PLEASE BREAK MY HEART – EPISODE 19

PLEASE BREAK MY HEART (2)-EPISODE 19
EPISODE 19
                The court clerk started the proceeding with the traditional “May the Court Please Rise.”
                We all took to our feet as the Judge came in. The Judge, David Fatoye is a man of high standing. He had been in the business for over twenty years, and his records were impeccable. I smiled as I felt justice was definitely going to play his course. As soon as Judge Fatoye took his seat, we all sat.
                The clerk stood up to read the case. “On this day, Wednesday 25th April, 2012, Tunji Davis versus Chidi Obi for fraudulent acts.” The clerk ran through all the pros and cons. “For the interrogation, Defense counsel, Subomi Bankole against Tunji Davis. Mr. Tunji Davis to the seat, please.”
                Tunji Davis adjusted his Suit and put on a smile. He shot a glance at Chidi Obi and then took his seat. The Clerk had him do the swearing and then it was ‘Subomi time’.”
                Subomi Bankole cleared his throat. “Mr. Davis, I can tell this has been a grueling time for you. You lost your bid for the land to my client, Chidi Obi, and after a hard time with having your company suffer a dip in the stocks and you seeing the honorable Mr. Obi’s rise, you decided to take him to court.”
                Subomi was trying to wrap Tunji Davis psychologically. Professor Dean had warned us against such lawyers, he called them, ‘potential losers’. They would try to bring out relevantly-irrelevant facts and disturb the minds of others, a sort of psychological distortion so as to make the jury see reasons with them when the heat is on.
                                “Objection, my lord.” I interfered swiftly.
                Judge Fatoye peered through his half-mooned spectacles. “Granted.”                  
                                “My Lord, my fellow lawyer, Mr. Bankole is leading us off course. This is supposed to be an interrogation, not a conclusion.”
                Judge Fatoye cleared his throat. “Mr. Bankole, I advise you stick to asking questions.”
                Subomi Bankole smiled defiantly. There was arrogance in his smile. He shot one at me. “Of course…my Lord.” He cleared his throat and faced Tunji Davis. “Sorry if I made you a bit uncomfortable, but you see my friend, when the truth stares us in the face; it’s hard to run from it, no matter how hard my counterpart here tries.” He said, looking at me.
                He unbuttoned his jacket. “Mr. Davis, where did the alleged sale of the land take place?”            
                                “It took place in Dubai, The United Arab Emirates.” He replied, confidently. Tunji Davis was now getting comfortable. Just like we had rehearsed, Subomi Bankole was bound to play into our zone.
                Subomi smiled. “Where is that land and rig located?”
                                “It’s in here in Nigeria…located in Cross River.”
                Subomi scoffed. “Dubai and Cross River are miles apart. Why did you choose Dubai as the point of sale?”
                                “The sale of a land can be done anywhere as far as there are papers to be signed.” Tunji Davis replied. “Moreover, we were on vacation and the previous owner of the land, Late Sheik Ali had sent his son, Sameer Ali to complete the sale to me upon his death.”
                Subomi adjusted his jacket. “Why was Chidi Obi present at the point of sale?”
                                “Chidi Obi and I used to be acquaintances, so I just felt secure going with a friend, not knowing that he had ulterior motives.”
                Subomi nodded and probed him. “What do you suggest were Mr. Obi’s motives?”
                                “Chidi Obi had a document saying that Late Sheik Ali sold that land to him, meanwhile I was the legit buyer of the land from Late Sheik Ali.”
                 Subomi cleared his throat. “So if I understand you, you are telling this court that you have an original document of the sale of the land and Mr. Obi also has his own copy, right?”
                                “Exactly!”
                Subomi fired on. “Describe your relationship with the Late Sheik.”
                                “I knew the Late Sheik when he lived in Cross River, he was a business man that helped my company with sales in the U.A.E, business went bad for him and he needed a huge sum, he had a number of ships sabotaged by pirates whilst at sea. So you can imagine the extent of damage that was caused to his business. To him, the land wasn’t of much use in Nigeria to him so he decided to sell and then I was his best option, first as close friends and second as a business man.”
                Subomi pounced in. “Could it be said that you killed the Late Sheik for the Land?”
                I interfered. “Objection, your honour!”
                The Judge cleared his throat. “Overruled. Please continue, Mr. Bankole.” I swallowed Humble pie and took my seat.
                Tunji Davis smiled. “Sheik and I were good friends, I love my friends, and I won’t hurt them. I am not Chidi Obi, moreover, Sheik was struggling with Prostate Cancer for almost ten years, and he died due to it.”
                Subomi Bankole cleared his throat. “Is there a quick check for those facts of yours?”
                                “The Late Sheik was a powerful man; even a Google search would give you answers.”
                Subomi nodded. “Away from that issue, Mr. Davis. Are you aware that the land sold to Mr. Obi was done by a relative of the late Sheik, his own son, Sameer Ali?”
                Tunji Davis stared at me. “That is a blatant lie. Sameer himself told me that I was the only buyer of the land.”
                                “How then do you explain my client’s possession of the original copies of the land document?”
                Tunji shrugged. “I also have the original copies which I can tell you are genuine.”
                                “Do you have those documents here?”
                Tunji Davis nodded confidently. “Most definitely.”
                Dotun Davis whispered to me. “Sorry am late, how’s Dad doing?”
                                “He’s doing fine against Subomi, hopefully we can have it all sorted out soon.” I replied with a whisper. Toni grinned at me. I tried to peek around if Dad or Dare was in court but no of them was.
                Subomi bit his lip. “Could the Court attendant please verify those documents?”
                I passed the documents to the Court attendant who ran a quick scan on the seal and nodded in the affirmative. “Positive. They are authentic.”
                Subomi had a wry smile lurking his lips as though he still had one last card to play. “That would be all for now your honour.”
                The clerk stood up. “Mr. Obi, Please move to the witness seat.” Chidi Obi complied. He then turned to me. “Prosecuting counsel.”
                I took a deep sigh and strode across towards Chidi Obi. “How is business these days?” I asked.
                                “What do you care, Ms. Williams?” he asked back with a bit of arrogance. “Stop with the cynics and get to the point.”
                I smiled and stepped back. “Such a temper, Mr. Obi.  I won’t mind though.” I took a breath and fired the first gun. “How are you involved in this Oil land tangle?”
                Chidi Obi frowned. “It is my land. The person in the tangle is Davis. I bought the land from Sameer Ali.”
                                “How did you meet Sameer?”
                Chidi Obi sat upright. “I went to Dubai with Tunji Davis and then I met Sameer who told me that he had a land to sell. I then agreed to pay and then he sold the land to me.”
                                “How is it then possible that you went with Tunji Davis to meet with Sameer Ali and you didn’t tell your friend that you had already bought the land from Sameer?”
                He blinked and then cleared his throat. “I never went with him to see Sameer.”
                A section of the court murmured. I bit my lips and stared hard at Chidi Obi. “Mr. Obi, are you suggesting that you don’t know who Mr. Davis claims is Sameer Ali?”
                                “Objection!” Subomi had jumped to his feet.
                The Judge stared at him. “Overruled.” Subomi fumed and took his seat.
                Judge Fatoye turned to me. “Ms. Williams, please continue.”
                I smiled. “So, you allege not to have met with Sameer Ali in Mr. Davis’s presence, right?”
                Chidi Obi nodded. I continued. “Mr. Davis told this court clearly that he went with you to buy the land, what have you to say to that?” I charged.
                                “It’s my word against his.” He replied confidently.
                I smiled. “Not if we have a witness. I call for cross examination, your honour.” I said.
                Chidi Obi relaxed in his chair.
                                “Who would you like to call?”
                I pursed my lips and let out some air. “Mr. Sameer Ali, the Witness for the Prosecution.”             
                The clerk looked at his register and looked up. He then cleared his throat. “Please bring in a certain Sameer Ali as the Witness for the Prosecution.” He said to the Court Officer. The court officer immediately took his leave.
                We stared at the door as we awaited Sameer’s grand entrance. ‘Oh…what a beauty’ I thought in my heart. ‘I was about to put the case to bed’
*********************************************************************************************************************************************************
                A Black Ford Truck raced down the road. Sameer bumped from side to side in the Truck as he struggled for light. It was not forthcoming. His hands, legs and mouth had been tied with strong twine.
                                “You would be in the Far-East soon. You should never have agreed to come here.” Akume howled from the Front seat.
                Sameer forced his weight against the door.
                                “Relax man, relax…Can’t you put him to sleep, Obaro?” Akume shouted. He was tired of Sameer’s resistance. It had been going on for hours.
                Obaro snarled angrily. “This Arab fool resisted the sedative we used for him in Lagos; I don’t how we want to put him to sleep.”
                Akume hissed dryly. “I wish we could kill him.”
                                “The boss wants him alive.” Obaro hummed. “This man is strong though.” He said, touching Sameer’s face. Sameer pushed him back. Obaro fell on his bum and laughed. “You are stuck with me till we get to the East.”
                Sameer’s eyes were red and hot tears burned through them. ‘Poor Darlene.’ He thought.
***********************************************************************************************************************************************************
                I stared at the door. The Court Officer had been gone for almost five minutes. Toni headed out of the Courtroom. I blinked effortless.
                There were murmurings in the Court room as we awaited the return of the Court Officer and Sameer. I watched as Toni slid into her seat. Fear was written all over her face, she wiped some perspiration off her forehead and then the Court officer returned. He whispered to the Clerk and returned to his seat.
                The clerk walked over to the Judge and they chattered indistinctly. Judge Fatoye wore a surprised look and sighed.
                                “The named witness, Sameer Ali is not present for this case.” The clerk announced to the Court.
                My eyes almost popped out of its socket. I held my forehead.
                                “And that’s not all, your Honour. After running some check from the Airport and all the city’s transit terminals, no one with the name Sameer Ali is present in this country.”
                I struggled for balance as I leaned against the dock. The Clerk was right when he said that there were no records of Sameer in the country. We had smuggled Sameer in to avoid him being seen, unfortunately our plans seemed to have backfired.
                Subomi Bankole leapt into the case. “Your Honour, it is quite unfortunate that this prestigious court and Jury have been misled by an ambitious 24 year old lawyer who would come up with anything to make a good man look bad. It turns out that Sameer Ali hasn’t set foot in this country and she made us believe that she had a Witness.”
                I had taken my seat. I was sweating profusely. ‘Sameer…Sameer…Where are you? Please show up and tell me that this is a nightmare.’
                Subomi proceeded. “Your Honour, I suggest that in the good name of the law that we discharge this case, we have virtually no case against my client.”
                It was as though I had cold water running through my body. I watched helplessly from my seat as I drank the water that Toni had provided me. I looked like I would faint.
                Judge Fatoye cleared his throat. “It is my decision to say if the case would be discharged or not.” He said.
                Subomi bowed courteously. “I apologize for that, your Honour.” He said. ‘Sly Old Fox’
                                “Ms. Williams, What are we to believe about this issue of your witness not showing up in court?”
                I stood up. My legs were now shaking. “I am sorry, your Honour. It was due to some negligence on my part. I would sort it out.”
                Subomi had a sly grin.
                                “You have a week to present us a case; else the suit would be dismissed. This case is therefore adjourned to Next Week Wednesday, at noon.”
                The Clerk adjourned the proceedings and we all rose to our feet till Judge Fatoye left the Court room. Mrs. Small rushed over to me. “Are you alright, honey?”
                                “Where’s Sameer?” I struggled to say.
                She hugged me. “We’ll find him.”
                I struggled to pick up my Purse and walk with Toni. We met Subomi Bankole and Chidi Obi outside the Court Room. They flashed smiles at us. Tunji Davis had left furiously with his Son. I fumed helplessly and braced for the worst- The Press.
                The Security Men pushed the giant door open and Toni tried to shield me from the swarming press.
                                “Ms. Williams…is it true that you feigned Sameer Ali’s presence in the country?”… “Ms. Williams, how did your first case go?”… “Ms. Williams, look over here!” “Ms. Williams, Is this a repeat of failure for the Williams Dynasty to Subomi Bankole?”
                I stopped angrily. “It’s not over yet!” I screamed at the teeming reporters. They would be glad to have that statement from me. Toni and I left for her Range Rover.
                                “Where do I take you to?” she asked.
                I sighed as I clutched the seat belt to my chest. “Take me home.”
***********************************************************************************************************************************************************
                The ray of light shone into Sameer’s eyes.
                                “Turn it down.” He begged.
                Akume shrugged. “You are an ingrate. I thought you would want the light.” He said, deeming the light.
                                “Let me die!” he said and started his prayers.
                Obaro shook his head. “We would grant your wish, but not yet. You still have to sign some documents for us.”
                                “NEVER!”
                Akume raised his hand in defeat. “Stubborn fool.”
                                “I would still die anyway.” Sameer replied.
************************************************************************************************************************************************************
                Toni pulled up inside the house. I pushed the door open. “Don’t follow me, please I want to be alone.” I begged.
                                “But…Darlene, you are not in the right frame of mind. Let me stay the night.”
                I scoffed. “I can handle it.” I beckoned to the Security Man. “Please help Mrs. Toni out.” I said. “Thanks Toni.”
                                “Take care, love.” She said and stepped into her car.
                I dropped my brief case on the floor in the hallway as I entered the house. I dialed Tom Frost immediately. “Frost, where is Sameer?” I yelled into the phone.
                He sighed at the receiver. “Darlene, please calm down. Can we talk about this over coffee?”
                                “COFFEE??? My life is almost over and you are suggesting Coffee. Tell me where Sameer is!” I shouted.
                He sighed. “Sameer left for his morning prayers and never returned.”
                                “Why didn’t you call me immediately?” I asked.
                                “I didn’t want you to panic.”
                I screamed. “Panic??? You killed me out there!” I shouted and hung up. I threw the phone angrily at the wall smashing it to bits. I slumped into the sofa and started pulling my hair.
                I turned on the Television. The Media houses were no slackers; I was already making the rounds on TV. The land phone rang from the Kitchen. I could guess that the Press People were at it again, they probably wanted a feed from my father.
                I rushed outside, took off my clothes and jumped into the pool in my underwear with a hard splash.
***********************************************************************************************************************************************************
                SPLASH! The sound of ‘ultra cold’ water. Sameer’s teeth chattered. Akume hit him with the bucket. “Are you going to sign it now?”
                                “NEVER!” He continued his prayers.
                Obaro came in with the Phone. “The Boss is on the line”
                                “Sir!”    
                Chidi Obi cleared his throat. “How is our hostage?” he asked.
                                “He’s doing fine. He won’t sign the papers however.”
                Chidi sighed. “Get the nurse over there at midnight. You have to keep him properly for the next one week; anything or anyone that comes within 50m of that perimeter should be hunted down and killed.”
                                “Sir, when are we getting the backup guards? It’s just Obaro and I here for now with the driver.”
                                “They would arrive at midnight with the Nurse. I have made arrangement for all that. I would see you probably by weekend.”
***********************************************************************************************************************************************************
                                “She has been swimming for over 30 minutes this hard. If she continues this way, she might just faint.” One of the maids said to a security officer.
                He sighed. “Ms. Williams is devastated.” He shook his head. “Those treacherous criminals have gotten away with another crime. The society will still be rotten thanks to people like Chidi Obi.”
                                “She will fight back. The boss doesn’t give up.”
                                “What do you suggest we do? We can’t let her continue swimming this hard.”
                The maid fidgeted. “Maybe I should call Sir. Williams, he left the number for the house in the Bahamas.” She said and left. The security officer left with her into the house.
                I pushed my weight on the water angrily as I screamed. As I raised my head with every stroke, I shouted. I was negligent. I ought to have checked on Sameer. I assumed everything was fine. I screamed harder as I thought of my error which might have compromised Sameer or put him in danger. I started to think. I was hurt and disappointed. Dad’s Déjà vu was reverberating in my heart. I was drowning in my thoughts and it soon became physical.
                SPLASH!!! There was another body in my pool. “Come on D…” Jake said as he dragged me out. “It’s okay baby.” He said as he hugged me tightly.
                My eyes were hazy. I struggled to see Jake but amidst my weakness, I still found the strength to resist him. I hit him with the last punches my fist had to offer. “Leave me alone, Jake. Go away…” I mumbled softly. My eyes blinked as I tried to see Jake’s companion who had passed him a clean white towel. He wrapped me in the Towel.
                                “Get me another Towel.” He said.
                He then doubled the towel and swept me off the floor. He carried me up into my bedroom. “What were you thinking, Darlene? You could have hurt yourself in that pool.” He shouted as he tucked me carefully.
                                “It’s okay Jake, she’ll be fine. Thankfully we got here in time.” Dora said as she got clothes out of my wardrobe. It was Dora.
                A maid came in. “What should I make for her?” she asked.
                Dora sighed. “I’ll take care of that.” She said and left with the maid. I was left with Jake.
                He stared at me and he stroked my hair. “Darlene, you don’t have to go through this alone.”
                                “Jacob, my life is over.” I said in tears. “Sameer didn’t show up at court. Maybe he was killed or maybe he ran away.”
                Jake sighed and looked up to force back the tears that were welling in his eyes. “Darlene…I am sorry.” He said and hugged me tightly.
                I screamed out and cried harder. “Dad was right. I am no match for Subomi.”
               
               
               
               
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