“My Lord, if it pleases the court, I can explain the trauma my patient has gone through” Dr. Oluwaseun said. He had just been introduced the court by the Defense Counsel for Daniel.
Daniel had hardly been able to sit through the court session. He had one of those mischievous look on. I almost ask him once if he suffered from ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
The case had started with Daniel pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.
The prosecuting counsel had recapped how Daniel was caught. Femi had found Daniel’s phone with their ‘aboki’ gateman who has taken the phone from the crime scene. He had scolded him and went into the house with the phone. He left the phone lying around for days, all this days while I was arrested, beaten and accused wrongly, Femi had the phone.
Out of missing his brother, he charged the phone back to life and started going through the memoirs on the phone.
He saw strange messages on the phone, it read “I can’t stand that you breathe while my sister is dead and six feet under the ground, you disgust me. People like you disgust me”
Willie Willie had replied “who the hell are you? Who the fuck is your sister, pick up your call loser and let me talk some motherfucking sense into your watery cerebellum”
The person replied “rapist..”
“Now I know who you are, Shalewa.. grow up and let’s talk. You know you liked what we did to you that night. You liked that we introduced you to the world of pleasure. I can still remember how you moaned like a dog.” Willie Willie replied.
“This isn’t Shalewa. You really are daft you know. Let me tell you a little story, a certain person raped my sister.. actually it was a gang rape in Detroit. I found my only sister almost dead. She was just 9 years old. I saved her life. My mother was in pain, pain over how her daughter’s innocence was snatched. We didn’t find the rapist especially because my mum dropped the case. She didn’t want the embarrassment. 1 year later, my 10 years old sister committed suicide. She couldn’t live in her skin, she said she felt unclean. I was 10 years old too. She was my twin and my only friend. I tried to kill myself too but was taking away..”
“What has this got to do with me psycho? Pick your damn call” Willie Willie answered back.
“Well, you will find out plus I stopped taking my drugs, I need to be focused to do this”
“Do what?” Willie Willie asked
That was the last trend of the message. Femi had rushed to the police station. The police had gone through his phone records. On the night he was shot, he had received a call from that same number. The‘aboki’had been arrested. They had thought he was a part of it. He told them he found the phone behind the flowers while he was gardening. They held him custody.
They started to trace the line and found that it was registered to a Moses Momoh. They went to that address and it didn’t exist. They were blocked. They looked for clues here and there until a junior detective suggested going to the service provider. The forensic department had given a time of death; from the assumed time of death given, the phone call would have lasted just around the time he got shot; so they tortured the gateman a little more, hoping he would come around and confess that he was part of it. He didn’t. The detective with the help of the commissioner got a warrant from the court to approach the service provider and listen to Willie Willie’s last call.
“Who is this?” Willie Willie’s voice came up.
“Your worst nightmare” the caller said
Willie Willie started to laugh “do you think that I am scared of you?”
“Then come outside your gate and prove you are not”
“I am coming” a door creak sounded and then the sound made by the gate and..
“Where the fuck are you prankster?”
“Behind you” Willie Willie obviously turned and sounded surprised.
“Daniel, you are fucked up men, look at you holding a gun at me.. fucking drop the gun”
The next thing that was heard was the sound of a bullet and a big thud. The conversation went quiet until..
“Oh God, what have I done, what have I done?” Footsteps were heard and a car’s noise followed. The conversation went dead afterwards. The police charged to Daniel’s house. They found the gun and arrested him. He didn’t fight back; instead he had said “GUILTY”.
All this were the evidence presented to the court. The Defense Counsel had gone around the case as a psychological issue. He pointed out the text message where Daniel had stopped using his drugs. I was called to the stand as a witness. I told the court how I had told Daniel about the deceased and how I noticed a change in Daniel afterwards. The Defense Counsel kept trying to put words in my mouth that I noticed Daniel was loony. The prosecuting counsel had objected a few times. I told the court again, I noticed a change in him around that period. A cross examination was done by the prosecuting counsel who was trying to make it look like I forced ideas into Daniel’s head and made him kill Willie Willie.
I was asked to step down. Omoyeni who was seating close to me said “Shalewa, ‘am not letting you take the witness stand again, it’s too risky. You could be accused of forcing ideas into the mind of a man who appears to suffer from psychological issues”.
The Defense Counsel had called Dr. Oluwaseun to the stand. Dr. Oluwaseun was around the age of fifty, a well respected psychiatrist. He said he had been the Doctor of the accused for years; since he returned back to Nigeria.
“Daniel..” Dr. Oluwaseun paused and looked at the court. He looked like a man full of drama. I found myself smiling amidst this chaos.
He continued “the accused suffers from schizophrenia, a mental disorder that is characterized by periods of psychosis; that is delusions and hallucinations. An individual can be fixed on one thing, odd thoughts patterns, extreme mood change, mini psychotic episodes that can last for few minutes. My patient, the accused.. he had stopped using his drugs.. I believe his actions was greatly induced by this, he suffered a great loss when he lost his twin, seeing another lady in distress could also have led to his mental relapse. I actually felt we were making headway, but I believe I was wrong. My patient is still greatly disturbed”
The doctor was cross examined by the prosecutor.
“He stopped using his drugs, isn’t that a conscious effort based on sane decision?” The Prosecuting Counsel asked
“It was most likely induced by a little delusion which would have triggered a psychotic breakdown and then make him more delusional to stop using his drugs.. in his head he felt being delusional was the right state of mind” Dr. Oluwaseun said
“Right state of mind to kill a man?” The Prosecuting Counsel asked
“Objection my Lord” the Defense Counsel shouted
“Objection overruled” the Judge answered “please carry on”
“What the drug does is to actually improve the functioning of the patient; it doesn’t mean it cures them out rightly. Long term support is required”
“From your case note, he has been getting that from you?”
“Yes, like I said earlier, I thought he was improving. He recently experienced an emotion close to what he felt for his sister for the lady called Shalewa.. seeing her hurt reversed all that we worked on.. it increased his non compliance. You can see that in my note”
“Doctor, if the court appoints another psychiatrist to examine Mr. Daniel Benson, the accused, will they come to this same conclusion?”
“I am a man of integrity; the court can do as they please. My patient suffers from schizophrenia and any sound Doctor will see that in few hours”
With this, the prosecuting counsel let the Doctor go. The Judge agreed to a state psychiatrist to examine Daniel. The case was adjourned to noon.
Hours later, the State Doctor confirmed Daniel had the symptoms of a mixture of negative and positive schizophrenia. With this, both counsels made their closing remarks.
Tears ran down my eyes as I began to feel guilty for what I had put Daniel through. It was my fault that he was in this situation. If anything happened to him I wouldn’t forgive myself.
As if Omotunde could read my mind, she turned to look at me. She had been quiet through the court proceeds and constantly rubbed on her baby bulge.
“Shalewa, don’t feel responsible for this. Daniel is mentally ill. It’s not your fault” she said
“Yes, it isn’t your fault” Omoyeni added.
I held on to Omoyeni and Omotunde as the Judge declared verdict.
“After due investigation, it has been proven that the accused is guilty by reason of insanity. Sadly, people with mental illness do not respond well in prison and a mentally derailed man is incompetent to proceed to trial, in this case, You Daniel Benson; this court hereby confines you to a mental institution with maximum monitoring until you are certified sane enough to live in this environment. The Judge announced.
“All rise” the Court Secretary shouted as the Judge made her exit.
I wept like a baby. Daniel’s mother ran to her son and held him. Femi starred in oblivion. He held his Mother’s hand and left the court. My family rushed to my side and hugged me.
I looked at Daniel as the police escorted him. He winked at me and I heard him say
Omoshalewa Benson: Tales of a Lagos babe is written by Tobilola ‘Bella’ Agoro (@tobiagoro)
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