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Obaseyi, some forensic physicians and Ladi were kept in police custody pending their trial. Meanwhile Abel’s family dragged the state and the commissioner of police to court for the killing of their son for a crime he didn’t commit and prayed the court to grant the family five hundred million Naira compensation and for the police investigators who handled the case to be tried and jailed for failing to do their work properly, a negligence which cost them their son. The lawyers defending the state armed with the evidence in the video Samuel made built their case on the ground that Abel was responsible for the ill fate which befell Monica, they claimed that if Abel had been a gentleman that night and had not sought to rape Monica she would still have been alive. However, the counsel representing Abel’s family hit back with the argument that the actual persons who raped and killed Monica were responsible for their actions and choices and that Abel was never tried for his crime which was attempted rape. Rather he was wrongfully tried for rape and murder of Monica Uzondu and was executed for crimes he didn’t commit.

The prosecuting counsel used evidence which emerged from Ladi’s confession to persuade the judge to grant their petition. They built their case on the evidence that the real murderers of Monica had been caught even though Abel had been executed for the same crime. The prosecuting counsel was ruthless in his argument, he cited cases of attempted rape and none of them carried a death penalty. So even if Abel had been put on trial for attempted rape, he would not have been given a death penalty. It became the prosecuting counsel’s mantra in court to yell, “Your Honour Abel Onaga was killed in cold blood by the state! The perpetrators of the crimes for which he was executed have been caught. Your Honour, Abel Onaga was tried and killed for the offences committed by others!” At the end of the legal tussle, the judge granted Abel’s family five hundred million naira as compensation for the wrongful execution of their son, but did not grant the second petition which was to send behind bars the police investigators who gave court the wrong evidence with which Abel was executed. 

When the results of the DNA samples sent to the second lab came out, they corroborated the confessions of Ladi Yusuf. DNA samples taken from Ladi and Edem Inyang matched with the ones found on the handkerchief. The piece of flesh found on Monica’s finger, matched with the DNA samples from Ladi, while the saliva matched with Edem Inyang’s. The forensic phenotyping done on the DNA samples from the handkerchief gave striking facial composites of Edem Inyang and Ladi Yusuf. However, a month before Ladi and the other culprits were to face trial, rumour began to circulate in the media about a journalist who claimed to have overheard James, Monica’s fiancĂ© boasting that he paid to have Monica murdered. The journalist did not reveal the reason for which James had Monica killed. However, the police disregarded the report after Ladi denied the claims of the journalist. The police knew they had got the murderers and that the case was going to be closed after court rulings. Unknown to Jona Pam and Gbenga a few high ranking police chiefs in Abuja were working hard to turn the case on its head by pinning the murder of Monica on her fiancĂ©, James.

They didn’t want Ladi Yusuf put on trial for what he might reveal during court proceedings. A few days before the court was to hear the case, some detectives from Abuja visited Ladi to persuade him to claim that James paid Edem Inyang to kill Monica and he happened to be with him at the time Monica was killed. Ladi refused to give in to their evil designs on the ground that he had committed enough wrongs already. “Look guys I don’t know what you people want from this case, I have confessed the truth I know. Mr. Edem and I raped and killed Monica Uzondu and that is the truth. I am not going to lie against a dead man to save my own skin. I am ashamed of myself for what I condescended too low to do. If my bosses in Abuja are afraid that my being put on trial will reveal things they would rather have covered, tell them I won’t say a word about those secrets in the court. This case is about me and not the police force,” Lladi assured the team from Abuja. However what Ladi didn’t know was that the case might put the entire police force on trial.

Very early on the day Ladi and his accomplices were to be in court for their alleged crimes, Ladi was found dead in his cell room. It looked like suicide. The warders in charge of Ladi in the prison claimed that Ladi for days had threatened to kill himself; Ladi’s inmates also bore witness to the claims of the prison warders about Ladi’s supposed suicide threats. Ladi was found that morning with his neck pushed into the jagged edge of his cell bed. Gbenga and Jona Pam did not see that coming. While Gbenga and Jona Pam along with their police team did a crime examination of Ladi’s cell, a junior warder in the prison slipped a note into Gbenga’s pocket and asked him not to read it while he was in the prison complex. Overwhelmed with curiosity, Gbenga left the prison complex to go read the note.

The note was from Ladi; he had made a plea to Gbenga to move him out of the prison fearing that he might be killed for some things he knew which might come up in the case of the rape and murder of Monica Uzondu. There was a bit of information Ladi had kept from everyone except his wife. Ladi had known Monica Uzondu for months before the night she was raped and killed. Monica worked with the police pension fund managers; some high ranking police chiefs in Abuja had approached Monica to help them divert some hundreds of millions from police pension fund and she bluntly refused. That night when she called Edem Inyang by his name, it was not because she saw something which had his name on it, it was because she recalled his face and name from the data she had seen in her office.

When Monica refused to tag along with the police chiefs in Abuja, Ladi was the guy sent to monitor her every move and to find out who she talked to. Ladi did not know what his bosses were doing with the information he fed to them and sometimes wondered if they were going to kill her or not. He was simply following orders. However, after some detectives from Abuja began to press Ladi to change his confession he began to wonder about a few things that happened the night he and Edem Inyang raped and killed Monica. Edem Inyang was the first police chief who tried to loot dry the police pension fund. After he was caught and removed from active service, he still kept in touch with his colleagues at the police headquarters, who also had designs to get their hands on the pension fund.

Edem Inyang held grudge against the pension fund managers for exposing his fraudulent handling of the pension fund. As Ladi analyzed the events of that night, he was no longer sure if Monica was killed in cold blood or if it was an accident - an impulsive reaction by a man who was caught in the act of a crime to save his butt. Ladi wondered if Edem Inyang actually acted on a decision which some police chiefs had already made in Abuja – to kill Monica; or if he acted on his own. Though Ladi tried to get across to Gbenga some of his musings about Monica’s murder, he never lived to tell what might have been the truth – the police killed Monica Uzondu for refusing to help them embezzle police pension fund. Just weeks after Ladi’s death, the prison inmates who testified that Lad had been threatening suicide for days before he was found dead, were mysteriously released from prison. Gbenga and Jona Pam knew all these, but could do nothing; to investigate their superiors at the police headquarters would amount to signing their own death warrants.


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