The time was already past 4 pm, the sky appeared cloudy. I wanted to go home and have some rest, but I remained at the station. My partner was pacing around in my office, surprised and not happy with me. She stopped and turned to face my direction.
Detective Alero said, “I still don’t have a clue why you should allow Chief Ejiro to leave. He seems guilty of the crime.”
With my index finger relaxed on my chin, I asked her. “Have you finished?”
Her eyebrows raised. “Finished what?”
Alero’s eyes were directed at me. It was filled with anger and displeasure. I must confess, she looked sexy to me. “I asked if you’ve finished accusing me falsely of letting Chief Ejiro leave despite he might be guilty.”
“Yes.” She replied in an unfriendly tone.
I put down my hand. “Let me elaborate. Chief Ejiro owned up that he was the one who paid the victim the two thousand dollars found in her bag.”
“Yes. What about it?”
“If he was the perpetrator, don’t you think the money won’t be found? Don’t you think he wouldn’t want to be tied with the victim in case they investigate her death?”
“Maybe whosoever he sent to do the dirty job for him did a mistake by forgetting the money.”
I shook my head. ”A man of that standard won’t hire a random person to do such a dirty job. He would’ve hired a professional assassin. I must tell you, the killer who shot Annabel wasn’t interested in anything but taking away her life from her. The large sum of money or the expensive phone didn’t catch the eyes of the killer. Annabel was shot at the back of her head which indicated that she never saw it coming.'”
“So what do we do?” Alero asked quickly.
“I don’t think Onome could do such a thing,” Alero said concerned. “That girl cried so hard that day we broke the news to her. Friends are meant to quarrel and settle.”
“I never accused Onome of killing her friend.'” I said. “We only need to talk to her again. If truly Annabel was on her way to see her on the day she died, that means Onome lied to us.”
Detective Alero agreed to go see her.
We drove to the abode of the victim and we were lucky to find Onome outside the gate. She was on the phone, she ended the call as she sighted us coming out from our vehicle. She motioned towards us. No smile on her lips.
Onome spoke, “Detectives good evening. I hope there’s no problem?”
Alero answered. “There is Onome.”
She frowned. “What is it? Have the killer not been caught?”
“No.” I replied. “You lied never to have seen your friend the day she died.”
“I didn’t lie. I never saw her.”
“We have a witness who informed us that the victim called you on the day she died, that she coming to see you. She accused you of betraying her.”
Onome gasped. “Oh my God!”
Alero asked, “Did you really kill your friend?”
Onome’s eyes were already filled with hot soaking tears. She turned her back on us. “I didn’t kill Annabel, I never saw her because she called me back again to inform me she was going somewhere else before coming over but I never heard from her again.”
“And you never reported it to the police that your friend was missing?”
“I was confused, if I had told you all these that day I would have seemed untrustworthy. I was afraid. I am sorry but I did not kill my friend but yes I betrayed her.”
“Did you steal her money or any of her valuables?”
She shook her head.
I asked. “Did you sleep with her boyfriend?”
She peered at me with her weary eyes.
“No,” she answered in a wobbly voice. “But I love Frederick.”
“You love Frederick?” I asked astonished. “What does that have to do with this?”
Onome cleared her throat. “Where Annabel was going before she said she was coming to see me was her boyfriend’s place. She found out that Frederick knew she was a prostitute.”
I widened my eyes.
Alero spoke. “But Frederick said Annabel was faithful to him.”
Onome directed her soaked face to her. “That’s a big lie!! He knows and he confirmed it from Sarah last week.'”
I exclaimed. “Jesus is Lord!”
“What is it?” the ladies asked me at the same time.
“Frederick and Sarah!”
I, Ross with detective Alero and Onome drove very fast to the location of the victim’s boyfriend’s house. When we got there, it was locked with a big padlock. Fortunately, we found a neighbor who told us Frederick was on his way to Ghana. His flight was scheduled at 7:30 in the evening. I checked my wristwatch, 6:45 already. I drove as fast as I could. We got to the airport, behold as we surveyed around together, we saw him with Sarah. Both of them were taken aback by our presence.
I didn’t waste time. I did my job.
“Frederick and Sarah, you’re both under arrest for the murder of Annabel Momoh, anything you say will be used against you in the court of law.”
“But I didn’t kill her!” He barked at me.
Sarah stared at me with misty eyes. I’m sure she knew she had lost the battle. My partner handcuffed them.
All eyes were on us.
I said to Frederick. “You told us that your late girlfriend was faithful but you knew all along she was a prostitute.” I turned to Sarah. “You also lied that Frederick never knew about his girlfriend’s infidelity… You were both your alibi, you two were also the last person to see her alive because she told Onome she was coming to your place.”
Frederick glanced at Onome with rage in his eyes. She was weeping hard.
“He explained. “Annabel caught me and Sarah on my bed. I pleaded for her to forgive me but she refused. I was begging and she told me to go to hell. I only slept with one of her friends, but she had been unfaithful and slept with countless men! I got angry, took my gun to threaten her not to leave but all she did was turn her back on me! I didn’t know when I fired the shot.”
“How were you able to dispose her body without anyone seeing you?”
“I waited till midnight to get rid of her body.”
Alero turned to Sarah. “You saw everything yet you couldn’t report to the police. You will be charged for that.”
Sarah said nothing. We arrested the culprits and whisked them away.
In the evening, I was on my bed when my phone beeped with a message from my soon-to-be ex-wife, Nkem. I read through it and the anger in me increased.
‘I still love you, Ross. I won’t
be giving you a divorce anymore.’
Women. I thought. Confused human beings.