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Added: Apr 23, 2017
Poster: ib4real

Must Read: The Cartel (18+)
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It’s been exactly two months since I was arrested and the day judgment was to be passed after four earlier court sittings.

I was being charged with drug dealing, arms possession, Kidnapping, and the Murder of three of my accomplices (to cover my tracks).

I could get death or life if convicted.

As I walked into the courtroom with two prisons officer by my side and my hands cuffed, the first person I saw was my elder brother sitting were he had always sat in the previous hearing. He was the only family member present, my parent had long disowned me.

He had travelled down to Calabar for all my case hearing and was responsible for my lawyer who although was no match for the prosecuting counsel (a young lady bent on getting me killed or something close), had done his best.

The next person I saw was Dera, my once upon a time pal and confidant. Even though she had attended the last three of my case hearing, I smiled at her, glad she came for the first time.

I could see relieve on her face as she smiled back and quickly hide her face as tears built in her eyes. This was the first time I was smiling at her since we broke up even though she had through the year tried to get us to being buddies again. A couple of my talk and departmental guys were also in attendance, and it was obvious there were there to show support. Or so I felt.

As I took my seat awaiting the arrival of the trail judge, I quickly flashed my mind back to what had happened in the last two months.

Vivian remained in coma and was said to have been transferred three days later abroad by air ambulance when UCTH could no longer handle her situation. Or was it for proper handling of the situation. Unfortunately, three weeks later the news of her demise came in.

She was reported to have been tortured to a point of experiencing continuous seizures.

Her assailants must have injected her with doses of drugs to bring her back to consciousness. But the frequency of the seizures had prevented her brain from recovering leading to her coma. Her body was also said to have experienced an overdose of the drug which depressed her nervous system and built up toxins.

I cried my heart out the night I got the news update blaming myself. It would have been better she was shot peacefully I thought.

The pain must have been hellish.

Three days later during my third hearing, there was a new witness in court to testify.

Jane Duke. She was accompanied by her dad (who was the only person I recognized). When she was being crossed examined by my lawyer, she corroborated part of what had been my defense/story.

She began from the moment they were abducted after their outing at the pool. She said she never saw me all through their ordeal and that while she and Audrey were not hurt, it seemed their abductors were after her late friend Vivian. She came to that conclusion because of the way Vivian was treated and the comments being made to her [Vivian], she was owing them or had a business with them and her “lover” was called to make a delivery to set her and her friends free. Else she would be dealt with.
“I don’t know who the lover was or what they wanted him to deliver, all I heard was that only his keeping to time would save her and her friends” She explained when asked who the lover was
“Also I never saw who the lover was, but all I can remember was that he didn’t meet the deadline and that was when they began to beat her.”

When asked if she saw these beatings firsthand, she responded in the negative but claimed that she and Audrey were in the other room. She only overheard the discussion because she could not sleep because of fear and the effect of the substance that had earlier put them to sleep had worn off from her face.

On how they were released, she continued “At a point there was a shouting match between two of them [their captors] as they started arguing that what happened to the girl [Vivian] wasn’t part of the plan.
“Later I heard a car sound and some people went out to meet the person. I think this was her lover they talked about because they told him he was late. I couldn’t hear them clearly because they moved from the window and everything became quiet. It remained so for a while and I was just dosing off when I heard gunshots and then they was running from the other room.”
“A few minutes I heard more gunshots and then someone came back into the building. But suddenly I realized he was opening the door to where I and Audrey were kept and I pretended to be asleep. But he injected me with a substance and then I saw him do same to Audrey before pouring us water”
“I don’t know if Audrey was awake all the while, but it was when he poured water on her first that I heard her gasp. I did same after he poured water on me too. At this point when he was sure we were both awake he asked us to follow him if we want to live”
“Outside the building, I saw another car and then fire burning near it. But he instructed us to enter the rear seat of another car and he drove until we got to the express and then he took us to Akamkpa and told us to find our way.”

She was asked some other questions by the prosecuting lawyer before she eventually left the witness box. Audrey wasn’t in court and when asked she said she hadn’t seen the girl since then again. No member of Vivian’s family was in court or had attended any of the proceedings.

In closing his defense, by lawyer also argued that the weapons, stash of cash and drugs claimed to have been found in my apartment could have been planted there by just anyone because the police admitted they carried out the raid while I was lying unconscious in the hospital. Again, there was never a time my name was put on the police watch or wanted list so it was just an attempt at giving a dog a bad name just to hang it. The items were never found in my person but were alleged to have been found in my apartment.

Likewise the prosecuting counsel in closing her case [about owner of the drugs, cash and arms] argued that one of the victim and witness told the court about the ransom the late victim’s boyfriend who happens to be me was supposed to pay. She also reminded the court that during my cross examination (by her), I admitted to sourcing for the drugs to meet their demand, hence I was a drug dealer because the guys must have known I was capable of meeting their demands.

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