List of Characters
Nkem: Niece/House girl
Mr Chuks Okudili : Nkem ‘s Uncle
Mrs Oluchi Okudili: Nkem’s Aunt
Amina: Nkem’s Lawyer
1. Mrs O: How can I forget of all things our flight tickets…I hope will not miss the plane.
2. Fx:(impatiently): Door bell rings
3. Mrs O: Nkem! Nkem! Where did that stupid girl go to…? I better use my keys
4. Fx: Keys in the lock door opens
5. Mrs O: Nkem! Nkem! I hope you are not sleeping…
6. Fx: Sound of sobbing
7. Mrs O: What is that sound coming from the kitchen?
8. FX; Footsteps… Opens kitchen door
9. Mrs O: My God! What happened here? Ah! Chuks! Chuks!
10. FX: walking on broken glass/plates
11. Mrs O: Nkem! What happened here? Why is my husband lying on the floor? Chuks! Chuks!
12. Nkem (sobbing): Aaaauntty…
13. Mrs O: Chuks! Chuks! Get up! Chuks!Chuks oooooooooooo!(fade out)
14. Fx: lady footsteps on cement floor(stops)
15. Amina: Hi, my name is Amina. You are Nkem, right? You don’t know me … I am a lawyer… and…
16. Nkem: I told them that I do not want a lawyer.
17. Amina: I know that. That is why I am here…you see it is not wise for you to try to defend yourself, this is a murder case and…
18. Nkem: … please go away
19. Amina: Look I don’t know how old you are, but if you are up to eighteen you could face the death penalty. They could hang you.
20. Nkem: I don’t care.
21. Amina: What? Are you even planning to put up any form of defence? What are you going to plead before the judge tomorrow?
22. Nkem: I’ll tell him I am guilty.
23. Amina: But… are you?
24. Nkem: Look Amina or whatever your name is, go away! Just leave me alone!
25. Amina: But…
26. Nkem: Look you are not the first one to approach me. Your friends have all been here, looking to use my case, my life, to boost their legal careers. “The lawyer who defended the girl that killed her Uncle.” I know the story as made the front page of the newspapers and…
27. Amina: No, no, no! Nkem, it is not like that. (Sighs) Look, I have been coming to this prison since yesterday because of another case I am working on. I have passed in front of your cell a few times. I have seen the tears falling from your eyes but no cry come from your lips, not even a sob. That is grief. That is pain so deep that you can’t even voice it anymore. I don’t think you did this… at least not intentionally. I don’t know the facts yet but I can tell… please let me help you.
28. Nkem: Don’t waste your time. There can never be justice … not for people like me.
29. Amina: No don’t say that…. Look, you look ill, you need medical attention. I’ll go and get somebody to attended to you. Then we’ll talk. Ok?
30. Fx: Footsteps moving away
31. Nkem: Wait…
32. Amina: What is it?
33. Nkem: Thank you…Amina.
34. Amina: You are welcome.
35. Prosecutor: Mrs Okudili, tell this court about the discussion you had with the accused just two days before your planned trip to Dubai with your children.
36. Mrs O: Yes … that day I called her into the room to help me pack …
37. Mrs O.: Nkem ! Nkem!
38. Fx: Door opens and closes
39. Nkem: Yes Ma
40. Mrs O: Bring down the suitcases from the top of the cupboard and come and help me pack
41. Nkem: Aunty, are you travelling?
42. Mrs O: What kind of foolish question is that? Why would I ask you to bring down the suitcases if I am not travelling?
43. Nkem: Aunty please, can … can I come with you?
44. Mrs O: Eh? (claps her hands) Wonders shall never end. I feed you. I clothed you, I send you to school and it is still not enough for you eh? You want to follow aunty to Dubai with her children.
45. Nkem: No… Aunty it is not like that I…I mean… I don’t want to stay alone in the house…
46. Mrs O: You should have told your parents to work hard if you wanted the added benefits of travelling abroad. You this ungrateful thing!
47. Nkem: I am not trying to sound ungrateful… it’s just…
48. Mrs O: Will you shut up! If you open that your mouth again… Bring down the suitcases!
49. Nkem: Yes Aunty…
50. Mrs O: …and when you have finished, go to the children’s room and pack their things as well.
51. Nkem: Yes aunty…
52. Mrs O (murmurs): Unbelievable! I should take you to Dubai; your wings have really grown…
53. Prosecutor: So, Mrs Okudili, she actually asked you to take her to Dubai with you?
54. Mrs O: I was really surprised. I try so hard for the girl. She has never lacked anything. Since her parents died, I have become solely responsible for her needs.
55. Prosecutor: So, was she upset when you told her no?
56. Mrs O: Of course….
57. Amina: Objection my lord! I fail to see the relevance of this trip to Dubai to this case
58. Prosecutor: My lord, I am only establishing motive… in fact, I am through with this witness.
59. Judge: Alright. Defense, do you wish to cross examine?
60. Amina: yes my lord. Mrs Okudili, you said you cared for the accused since her parents died?
61. Mrs O: Yes.
62. Amina: In your words you have clothed, fed and sent her to school.
63. Mrs O: Yes.
64. Amina: So, please tell me, how much education have you given your niece?
65. Mrs O: She has finished secondary school.
66. Amina: She has finished secondary school means that she has her school leaving certificate?
67. Mrs O: Well no…
68. Amina: No? Why not?
69. Mrs O: I have not had money to pay for her to write her final exams.
70. Amina: I see…so for the past two years since she was meant to have left school, you have not had the money to pay for her to write her final exams?
71. Mrs O: yes
72. Amina: Yet within that period you have travelled twice to the UK and once to Dubai. Were you afraid that if she made her papers she will have her certificate and now be in a position to leave you home?
73. Prosecutor: Objection my lord. How the Okudili’s manage their finances is a private matter and should not be subject for discussion here.
74. Amina: All I am trying to say my lord, is if she has the money to be jetting all over the world she could have spared a few coins to pay the accused exam fees…
75. Judge: Objection sustained. The debate over the finances of the Okudili‘s is of no concern to this case. Please defence, pursue another line of questioning.
76. Amina: I am through with this witness.
77. Judge: Very well, you may step down Mrs okudili. Prosecution, call your next witness
78. Prosecutor: we will like to put the accused, Nkem Okonkwo, on the stand.
79. Judge: very well
80. Prosecutor: So Nkem, you heard your aunt’s testimony. Did you ask her to take you to Dubai?
81. Nkem: I…I just didn’t want to stay alone in the house…
82. Prosecutor: Miss Nkem please just answer the question
83. Nkem : Yes
84. Prosecutor: Were you angry when she told you no?
85. Nkem: No…Not angry…
86. Prosecutor: Upset then?
87. Nkem: Yes…
88. Prosecutor: You don’t think your aunt has the right to decide if she wanted to take you on a trip with her?
89. Amina: Objection my Lord, again I fail to see the relevance of this line of questioning to this case
90. Prosecutor: Like I said my lord, I am simply trying to establish a foundation for the final events that lead to the death of Mr. Chuks Okudili.
91. Judge: Overruled. But please get on with it
92. Prosecutor: Yes my lord, tell us what happened on that day as soon as Aunty left the house for her trip with the kids …
93. Nkem: My Uncle came home….
94. Prosecutor: And?
95. Nkem: He told me to follow him upstairs to his room….
96. Prosecutor: Interesting…what for?
97. Nkem: He… he wanted to have his way with me…
98. Prosecutor: You are sure you didn’t try to seduce him yourself?
99. Nkem: No!
100. Prosecutor: And why not? You will not be the first niece to try to take her aunt’s place in her matrimonial home.
101. Nkem: I did not try to seduce him… he…
102. Prosecutor: I think you did and he told you no. And it all became too much for you. You were already enraged with jealousy that your aunty had refused to take you with her on her holiday with her children. You forgot all the good things this family had done for you. So in the fit of that jealously coupled with the fact that he had turned down your advances. You waited for an opportune moment when he entered the kitchen to get something you turned on him and with the kitchen knife stabbed him to death!
103. Nkem: No! That is not what happened. He was the one…he was the one who…
104. Prosecutor: Who wanted to seduce you… I find that very hard to believe. We have been listening to nothing but glowing testimonies about Mr chuks okudili the last couple of days. He was an outstanding member of this community and a Deacon in his church. He has never been accused of any act of indecency before. No Miss Nkem I think the whole thing happen exactly the way I am saying it did. An innocent man died at your hands because of your in ability to control your envy.
105. Nkem ( breathing heavily):No! That is not what happened. I wasn’t jealous …
106. Prosecutor: No further question my lord.
107. Judge: Defence do you wish to cross examine?
108. Amina:Yes my lord but I would like to request for a break to allow my client to pull herself together .
109. Judge: Alright we will reconvene in 30 minutes.
110. FX: strike gavel
111. Fx: Sound of people dispersing
112. Amina(off mike): Nkem, calm down it’s ok
113. Nkem (off mike): He was making it look as if I was the one that did everything. That was not how it happened…
114. Amina (off mike): I know calm down everything will be fine.
115. Fx: Short musical interlude
TO BE CONTINUED…