“I didn’t kill Annabel!” barked Mr. Timothy, one of the victim’s customers.
“Why should I believe you?” asked detective Alero.
“Because I can’t kill an ordinary ant. I am too fragile to kill such, not to talk of a human being. It is too much.”
“But you threatened to slit her throat so don’t pretend,” said I, Ross.
“Who told you that?” he asked angrily.
“Sarah,” I replied calmly.
“That slut!” He uttered with anger in his voice.
“And if anything bad happens to her, you’ll be held responsible.”
He widened his eyes in fear. “What! I’m not a bad person. I didn’t kill Annabel. We only argued, I told her I would slit her throat but I regretted saying such awful words to her. I apologized later by sending her a text message.”
“What did you two argue about?” Alero asked.
Mr. Timothy sighed. “It was about money. To tell you the truth, I’m a very hot-tempered person, I do say hurtful words to people who offend me but I’ll never kill.”
I cleared my throat before asking him a question. “Did Annabel reveal to you she was pregnant?”
“Pregnant?!! I can’t impregnate her. It’s impossible.”
“Yes because I always use protection. Annabel never told or accused me of impregnating her… I’ve overstayed my welcome here because you have no proof I killed her. Let me go, if there are any more questions to ask me, you detectives will be directed to my lawyer. I’m done talking.”
I let him go, no evidence to keep him.
I was having a quick lunch with my soon-to-be ex-wife Nkem, to discuss some vital issues regarding our divorce to be finalized quickly when detective Alero called to inform me the other customer of the victim had arrived. I had no other choice but to leave Nkem, promising to see her the next day.
I arrived to meet Chief Ejiro, a pot-belled man of about fifty-nine years. He looked familiar but I couldn’t remember where I saw him. He didn’t allow me to speak first. I sat beside Alero.
He said, “Detective, I understand you’re trying to do your job but let me be frank with you, I’m not a murderer but a Politician. I didn’t kill Annabel.”
Then it occurred to me where I had seen him. It was in a newspaper, the chairman to a local government area in the state.
I said to him, “You’re a man of power and money but I’m not scared of you. If you don’t tell me the truth, I’ll locate your wife and contact the media.”
His left eyebrow raised.
I continued. “A man like you won’t want scandal, right ?”
“Are you trying to blackmail me?” He sounded proud.
“No sir,” I responded, making eye contact.
Chief Ejiro became nervous. “I’ll pay you any amount to avoid such scandal. I beg you.”
“Are you bribing my partner and I? You do know it is against the law.”
“This is not about bribing you but protecting my name. I’ll give you any amount even if it’s in dollars. ”
“Dollars?” I asked suspiciously.
“Yes in dollars.”
“That means you must be the person that paid the victim two thousand dollars that I found in her bag the day she died. I swear if you don’t say the truth, I’ll arrest you.”
Chief Ejiro face changed soberly. “Yes, I was with Annabel three days ago to pay her off for getting pregnant for me.”
Detective Alero asked. “So you were the one responsible for the pregnancy?”
“Yes,” he replied. “I paid her to get rid of the pregnancy which she agreed to but I didn’t kill her. I’m innocent.’ He sighed heavily and continued. “Before Annabel left my office after I paid her she was arguing with someone over the phone. She was crying and screaming at the person.”
I glanced at my partner and back at him. “Do you know what they were arguing about?”
“Not really.” he replied, “but she kept on accusing the person of betraying her, she was going over to see that person.”
I asked, “Did you by any chance hear the person’s name?”
“I can’t really remember but it’s em.. ern…ernnn.. Ono…Ono something.”
Alero inquired. “Onome?”
“Yes!! Onome. That’s the name of the person she was talking with on the phone!”
I stared at him stunned.
To be continued….