“officer i’m all ears, tell me the news you bear” i asked with fear. The detective threw a swift look at Nancy who shifted uneasily. “well i don’t think now it’s a good time. It’s something private” he replied, forcing me to smile quickly. “Nancy is like a sister to me. She knows almost everything about me. You can say anything in her presence” i urged him nervously. “Esther Hardey” he instantly called out, searching my face for any reaction. But the name he mentioned only drew me into another pit of confusion. The name sounded so strange and unfamiliar.
“i don’t understand, i haven’t heard such name anywhere” I breathed with confusion. “that’s the name of your husband’s fiancee. A white lady he was supposed to Marry. The lady he left to marry you in order to fulfill the promise he made to you” he explained. A cold shiver instantly ran down my spine. “so are you insinuating that Damian married me just to fulfill a promise?” i asked sadly, “well I never knew he was engaged to any woman, seriously i thought all the ladies he played were just flings” I murmured. “that’s not the problem” he continued, breathing deeply.“the lady in question is currently in Nigeria and was among the people that came into the country with your husband’s family and equally was present at the house when the crime was committed” he explained, while i stared at him with a little hope.
“that isn’t bad news, is it?. The lady definitely killed him.
She had the motive and opportunity. Unbelievable” i poured out desperately but the detective simply shrugged.“yes she has the motive and opportunity, but we can’t just arrest her without strong reason. All i can do is to invite her for a little questioning and equally pray she doesn’t lawyer up” he answered, breaking my worn out spirit. “however we are still matching the DNA stuff we got from the scene and your husband’s body. I believe something positive will come out of it, but my only problem is that my superiors are putting much weight and interest in this case. They are pushing for closure and speedy trial which really will put you up as the scapegoat, if you are to be dragged to court without me finishing my investigations. You really need to pray my dear. You know how bad our Judicial system can be, moreover the Americans wants you to hang” he concluded, while my heart froze.
I instantly fell, collapsing on the floor within seconds…. I fainted.

I soon regained myself to see two female police officers and Nancy by my side. Detective Jeremiah stood a distance away, watching me with great interest. “hope you have eaten today?” one of the female officers asked me, “yea” i nodded, breathing heavily. “you have to get a grip of yourself if you ever want to win this case. You got to be strong. Esther Hardey will be here in few minutes for questioning” the Detective said to me. “please i want to be present when she’s being questioned. I want to see her face” i begged weakly. “no i can’t do that, i have already broken a lot of protocols for you” he answered quickly.“I beg of you.
Remember we are talking about my husband’s murder. Help a widow” i pushed passionately. He breathed deeply and shrugged. “i hope i don’t get fired for all i’m doing for you. Well you have to freshen up first,
secondly you must promise not to say a word to the lady when you meet her” he said seriously.“oh yes, i promise not to say a word” i answered, while he smiled and left. “the detective is a wonderful man. He will help you out” the second female cop said to me, nodding with a smile.
After freshening up in one of the bathrooms, i was led to the detective’s office, where i sat and waited for the so called Esther Hardey to show up. She showed up precisely ten minutes later with the same annoying white lawyer who threatened my brother. They all stared at me with surprise as they walked into the detective’s office. “what is this murderer doing here?” the lawyer asked with anger. Detective Jeremiah smiled and shook his head. “As a lawyer, you should know that no suspect is guilty until a court of law gives verdict. She’s a suspect just like the lady that brought you along” he answered the Lawyer who bit his lips angrily. “i’m taking none of this shit any longer. If you can’t do your job, better resign. My clients are tired of being detained in this country for no justifiable reason. They all want to go home and i give you two days to make it happen, else the fury of the American government will be on the whole Nigerian police force. You can’t just keep everyone hostage” he threatened. “oh i see you are representing all the Americans involved in this case, but i feel that will change soon” the detective added quietly. “what if i tell you, i have enough evidence to throw one of your clients in the cell right now?” he pushed on.“Esther Hardey, she was at the house when the crime was
committed. She was Damian’s fiancee, am i wrong?” he asked the lawyer who kept quiet. “Esther had the motive and mindset to commit such murder and according to test results we have so far, she was
physically present in one of the crime scenes which invariably places her in a bad position. I pin the murder charge on her. Phewwww case closed. I get promoted” The detective concluded with a smile, while the lawyer instantly grew tense and stared at Esther with a coloured face. Of course the detective had nothing strong to pin down the lady, but as a good officer he pulled a fast one on the white lawyer who for the first time looked beaten. It was time to prove how good a lawyer he was….
I prayed silently. I prayed for the detective’s stunt to work. “your client should use this opportunity to come out clean or Damian’s mother won’t like what i plan telling her” the detective pushed on, while Esther coloured up. It was obvious she was hiding something “oh Lord, make her to confess…..

Esther tried opening her mouth to say something, but the lawyer quickly held her hand, stopping her. “don’t say anything. The officer is bluffing. He’s trying to make you say something that could incriminate you” he said to her before facing detective Jeremiah. “if you really have the evidence to arrest my client, then go ahead, arrest her. But if you don’t, then shut the fuck up and do your goddamn work. Mind you, time is running out and you have only two days. The next time you will see me will be in court” he threatened, shocking the detective with his words. Of course not only the detective was shocked, I equally was very shocked because Esther was probably seconds away from confessing or making an unguided comment before the lawyer recovered himself and stopped her. “two days officer. You have just two days, else I will tear you apart in court” the lawyer threatened and dragged Esther out of the office. “we were just close to making a breakthrough damn” the detective hissed with despair after they left. “so what next?” i asked with fear. He breathed deeply, opened the case file on his table, went through it and shook his head. “things are slowly adding up in your favour but we don’t have time on our side. We surely need a miracle”
he replied, looked up at me and smiled to make me feel relaxed but i surely wasn’t. “remember we talked about the possibility of your husband going out to the garden the night he was killed to either smoke or see someone?” he said while I nodded. “according to the report in this file, there wasn’t any cigarette stick, ashes nor even anything similar found at the garden which then leaves us with one theory. He went out there to see someone, probably Esther, before a stronger person grabbed him from behind and stabbed him” he concluded. “how then do we find the mystery man that struck the fatal blow which killed my husband?” i asked desperately. The detective shrugged. “that’s what i’m saying, we need more time, as it stands, Esther alone probably holds all the answers but we can’t touch her” he replied with resignation. Tears instantly dropped from my eyes. The police had every reason to detain Esther but couldn’t because she was a foreigner. Instead i was the person being detained without due process. How bad can things get??

“I know you are helping me officer but you got to do more, you have to try every necessary means to free me. Please i beg of you” i cried, kneeling before Detective Jeremiah who quickly looked away with embarrassment” , “please madam stand up,don’t kneel for me, i’m not God” he begged but i still knelt, shedding more tears. A junior officer came into the detective’s office that moment bearing a file. “here are the rest of the results sir” he said to the detective who quickly snatched the file from him while i looked on hopefully. “you can leave now” he dismissed the officer before going through the file. “nothing new jeez, this case is really something else” he said to himself as he went through the file while I swallowed hard, confused on what next to do. “does it mean i’m going to hang for a crime i didn’t commit?. Can’t you run more tests” i asked curiously. “my dear our police department is one of the best in Africa. I have conducted all the necessary tests including fingerprint and DNA matching. The people that killed your husband had it well planned out and left no trace of anything. The only clear
prints found on your husband’s body belongs to you, the rest are blurred. The murder weapon had only your mother in law’s prints on it. So you see there is nothing we can use from the test results, we have nothing. The person that killed your husband probably wore gloves, only if we can get those gloves” he concluded, while i cried out with the last strength in me. “hey shut up, you are in the police station, don’t you know?” the detective frowned and stood up. “please shoot me, shoot me, shoot me” i begged with tears, forcing him to look away once again. “seriously madam, this is slowly slipping from me. I have only two options left, which are pretty hard” he said and swallowed hard
while i stared at him hopefully, wiping my tears.“Number one. I play the good cop bad cop tactics on Esther, by secretly getting another audience with her. This time with another officer. We will then present some selling lies and my colleague will ask for money to keep us quiet.
Most whites think we are all corrupt. So i feel she will buy my offer, and through that opportunity, i can get her to talk. The only bad side of it, is that if it goes bad, i can be fired from the force. The second option is presenting my facts to your mother inlaw, get her to reveal more details about her white guests to me. I’ll then do what we call profiling, which will enable me get the man who killed your husband. Esther is no fool, she had no time to hire a local hitman. She probably brought the killer along as her brother, cousin or friend. The only bad side of this plan is that it may take more than two days to accomplish which then leaves us with one option which you must do yourself to avoid trial. If I fail to meet up with the deadline” he concluded seriously.“so what’s the option?” I asked. “oh it’s very dangerous. A very dangerous one……..

“I can do anything to free myself. Please just speak up” I pleaded. The detective shook his head, bit his lips and stared at me. “hmmmm, if i’m unable to make any breakthrough within two days, you will have to harm yourself in a way that it will be impossible to put you up for trial. That’s the only way out” he said cautiously. “wait a minute, I don’t understand. You mean I should harm myself?, in what way officer?” I asked with disbelief. He drew closer to me and squatted by my side.
“that’s the only way to escape trial for some days. I can smuggle in some pills that will knock you out. So instead of finding yourself in the
courtroom, you will find yourself in the hospital. However it can be added to your charges but I believe your lawyer won’t have a hard time
winning over the charge. But you also have to swear to keep your mouth shut if it comes to that. You know i can equally end up in prison over it” he said seriously, while i nodded. I couldn’t even find the voice to talk. The plan was just so terrible to hear. Of course it was nothing but a suicidal plan. I knew the health implications of such deed, but it was a better option than prison. Seriously the detective was going out of line just to save a clueless lady like me. It wasn’t as if we paid him to help me. He simply was doing it for free. As if he knew what was going through my mind. He reached out and held my hands. “when i joined the force newly. A young male student was picked up by our patrol team some miles away from a Robbery scene. We all knew the boy was innocent but still held him just to prove a point that we were working. Unknown to us, the boy was asthmatic and as soon as he was thrown into the cell, his health condition go very bad and before we could run around. He died. Since that moment, i decided to help the innocent. But you see, in police work it’s not always easy to be on the right path because we all obey orders and answer to our superiors
whether we like it or not” He said softly. “you are a bright young woman but i’m afraid, if i fail to get good results. You will have to take your destiny in your hands. You will have to harm yourself. That’s the only thing that can buy us more time. Yes you will try committing suicide
but I’ll be right on time to save your life. Anyway let’s pray it doesn’t come to that” he concluded and stood up while my head swelled with
thoughts. “God please don’t allow things to get that bad. Don’t allow me to try out suicide as an option” I prayed softly. It was such a difficult moment and decision to take. However i still had two days which was enough time for a miracle to happen.

Later in the evening my brother came visiting with a flask filled with food, but food really wasn’t what i needed that moment. “i’m sorry for coming late, i really was held up with work. Dad is now safely home. I spoke with him few minutes ago” he said pleasantly while I ate slowly.
“so what’s up, any breaking news?” he asked when i was done eating. I forced out a smile, thanked him for the food before telling him all that happened earlier in the day. He listened eagerly, frowning when i got to the suicide part of the plan. “no no no i don’t support that. What’s the detective thinking by suggesting such nonsense. No that’s bad” he said seriously, but before I could answer, detective Jeremiah showed up that moment with a heavy frown on his face. “i’m afraid i brought more bad news” he said as he stopped before us. “the Americans are now pushing for the case to be moved to their country” he calmly announced. My brother and I gasped with shock. “i got a call few minutes ago to prepare and document every thing i have on the case. We don’t even have the two days anymore” he explained seriously.
“but that’s impossible!. The murder was committed in Nigerian soil. The trial should be here” my brother protested seriously. “I think you should take that up with the Federal government if you have the right connections. I really had the feeling such a thing could happen but kept it to myself. Our leaders hardly deny the American government anything and this case is nothing different. Seriously many things has been happening which are swept under the carpet without the public knowing” he summarized with resignation. “but i can go to court. I can stop them legally?” my brother asked seriously. The detective breathed deeply and shrugged. “well if you can get the court to sit before your sister is moved out of the country. Then yes you can. But she’s married to an American citizen which somehow makes her an American as well, moreover i learnt her dead husband already procured all necessary travelling papers for her before his death, which makes everything a lot easier for the Americans” he answered. “d##n” my brother cursed. “but we still have till morning to come up with something new” he added while i cleared my throat and spoke out for the first time. “i think i have a plan” i suddenly announced, surprising my brother and the detective with the cold smile which appeared on my face with the revelation. Of course i had a new plan in my mind. A plan which was nothing close to the suicide attempt the detective proposed earlier in the day. So what kind of new plan came to my mind that crucial moment?

“so tell us what you have in mind?” the detective asked curiously.
“well before i say anything, I’ll like to know if the so called Esther that got me into this mess is still staying at my husband’s house?” I asked while the detective nodded.“yes she is at the house. She chose staying their with your mother in law and four other people while the rest moved to a hotel but my department is still in possession of all their passports. So what has that got to do with your plan?” he answered and asked seriously. “a lot officer. It has a lot to do with my plans” I answered calmly. “yes go on” my brother urged desperately. “i can sneak into the compound, sneak up on Esther and make her confess. I know the house very well and i very much know the weak spots i can use in gaining access to any room i so desire” i poured out breathlessly. My brother scoffed while the detective laughed. “you must be kidding, how on earth can you get her to confess?” my brother asked with disbelief “have you forgotten that i’m a woman. I know how to get a fellow woman to talk. Moreover Esther won’t find it hard opening up her mouth, since to her, i’m good as dead and it equally would be her word against mine. But if i can record everything with my phone without her knowledge won’t the case be solved?. Please just allow me to have access to the house, i’m very sure i can do it” I pleaded desperately. The detective scratched his head and breathed deeply. “have you forgotten that you are supposed to be in police cell?. How do i explain your disappearance?. No no no, even though your plan sounds tempting, i can’t allow it. I can’t put my ass on the line in such way” he said slowly, while i grabbed him strongly. “this is the only chance I got, please help me. If things go bad you can say I escaped from jail. You can fabricate anything and put on me. Please i beg of you” i begged passionately. He breathed deeply and nodded. “fine i’m in but if things go bad, you are on your own” he accepted, drawing great smile from me with his words. I hugged him with gratitude. “just pray it doesn’t go bad. This is the only shot you got to redeem yourself. Don’t waste it” he advised while i nodded. It all appeared too easy to say but deep down i knew it was a very difficult task with high risk of failing. However I was very determined to carry it out. After all i had nothing to lose trying.

“so when do you plan heading to the house?” the detective asked seconds later. “it should be tonight, by 10pm. The neighbourhood will be dark and lonely by that time” i answered quickly. “that’s okay but without a good recorder and hand gloves, i doubt if your mission will be
successful. I can get them for you. Thank me later” he offered with a smile. “oh thanks very much. You are indeed an angel” i thanked him.
“i think we are forgetting something. We are yet to come up with a plan on how to get her out of this place without your colleagues noticing” my
brother queried suspiciously. “leave that to me. I’ll get your sister out myself, but you will be right outside the premises to pick her up. You will be the person to drive her to the house” the detective said while my brother nodded in agreement. “now get ready, in thirty minutes we should be out of here” he added. “but it’s still 6:30pm i thought she’s breaking into the house by 10pm?” my brother asked with surprise.
“yea she is, but i can’t be able to get her out of this place by that time. I can only get her out in thirty minutes while you then take her to your
house or anywhere till showtime” he answered. I breathed deeply. I really was nervous.
By 7:15pm that fateful evening, the detective took me out of my cell and helped me out of the compound by hiding me in his car. We had no problem leaving the police premises. It really was the most easiest part of the plan. In a couple of minutes we arrived at the agreed rendezvous where my brother was already waiting. As i made to alight from the detective’s car, he held me back and stared at me with a worried look.
“please be careful. Here is the recorder I promised. It’s very small, uses micro card and has high recording capability. It’s already charged” he said with care, as he gave me the recorder with little lecture on how to use it. “here are the gloves as well. You need no lecture on how to use them” he joked. “please don’t disappoint me” he begged. I nodded, gave him a reassuring smile and alighted from his car. The detective was just a perfect gentleman. “so what now?” my brother asked as i joined him in his car. “let’s go home first. I want to see mum” i answered quietly. He gave me a long look, l####d his lips and drove me home without another word.
10pm arrived much faster than i expected. I soon found myself at the back of my husband’s house with my heart pounding furiously while my eyes examined the fence as i prepared to scale it. Yea i was born and raised in the village among boys. I knew how to climb perfectly well. My only fear was on how to achieve my mission….

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