Behind The Mask Episode 12
*Xorsenyo battles with the law*
The date set for the court hearing was now here. Should Xorsenyo be found guilty, he would serve a jail term for ten years with hard labour.
Some church members came to me at home asking me to relieve Xorsenyo of the case because to err is human and to forgive is divine. I told them that I had nothing to do since the the case has already been taken to the court. I cautioned them to be mindful of contempt.
Xorsenyo’s parents including some of the elders from his family came to me on the same account of me tempering justice with mercy. Enyonam was always around to infuriate me the more against my friend so I stood firm to my words that I had nothing to do with the case since it was the state against him. I explained to them that I didn’t report him but everything was handled by the police themselves even before I got to know.
Unknowingly, Enyonam met the lawyer the company hired to defend Xorsenyo, behind closed doors and offered him huge sums of money so that he handles the case to let Xorsenyo guilty. Well, the love of money is said to be the root of all evil.
Two days to the court hearing, the lawyer felt that what he was about to indulge in would be a huge breach of professionalism and a compromise to personal values so he sent a text message to Enyonam telling her that he couldn’t stand seeing an innocent and hard working Xorsenyo sentenced so he rejected the offer.
Enyonam called him back after reading the message and reiterated that Xorsenyo actually did the act. She added that Xorsenyo had wanted to sleep with her and as a result of refusing him access, he chose to poison her drink so that he could have his way with her. The lawyer was surprised and assured Enyonam not to worry since she was sure of her side of the story
Now all avenues for hope for Xorsenyo has been blocked so how can he prove innocence?
The date scheduled for the court fell on a Thursday afternoon at the Tema Magistrate Court.
The court registrar announced. “The next case is between Mrs. Enyonam; Complainant and Mr. Xorsenyo; defendant.”
I was seated amongst the audience and saw the police escort Xorsenyo into the judgment box. He was made to swear an oath that all that he was about to say was the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He did and ended by saying “so help me God.”
Enyonam was also called into the box. Her make-up upgraded her beauty that afternoon alone could make the judge rule in her favour. She looked so bright and beautiful. Her hips were well exposed like the blossom of a rose flower. I was equally proud of having such a beautiful lady as my wife. Everyone was murmuring as to why Xorsenyo was planning to kill such a beautiful lady. They were all saying Xorsenyo was an ingrate because they knew us to be good friends. Others were also like, why should I also take my friend to court. In my mind, I asked what they would have done if they were in my shoes. They were nothing but a bunch of “gossips” to me that moment”.
Enyonam was also made to swear an oath which she equally went for the bible and did swear to say the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The painful aspect was when she said “So help me God”. God is so merciful. Gone were the days where He gave instant justice. As soon as Enyonam held the Bible, the next thing she will be seeing is herself in the graveyard. Anyway, our God is an all knowing God. At times He allows something to happen for man to learn lessons.
The various charges were read to the hearing of everyone. The corrupt Xorsenyo’s lawyer was the first to cross examine Enyonam to hear if what she was reporting against his client was true.
Lawyer: Madam did my client come to your house on her own volition or you invited him?
Enyonam: My Lord, I invited him earlier in the morning to help me relocate the postion of the furniture in my room but he chose to come in the afternoon.
Lawyer: Didn’t he explain why he couldn’t make it in the morning but came in the afternoon?
Enyonam:My Lord, Yes he did. He said he was busy at work.
Lawyer: Was my client the one who offered you the drink or you rather offered him the drink?
Enyonam’s lawyer stood up to object to that question. “My Lord, my client is not being treated fairly here. The question of whether she offered drink to the defendant or the other way round is not of relevant to this court. My learned colleague should go ahead and do his cross examination without wasting the time of this court”, he said.
Judge: I don’t think anyone is chasing us for wasting his or her time so by the powers vested in me, I overrule your objection.
Xorsenyo’s lawyer thanked the judge and repeated his question.
Enyonam: My lord, I offered him the drink but I left the rest on the table and went to the bedroom.
Lawyer: How sure are you that he poisoned you if you offered him with the drink? Besides, were you two in any form of disagreements for him to do such a thing?
Enyonam: My Lordy, I suspected he did it because at the time he came into the room, I was not properly dressed and he begged me to offer him a kiss which I refused. So he did that to get me to bed.
My heart jumped like a cat over wall. “Xorsenyo you were trying to sleep with my wife too?” I said aloud impulsively.
The Registrar called for order in court.
Xorsenyo opened his mouth and eyes very wide with the greatest shock and surprise.
Xorsenyo’s lawyer assumed his seat on that note.
Enyonam’s lawyer started with his cross examination on Xorsenyo.
Initially, Xorsenyo had pleaded not guilty or innocent to all the charges read against him and denied the sexual harassment allegation raised as a new exhibit.
Lawyer: Prove to this court that you are not guilty of all these charges.
Xorsenyo: My lord, this lady is my friend’s wife. I was my friend’s best man during their wedding. On no day have I even had any feelings for her nor planned to have her. On the very day of this incident, she called me in the morning as she said, I was at work at the time so I told her I will make it in the afternoon after work. When I got there, she asked me to move their sofa to a different position for her. Even though it was much work, I managed to move it. After that she offered me the red wine and said she was going to pack some things in their bedroom so when she is done, she will ask me to move their bed to another desired position. She never placed the rest of the drink on the table. She came with a single glass not even on a tray. Later she came to ask me if I was done with my drink which I said yes and thanked her. Few minutes later, my fiancée called telling me she was waiting in my house so without any hesitation, I left the house. There was no drink around where I was sitting. In the evening, the police came to arrest me that I poisoned her which I never knew what they were talking about.
Lawyer: So you agree that she left you alone in the room, is that correct?
Xorsenyo: Yes my Lord.
Lawyer: I put it to you that you located her fridge and dropped the substance into the drink. What can you say about that?
Xorsenyo’s lawyer stood up in objection and he was given the chance to speak.
Lawyer: My lord, the complainant made mention that she left the drink on the table and my client has been able to state clearly that she only offered him the drink but never brought any addition to the table. My lord can the complainant make clear whether she came with an additional drink and left it on the table or left in the fridge because she never mentioned any fridge in her statements to this court.
Judge: (Cleared his throat) Madam Enyonam. Please respond to that. The court is listening.
Enyonam: My lord, I remember I brought two glasses half full with the drink and gave him one and later sent the rest in the bottle to the fridge.
Xorsenyo’s lawyer: So I put it to you that you rather infested the drink for my client but took the wrong glass. Will you disagree to this?
Enyonam’s lawyer stood up to object that. “My Lord, my client cannot stand the intimidations going on here. My Lord, respectfully, I object the question my colleague just asked my client because under no condition will she do such a thing but my colleague is trying to force my client to allude to what she has no idea of.
Judge: This case is adjourned to next week Monday for the final hearing and judgment. Investigations will go on in this period.
The court was adjourned but this time around, Xorsenyo was to be in police custody until the final hearing.
When we came out of the court, I went straight to Enyonam. “So you mean my friend tried to sleep with you and you never told me?”, I asked. “Please can you allow me sometime to relax? can’t you see that I was up standing for close to an hour? “she questioned. I kept quiet and went to meet Enyonam’s lawyer. “Barrister, I hope you are making your possible best to get that psychopath jailed? Just imagine he wanted to sleep with my wife”. I said to the lawyer. “Mr John but do you also trust your wife on what she was reporting? How well do you know your wife?”, he asked. “Barrister what is this question supposed to mean? Are you saying my wife is telling lies that she was poisoned?”, I asked. “No, not at all, I didn’t say that but I’m asking if you know what your wife is capable of.” He emphasized. “I know my wife. She is a God fearing person and won’t tell such a lie. I met her at the church and even the angels know she is a chaste lady. She loves me and I love her so I trust her very well.” I said to him. “Alright. That’s fine but I’m observing some character exposition in your wife which tells me that she could be faking. I will do my best but I pray she does not get caught up by the other lawyer. To me, Xorsenyo is innocent.” He said.
“Barrister I’m sorry to tell you that you are fired. How can someone poison my wife’s drink and you stand here telling me you feel he is innocent. So is it that my wife tried killing herself? Look, don’t step here on Monday if not I will file a conspiracy allegation against you”. I got upset with him.
“I’m sorry to tell you my feeling but since you insist, pay me my balance let me go”, He said.
I ignored him and went to join Enyonam as we drove back home.
In the evening, Enyonam sneaked out to meet Xorsenyo’s lawyer. Without her knowledge I equally payed her lawyer’s remaining balance.
Enyonam: Why were you asking me those questions at the court after giving you enough money to keep quiet and allow proceedings go on?
Lawyer: Madam, I tried to but hmmm, my reputation as the lawyer for Ghana Ports and Harbour will be at stake if I don’t act professionally. You know this is not just any case but a case of attempted murder as well as attempted sexual harassment.
Enyonam: I’m not stopping you from being a professional but note that I payed you even more than you earn as salary for six months. Stop disturbing me in court.
She added more money and left. With the money, she just used to charm them so that was not a problem to her.
Soon, Monday was here and our case was the second to be heard. The police brought Xorsenyo with his hands in cuffs to the judgment box.
Enyonam seeing this inhumane practice never felt pity for my friend. Personally, I felt bad seeing him escorted by the police but I needed him to really pay for what he did.
Both complainant and defendant did swear their oaths. I didn’t inform Enyonam that I fired her lawyer so she called only for her to be told that the lawyer had travelled outside the country. That was shocking to her. This time it was Enyonam alone against Xorsenyo’s corrupt lawyer. This time around, Xorsenyo’s lawyer acted as if he had no confidence in what his client was saying.
Judgment: After listening to both parties carefully and per the demands of the criminal act of justice, the court has found Mr Xorsenyo………………
The whole room was quiet. You could clearly hear the ticking of the wall clock. I saw tears roll down the cheeks of Xorsenyo’s lawyer. He knew Xorsenyo would be jailed.
The judge called for order and continued his ruling. “We found Mr.. Xorsenyo guilty of attempted murder and attempted rape.
Judgment; He will serve a jail term of ten years with hard labour to support this country. His days of jail starts now. Thank you.”
With a heavy shout and cry “Oh my God! Why have you forgotten me? God I thought you said you will always speak for me when I put all my hopes in you?”
Xorsenyo cried and questioned God.
The thing just happened like a spirit at work.
“No! noo!! Nooo!!!! Let me confess. The man is innocent. Enyonam offered me bribe to conceal the truth. Please don’t take him away.” the lawyer said on top of his voice. The judge said he has already ruled but they have the chance to appeal.
Enyonam: what the hell are you trying to say? Where do I know you from?
Lawyer: I don’t want your money, you evil woman!!
Right from there, Xorsenyo’s lawyer applied for an appeal.
Seriously, the cash Enyonam offered which the lawyer was trying to use as an evidence of bribe could not be found in his office.
…to be continued