As soon as I entered the car, I enquired from Thomas if he spewed anything in a non verbal way. He shook his head, acknowledging that he didn’t.
I, Thomas, the lawyer, Sandra and the two men sat in the office where they brought us earlier, waiting for them to attend to us. They left us there for an hour without anyone saying anything to us. The lawyer stood up and went to check what the matter was. He spent close to twenty minutes before returning.
“what’s the problem? The bulky man asked.
“they said they are coming. I don’t understand this nonsense!” the lawyer replied, sitting down.
“do they have any evidence against him?” Sandra asked.
“I don’t know yet. They refused to say anything to me,” the lawyer said.
“let me go and see what the matter is,” the bulky man said, standing up.
The other man with them held his hand and said, “don’t go! Wait a little.”
The bulky man sat uneasily, then turned to me and asked, “young man, are you innocent of what’s been said against you? Because, I won’t be happy to find out you did what you’re being accused of.”
“I told you he is innocent. Why asking him again?” Sandra intervened.
“Sandy! Did I ask you? Allow the young man answer for himself!” the bulky man said, angrily.
He turned to me again and repeated his question. I answered him, avoiding eye contact.
“I didn’t do it!” I affirmed.
The man looked at me steadily and said, “that was not the manner you spoke when you were accused of sleeping with a general’s wife.”
He turned to Sandra, “I am not comfortable with all these. Why did you call me into this? I suspect this guy,” he said, pointing at me.
“I didn’t do it! Believe me! I didn’t do it! I swear!” I was surprised at my assuring tone.
The bulky man looked at me as if trying to digest my words then nodded his head in agreement. We spent another torturing hour waiting. The bulky man and his colleague had gone to raise their voices thirty minutes ago, still no improvement.
The lawyer stood up, hit his hand on the table and said, “what nonsense! If they don’t answer us this time, we will have to leave!” and went out of the office .
Few minutes later, the lawyer came in company of three unfamiliar policemen, raising his voice threatening to walk away with us, but the policemen said nothing and quietly walked into the office behind him.
“Mike!” The short one among them called. I looked up in shock. Then he said, “follow us.”
I and the lawyer followed them into an empty room with just a table and chairs.
“sit down,” a fair macho one said, pointing at the opposite seat in front of him.
We sat and he started opening files, perusing through them. Then, he stood up and walked away without saying anything to us. Few minutes later, the other two joined him.
It was close to an hour since the men left. The lawyer made to open the door but it was locked. He knocked on it severally, but no one answered.
“what is the meaning of this?!” he asked in surprise.
I turned and looked at him, then back to the table where my gaze had been. The lawyer came back to his seat, swearing and threatening to bring down fire on the station.
An hour later, the short and the macho policemen came in. The lawyer immediately stood up and began quoting the law, threatening to sue them for unlawful detention but they paid zero attention to him. The macho one went and sat down in front of us, opening a file. He waited for the lawyer to stop talking before he said, “I just read your statement and compared it with that of your friend. They are almost the same. Only that you wrote you guys drove off immediately while Thomas said you guys met him again at the stairs. How can you defend that?”
“you can’t use what someone wrote out of duress as an evidence,” the lawyer said abruptly.
“please allow him speak. We just asked him to confirm if what his friend said was true,” the short policeman said.
“I am my client’s mouthpiece. I don’t understand why you people should be detaining us when you don’t have any evidence or witness!” the lawyer yelled.
who said anyone is being detained? We are here to further question your client since he is our only suspect at the moment. If you claim he is innocent, let him answer my question.” the macho police said calmly.
I quietly screened through my head to check if there was anytime we saw him at the stairs. When convinced that there wasn’t, I then began to think of the possibility that Thomas, who said that I should tell them everything except that we saw him again after we left, can now start saying he saw him at the stairs? This I couldn’t understand.
“Mr Mike! Answer us,” the short policeman said, impatiently.
“I don’t know about that. I never saw him again after I left. I don’t know if Thomas saw him or not,” I said cautiously.
“but here, Thomas said both of you saw him and avoided his trouble…” the macho one said, looking into the opened file.
This caught me off guard. I had to make my story concur with that of Thomas’s. So, I began to think of swift lie that can compliment his.
“he already told you all he knows, why asking him again?” the lawyer quickly stepped in.
“allow him answer would you?” the macho policeman said.
So, I quickly decided to stand on my story, “like I said, I don’t know if Thomas saw him ‘cos I didn’t.”
“how can you tell me you can’t see someone you were avoiding his trouble? Is he an ant that Thomas saw him and you didn’t? Young man, your story does not add up.” the macho policeman said.
“I don’t know if he saw him, Sir! Please believe me.” I pleaded.
“okay, we are going to see about it,” the macho policeman said and stood up. He turned to the other short policeman and said, “let’s go!”
“are we done here?” the lawyer asked.
“we are coming back,” the macho policeman said and walked out.
“Mike, please tell me the truth and everything that happened so I can know where to defend you,” the lawyer said, the moment the door was closed.
“all I told you was the truth,” I said.
“okay, replay the whole episode to my hearing again one more time,” the lawyer said.
I told him everything except that I saw the deceased after the brawl. The lawyer nodded his head and said, “keep your word strong no matter what. I hope they are not interrogating Thomas without my presence,” the lawyer said.
He stood up and went to check the door, it was locked. He came back and sat back on his seat.
“I hope they’re not talking to Thomas without me being present,” he repeated.
About forty minutes later, the macho policeman came in. He went and sat on his seat, closed the file and said, “we have our eyes on you. Do not travel far, we are going to be seeing each other again. You guys can go.”
On our way back, I got to know that Thomas never wrote that he met the guy at the stairs. It was all a gimmick to get me to say otherwise. And also, Sandra prevented them from interrogating Thomas without the presence of the lawyer.
To be continued…