Danladi’s Statements. Chapter One

I do not know who killed Sherry.

I have been advised by the police that any statement I make may be used against me in the court of law and so I make these statements “under caution”.

My name Andy Danladi. I live at Army Barracks at Anthony in Lagos with my elder brother who is a soldier.I am 21 years old. I am a businessman, more of an estate agent. I help people to find houses to rent or let, buy or sell. At other times, I sell other things too. Like if you want to sell a used car, you can come to me. I am a Christian and I an Hausa by tribe. I am an indigene of Kaduna. I finished my secondary school education at Sabongari Grammar school, Sokoto and came to Lagos three years ago.

I did not kill Alhaja Serifa.

Yes, I was arrested in her room. She was dead; there was blood everywhere. She had been stabbed.

 

When I came in I did not see anybody inside, I went in alone.The room had been roughly ransacked, as if someone had been searching frantically for something. The entrance door to her suite in the block of apartments was not locked and she was lying on the floor, in a pool of her own blood.

I did not attempt to move her. She was already dead so I called Officer Shuibu, who I was familiar with, on my cell phone.He came with a couple of officers from the local police station and I was arrested as a suspect on the spot. I do not know if anything was stolen, if it was a robbery or an assassination. That is for you, the police, to decide.

I do not know anyone who would want her dead.

I know she may have adversaries in business or in politics, but the rivalry was not unto death. I can not imagine anyone doing that; she was a very nice person.

She was very nice to me. We are close friends.

No, we were not lovers. I know she is married to Otunba. I know she has not been living with her husband for over two years.

I know she has male lovers. I was not one of them.

I was closer to her than that. Yes, I was closer to her, like a confidante, a soul mate, a very dear brother. She was a dear older sister to me. I never worked for her in any of her businesses. We met outside, nobody introduced us.

We met on the Internet.

That was three years ago. We met on facebook. I added her as a friend. You see, facebook is a social networking website. You meet a lot of people by adding your friends’ friends as yours. Or you can search for people’s profile. I searched for women aged thirty to thirty-five, who want to date and chose the option, “anything i can get”.

I was about eighteen years old, just out of secondary school, with no job and no money.I had very good school certificate results and wanted to further my education. My parents were late and it would be asking for too much expecting my brother to sponsor me.I had no one to turn to, no cousin, no relative, no godfather.

An older woman-friend could have helped. I have heard that older women like to date younger men but it was a one in a million chance.

It is rare to see women in their thirties who openly say they want to date. On the other hand, anything I can get is a way for them to show they are open to being solicited without being forward. My search settings listed only four women. I sent all of them the same message through facebook. Something like this;

“Hi ****, my name is Andy (call me Dandy). I am 18 years old, straight and willing to go astray. I am just coming to from out of town and I need an older woman to show me the ropes in Lagos. So what do you say? I dare you to reply”.

Of the four women I mailed, only Sherry (that is what I call her now) took me up on my dare by responding, almost on the same day.

She added me as a friend and we started to chat. She wanted to know a hundred things about me, like I was being interviewed for a job.

Later I learnt that she I thought I was an agent provocateur sent by her then husband to fish for dirt. Later I learnt that her name was Mary as she claimed online but Sherifa. Later I learnt that she was married. But all that was much later.

Our liaison went slowly from mails to chats and soon we were communicating on a daily basis. When I complained that I lacked money for Internet access, she took the first step to get off the Internet by calling my mobile phone. And days, after, we had our first lunch. And, no, I did not start this to scam her.

It was purely an open but private relationship between two consenting adults.

We met for the first time, face to face at Find It All Shoppe in Angeldust Galleria, Ikoyi. She chose the place and came with a friend, Rosie, which was okay by me. It always safer to meet an online blind date, a complete stranger from a virtual world, at a safe and public place. After all, it could have been a meeting with a nut case or worse.We identified ourselves by the clothes we wore; I in blue jean jacket and trousers, and she in a pink ensemble.Her dressing was simple and modest, with simple accessories to match. She wore a scarf, draped around her head like an Hijab.

At first, I was self conscious till she started to make jest of me. She brought out my first mail, she had printed it, and then read it out loud. We all cracked up, laughing hysterically. It was like fooling around with an elder sister.Everything went on well after that, even her friend Rosie took a deep liking for me. I did not see Rosie often, after that day, I met Sherry alone. That was two years ago and that was how we met and became friends.

This is all I know; if I find out more, I will let you know so I can clear my name. I do not know who killed Sherry.

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