn’t get a response from her, he detected how serious she looked. “That’s not possible. I saw her today.”
“You were at her house today?”
“Yes, but I didn’t go inside. I saw her opening the door for her husband so I went back.” His face fell and he spoke with intensity. “He finally killed her.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“That’s not possible. She finally signed the divorce papers today. That was what he wanted.”
“That was what she told everyone! She lied! She told only me the truth. Oke never wanted her to divorce him. He was abusive! She asked for a divorce, not him. She was only scared to sign the papers.”
“It doesn’t make sense. Why was she scared?”
“To protect her brother. If her brother knew the truth about the divorce, if she had opened her mouth to tell him her husband abused and raped her several times, he would kill Oke with his bare hands. She never let me meet her brother. Funke knew I would tell him the truth.”
Adesewa couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She was speechless.
“Funke said Oke swore he would kill her brother if she mentioned she was the one that wanted the divorce.”
“He deceived me.” Adesewa could only mutter to herself. She quickly called Oke’s number, switched off. She placed a call to Tacha, but she wasn’t picking. Adesewa drove away in speed, called for backup and sent the address of Tacha.
Adesewa arrived at the residence, she didn’t wait for backup, went to the entrance and found the door unlocked. She could hear the voice of Oke. Adesewa took a deep breath and tiptoed to where the voice came from which happened to be the bedroom. She sighted a handkerchief covered in blood on the floor. Oke was strangling Tacha. His girlfriend was struggling for her life. She pointed the gun at him.
“Let her go or I will pull the trigger!” Adesewa uttered.
“No!” Oke exclaimed.
“I know you killed Funke. That must be her blood in the handkerchief. Let Tacha go and you will only be persecuted for Funke’s murder!”
“I didn’t mean to kill her!” He let go of Tacha and faced Adesewa’s direction. “I gave Funke time to think about taking me back but she refused! She slept with someone else I forgave her. How could she get pregnant and sign the papers? Funke was mine and mine alone!”
“That means she told you she was pregnant today.”
“Yes. After I helped her repair the cabinet, she opened her mouth to tell me such a thing! If I can’t have her, no one will!”
Tacha struggled to stand up and run to Adesewa. “I saw the handkerchief and when I began to ask questions, he tried to kill me.”
Adesewa heard the siren and felt a bit relief. “Go and inform them I am here. Let them know I have found Funke’s killer.”
Tacha nodded and ran.
Mr. Oke, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. If you do say anything, it can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.”
Oke was charged for murder. Adesewa told Wole the news. He felt heartbroken. His sister died protecting him. The loss of Funke hurt his broken heart.
Adesewa finished the paperwork, reported to her boss and returned home at night. She undressed, entered the bathroom, and turned on the shower. As water dripped from her face down to her feet, Adesewa erupted into tears.
Cop Adesewa will be posted at any time. Thanks for reading!