Juliet returned thirty minutes later with a young man. “This is barrister Ojo. A good friend of my dad.” She said.
The lawyer smiled. “Abigail. Right?”
I nodded. “Yes.” My voice was not more than a whisper.
“I want you to tell me the truth.” The lawyer said. “If you want me to help you win this case, you must not lie to me.”
I took in a deep breath and met his gaze. I told him all that happened.
“The police told me they caught you running out of the late John’s house.” The lawyer said.
“I was scared when I heard the Siren. This is what I was trying to avoid that made me ran out of his house.”
“They also told me the late John called them around 5:47pm. What time did you get to his house?
“Around 6pm. I knocked at his gate. When there was no response, I called him on my cell phone but he didn’t pick. Before I entered into the house.”
“Where is your phone?” He asked.
“I didn’t pick my handbag by the time I ran out of the house. My phone is inside the bag.”
“We must find a way to get your phone.”The lawyer said.
“How do we get it?” Juliet asked.
“With the help of the police.” The young lawyer leaned forward.
“We have to do all we can to get it.”
“Will that be enough to get me out of this? John told the police he was shot by his girlfriend, and I’ve already told the DPO I’m his girlfriend.”
“I know.” He said. “Your voice was recorded during interrogation.”
I was surprised. “Really?”
“Yes. The police have evidence against you. But don’t worry. I will do my best get you out of this. First let us find a way to get your phone.” He pulled himself up. “I need to see the IPO.”
Juliet took a step forward and gave me the food she brought. “You need to eat Abigail.” She said as if dealing with a small child. “Just relax your mind.”
I signed and pulled my gaze away. “I’m sorry,” I said with tears. “I should have listen to you. I wouldn’t have been here.”
Juliet held my arms and pulled me to her embrace. “Stop crying. This isn’t the time to cry.” Tears welled in Juliet’s eyes.
Juliet walked out with the lawyer, while I was taken back to cell.
The following morning I was taken to court. Microphones, cameras surrounded me the moment I was brought out of the police van. I ignored the reporters as they shouted out questions, and passed through the crowd silently into the courtroom with two police men.
The court room was full of friends and relatives of John; journalist and court officials. The pain of losing a dear son was written all over John’s mother’s eyes as she sat down quietly beside the king. All eyes on me. I sob some few sobs, before letting the tears flow. God! why have you brought this on me? This punishment is too much. How Will I get out of this? Help me lord.
I felt a little relief as Juliet walked into the courtroom with my lawyer. They were followed by my parents. My father stared at me and shook his head slowly. I saw the tears in my mother’s eyes as she sat quietly beside my father.
My lawyer walked towards me. “Your bag was found, but there was no phone Inside”
“But it was inside the bag.” I said.
“We couldn’t find it.”
“All arise.” The entrance of the judge was announced.
After hearing the statement of witnesses on both side, weighing all evidence before him. The judge asked me to make my final statement.
I broke down in tears.
The judge unmoved, looked sternly at me, then requested for a five minutes recess. He returned to the courtroom with his eyeglasses perched on the tip of his nose, sat down. He gathered his papers together, and case was adjourned, while I was reminded in jail.
Barrister Ojo battled the case for more than six months. At the end, I was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. I cried and cried for so many days. Oh God why! All I wanted was a happy life. But all I got was a jail sentence, for a crime I knows not.
For so many nights I imagined how my life would have be if John had not died. I made a good choice by choosing John which I knew, but God knows why it was cut short.
Many months seemed like a dream. But as years rolled by, I realized I wasn’t dreaming, John is dead, and I was held responsible.
After many years of tears, on the 15th of April, a little after midday, I was released from jail, after completing my jail sentence.
I stood outside the gate for a very long moment. I was so worried with the thought of where to go.
During my second year in jail, I was told my landlord sold his house and my parents were called to pack my properties, which they did. Going back to stay with my parents wasn’t a good idea to me. The only person that came to my mind was Juliet.
An hour later I was in Juliet’s compound. I met one of her neighbours, that sat outside the house, washing cloths. “Good afternoon madam.” I greeted.
She raised her head and met my eyes. “Good afternoon. Who are you asking of?”
I shook my head slowly. How on earth will she recognized me? The real me had been lost long ago in jail.
TO BE CONTINUED…..