Love and Murder
Heavy rainfall coupled with a darkened cloud characterized the evening of the 25th day of October 1995, the day never started that way. I remember that very morning vividly as though it was yesterday. I woke up to the sound of the stereo blasting a popular highlife song, 5.30 am it was. This was a song my dad starts the day with. A sleepy me left my room for the sitting room where I found my dad with his towel wrapped around his waist dancing to the song, his potbelly caught my attention. I always wondered how his stomach got so big.
Killala was a man in his mid-forties who was about five feet and a few inches tall, He was so friendly and subtle that everyone who knew him loved him. Killala was my father, he was my hero. "Be the best at doing what is right" These were the last words he spoke to me that morning before I left for school.
At exactly 2:15 pm the rain started, The wind whistling in low tunes across the fields. I was in my classroom waiting for the bell to go off for the close of the day. I looked out the window, I could see the trees dancing vigorously with their leaves falling off, then it thundered twice. Immediately I knew something was wrong, I felt a chill down my spine.
( Beauty and the murder case)
Good morning Sarah, I said with a grin. "I had a long day navigating the streets of Ikeja. " I continued. Sarah is a black Yoruba girl in her mid-twenties who has never stepped her feet outside Lagos, she never stopped to amaze me, She is some inches off six feet tall with the body and shape of a model. She owns the coffee shop I visited almost every day of the week.
Kanmi, Kanmi, she called my name. This brought me back into the room. I had drifted away into a land far away. I couldn't understand all she said as she kept on asking questions. I like her smile, the truth is I like everything about her. I scantily told her I needed to take a walk.
I lost my father twenty-five years ago, He was assassinated, five bullets were removed from his body, three from his head then two from his chest. I rushed home from school to find him in the pool of his blood. Killala was a man known for integrity. His death threw the community into mourning for weeks, His demise caused the death of my mother three years later which made me an orphan. Since I was the only child I had to move in with my uncle Kifasa. My father worked as an Administrator of public funds in the ministry of public finance where he made lots of enemies due to his honesty. Everyone knew any of his enemies could have ordered his assassination. Different investigations were carried out, they all ended the same way. Dead end, all eight of them.
I drove the rented car into the house after a long day following a lead that ended up futile. This particular case has gotten under my skin, it has been four weeks since the murder case has been assigned to me. A man in his mid-forties was found dead by his wife inside their bathroom. She called in to report the case. He was found naked inside the bathtub with blood all over him. He was stabbed eight times in the chest.
I can't remember how I got into my apartment, I dropped the car's key on the table afterward went into the bathroom to have a hot shower then made straight for the bedroom. Today was just like every other day, I had forgotten today was my birthday, Sarah's call earlier in the day reminded me today was my birthday, The door to the bedroom was opened which was very unusual. Immediately, I went for my gun, silently walked into the bedroom but the room was dark, I could see the outline of a figure on the bed. I went over to the light switch with my Berretta aimed at the figure, with a flick the lights came on. Geez! That was the sound my throat made. The figure turned out to be Sarah. I stood affixed, apparently surprised. She was the last person I expected to see. Then it occurred to me that I could have shot her dead, I couldn't miss a shot at that range.
Standing completely naked before me is a woman I realized I had fallen in love with, I only met her nine weeks ago. Her breast caught my attention with the nipples pointing upwards, I could see every corner of her body all at once. Surprised! She exclaimed trying to explain herself. "I decided to deliver a last-minute birthday gift. " she continued. Then, she saw the gun I was pointing at her, she screamed my name "Kanmi why are you with a gun" I never saw her this scared, the look on her face pierced my heart. I kept the gun away only for me to find out she had gotten her clothes on and she was already making her way through the door into the cold night. I ran outside before I could get to her car she drove off. Sarah didn't mention she will be coming around tonight, we had spoken earlier in the day, she sang me a beautiful birthday song. Her voice sounded melodies as she sang. I walked back into the house, I found a gold wristwatch with a note that read " To my undying Love" on the table in the bedroom.
Three days after the incident with Sarah, On my way down to the Forensic lab to pick up the result of the hair sample I sent over the previous week. My uncle's call came in, he called to ask after me and to find out if I had made preparations for security during Arewa's wedding. Arewa is my cousin, she is uncle Kifasa's second child, younger sister to Kiri, uncle Kifasa's first child. Kiri is of the same age as me. Arewa's wedding is not one I could miss for the world, she was my best friend while growing up. Arewa, Kiri, and I grew up as siblings, Uncle Kifasa supported my dream of becoming a detective, he supported all my aspirations and choices even when some of them turned out bad. He always said, "We get better by the choices we make, either good or bad". In no time I was at the lab. Tunji offered me a coffee as we went over the result. Tunji is a forensic expert who has helped over the years. Most successes I recorded on the job were part of his contribution.
The shopping mall was quite empty for a Friday, I walked through the stalls checking for the right outfit for Arewa's wedding. Then I got lost in my thoughts, I was thinking about Sarah and what happened that very night, Since that very night, Sarah refused to answer my calls or even see me when I visited her coffee shop. She was so mad at me for lying to her that I am a writer who came down to Lagos for inspiration and other resources needed for my new book. Seeing me with the gun that particular night gave me away. But I guess she thought I am a thief or some sort of criminal. "Welcome to Kazam clothing, how can I be of service" these were the words that got me off my thoughts, right in front of me was a sales representative wearing a black shirt a blue jean, her footwear was a bit worn and she got funny looking cheap nails on her fingers. I pointed to a bright-colored shirt with a floral design, afterward I picked matching pants. I left the store after making payment for the items. I visited another store where I bought some groceries then headed home.
This particular murder case is taking more effort than I expected. The image of the crime scene flashed before my eyes. Then I realized I missed something. The result from the hair sample I sent to Tunji revealed that the hair belongs to the wife of the murdered man. The hair was taken from the man's nail.
From the position of the wounds on the man's chest, it was obvious the man was caught by surprise as he was a sturdy built man who could have defended himself in a knife fight. Although the man's wife was initially called in for questioning she was later released since we had no evidence against her as she claimed she traveled a week before on a business trip to Abuja. She had her flight tickets checked to confirm she traveled. Then I remembered we didn't check the kitchen. How could I have missed doing that? I picked up the car keys then rushed over to the crime scene.
The door to the apartment was locked as it has been sealed up as a crime scene. I picked up the key from the officer assigned to keep watch on the crime scene then headed straight to the kitchen, checked through the cabinets, finally I found what I was looking for.
The knife pack was oddly placed, a knife was missing from the pack. I sat on the Kitchen stool with my hands on my head, I remembered the bed had no bedsheet laid on it on the night of the crime. I headed straight to the bedroom, where I checked through everything again, in a drawer I found a receipt from a store close to the local airport showing items bought the same day as the murder but three hours earlier. My instinct had me going through the items on the receipt again, I realized a pack of condom was bought at the store, The brand of the condom was the same as the one we found on the night of the murder, I went for the condom pack, one condom was also missing from the pack.
(Love Goes To Church)
The Church wasn't difficult to find, the building is the biggest on the street. Beautiful faces singing melodies to God, I could see Sarah in the choir. She was looking radiant, her dress was a perfect fit for her body, it accurately told the stories of her body shape. My eyes were fixed on her almost all through the service.
Sarah has been avoiding me, she won't even allow the waiters to serve me at her coffee shop. I decided to come over to her church to get an audience.
Amen! The congregation took the closing song and the service was brought to an end. I saw her exiting through the side door after the service ended, I quickly approached her from behind, I called her name. Immediately she knew I was the one she nearly landed a slap on my face, I was lucky I ducked.
Kami, what do you want from me? She asked, I went on my knees pleading she listen to all I have gotten to say. Sarah, who is this guy? A voice asked from behind, I turned to see who it was, the voice was that of a rich-looking guy so well built and handsome. Sarah walked away with the guy leaving me behind on my knees. A bit of crowd had gathered, typical Nigerians I exclaimed staring at the crowd watching the drama that just ensued.
The store whose name I found on the receipt wasn't difficult to locate, it is situated on the left-wing of the local airport, the third store from the entrance. I went straight to the manager's office where I showed my badge and requested the CCTV footage for that particular day. After the footage was downloaded onto my flash drive with few questions asked, I drove to the house, got the drive plugged into my laptop. From the footage, the murdered man visited the store with his wife he went to pick her from the airport that day. I was already getting convinced that the woman murdered her husband. The hair strand, now the CCTV footage, all I needed to do is to connect the lines. "Kanmi you must get over your feelings for Sarah, can't you see it affecting your job" these were the words I spoke to myself as the thought of Sarah kept flashing through my mind.
Dele's office is situated on the 5th floor of Fiyin plaza, Henry Street, Ikoyi. Dele lives in the same building as the Ojos, the murdered man. I had earlier spoken to him over the phone the previous day after I got back from Sarah's church. Dele is a middle-aged man with a potbelly well covered by his beautiful shirt. His potbelly reminded me of Killala, my father. He offered me a seat. After exchanging pleasantries, I asked what he noticed on the night of the murder. He told me he heard screams coming from the Ojos apartment after which he went over to find out the reason for the scream. Bimbo, Ojo's wife, met him at the door and told him the scream wasn't from there. After about ten minutes of other random questions, I took my leave.
At about 11 pm the same day I visited Dele I received a call from the officer keeping watch over the crime scene, he informed me Bimbo came around and wanted to pick up a bag but he prevented her from doing so. I asked the officer to arrest her. Immediately I jumped into a random cloth, got into the car, and drove over to the crime scene. I requested Bimbo to open the bag, inside the bag we found the missing bed sheet from the murder night. The bedsheet was covered with dry blood. Wrapped inside the bedsheet were a used condom and the missing knife from the knife pack found in the kitchen. Bimbo was immediately handcuffed and taken to the station. I called Tunji to meet me at his lab that night to examine the evidence.
Two days after Bimbo was arrested, I went over to the station to interrogate her. Bimbo is a black beautiful thirty-two years old woman who got married to Ojo three years ago. No one could have ever suspected her to be a murderer but I have met a lot of criminals like her on the job. While walking down to the interrogation room I tried figuring out what could have made her kill her husband. Tunji had earlier called in the morning informing me the fingerprints found on the condom and the knife belongs to Bimbo and that the blood belongs to Ojo but the result for the sperm found inside the condom may take a while. With the report from Tunji, I could tell Bimbo killed her husband while having sex on the bed, which explains why Ojo couldn't defend himself, Bimbo was on top of Tunji when she stabbed him, he must have been lost in ecstasy that he didn't see her strike. The murder was premeditated.
"Bimbo, why did you kill him?" I asked her with a smile. After about 10 minutes of not getting a response from her, I left the interrogation room. Bimbo has been interrogated for the last three days without any comments or confession from her. She didn't deny killing her husband which made me more curious to know why she murdered him. I decided to run a check on her through both the central police database and all the newspapers published in the country for the last ten years. I got no match against her name, I kept on checking using different parameters for about four hours without any positive report.
The plane traveling down from Akure to Lagos was delayed for about two hours due to the poor weather condition. I waited into the middle of the night for the arrival of the plane, I visited the airport to pick-up Arewa. She volunteered to come to see Sarah to help fix our broken relationship. I had told her what ensued between Sarah and myself. Kami! I heard my name being called it is Arewa no one calls my name with such an accent. I broke into a subtle smile as I ran up to her. I haven't had someone hug me so tight for about four years, thing is she was the last person to do so. We got a conversation started as I helped retrieve her bags afterwards we proceeded to the car and later drove home.
The early morning rain woke me up. I went down to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, I made coffee for myself, tea for Arewa. I found her in the sitting room already seated waiting for breakfast. When breakfast was over we discussed her wedding which will be coming up in the next couple of weeks, after giving her the description of Sarah's coffee shop she asked about the case I was currently working on, I told her about Bimbo and how she murdered her husband. Immediately Arewa saw a picture of Bimbo, she recognized her but was unable to remember where she knew her from.
(Love Is Impatient)
The day has never been this slow. With much eagerness, I kept pacing the room waiting for Arewa. I kept staring at the clock hanging on the wall, I was so sure the clock was tired of me staring at it. Arewa was already 45 minutes late, I called her phone about fifteen times with no response from her. Finally, at about5:57 pm, I saw a car dropping her off at the gate. She came in with a smile on her face, "Kanmi, are you sure you are fine? This absolute madness, twenty-eight missed calls from you" she queried with a smile on her face but with her voice sounding so mean. " I thought I only called fifteen times. " I responded. " I was only concerned about your safety, this is Lagos anything could go wrong" I continued. " I know it all about Sarah, Kanmi I have never seen you fall in love, you must love Sarah" Arewa countered, she told me we won't be talking about Sarah until after dinner. "Mehn, you know how to kill a man" I never knew when those words came out of my mouth.
My father's death influenced my decision to become an officer of the law. His murder was poorly investigated, his killer was never brought to justice. This is my tenth year as a detective, I never lost a case I was assigned, I gave the job my utmost best as I always remember the last words my father spoke to me on the day of his death: " Be the best at what is right". With all the honors received over the years spent on the job I had always felt this emptiness inside, I had done everything possible yet I couldn't still get over this but it all ended the first day I set my eyes on Sarah.
Zara Kyari! Yes, Zara Kyari it is, Arewa repeated the name over and over as she walked up from the kitchen where she was preparing dinner to where I was seated with excitement written all over her. "Who is Zara Kyari?" I asked. "That is the name of the woman in the picture you showed me this morning, I just knew her face was so familiar, I met her eight years ago, two weeks after her husband died in his sleep" Arewa continued without pausing for breath. " I was working as an undergraduate intern with the Crime splash newspaper" she finally concluded as she paused to breathe. I went over to my laptop, I checked through the police crime database, her name came up as a suspect in a suspected murder case eight years ago but she wasn't charged to court as there was no evidence against her. Then it occurred to me that I needed to run a facial identification against our database to find out if there are other possibilities of her changing her name within the last eight years but this may take up to twenty-four hours.
As early as 7 am the following day I drove down to the Name register office, I had already spoken to Bala, a friend who works over there. I spoke to him the previous night to assist with a name trace. After rigorous work, we were able to trace what Bimbo's name was before she got married to Ojo. The name was traced to be Eze Precious. She applied for a name change five years ago. I decided to do a further name trace on the name Zara Kyari, we got a perfect match. She changed from Zara Kyari to Eze Precious then Bimbo. Finally, I am beginning to connect the lines, The names Zara Kyari and Eze Precious both came up as murder suspects in the crime database but on both occasions, there was no murder charge brought up as no evidence was found. There is a similarity in all three cases, Her husbands were the murder victims, they were all very rich and they all died after making her a beneficiary to their wealth. "Bala, you are a life-saver" I praised him, he broke into a smile as I pushed a few Naira notes into his palms, I left for the station after packing my bags. The facial identification came up positive. it matched the three names.
(Sex in The Afternoon)
The last two days were very busy for me. I couldn't wait to hit the shower as I made my way to the house from the airport. Arewa is going back to Akure, I drove her to the airport, with some drops of tears escaping down my face I thanked her for visiting and importantly the information she gave on Bimbo. After a hug and planting a kiss on her forehead, I waved her goodbye. I never believed I could nail Bimbo for a crime she committed eight years ago. Although I was a bit furious with Arewa for not telling me the outcome of her meeting with Sarah. Sarah, oh my sweet Sarah, her name alone sends a chill down my spine. On opening the door to the house, I saw Sarah seated on the sofa, she was wearing one of my shirts. I couldn't believe my eyes, it became real to me when I felt her lips upon mine, her lips felt so soft and at the same time adventurous, I could feel her firm nipples brush against my chest, I remembered what they looked like from the last time she visited. I held her waist as I tried saying something. We ended up making love that afternoon, yes, hot love on a hot afternoon it was.
Exactly a week after I made love with Sarah. Bimbo was sentenced to death. It was a sunny afternoon, The court proceedings just ended. I was called out as a witness against Bimbo, she was sentenced to death by the Judge as she was found guilty for the murder of three men within the space of eight years. She married them just to take over their wealth, I felt for her in some ways, she was a victim of child abuse while growing up, her dad maltreated her mom and herself, he raped her countless times, this got her started on her murder path. A sad case it was after all.