Yusuf, determined to complete his plans, took Bimpe on a two day vacation, he told her it was to make up for the Valentine dinner they missed. Bimpe had never been pampered this way all her life. They had servants to wait on them, breakfast was served in bed. They were in Montego bay, the rich culture and atmosphere made Bimpe pliant to Yusuf’s whims. She loved him more every day, and could not wait for him to propose to her. She had even decided to use her influence to intervene in Alhaja’s case. She knew it was Alhaji’s friends that were pushing for Alhaja to be convicted; she could make them a sweet deal they wouldn’t resist, so they could back off her case. Unknown to her, Yusuf was lacing her drinks with drugs, so all the giddiness she was feeling, wasn’t only due to her new found love, but also due to the drugs he was pumping into her through her drinks. That evening, they had a candlelight dinner on the private beach that came with the holiday cottage they had leased. Yusuf kept giving her glass after glass of wine, which were all laced with drugs.

Bimpe: “I feel so giddy, come on, let’s go inside, we didn’t just come here to wine and dine right?” Since, Yusuf put his plans into action; he stayed away from making love to her. Bimpe was like sweet venom to him, if he drank, it would invade his system, and like snake venom, paralyze him. His family was counting on him to take back what rightfully belonged to them.

Yusuf: “I want you so much, but there is a deal I want for the company, it is going to rake in millions of naira, I need your signature on it”

Bimpe: “Can’t we do that when you go back home?”

Yusuf: “Time is of the essence, I have to fax it back to the office”

Bimpe(drowsily): “Alright, let me have it” they went in and Yusuf presented the document to her. She tried reading, but she was already falling asleep, so she just flipped the paper to the end and appended her signature on the document, signing away all her inheritance from Alhaji. Immediately, the pen fell off her hand as she tumbled into bed and fell fast asleep.

Yusuf: “Yes”! Now, he could have his last sex with her, he thought.

Bimpe noticed that Yusuf had changed since they got back from their vacation; he didn’t pick her call, and never returned it. She also could not see him, as the housekeeper always told her that Yusuf was not in the house. On the day that they had planned to evict Bimpe from the house, Bimpe decided to go to DamInfotech before reaching her office, she wanted to know what was up with Yusuf, and also discuss the deal he told her about on their vacation. When he got to the office of the president of DamInfotech ,he met Yusuf absence, she wanted to leave when her eyes caught on a file jacket on the table. Out of curiosity, she opened it, and behold it was the document she had signed.

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Bimpe: “Let me see what this deal is all about” she said and settled in the chair. She began to read, and her eyes bilged out of their socket.

Bimpe: “Mo kun, what is this?” she immediately called Barrister Demba and told him all she had read.

Barrister Demba: “You have to destroy that document immediately and hope that there are not photocopies. But most important of all, you have to get back those share certificates and property documents by any means possible”

Bimpe: “I will get back to you” she hung up and shredded the document to pieces. Her heart was broken, it was obvious to her that Yusuf had deceived her; he had found her weakness and used it against her.

Bimpe: “Perhaps, I was not destined to find love. I was not born through love, even my father rejected me, and he didn’t want me. Alhaji didn’t love me either, he just loved my body, what about Brian, he played me because I was naïve” Tears streamed down her cheeks, she held the mahogany desk to support herself because her legs had gone weak.

Bimpe: “But never again. Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me. Yusuf will feel my sting, it will hurt more than a scorpion’s” she said and brought out her cell phone.

Yusuf had avoided the office because he had met with some business associates of his late father; he intimated them of the hostile takeover he was planning against Bimpe. But he didn’t get the response he needed. They actually liked the way Bimpe was handling the companies, their profit margin had increased since she came on board. This was because, where Alhaji had been archaic, Bimpe was open to innovation, she was not a graduate, but you could tell she had high intelligence quotient. So, they wanted Bimpe and disagreed with Yusuf’s plan. Besides they were loyal to their late friend and wanted his will to be upheld. But Yusuf didn’t care much for their opinion, he had wanted their support, but he could do without it, it was his father’s properties, they were just shareholders, not family. He came out of the hotel where the meeting had been held, and entered his car. As he was driving, he was oblivious of the car tailing him behind. When they got to a side road that would connect him to the express road, a car drove so close to him like it was trying to run him off the road. He was still wondering if the driver was drunk when the car maneuvered to the front and parked across him. But he could say “Jack”, three burly men jumped out of the black sedan and broke his windscreen with the butt of the pistol in their hands. One opened the door and dragged Yusuf out.

Yusuf: “How much do you want? Is it money, I will give you” he said and one of the men hit him on the mouth with his gun. His lip broke and spurted blood.

Man 1: “You have something that belongs to us, give it back and you are free to go. But if you don’t, it is a long, painful way to death. And your mother will see hell in prison. Right we have someone on the inside who will rape her to death.” The man said with a toothy smile that was frightening.

The sedan door opened, and Bimpe stepped out. She had traded her power suit, for a pair of distressed denim with a military camouflaged tee shirt.

Yusuf: “Bimpe?” he was discombobulated.

Bimpe: “Surprise! Well now Yusuf, you heard the man. I want back what you stole. I want you to know that you got everything to lose. I on the other hand still have the will, besides you are not leaving this place alive if you don’t give me back what I want.” Yusuf could not string words together, his tongue was tied, and his eyes bulged out of their socket. He could not fathom how Bimpe found out about his plan.

Bimpe: “Also, I saw the document you deceived me into signing, it is destroyed by the way. So when I say you have everything to lose, I mean it. Because your game is up, and the last and only card you can play right now, is to hand over all you stole” she said, her eyes dark and fiery with rage.

Yusuf: “It is in my house, in the safe”

Bimpe: “Did you change the code of the safe?”

Yusuf: “Yes. The code is 46357”

Bimpe: “I was good to you. I even allowed you stay in Alhaji’s house, it is the biggest. But in spite of my late husband wiling everything to me, I still gave you the respect as the first son. I was stupidly in love with you, and was ready to hand over the assets to you, I thought you loved me. But you are as treacherous as your mother and you will pay for this” She said. Turning to the men, she nodded her head and they stuffed Yusuf into the boot of their car.

Bimpe called her driver, who came and drove her to the estate. She asked the security to open the door to Yusuf’s house. She got in and walked straight to the safe, Alhaji usually kept his important documents in there, when he was alive. She typed the code and turned the dial; it made a clicking sound and opened. There were all the documents of her inheritance. She thought of Yusuf treachery and was so vexed in her spirit that, her heart became cold. She vowed never to let it get warm again.

It was February 24 th , and the day that the case of the murder of Alhaji would be resumed. Alhaja would be tried on the basis of insanity. During the break, Barrister went about paying people who would testify that Alhaja had nervous breakdowns in their presence, he also paid medical experts who would testify that Alhaja was mentally unstable.

That morning, the court filled up to full capacity, the festive period of the just concluded year did not affect the public’s memory of the murder that shook Lagos. They were here to see justice served. Alhaja was led in by the prison warden, who took her to the defendant booth. Today she was not dressed in prison garb; her son had brought her a black pair of pants, with a cream blouse. But her look of defeat could not be changed, she walked with her head down, and her shoulders stooped. Her son was absent because, Bimpe kept him locked up in a safe house. The other wives and their children had been chased out of the estate, so none was present at the court. They feared Bimpe greatly.

Court official: “Court rise” he bellowed. The judge walked him and hit the gavel.

Judge: “We are going to try this case based on the defendant sanity. The defendant pleaded guilty to the murder, but under the influence of insanity. Prosecutor and defense counsel, design your arguments towards proving her insanity or sanity. Nobody should come here to waste my time, ok?”

Prosecutor: “I am going to call on my first witness, Mrs. Bimpe Dambazzau to come to the stand. The court official took her oath and handed her over to the prosecutor.

Prosecutor: “You are under oath; therefore I do not need to tell you that you have to be honest. What has been Alhaja’s disposition since you were married into the family? Bimpe smiled in her heart, where before she had been hesitant and even ready to influence the court to Alhaja’s favor, she was now ready to nail Alhaja. She told herself she was foolish for allowing Yusuf creep into her heart and dissuade her from her plans.

Prosecutor: “I asked a question”

Judge: “Madam answer the question”

Bimpe: “She was angry, she hated me, but she hated Alhaji more. He neglected them; he was so taken by me that he rarely had time for her. While Alhaji was still courting me, Alhaja sent men to my house, they beat me and each took turns to rape me” she broke down and began to cry.


To be continued…

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