Three weeks later, Dayo was seated in the reception area of the governor’s private house. Even though the air conditioner was on full blast, his palms were sweaty. The governor was known to be a no nonsense moralist, and since it was his first time of meeting the governor, he was scared out of his wits as he wasn’t sure of how he would be received.
Aisha had told her father about the pregnancy two weeks before, and even though he had been initially disappointed and angry, he later agreed to marry them off in a low key ceremony and dispatch them abroad.
However, the meeting went well, as the governor was deeply in love with Aisha, and as it was also evident that Aisha was in love with Dayo, the governor had no choice but to love him as well.
The governor only asked him one question. “Do you really love my daughter, or you wanted to ‘chop and clean mouth?’” he asked bluntly.
Dayo was taken aback but he managed to respond, “I love Aisha from the depth of my heart, and I have never loved any other like I love her,” he gushed.
This seemed to please the governor, and he put his arms round Dayo. “You seem like a nice son…in law. Champagne or red wine?” he asked.
When Dayo got home that night, he was in an elated mood.
“Hey baby, how is my other baby doing?” he asked Ifeoma who was lying on the bed reading a novel.
“Very well,” she replied with a smile. “Maybe you should come pat it and say something nice to it.”
He moved closer to her and kissed her stomach. “Guess what baby, good news!”
“What is that? You know, I’m not good at guessing. Just tell me, please,”
“We’ll go and see your parents next week,” he announced and she squealed for joy.
“Wow, that’s incredible. I’m so happy. I’m going to prepare your best meal for you,” she leapt out of the bed.
“Don’t bother yourself baby. I don’t want any stress for you in this condition o…nothing must happen to my baby. Are any of your neighbours around?” he asked.
“No. They’ve all travelled to Lagos nah. We’re the only ones here,” she said.
“That’s good. It means we have the place to ourselves. We can have a party,” he said and reached into his bag. He brought out a bottle of non- alcoholic wine and went to get two cups from the kitchen.
He poured the wine and discretely slipped a green pill into the one meant for Ifeoma. “Hey baby, don’t worry about the food. I’m okay. Let’s just take our wine and fall asleep together ehn…like we used to,” he called out to her.
She came back to the couch and took a generous sip of the wine. And just like the pharmacist had said, within a frame of two minutes, she had gone into a spasm, foaming in the mouth. She looked at him with fear and helplessness in her eyes as life eased out of her gradually.
Dayo hurriedly packed the glass cups they had been drinking with, and emptied the remaining content down the sink. He thereafter washed the cups and put them in their proper place. He tucked the half drained bottle of wine inside his bag, and arranged Ifeoma’s remains on the bed to make her look like she was sleeping.
He also made sure there were no traces left behind to indicate that he was in the house that night. He cast one last look at his ex-lover and marched out of the house.
He already had his alibi prepared. Before coming to her house, he had branched at his own room and made sure that everybody saw him. He also made sure that the stereo was blaring loudly so that even people who lived in other houses around could testify that he was home all through the night.
After the deed had been done, he quietly slipped back into the room. He hadn’t planned to kill Ifeoma, but he was left with no other option. With his life about to change for the better as the governor’s in-law, he couldn’t allow for any scandal to drag him back. He blamed Ifeoma for forcing him to kill her. If only she had agreed to abort the damn baby, then all these wouldn’t have happened, he reasoned.
Well, they say, the source of wealth is usually dirty. Ifeoma’s death was his own dirt. He had to move on.
The news of Ifeoma’s death spread round campus like wild fire. Fortunately for him, no one linked her death to Dayo. She was found dead in her room the next day by one of her neighbours who returned from Lagos. It was speculated that she died of a terrible convulsion as there was foam and some other secretion all over her bed.
Dayo was sure that if an autopsy was conducted, nothing incriminating would be found as the pharmacist had assured him that the drug would completely dissolve into her bloodstream.
Mr. Aladegbohungbe, Dayo’s father, tilted his cap to the left and smiled to the mirror. Today of all days, he didn’t want to look ‘off.’ As the governor’s in-law, he wanted to look his best so people would know he was also fashionable in his own right; well deserving to be the ‘first in-law’ of the state.
Even though they had initially planned a low-key wedding, the associates of the governor would have none of it. Many of them had undertaken to shoulder the financial responsibility of the entire party and as such, Dayo’s family didn’t spend a Kobo. Even their wedding attires were paid for by the governor’s friends.
Mr. Aladegbohungbe was mighty proud of his son. Who would have thought that the boy would bring the family such honour and glory? All his relatives were happy as he had been automatically transformed to the breadwinner of the family.
He checked his watch for the umpteenth time that day. A lot of guests were already seated in the church.
“Iya Dayo, let’s go o, or else I’ll leave you here. You’ve been tying and retying that headtie for the past 2 hours. Our guests are waiting now. And the governor and the bride are on their way already,” he said to his wife who was with him in the church vestry.
“I’m almost set dear. Just a few more minutes,” she answered. She was also flushed with joy at her son’s glorious day.
A lot of dignitaries were in attendance at the church and it was clear that the wedding would be the talk of the town for a very long time to come.
Everything went smoothly, according to plan and soon, it was time for the pastor to join the couple in matrimony.
After reading the marriage vows, the pastor asked, “Is anybody here who has reasons why this couple should not be joined together in matrimony? Speak now, or forever hold your peace,”
There was a pin drop silence in the hall, as heads turned round the hall as if daring anyone to speak. When it was obvious no one was objecting to the marriage, the pastor attempted to move on, but there was an uproar at the entrance of the church. The pastor looked up to see a girl being brought in a wheelchair.
“Pastor, you cannot join this couple together. That man is a murderer,” Ifeoma shouted in pain. As if on cue, the church exploded into a cacophony of voices, with everybody attempting to speak at once.
Dayo went pale at the sight of Ifeoma and he could feel his pants getting soaked as he wet himself involountarily.
“Dayo impregnated me, and also poisoned me and left me for dead. But my God that never sleeps has a purpose for my life, and he saved me from the clutches of death. My friend here,” she said, pointing to the girl who wheeled her in, “she met me in a coma and rushed me to the hospital where I was revived after five days. We pretended that I was dead so this hideous animal called Dayo wouldn’t come back to finish his evil job. You must not marry this couple. It’s a sin in the eyes of God and the law,” she finished in nerve wracking sobs.
The governor was aghast and embarrassed on his seat as all the cameras of the press men invited for the wedding focused on him (He had once declared on National TV that his administration wouldn’t condone any violence against women, and the crowd wanted to see his reaction in this issue involving his own daughter). He looked to the Inspector General (IG) of Police who was seated by his side. He got up abruptly and snatched the microphone from the pastor.
“I want everybody here to know that I had no hand in this. I am deeply embarrassed and saddened by the statement of this innocent young girl, and I can assure you, if this young man,” he paused and favoured Dayo with an acerbic look, “If this man is found guilty, he will face the full wrath of the law.
“I apologise to all my friends and relatives for putting you all through this. I’m handing Dayo over to the IG right now,” he said and dropped the microphone on the altar.
His aides rushed to him and led him and his family, including a weeping Aisha, out of the church. When he was seated in his Range Rover, he beckoned on the IG. “I want that boy properly dealt with. He must pay for what he did to that poor girl, and also for embarrassing my family. He made a COSTLY MISTAKE and he must pay for it!” He declared and ordered his convoy to move off.
The IG ordered his men to seize Dayo, while Ifeoma was taken to the National Hospital for further treatment on the governor’s bill.