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TWO PART TWO

10:35pm

“What happened to her?” The nurse at the reception asked Nike as Bola was brought to the emergency center.

“They raped her. They raped my best friend.”

“Please hold on” The nurse told her and went to make a phone call.

“The SART nurses are on their way. They would attend to your friend” The nurse told her.

“What is SART?”

“SART means Sexually Assaulted Response Team. They are a group of nurses who take care of people that were sexually assaulted. Don’t worry. Your friend is in good hands.”

“Were you the ones that brought the patient in?” Another nurse asked Nike and the security guards.

“Yes, we are” Nike replied.

“What’s your relationship with the patient?”

“She’s my best friend”

“May I speak with you privately?”

“Of course”

“Is any of the patient’s family members here with you?”

“No, they are not. Is anything wrong?”

“Nothing is wrong. I thought any of the the patient’s family members would be here for us to discuss about some processes we at SART carry out since she’s unconscious and we won’t be able to discuss it with her”

“You can talk to me about it. I’m family to her”

“SART means Sexually Assaulted Response Team and we are a local sexual assault team that responds to sexual assaults in the community. We consist of a nurse examiner, a law enforcement officer, a lawyer and a counselor-advocate and our aim is to end sexual violence and help sexual assault survivors navigate along the effects that comes after the assault. Do you want to report the case to the police? We have a team of detectives that deal with cases like this and help the victim get the justice they deserve”

“Yes, I would like to report to the police”

“While attending to the patients, we ask if they would give their consent to a SART exam after deciding to report to the police. The purpose of the exam is to examine the patient for forensic evidence for the police investigation and court process”

“Okay. You can go ahead with the exam.”

“A detective will be with you shortly” The nurse told her and left to the room Bola was in.

“The crime scene photographer and the nurse examiner are here.” A nurse told a SART nurse as a group of SART nurses used a pulse-monitoring equipment to measure Bola’s pulse.

“Let them in”

Bola was still in her underwear when the crime scene photographer and the nurse examiner entered the room. The nurses would change her into a hospital gown after the photographer and the examiner have done their job. The photographer took pictures of the injuries on Bola’s body from different angles and left the room when he was done.

The examiner wore a glove, used a swab to check for sperm in Bola’s private part and took a sample of her blood into a special collection tube for tests. The examiner removed her underwear and placed it in a paper bag different from the blood sample. Bola was still unconscious and the nurses struggled to put the hospital gown on her. The security guard’s jacket and Bola’s scarf was also placed into a paper bag for examination and the SART nurses gave the bag to the examiner.

“When would the test result be ready?” A nurse asked.

“In 3 hours”

11.20pm

“My name is Janet Olumide and I’m a sexual assault detective. I will ask some questions and I need you to be honest and very detailed about what you saw. I will take a recorded statement. That’s if you’re ready to give a statement” She told Nike while they sat in the hospital cafeteria.

“I’m ready to give a statement.”

“Okay. I will start now,” She said and got the recorder.

“What’s your name? Full name, please”

“Olanike Olapeju”

“What’s your occupation?”

“I’m a student.”

“How Old Are You?”

“18.”

“How long have you known the victim?”

“I’ve known her since our first year in university. That was last two years”

“What’s your relationship with the victim?”

“She’s my best friend”

“What attracted you to the incident?”

“I got a revelation from God through a dream.”

“Can you explain further?” She explained everything without leaving no detail.

“Can you write down her social media names and passwords, phone number and e-mails?” She gave her a book and a pen.

“Why?”

“We need to check her messages to see if it would give us an hint about what led to the incident”

The detective asked her some other questions before calling the security guards one at a time for questioning.

“If you think of anything else that would be helpful to the investigation please contact me” The detective told the head of the security guards and gave him her card.

11:45pm

“Where’s my daughter? I need to see her now,” Bola’s mum shouted at the nurse at the reception and Nike went to meet her.

“Ma, please calm down,” The nurse said.

“Welcome ma” Nike greeted.

“Olanike, I don’t like what you did. You should have called me earlier” Bola’s mum said to her.

“I’m sorry ma. I would have called but with all that has been going on, it skipped my mind”

“Where’s Bola? Where’s she?”

“The nurses are attending to her. They will let us know how she’s doing when they are through” Nike told her. “Please ma, sit down.”

“I’m not sitting until I see my daughter.”

Bola’s mum couldn’t stay still. She kept on pacing around the reception and Nike kept a close watch on her before she throws any tantrum that will draw the attention of everyone in the reception.

“I need to speak to you,” Bola’s mum said to Nike, and she followed her to the female’s toilet.

“You have still not told me who hurt my baby girl. You only explained what led you to see her in that state”

She knew the day Bola’s mum would find out who raped her daughter would arrive, but she wasn’t expecting it to be that soon.

“Ummm…” She said, her lips quivering.

“Please talk, I need to know who did this. I’m sure you know who did it,”

Nike dropped her head. She couldn’t look at her pleading eyes for too long if not, she will talk immediately. Bola’s mum just kept her in a tight position and it’s difficult to tell her that her best friends’ sons raped her only child.

“I don’t think I’m the right person to tell you. It should be Bola telling you not me”

“Olanike, you’re her best friend and I want you to tell me”

“It was James and Tayo that raped her” She said it fast and loud for Bola’s mum to hear.

She had mixed emotions after she told Bola’s mum. It felt weird saying it out loud. She couldn’t believe the words and wished there were different ways to paraphrase it and it won’t sound so real. She was relieved after she said those words. Deep down, she felt like she was keeping a huge secret and felt bad that she couldn’t tell the person that needed to hear it the most. Her head was still down and she breathed in before she slowly raised her head to see Bola’s mum’s facial expression. She couldn’t read her facial expression it was like trying to crack a code that is impossible but she knew they both felt the same thing but Bola’s mum’s feelings would be higher than hers. A mother to daughter’s love can’t be explained.

“What? Repeat what you just said. I don’t think I heard you properly”

“James and Tayo were the ones who raped Bola” She said slowly.

Bola’s mum laughed and said, “It’s not possible. The James and Tayo I know won’t do such. It’s another James and Tayo”

Nike sighed and said, “It’s the James and Tayo you know that did it”

Hearing that, Bola’s mum screamed and sat on the floor sobbing.

“I don’t want to believe it. Tell me you are joking”

“I wish I was, but she told me herself”

“James and Tayo? Why would they do such? I took care of them when they were babies, watched them grow to the young men they are today and they do this to me? Do you know why they did it?”

“I have no idea but if I knew, they would have been arrested”

“Do you believe they are the ones that did it?”

“I don’t know what to believe. I’m confused. We just have to wait until she wakes up for her to explain how it happened so we will know what to believe. I want to believe her but James and Tayo raping her seems impossible”

On their way to the hospital, while waiting at the reception, she tried to process what Bola told her. She had heard about friends raping their friends, she knew it happens but she could vouch anywhere that her friends can’t rape anyone but now, she’s not so sure of that.

12:05am

“How is she?” Bola’s mum asked the nurse, walking to their direction.

“She is doing well. She’s awake, but she lost a lot of a blood and we need to do a blood transfusion. Her blood type is A+ and she can only receive blood from A+, A-, O+ and O-”

“I’m O+. I will do it,” Bola’s mum said.

“What’s your relationship with the patient?”

“I’m her mother”

“Please follow me”

The first security guard sat next to her and asked, “Are you okay?”

“Obviously I’m not”

“Just because you’re in a bad state doesn’t mean you can talk to me rudely. I’m still a security guard of the school you attend”

She turned and looked at him with confusion. She couldn’t believe her ears. She asked herself did he just say that? Was he speaking to her to make her feel better or worse?

“I’m sorry I spoke in that tone. I’m tired with everything that’s going on and I can’t wait for it to be over.”

“It’s no problem. I understand what you’re going through.”

He cleared his throat not sure of how he would tell her what he wants to say next.

“I came to apologize about the way I spoke to you in school and how I handled the situation. I could have let you go before calling the head. I was just doing my job you know that. If I had believed you initially, your friend won’t be here. I’m sorry”

“You don’t have to apologize. It’s not your fault she’s here. I understand you were doing your job”

“Your friend will get well. Just put your trust in God” He said to her before he left to join his colleagues.

2:35am

“I want us to pray for Bola,” Bola’s mum told Nike and the security guards. “Olanike sweetie. Can you ask the nurse if there’s an empty room we can use?”

“She said the conference room is free. We would take the elevator to the 2nd floor, turn left, and we would see the room.”

“All right. Let’s go.”

They got to the room and Bola’s mum told them to feel comfortable as they prayed on their own before she said the final prayer.

“I hope I’m not disturbing.” A nurse said as she peeped into the room.

“No, you aren’t. We just finished praying,” Bola’s mum said.

“That means God answers prayers. We just finished the transfusion and it went smoothly.”

Smiling for the first time since she stepped into the hospital, Bola’s mum said, “Thank you, Jesus.”

“Thank you, Lord. I know you never fail,” Nike said.

“See, I told you everything will turn out well” The first security guard told Nike.

“Thank you. I wouldn’t have found her if not for your help,” She said to the four security guards.

“You would still have found her if we didn’t stop you. That’s how motivated you are in helping people. Continue doing that,” The head of the security guards told her.

“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done to make sure you find my daughter and brought her here without me losing her”

“You don’t have to thank us, ma but thank God and Nike. Nike is the hero,” The head of the security guards said.

“You can sit. I need to discuss Bola,” The nurse told them.

“We noticed that she was a virgin when the act was done due to the way she bled. It’s not every female that bleeds when they have sex for the first time, some girls are born with little hymenal tissue and it looks like they don’t have a hymen at all and there are other reasons like horse riding, using of tampons and many more. We have stitched the cut on her laps and it will leave scars when it’s healed but that’s nothing to worry about. You just have to thank God they brought her here on time.”

“When can we see her?” Bola’s mum asked.

“She needs to rest but a nurse will let you know when you can see her”

“Thank you so much nurse” Bola’s mum said.

“You don’t have to thank me ma. I’m just doing my job”

At the crime scene 12am

The crime scene investigators and a crime scene photographer made their way to the road the assault took place. The investigators put a “DO NOT CROSS” sign at the start of the road. With the aid of a torchlight, the investigators noticed droplets of blood from the beginning of the road. As they walked, the photographer took pictures of the blood and one of the investigators stopped walking and looked at where they walked from back to where they stood.

“This is so much blood. From the way I see it, it’s either the victim walked from where the assault took place or someone carried her” Phillip a crime scene investigator said.

“True” John replied.

Phillip got a swab out of the paper bag and used it on the blood on the earthen road. He placed the swab back into the paper back and sealed it.

The photographer took pictures of the scene and the investigators placed parts of Bola’s jeans, duct tapes with a bloodstain in a paper bag.

“What can you conclude from what you’ve seen?” Phillip asked the head of the CSI.

“My conclusion may be wrong but it looks like the perpetrator cut out of the victim’s clothing and used a duct tape on her to stop her from reporting. If the perpetrator is new to this, he will leave something behind that will help the investigation”

“I found something. Come and look,” John shouted.

The photographer took pictures of a pocket knife lying in the bushes and John held the knife stained with dry blood and put it into a paper bag.

“Where did you find it?” The head asked.

“Around here” He pointed to the weed next to him.

The head squatted and took a look at the weed John pointed at. He looked down and noticed that the blood from the knife touched the weed and the blood is dried up on it.

The photographer took a picture of the blood stained weed before the head ordered John to cut it and place it in the paper bag as part of the evidence.

“What did I just say?” The head asked Phillip.

“You’re too intelligent” Phillip told him and they fist bumped.

“What did he say?” John asked Phillip.

“He said if the perpetrators are new to this they will leave something behind that will help the investigation and look at what you just found. We are dealing with a newbie”

“We can still find anything that would be relevant to the investigation. Keep on checking. Don’t forget to check for the victim’s phone. The perpetrators may have left it behind” The head told them.

“There’s no sign of the phone” Phillip and John reported to the head after checking the crime scene.

“Since that’s all the evidence we could find, I trust you both to label the evidence and send it to the lab. I will work on writing the report of the evidence collection procedures and conclusions” The head told Phillip and John.

“We won’t disappoint you sir” Phillip said and saluted him.

6:05am

“You can see her now. Her room number is 207. The nurse told them and explained the directions to Bola’s room.

Nike and Bola’s mum found it difficult to sleep, and they stayed up late praying for Bola’s quick recovery. The SART nurses arranged rooms for them to sleep in until Bola leaves the hospital. The security guards shared a room that was opposite the room Nike and Bola’s mum shared.

“I’m scared to go in,” Nike told Bola’s mum as they stood in front of Bola’s room.

“It’s normal but you have to be strong for her.”

“Seeing her connected to the machine and the bandages on her body scares me”

“I understand how you feel, but thinking about it will make you feel worse. She needs you by her side”

“Thank you.”

“I’m always here for you, Olanike”

“Guess who’s here,” Nike said as she opened the door.

“Mummy” Bola shouted and stretched her arms and they hugged.

“I would have hugged you, but I don’t want to hurt you the more,” Nike said.

“Nonsense. Come here” They hugged and Nike didn’t want to leave the embrace.

“Why are you crying?” Bola asked Nike.

“I’m so sorry this had to happen to you”

Bola was filled with happiness at the sight of her mum and best friend. She forgot about her condition the moment she saw them, but when Bola said that, her memory refreshed.

“Thank you so much, Nike. I don’t deserve you.”

“You don’t have to thank me. What are best friends for?”

“I’m sure you and mummy didn’t sleep. Prayer warriors”

“I slept for a little while but at least our prayer was effective” Her mum told her.

“Yeah, it was but I’m so sore”

“I just spoke to the detective and she’s on her way.” Nike told Bola’s mum”

“Detective?” Bola asked, sitting up at the mention of the detective.

Bola held her thighs as she felt a sharp pain and her mum and Nike went to her side and laid her on the bed.

“You shouldn’t have sat up,” Her mum told her.

There was fear all over Bola’s face and her mum and Nike knew something was wrong.

“What’s wrong?” Her mum asked.

“You called a detective?”

“Yes. What’s wrong? You never planned on reporting to the police?” Nike asked.

Bola dropped her head and mumbled, “Umm---yes.”

“Why? What are you afraid of?” Her mum asked.

She played with her fingers and didn’t look up and said, “It’s just that---” She paused. “What if it backfires against us? What if no one believes me?”

Bola burst into tears and her mum hugged her and rubbed her back.

“Stop with the what if’s. We believe you, the security guards outside believes you, that’s all that matters. We’re behind you. If no one believes you, we will make them believe. Nothing is stopping the case from moving forward” Her mum told her and raised her head to look at her.

“I love you mummy”

“I love you too sweetheart”

’Which security guards were you talking about?”

“The ones from school,” Nike replied.

“School? What are they doing here?”

“It’s a long story but now, we’ve to focus on you.”

There was a knock on the door and the detective came in.

“Hope I’m not interrupting?” The detective asked.

“No, you aren’t. We were waiting for your arrival,” Bola’s mum said. “Please have your seat” She stood from the chair she sat on.

“There’s no need ma. I prefer to stand”

“I want you to sit.”

“Okay ma. Thank you ma”

“Hi Bola. My name is Janet Olumide but you can call me Jane. I’m a sexual assault detective. I will ask some questions if you’re comfortable with explaining what happened”

“I’m okay with explaining what happened.”

“You have a right to have a victim advocate and a support person of your choice present during the interview”

“I would like my mum and best friend to stay.”

Bola’s mum and Nike stood by the wall and watched as the detective got a recorder out of her bag and placed it on the bed.

“I will record the interview. You can stop the interview at any point to take a break or ask questions”

“Okay” Bola said silently.

“Even though it was your best friend that reported to the police. Do you have fears or concerns about reporting the incident?”

“Yeah. If the case ends up in court, will the judge believe me?”

“Of course, the judge will believe you. I just need you to tell me the truth and nothing else and leave the rest to me”

“I will start the interview now. Did you know the offenders?”

“Yeah. They were my best friends”

“Were?”

“After what they did, I can’t call them my best friends”

“How did you first meet the offenders?”

“We’ve been friends since we were little. Their mum’s and mine went to high school together”

“Where did you first meet the offenders on the day of incident?”

“In school”

“Where did the incident take place?”

“At a narrow road.”

“Can you explain how the road looks like?”

“The road is sandy and there are bushes all around it. It looked abandoned, like no one passed it. Everywhere looked neat, there were no wrappers of food, bottles of drinks on the road.”

“At what time did the incident happen?”

“I can’t really say. When I turned on my phone after we left the stadium, it was about 8:05”

“Why did you three leave the stadium that late?”

“The competition was meant to start by 2 but it started by 3 and some schools came late. There were a lot of events that held so it took much time”

“Did you notice any unusual behavior among the offenders before the incident happened?”

“Nope.”

“Did you sense something was wrong when you passed the road?”

“No. We pass the road sometimes when we’re about to leave the stadium. The road is a shortcut that leads to outside of the stadium. When the crowd is much that wants to leave the stadium, we go through the road instead.”

“Since the day the three of you passed the road, have you noticed anyone on that road with you. Either behind or in front of you?”

“Few people. I can count like six people”

“Can you tell how many minutes it takes from the road to the main road?”

She thought about it for a while before saying, “10 minutes. I guess. I’m not that sure”

“Can you remember what they wore?”

“Yes. Tayo wore a black jeans, a black shirt with a red varsity jacket and a white sneakers while James wore a white short, a blue polo shirt and black and white stripped sneakers”

“Can you explain how the incident occurred? I need you to explain in details”

“Like I’ve said, we passed the road because the crowd leaving the stadium was much. It was dark when we got out of the stadium and we turned on our phone’s torchlight. I think we walked for about 5 minutes and James put his leg out and I fell. I thought it was a joke because we play like that at times. I was laughing so hard and I told him and Tayo to pull me up. Their response was monotonous and I got scared a little bit. They said ‘no, we’re aren’t pulling you up’. I asked why they spoke in that tone, if anything was wrong but there was no response. I still thought it was a joke but what got me confused was when I didn’t see the sign of their phone’s torchlight but I saw their phones sticking out from their trousers pocket.

I could see because my phone was upside down with the torchlight part facing up. I told them that since they won’t pull me and I don’t understand their sudden change of attitude, I will stand by myself. When I tried to get up to pick up my phone, Tayo pushed me down with his hands and kept my phone into the front pocket of his trousers. That’s when I knew there was a big problem and I panicked. My heart was literally beating fast, I’ve never been that scared in my life. I asked what was going on but none of them answered. Tayo stood in front of me and I have never seen that look on his face, he looked dangerous and he had this cold stone expression. James pulled him to the side and I saw that they were arguing and I used the opportunity to run. I called for help and I heard their footsteps behind me. I lost my footing and I fell. All of a sudden---” She burst into tears and her mum went to console her.

“You can take a break before continuing,” Her mum told her.

She took a break for some minutes and continued.

“I heard the sound of a bag opening and I felt something on my mouth and my hands were tied to my back. During that moment, I didn’t know it was a duct tape they used. They took turns to hold my legs to remove their trousers. I tried to remove their grip from my legs but one of them slapped me. They were stronger than me anyway, so I couldn’t do anything. The first person who held my leg, cut out half of my jeans with my lap and the 2nd person did the same and they unzipped the jeans that was left and removed it. They took turns in raping me and it felt like they did it for 30 minutes or more. Each person took rounds in raping me. When they were done, they pulled my underwear up and ran”

“My daughter” That’s all her mum could say.

“I thought there would be an assurance that they didn’t do it. I wanted to believe you and also believe that they couldn’t do it. It’s all my fault. If I had gotten there on time, all this won’t have happened,” Nike said in tears.

“I will be outside the door. When you are ready to continue, just let me know” The detective told Bola.

“If anyone should take the blame, it should be me. If I had listened to you, I wouldn’t have gone, but I ignored your plea. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, I’m sorry I disobeyed God’s instruction. I deserve all that has happened.”

“Will you keep quiet? I don’t want to hear that from your mouth. It’s not your fault and you don’t deserve what happened. You didn’t know it would happen. I want you to understand that and get those negative thoughts out of your mind,” Her mum said to her.

“Olanike, stop blaming yourself. You did all you could, and you should be thankful that she’s alive. What if you got to the stadium, and you didn’t see her? What if you got to the stadium without the security guards stopping you and it was too late? I want both of you to stop blaming yourself and start praying to God that the case will go smoothly without no complications” Bola’s mum continued.

“She’s ready” Nike told the detective and she walked back into the room and took her seat.

“You said they were arguing about something. Do you know what it was about?”

“No. They were talking in a low tone but it was obvious they were arguing”

“What was inside the bag you spoke about?”

“Snacks and drinks. When we attend events like that, we pack our drinks and snacks from school.” She looked at Nike and they smiled at each other.

“You guys always pack a lot and never finish it,” Nike said laughing.

“I would say we will finish it, but we were always too full to finish it. It’s always Tayo that would tell us to buy a lot,” Bola said, and her smile faded when she thought about those moments.

“Excuse me” The detective told them as she received a phone call and left the room.

“I will be right back. I have to attend to an urgent matter concerning the case” The detective told them.

“What is it detective?” Bola’s mum asked.

“The reports from the nurse examiner and the CSI just got here”

At the nurse examiner’s office

“The photographer brought in the pictures not too long ago” The examiner told the detective and gave her the pictures from the crime scene and that of the wounds on Bola’s body.

The detective looked at the pictures and asked the examiner, “From the pictures, what can you say occurred?”

“Nothing much happened to the victim by the look of the pictures. The perpetrators didn’t do much harm to her. All I can say that happened to the victim is that a knife cut her on her laps. When they brought her in, she was bleeding from her private part and that’s how I knew she was raped. Some nurses who don’t specialize in what we do would think she had a miscarriage or abortion went wrong.”

“What were the tests results?” The examiner handed over the results to her.

“We found two different sperms in her underwear and we did a DNA test on the sperms and we got this” She gave her two pictures and a DNA profile which brought a smile to the detective’s face.

“There’s still more, we examined the knife brought in by the CSI and we found a fingerprint which matches the DNA found on one of the sperm. The blood on the duct tape, her underwear and the knife matches that of the blood sample I took from the patient”

“Ayoola and Olashore? Special adviser to the president and former oil and gas mogul?” The detective asked the examiner as she read the DNA profile.

“Yes. That’s their children”

“Wow. This is a big case I’m handling”

“Just pray their parents doesn’t try to pay you to stop the investigation” The examiner told her.

The detective laughed and said, “I don’t collect bribe”

“This is the report of the evidence collection procedures and process” The head CSI said to the detective.

“I will get back to you after reading it” She told the head CSI and kept the report and tests results in her bag. “Thank you for your cooperation. I will be in touch in case anything comes up.” She told them before she left for Bola’s room.

“She’s smiling. It’s good news,” Nike said as the detective entered the room.

“Yes, it’s good news. Bola, I think you should start smiling now”

“What did you find out?” Bola’s mum asked the detective.

“The examiners conducted tests on the evidence and I think we have found the boys”

“Seriously?” Bola asked with a smile and her mum and Nike hugged her.

“Yes”

“Are this the boys you’re talking about?” The detective asked Bola showing her two pictures.

“Yeah. That’s James and Tayo” She beamed at the pictures.

Holding the pictures seemed surreal to her. For the hours she laid on the hospital bed with her mum and best friend around, she thought about different things. She wandered if the case will progress. The detective was nice, looked like a person that is diligent to her work but she had doubts. She felt a pang of sadness as she thought of her ex-best friends in jail. She knew she should be happy that the detective had all the information needed but the memories they had from when they were young flooded her mind.

Bola’s mum collected the pictures from the detective and she and Nike looked at it. Bola’s mum wore her glasses to be sure it was them.

“I know something we can do to get the suspects to confess. It’s up to Bola if she wants to do it”

“She will do it. Why not” Bola’s mum said.

“We should let her speak for herself. It’s not all victims that would want to do it” The detective said to Bola’s mum.

“I will do it”

“I will let you know what it’s all about. It’s called a pretext call. It’s a tape-recorded telephone call between the victim and the suspect. The suspect is unaware that the call is being recorded. The suspect thinks you’re alone and no one is listening to the conversation. You would ask him questions that would make him to confess”

“Are you sure you want to do it?” Nike asked Bola.

“Yeah. I want to”

“You have to choose one person that you know will confess immediately. Choose wisely”

“It’s so much to take in. Who do you think I should call?” She asked Nike.

“James. Forget the fact that he talks a lot around us but he’s a shy person. If you ask him those questions he will talk immediately”

“You’ve heard her. I will call James” She said to the detective.

“Are you sure?” The detective asked and she nodded.

“Nike, do you have your phone with you?” The detective asked.

“Yes, I do”

“It’s your phone we will use for the call”

“What would I say to him?” Bola asked the detective.

“We will practice the questions you will ask and the answers he will give. I want you to be yourself and not fake it. Don’t make it obvious that someone is listening to the conversation. Let him feel your emotions while speaking to him”

The detective brought out a standard audio cassette recorder and she connected a phone recording device to the phone to listen to the conversation. The detective wrote a list of questions and statements that Bola would say to get James talk about the incident. Bola and the detective practiced the questions using the equipments available.

“One thing I forget to tell you. Don’t interrupt when he’s talking, let him do all the talking”

“I’m so scared” She said and wiped her sweaty hands on the hospital gown.

“You have heard what the detective has said. I know you’re nervous but you have to be strong and don’t let it show through your voice. Everything will soon be over before you know it” Her mum told her.

“Are you ready?” The detective asked and gave her an ear plug attached to the recorder.

“Yeah”

Her heart was beating fast and she breathed in and out to reduce the nervousness. She prayed not to stutter while she spoke to James. The worst that could happen is not being able to say a word when he picks the call.

“Please, just pick the call” She said getting more nervous.

“Baby girl. How are you? I’ve missed you so much. I sent pictures and videos of the competition. I was so sad that you couldn’t go with us”

“Hi James. It’s not Nike”

“Bola?” He asked in a faint voice.

“Yeah, it’s me. The one and only” She replied with a laugh and wiped a tear.

“How did you?---” He asked as he stuttered on his words not able to complete the sentence.

“How did I leave that road you and Tayo left me in feeling dirty, used and worthless? I felt like I was someone’s sex toy for a night. When I look at myself, I feel dirty and I’m not happy with the way I am. Let me gist you how I left that road” She paused and wiped more tears. “I waited for a long while hoping for someone to see me. I lost hope until a soldier saw me and brought me to the hospital”

“Are you still there?” She asked when there was silence from his side.

“Yes, I am” He paused. “Did you say a soldier brought you to the hospital?”

“Yes, he did. Why did you ask?”

“Nothing. It’s just that---” His voice was strained like he was deep in thought.

“It’s just that what? Are you scared?”

“No, I’m not. Why would I be scared?”

He rushed his words and Bola knew he was scared. She could imagine him on his feet pacing in the room, with his phone on his left hand and the call on a loudspeaker. He was thinking of what to do and was at the verge of crying. He was almost at his break point and Bola knew he would talk sooner than they expected.

“To say I’m not scared is an understatement. I’m really scared right now, I’m sure you can hear my heart beat”

“Why are you scared?”

’What type of question is that Bola? You mentioned a soldier saw you and took you to the hospital. I’m sure he has asked questions and you’ve told him the truth. Tayo and I will go to jail. It’s over, I won’t complete my university education, and I would probably stay in prison forever” He cried and the detective looked at them with a triumphant smile.

“I just want to know why you did it. You were my best friend, I told you all my secrets, the good ones and the bad ones. I trusted you with all my heart. I told you my fears, my aspirations and you did this to me. We were sliblings, we were family. Three of us planned to travel to various places after university. Please tell me why” She said in tears.

All the detective and Bola could hear was his sobs and they waited for his reply.

“I’m so sorry Bola. I didn’t mean to. You know I would never do such on purpose. It was---” He thought for a while before he said, “I’m sorry. I have to go. I will call you later”

“What did he say?” Bola’s mum asked.

“He partially confessed. He confessed that they both did it but didn’t say the reason” The detective replied.

“I hate him so much. I don’t need his stupid apologies. I’m sorry I didn’t follow the questions as planned.” She said to the detective.

“It’s no problem Bola. I figured you were nervous but you did well. I wasn’t expecting him to confess that fast. Most suspects would lie”

“So what will you do?” Nike asked the detective.

“Arrest them.”

“I will call their parents,” Bola’s mum said.

1:30pm

“Good morning sir,” The detective said to the V.C (Vice Chancellor).

“Good morning. How may I help you?”

“My name is detective Janet Olumide. We’re from SART and we have a warrant to search the room of two of your students and arrest them”

“Arrest? For what?”
“For raping Bola Abrahams”

“Bola Abrahams?” The V.C asked as he thought of where he knew the name from. “Oh dear Lord. I know her. She’s such a brilliant student”

“Who are the students that raped her?”

“James Olashore and Tayo Ayoola”

He was disappointed in James and Tayo. Their parents had contributed a lot to the development of the school. When the school had issues and the authorities needed support from parents, their parents were always there to offer their assistance.

“Those boys are intelligent. They are just in their second year with a first class. Why would they do such? I want you to do something for me” He paused. “Can you make sure this information doesn’t get to the public? Tayo and James’s parents are rich and popular. If people should hear about it, the image of the school will be ruined.”

“We can do that, sir”

“Thank you detective. I’m sure you’re going to their hall now. You know the room number and hall, right?”

“Yes, I have it. Dominion Hall. Room 425”

“Follow me. I will take you there”

“Good afternoon, sir” Tayo greeted the V.C as he opened the door and his smile faded when he saw the police officers.

“This is Tayo. Where’s James?” The V.C asked.

“He’s asleep. I will wake him”

Fear was on James’ face as he saw the police officers. He tried to keep calm but his hands and legs shook.

“You can’t just enter my room like that” Tayo said to the police officers.

“It’s for your own good. You can see a crowd is outside the room and you wouldn’t want them to know what’s going on” The detective told him and a police officer closed the door.

“Can I know what you’re doing here?” Tayo asked the detective.

“We’re from SART and both of you are under arrest for raping Bola Abrahams. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court…” The detective said their Miranda rights to them.

“Bola got raped? Who raped her?” Tayo asked feigning surprise.

“Please turn around. Put your hands on your head,” She said to them.

“I’m not turning. What are you arresting me for? Bola is my best friend. I can’t rape her,” Tayo said.

“Don’t put that thing on me. I didn’t rape her. She’s my best friend,” Tayo shouted as a police officer put a handcuff on his wrist.

“We have a search warrant to search the room” The detective told Tayo and James showing them the warrant. “Where do you put your clothes?” James pointed to a wardrobe.

“James, what’s your problem? Why did you show them the wardrobe?” Tayo whispered.

“Are you hiding anything inside the wardrobe?” A police officer asked them after he listened to their conversation.

“No” James replied.

“Jane, make sure the officers check the wardrobe properly. I think they are hiding something inside,” The police officer told her.

“I found this duct tape under a pile of clothes” A police officer told the detective.

The detective looked at the used tape and turned it. She was looking for any spot of blood on it but found none.

“Have you found the clothes, shoes and bag?” The detective asked the police officers.

“Here they are,” A police officer said as he brought the clothes and shoes they wore for the competition.

A police officer found the bag they took to the competition hanging on a bunk bed and he showed the detective.

“Where are you taking our clothes and shoes to? Please be careful with my sneakers it’s the white one. It’s APL Men’s TechLoom Wave sneakers. I bought it when I travelled to Australia. Please handle it with care” Tayo shouted at the police officers who took the clothes and shoes outside the room.

“Have you found the phone?” The detective asked a police officer who checked for Bola’s phone.

The police officer shook her head and said, “We should call her number since you have it with you.”

“That’s a smart idea.”

The detective called Bola’s number and the ringing of the phone echoed in the room.

“Can you identify where it’s ringing from?” The detective asked the police officer who searched for the phone.

“Not really”

“I think it’s coming from the wardrobe” The police officer said and removed the clothes and shoes but the phone wasn’t there.

The detective moved closer to the wardrobe and placed her right ear to the wardrobe and listened to the sound from the phone.

“Bring down the blue suitcase.”

The police officers who took the clothes and shoes outside got into the room and brought down the suitcase from the top of the wardrobe. As the police officers dropped the suitcase, the ringing from the phone became clearer. The police officers opened the suitcase and brought out the contents inside and found the phone in the mix of clothes and other items.

“Whose suitcase?” The detective asked James and Tayo.

The boys looked at each other and remained silent.

“It’s mine,” Tayo said.

“I like his confidence” A female police officer whispered to the detective.

“Me too, but he will drop the confidence act soon.”

4pm

“Arike, what happened? I could hear the urgency in your voice that’s why I rushed down here from work,” James mum said to Bola’s mum.

“It’s James and Tayo,” She replied in tears.

“What happened to them?”

“They raped Bola and the police have arrested them.”

James mum stood in disbelief and said, “Bola? Bola your daughter? It’s a lie. My son can’t do that. There has to be a mistake somewhere”

“I didn’t believe it at first but my daughter doesn’t lie. They’ve been friends since kindergarten, she won’t lie about this”

“It’s not possible. I know my son and I know he can’t do such. James is a virgin and he’s keeping himself till marriage. He hasn’t had sex talk less of raping his best friend. His father and I taught him what is right and he has been following our instructions and that of God Almighty”

“I shouldn’t be telling you this but there’s a recording of James confessing to doing it”

“If you are so sure that it’s my son James Olashore that raped Bola not another James, I want to listen to the recording”

“I’m not with the recording. It’s with the detective in charge of the case”

“Do you know her name?”

“Janet Olumide”

“I need to speak with detective Janet Olumide” James mum said to a police officer.

“She’s busy. You have to wait till she’s done”

“I said I want to speak with detective Janet Olumide. You wouldn’t want me to repeat myself”

“I’m sorry ma but---”

“Hello Chief of Police. I’m at a SART office---” She said as she made a fake phone call.

“Ma, there’s no need to report to the Chief of Police. I will call the detective and let her know you urgently want to see her”

“Good morning, ma. I was told that you want to speak with me” The detective said.

“Yes, I want to speak with you. I want to see my son.”

“Ma, we should go to my office and discuss it.”

“I’m not walking into the office until I see my son.”

“We follow protocols here, ma and you can see him when I’m done questioning him.”

“If I can’t see him, at least I should be able to listen to the recording of him confessing to the crime Arike claims my son did.”

The detective looked at Bola’s mum and she dropped her head.

“I’m sorry ma but that’s a confidential evidence.”

“I can’t see my son. I can’t listen to the recording. How sure am I that you didn’t make all this up? What do you want? Is it money? Just name your price” She shouted and Bola’s mum stood to calm her.

“I have to get back to work, ma but I promise you will see him after I’m done questioning him.”

Tayo’s Questioning

“I’m not answering questions until my lawyer is present,” He said to the detective.

“Okay. Would you like to call your lawyer?”

“I want to call my mum.”

She brought out her phone and gave it to him.

“Please put the call on the loudspeaker. I need to be sure you aren’t calling someone else.”

“Hello mum,” He said in tears.

“Tayo, why are you crying?”

“Mum, where are you?”

“I’m on my way to a police station. Bola’s mum called me to come that it’s urgent. I just hope nothing bad has happened.”

“Mum, the worst has happened.”

“What happened?”

“I got arrested. I’m at the police station Bola’s mum spoke to you about”

“I’m on my way. I will soon be there. Don’t answer questions the police will ask until I get there”

“Mum, please come with a lawyer”

“I’m heading to his office right now. Don’t answer questions okay?”

“Yes mum”

“I love you”

“I love you too mum”

5:18pm

“Can I speak to my client alone?” The lawyer asked the detective.

“Sure.”

“Jane, please come. There’s a problem at the reception” A police officer told her.

“What is it?”

“Tayo’s mother is making a scene. She insists that she wants to see you”

“These mothers are something else,” The detective said.

“Good afternoon, ma. My name is detective---”

Tayo’s mum interrupted her and said, “Save the details for another day. I’m not interested with your name. So you are the detective that arrested my son. For what reasons if I may ask?”

“We have evidence that involves your son and James Olashore in the rape of their best friend Bola Abrahams”

“God have mercy. Bola got raped? Why didn’t you tell me when I got here?” She asked Bola’s mum.

“You didn’t give us the chance to speak.”

“I’m sorry about Bola getting raped. My son isn’t capable of raping anyone,” She said and turned her attention to the detective.

“Anyone can rape someone. It’s not everyone that will tell you what they are feeling and thinking inside. Some minds are dark” The detective told Tayo’s mum.

“I asked a question detective. I’m not here for all these talks.”

“It’s better if we discuss it in my office.”

“I’m not entering your office. I need you to give me the answers I need right now, or I will call my husband, Matthew Ayoola, the special adviser to the president. He will call the president and he will pick at the first ring. Before you know it, you’re out of your job and it would be impossible for you to find one.”

Bola and James mums were disappointed with the behavior of Tayo’s mum. She had been that way since high school and they had told her to change before it affects her later in life. She felt it was her right to do whatever she wanted to people and get whatever she wanted with just an order. She was born with a silver spoon and got everything she needed on a gold platter. She got married at twenty three after she finished university to a man she knew for six months. Most people who knew her said she married him because of his money but she claimed she loved him. Her husband was from a lineage of politicians and he took that path because his parents expected that from him.

He hoped Tayo would major in political science, but he told him he wanted to be a physiotherapist. He did all he could to tell him the benefits of politics, he used different means to convince him that politics is where he should work towards to but his wife was always there to counter his opinions. Tayo was his mum’s favourite out of three children. He was the last born and his mum took care of him like an egg. He would go to his mum when his dad didn’t do what he expected him to do. If he wanted something and his dad refused to get it for him, he would go to his mum who would get him more than what he wanted.

His father had done his best on being a good father and husband but his wife and Tayo made it look like he wasn’t putting any effort in the marriage and the household. Even though his father was born into a rich family, his parents didn’t spoil him because they knew the consequences of spoiling a child. He had warned his wife about spoiling Tayo, but she had refused to listen to him.

“Patricia, this isn’t the right time to display your character. Your husband’s occupation doesn’t matter. You should worry about how to help Tayo. All what you’re doing will make the situation hard for you. Just listen to the detective and do as she says. She’s the one in command and we just have to follow her orders” James mum told her and she was silent.

“We’re behind you. Lead the way to your office,” Tayo’s mum said to the detective in a huff.

“I know it’s unbelievable that your sons can do it but the evidence we have shows it’s them who did it. Today, we found Bola’s phone inside Tayo’s suitcase. The CSI found a knife used to cut her laps on the crime scene and Tayo’s DNA was on it. A nurse examiner also found their sperms on her underwear at the lab. James confessed to raping her.”

“It’s a lie. My son can’t do it” Tayo’s mum cried.

“We have to wait for them to confess but I know they did it. The detective won’t tell us a bunch of lies,” Bola’s mum said.

“The lawyer is done talking to the boy” A police officer told the detective.

“Please excuse me. I need to question Tayo, but I will give you all a report about the questioning.”

“Good afternoon. My name is Ayodeji Johnson” The lawyer said and he shook the detective’s hand.

“Detective Janet Olumide” She replied. “I’m sure you and your client have come to an agreement.”

“Yes, we have. He will answer the questions truthfully.”

“The questioning will be recorded” The detective told Tayo and the lawyer.

“Shall we begin?” The detective asked.

“Yes, we can” The lawyer replied.

“Where were you on the 4th of November?”

“I was at different places” He shrugged.

“I need more details.”

“I was in school and I went to the sports competition at the Victory Sule stadium.”

“Did you go to the competition alone?”

“Nope. I went with my best friends like you already know” He said in a passive tone not interested in the questioning and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

“After the competition where did you go to?”

“I went back to school in the school bus with my friends.”

“Do you know where Bola headed to after she got back to school?”

“She went to her room. She was tired. She even slept in the bus on our way back to school.”

“When last did you see or speak with Bola?”

“On the day of the competition. I’ve sent messages to check up on her but now I know why she hasn’t replied.”

“We checked her phone and there were no messages from you from the next day.”

“Oh, shit” He said, “I thought I sent the messages to her. I thought of the messages to send but I forgot.”

“Why did you have her phone inside your suitcase?”

“I don’t know how it got there. I’m surprised up till now on how it got there. Someone kept it there to implicate me and look at where I am now.”

“Do you know of anyone that would want to implicate you?”

“None that I can think of. Just look at me, I’m all that a girl needs and all that a guy wishes he was. The person who implicated me is jealous or just wants money.”

“I will play a voice recording and I need you to pay attention to it”

The detective paused the recording when the part she wanted him to listen to was over.

“Do you know the people who spoke in the recording?”

He thought for a while and said, “Nope. The voices don’t sound familiar.”

“That was James and Bola talking. James partially confessed to assaulting her.”

“So what am I doing here? You’ve found the person you are looking for.”

“I have to agree with my client. From what you’ve said, nothing shows that he raped her. You have the rapist, why hold my client in custody?”

“There’s evidence that links your client to the assault. I just need him to confess.”

“Confess to what? She deserved it after all the pain James went through because of her” He shouted and hit his hand on the table.

The detective and the lawyer were shocked at his outburst. The detective was delighted that she had found the key to case and all she waited for was for him to tell them why they did what they did.

“I didn’t mean to say that. It was a slip of tongue,” Tayo said.

Tayo kept hitting his head on the table out of frustration and anger. He didn’t plan on saying the truth. He thought he had time in his hands to maneuver his way out of the situation.

“Are you ready to tell us why both of you did it?” The detective asked.

“I’m not speaking.”

“You’ve already confessed you have no choice but to speak” His lawyer told him.

“Okay. I will talk. James has been in love with Bola since 8th grade. That period she was about 13 or so and puberty changed her appearance” He paused and smiled with the thought of Bola’s body at that grade flooded his mind.

“Her breasts, ass and hips increased. It became large. I remember how James and I would laugh at how small she was compared to other girls in our class. Some girls grew before her but the summer before we resumed 8th grade, James and I were in total shock. Her body drew all the boys’ attention in class and it was obvious she liked it. He told me in the middle of 8th grade how he’s in love with her. Her body attracted him to her. He spoke about how she’s pretty, intelligent and many other good characteristics. I’m sure he liked her before 8th grade but the feeling was just little and he thought it will surpass as time goes on but it increased and he realized he was in love. I laughed at him when he told me, I didn’t believe him. I asked if it’s weird liking her since she is our best friend and he did feel weird. Dating your best friend is another problem.

“It could break the friendship and things become weird. He was scared to tell her, he always said she was out of his league and that pissed me off. I told him if he liked her and wanted her, he would give it a try. He shouldn’t just assume things will fall in place, without making effort. He would always complain to me about how he can’t control his feelings when he’s around her and it’s worse when he sees her with other guys. She dated guys in our class, seniors, and he would stare at her when he saw her with them. He was really good at hiding his feelings because he didn’t act uncomfortable or do or say anything that would make Bola suspicious.

When we were with her, everything was normal and no one would ever notice he liked her. She would rant to us about her issues with different guys seeking our advice. When it looked like her and the guy had broken up or they were about to, I would tell him he could shoot his shot but not soon. He had to wait till she was done thinking about the guy and tell her how he felt” He paused and took a swig out of a bottle of water.

“What hurts me is that he never once told her how he felt till we left high school. When we were in high school, he didn’t date anyone, wasn’t interested in a relationship. I told him if he can’t face his fears, he had to let her go but he refused. That’s a difference between him and I. If I were in his shoes, I would have told her how I felt and face whatever comes after. When we got to university, he dated two girls but both of the girls broke up with him because they thought he was cheating on them. He was still in love with her but I would say it was more of an obsession. He stalked her every move, got angry when he saw her with a guy, he had a lot of pictures of her and one of her pictures was his wallpaper at a particular point. Do you know when he told her he was in love with her” He laughed and shook his head.

“He told her two weeks ago, two weeks ago after six years. This is the 6th year and guess what she told him. She laughed at him and told him he had to be joking but he was serious. The next thing she said made me angry when he told me. She said they are best friends and she doesn’t like him in that way, that she has a crush on someone. She also said that how would she like someone like him, that he’s naive and allows me push him around like a toy. She told him he needed to stand up for himself and not let me tell him what to do. She wants a real man and James isn’t close to one. That was very harsh. I understand she’s a straightforward person, but there are a lot of other ways she could have said it.”

He hit his hands on the table and stood up. He paced around the room and gave them some time to process all what he had said. To say the lawyer and the detective weren’t stunned would be an understatement. They both didn’t know what to say and allowed his words sink deep into their minds. The detective watched him, she made sure he didn’t escape or harm himself, her and the lawyer. She was relieved as he sat and her fears of the case going down the hill was behind her.

“She painted a bad picture of me. After all these years of our friendship, all she could think about me was someone who ordered his best friend around. Someone who couldn’t allow his best friend to think on his own. I felt bad. I wanted to confront her but decided not to. I told James to wipe his tears and act like a man. I told him if she can’t be his girlfriend, he can have her for a night. I explained to him what I meant and he disagreed. He said he couldn’t do it but I made him to see other things. I told him rejection is painful and I know how that feels. He had to show her the pain he was feeling not with his tears but his action. I told him if he couldn’t rape her then Bola was right. He was a less of a man. That statement triggered him and he agreed to do it. We bought a duct tape outside of school and we hid it in a bag we took to the competition two weeks ago. We were both new to this, so we prepared for how we would do it. We didn’t read any books or articles, I mostly brought up how we would do it and James added a few things that was on his mind. On Wednesday, I bought a pocket knife and I showed it to him. He was scared and asked what I wanted to use it for. I told him we would use it on Bola in case things doesn’t go the way we plan for it to go.

“He said we shouldn’t take it along, that we could kill her. I told him we wouldn’t kill her but use it to threaten her. We kept on arguing back and forth about the knife and I told him I wouldn’t put it in the bag but unknown to him; I kept it hidden in the bag while he was asleep. When the competition was over, we passed a shortcut that leads to the entrance of the stadium because the crowd was much and we couldn’t wait for the people in front of us to leave. We made a bad decision by seating in front but we wanted to see everything that happened clearly. We walked for a while and James brought his leg out and she fell. We turned off our phone’s torchlight and put our phones in our trousers. She told us to pull her up but we refused. I knew she thought it was a joke and she tried to get up to pick up her phone and I pushed her down and put her phone in my trousers. James pulled me to the side and he said he was scared and he doesn’t know if he can do it.

We argued about it and I told him he should continue to do what he does, run away from his problems. How would the problem get solved if he can’t face it? That, I knew he was debating in his head whether or not he should do it. I didn’t care anymore, I would do it without him. We heard footsteps and we saw Bola running shouting for help. We ran after her and she fell.

“I held her legs and James cut out from the duct tape and placed it on her mouth and tied her hands to her back. I signaled for James to hold her legs and I brought out the knife. She struggled under James’ grip and he slapped her. James glared at me when he saw the knife and said nothing. James was impatient and he collected the knife from me and used it to slice her laps with the jeans. An easier way to remove the jeans instead of the long method. That was very smart of him. I held her legs while he removed his trousers and I cut out her jeans. I threw the knife somewhere in the bush at that moment I didn’t care about that. He held her legs when he was done removing his trousers and I removed mine. We took turns in raping her for as long as we could. When we were done, we pulled her underwear back up and I tied her legs”

“Wow,” The detective said and heaved a sigh. “Where was Nike during the high school love story?”

“Bola and Nike met in our first year of university,”

“I’m done questioning him. Do you have anything to say?” The detective asked the lawyer.

“No, I don’t. He has said everything we need to know.”

The detective opened the door of the room and called a police officer to take Tayo back to his cell.

“Does the girl in question have a lawyer representing her?” The lawyer asked the detective.

“Yes, she does. We provided her with a lawyer.”

“So that means we would meet the crown prosecution service with the lawyer tomorrow?”

“Are you serious right now? You still want to represent him after he has confessed to the assault?”

“Of course. It’s my job”

“You gain nothing from representing him. He has confessed and there is more evidence that shows he did it. You would lose the case. I don’t see the point of representing him. How much is his mother paying you that you would risk getting humiliated in front of a judge and people you don’t know? You have no point to prove, he’s guilty. I think you should step down from the case. Just think about it”

The lawyer was silent and walked away. He thought about what she said and told Tayo’s mum he couldn’t represent her son in court.

“I’m in trouble,” Tayo’s mum shouted.

Tayo’s mum sat at the reception and held unto her cloth and cried.

“Detective what’s going on? The lawyer just told me he can’t represent my son.”

“Ma, your son doesn’t need a lawyer. He confessed to assaulting Bola with James.”

Tayo and James’ mums shouted at hearing the news. Tayo’s mum blamed herself for what happened. If she had listened to her husband’s words and didn’t spoil Tayo, he wouldn’t done it. She accepted that she didn’t train him right and there was no repair. She won’t see her son in years to come and it would be too late to fix things. She thought about how he won’t finish his university education, how his schoolmates would have gotten married with children, and he’s released from jail.

“I want to see my son,” James’ mum demanded.

“Mark, take James Olashore one of the boys that was brought in some hours ago to the questioning room. Tell him he has a visitor.”

“James Olashore. You have a visitor,” The officer said as he got to his cell.

The cell had a small metal double bed, a tiny metal closet, a personal metal table with a bolted down stool and a small metal toilet connected to a sink near the doorway. Since James got into the cell he hadn’t laid on the bed. He sat on the floor and cried his eyes out until it felt like tears couldn’t come out.

He felt naïve for believing what Bola told him. He took all the blame because it was his fault, if he hadn’t said a word, they wouldn’t be where they were. He was glad that he didn’t have a roommate. He had time to think and know how he would face what comes next.

He walked out of the cell and the police officer handcuffed him. The police officer held his right arm and they walked side by side.

“Do you know who is here to see me?”

“Your mum”

“When will I leave this place?”

The police officer laughed and said, “Not soon.”

James mum stood from the plastic chair when the door of the questioning room opened.

“Mummy,” James said in tears and they mum hugged.

“20 minutes,” The police officer told them.

“Can you make it 30 minutes?” His mum asked and pleaded with her eyes.

“Okay. It shouldn’t exceed that time”

“Thank you.”

James sat opposite his mum and she wrapped his large hands around her small hands. They didn’t say a word but looked into each other’s eyes. One of his fears had been disappointing his mum and he did it and it didn’t feel good. Thee look on his mum’s face broke him, it tore his heart to pieces and those pieces couldn’t be picked up and formed the way it was.

“Why did you do it?”

“She rejected me” He said in tears and put his head on the table.

“That isn’t a reason to do it. There are other girls out there that will want to be with you. It doesn’t have to be Bola.”

“It had to be her mummy. It had to be Bola. Mummy, I’ve been in love with her for six good years just for her to tell me she likes someone else and she said some things that weren’t nice. She broke my heart, she made me feel like I was nothing. She made me to re-think our friendship and ask myself what went wrong. She said I’m naïve, I’m not a man, I allow Tayo to push me around. She needed a real man and I wasn’t one. Mummy, do you know how that feels?”

“I understand everything you’ve said. I know you’re going through a lot of pain. Do you want me to be honest with you?” She asked and waited for his response and he nodded his head.

“I’m your mother and I will tell you the truth. There’s no valid reason for raping someone. She was your best friend you could have looked for a different way to heal. What you did will make you hurt the more. Do you know the pain you just put her and her mother through? The rape will forever be a scar in Bola’s life, and she would never forget it. You know she’s the only child and her dad is sick receiving treatment. He’s in a coma and the doctors aren’t sure of when he would wake up. How will they explain to him what happened when he wakes up? Bola’s mum is my best friend, and I don’t know what she’s thinking of me. She probably thinks I didn’t train you right.”

“Mummy, I’m sorry. I know I’m a disappointment.”

James and his mum entwined their fingers across the table and their eyes glistened with tears.

“I may not have the opportunity to say this. Mummy, I love you so much. You have been there for me since Dad died. You’re really a strong woman, and I admire how optimistic you are in difficult situations. You’ve taught me the important things I need to know in this life. Mummy, words can’t explain how much I love you. Thanks for being the best mum. Don’t get me a lawyer because I don’t need one. I’m going to prison” As he said his last words, he burst into tears.

“Time’s up” The police officer said as he entered the room and he handcuffed James.

“Please just a second. Let me hug him” His mum said to the police officer.

“Ma, I extended the time to 3o minutes. You could have done this since. I’m sorry but I have to take him back to his cell.

James turned back and tears flowed on his face and said, “Mummy, I love you. Take good care of yourself”

Trial Day 10th November 9am

The trial took place in a small court with just the judge and everyone involved in the case. A nurse released Bola from the hospital on the day of the trial. The nurse refused to release her because she hadn’t healed properly but her mother begged the nurse and promised to bring her back to the hospital once the trial was over. Bola was tired of staying in the hospital and couldn’t wait to leave and spend some time at home before going back to school.

The judge wasn’t sure of James and Tayo representing their selves because of the seriousness of the crime. He agreed to it when the lawyer that represented Bola and the detective convinced him about how there was enough evidence that could send Tayo and James without a need of a lawyer. The detective also pointed out James decided not to have a lawyer and the lawyer that would have represented Tayo, dropped the case when he realized he couldn’t risk losing the case.

The lawyer showed the evidence to the court and Nike testified as a witness to the assault. The lawyer questioned the SART nurses about the steps and treatment used in taking care of Bola. Bola’s mum closed her eyes as a picture of Bola’s wound was shown on a TV on the wall of the court. Bola was scared when she was about to give her part of the story in court. She prayed the judge believed her and she would be able to say everything that occurred. She cried a lot while talking and her lawyer handed her a handkerchief as she cried. The judge told her to take her time before she spoke.

The judge came back to the court after 20 minutes of deciding the verdict he would give. Bola crossed her fingers as she watched the judge take his seat.

“I’m so scared. What if he says he finds them not guilty? They took a risk by not having a lawyer to defend them” Bola said to her lawyer.

“You saw the evidence and it shows they are guilty. They even pleaded guilty. Stop worrying. We’ve got this”

“Thank you”

She looked to her side and saw James and Tayo sitting two seats apart from each other wearing their jail uniform.

“After analyzing the evidence and all that was brought before this court, I’ve made a decision. I hereby sentence the suspects to 20 years in prison each on a first degree rape under class B felony and there’s no payment of fine” The judge said and left the court with the court stenographer behind him.

“We did it” The lawyer told Bola and they hugged.

She watched as James and Tayo’s mum ran to the police officers that whisked them away.

“Let me just hug my son” Tayo’s mum pleaded and she hugged Tayo like that would be the last time she would see him.

“I’m sorry. I don’t want to go” James said to his mum in tears.

“I don’t want you to go too but you have to. I will visit you everyday”

As the police officers pulled them from their mothers, Tayo shouted to his mum, “Mum, tell dad I love him and I’m sorry for failing him. I love you”

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