A MUST READ FOR ALL PARENTSEDWARD, ARE YOU THE ONE? (Episode 1)Little did Mrs. Joseph know that the CCTV installed in their house, which almost caused a rift between her and her husband would be the saving grace to unravel the mystery behind a very unfortunate incident that would change the atmosphere in her home permanently.Mrs. Joseph came back from work a few days before the ugly incident and met some guys from the technical department of their church working on certain installations. When she enquired about what was going on her husband, Pastor Kim Joseph told her that he brought those brothers from their church to come and help install a CCTV camera in their home.This response did not go down well with Mrs. Joseph who felt that her dear husband should have discussed with her before going into such project for the home. Agreed, they had talked over it some months back and even brought in some experts to survey the house and get some other technical details, but they later agreed that the project should be suspended till their son Dave, returned from NYSC.However, Pastor Joseph explained to her that while he was praying in the house that morning after she had gone to work it was strongly impressed on his heart to get that work done without further delay. He is a full time pastor with one of the Pentecostal churches in Lagos, South-West, Nigeria while his wife, Dupe Joseph was a manager in one of the commercial banks in the same city. The wife still could not understand the sense of urgency in the whole thing or why he could not wait till at least the next day so they could talk about it once again. Anyway, that’s that for the issue of CCTV installation in their home.Mrs. Joseph was still nursing the wound from her husband’s rash decision before tragedy struck in their home.Three days later, while at work, at about 1 pm Mrs. Joseph got a call from her husband to come home immediately. The tone of his voice did not give her any room to question him further. Even before she could open her mouth to ask any question he had hung up.She quickly put necessary things in order in the office, called her driver and headed home not knowing what to expect. As she approached her home, she started having this kind of heavy heartedness, an indication that something was wrong somewhere. When she got to their estate gate, the forlorn look on the faces of the security men who opened the gate for her car did not pass her unnoticed. Her house was just a few blocks away from the gate.He arrived at her house in time just to see the police and some paramedics from the estate medical centre putting a body into an ambulance. At that instant, her whole world came to a standstill. She could not immediately make out what was happening or whose body it was. Before her eyes could span round the pockets of people gathered in the compound some women surrounded her and held her while leading her into the house.On getting into the living room she met her husband sitting on the floor wearing a pair of trousers and no shirt. That was probably the first time any of the people in that room had seen him that way. Pastor Joseph’s family was one decent and lovely family, which many residents of that estate admired so much. They are the kind of neighbours any person would like to have. Their two children are so homely and well-mannered that other parents use them to give example to their own children. Mrs. Joseph could still not fathom what was happening in her home.Pastor Joseph had just rounded off their Wednesday Hour of Grace prayer meeting in the church when his phone rang at about 11.30am. It was their nanny that called and tearfully said, “Oga I beg come home ooo! I no know wetin happen to Bisi ooo! (Sir please come home. I don’t know what happened to Bisi). She cut the line before he could say anything further, but not until the pastor heard some yelling and commotion at the background. He quickly jumped into his car with deacon Udoh and Sister Margaret who were with him when the call came in.Without wasting time with further details let me tell you what happened. The nanny said that she came back from the market and met the front door open, which is very unusual. She entered into the house, went straight to the living room and saw the only daughter of the Josephs, Bisola stone dead on the sofa. She ran outside the compound in fear and alerted the neighbours and the security men at the estate gate. That is the summary of what happened there.Let us leave other events that happened in-between and address this sad incident:What do you think happened to Bisola?Who is the first suspect in this case assuming you are assigned to investigate this incident?Your guess is as good as mine. But let us see more facts as they unveil…In the midst of the uproar and confusion, one of the police officers who came there asked them if there was anything like CCTV in their house. And Pastor Joseph answered in the affirmative. He then led the team to make the most painful discovery of their lives so far.From the CCTV recordings, they saw that a male figure came into the house at about 10.15 am and Bisola opened the door to him. He came in and sat a while talking with the girl before other ugly things followed. From the moment he came in he went straight and sat near the girl on the 3-seater sofa she was reclining on reading a novel. Bisola was relaxed and smiling heartily with him all the while. Suddenly the scene changed. He pinned her down on the floor and raped her. He was raping her and using the pillow to snuff the life out of her at the same time. When he was done the first round he got up and moved round the house in search of God-knows-what.After walking round he came back to the motionless body of the girl and raped her again then picked her and dropped her on the seat. He went further to bring out a small bottle from his pocket, opened it and tried to force some of the content into her mouth. When it was obvious the liquid was not going down, he went into the kitchen and poured the content into the kitchen sink, came back and placed the empty bottle near the sofa where the girl lay; he made sure he opened it and dropped the cover on the floor. When he was done he quietly opened the door and left.Don’t cry yet because more horrifying revelations are coming.EDWARD, ARE YOU THE ONE (EPISODE 2)From the CCTV footage, it was not difficult for the pastor to pick who the killer was. Even the nanny was called in by the police and she immediately identified the monster. In other words, he was well known to the family. Mrs. Joseph was too shattered to be made to watch any video, but I guess she too would have been able to recognize the assailant.The policemen encouraged the pastor to put himself together and put a call across to the killer and invite him to come and help him to do something in the church. He obliged and mustered courage and made a call to the guy at the other end. He was asked to put the call on speaker so that others could follow in the conversation. The pastor sounded as calm as ever while the voice at the other end was enthusiastic to hear from him. And the brief discussion went thus:Pastor Joseph: Hello my boy, how are you doing today?Voice: I am fine sir. What of mummy and other members of the family?Pastor: They are good; we bless God.Voice: Ok sir.Pastor: I don’t know, ehnn, are you so busy this afternoon?Voice: Not really sir. Is there something you want me to do for you?Pastor: Good to hear that. Can you come over to the church now to help me type some mails?Voice: Yes, sir. I will be there very soon.Pastor: Oh, that’s my boy. I am expecting you dear.Line cuts.The pastor entered his car while one of the police officers drove and they went to the church. On getting there the pastor went into his office with one of the police men while the rest waited in the car. In a space of about 10 minutes a young man walked into the premises and went straight to the pastor’s office. You should know what happened there and then.By now another police vehicle had joined them in the church. They drove back to Milimuck Estate where the Josephs live. Back to the house, the CCTV footage was played for the young man the police came back with to watch. He was instructed not say a word but to watch quietly till the end, which he did. At the end of the footage, the senior police officer announced, “young man whatever you say or do here may be used against you in the law court. Shall we proceed to the station please?”Meanwhile, before they got back to the house Mrs. Joseph had been rushed to the hospital. The whole incident was too much for her to contain. Her elder sister, Dr. (Mrs.) Davies did not want to take chances knowing fully well that Mrs. Joseph was a known hypertension, as well as ulcer patient. So, Dr. Davies arranged for her to be moved to her private clinic for close monitoring and observation, at least for that night.I guess you may be asking within your mind, “who is that young man?” Don’t worry we shall soon find out. But before then let me tell you a little more about the Josephs family.Pastor and Mrs. Joseph had two children, 20 year old David who is currently doing his NYSC in Rivers state, Nigeria and his 12 year old Bisola who was in JSS 3, in one of the private secondary schools in Lagos state before her gruesome murder.As I said earlier, the Josephs family is a very godly and friendly family. Their 2 children are just good and also very intelligent. You hardly see them outside unless they are going to the church with their parents. And they don’t even have many friends. They have few selected friends, mostly from their church and a few others from their estate.Dave has a friend who is a member of their church music group. Both of them went to the same school from their primary to secondary school. But they separated when they were about to enter the university. Dave did a 4-year course in the university while his friend went in for engineering, which was a 5-year program. Hence, Dave graduated before his friend and went to serve.Meanwhile, when Dave came home after his orientation camp he discovered that his friend had been at home for some weeks. When he asked him what he was doing at home he told him that there was a practical course he was sent to do in one of the firms in Lagos before coming back to finish his final year. And Dave believed him.Dave and his friend were always together during the holidays. That was about the only friend he was allowed to visit from time to time. Both families became good friends because of the two boys. This guy was like a second son to the Josephs. When Pastor Joseph traveled to the UK for a program he made sure that he bought the same kind of wears for his son and the friend. Everybody in Pastor Joseph’s home loved this boy and even treated him as one of them. If he came to the house and wanted to eat, even if the family had finished eating the nanny would be asked to get him something to eat. On several occasions he had spent not just a night but nights and days with the Josephs. To say that they were close may be an understatement but let us just leave it there.It was barely 5 days after Dave went back to his place of service that his only sister, Bisola was gruesomely murdered. Bisola was at home that fateful day because their school was on mid-term break. Her mum went to work while her dad went for a program in the church. The nanny had gone to Mile 12 market to buy some food items that morning.I guess you are beginning to pick the pieces together as to unravel who killed Bisola. But before we finally name the dog, I want to ask you some questions.· What do you know about your child’s best friend?· Do you know that even the most trusted friend can be used by the devil to give your family a deadly blow?· Are you sure the people you call your family friends share the same values with your own family? Are you sure they teach their own children same things you teach yours? What of their religious beliefs and practices, because I have come to understand that some families believe one thing and practice another?· When you are talking to your children and educating them on the issues of life, do you make it a point of duty to include their friends in the teachings?· When was the last time you checked the call log and chats/messages on your child’s phone?· Have you ever thought of organizing an in-house training/discussion on basic life issues like sexuality, friendship, academic excellence, and the likes for your children and their friends? Even if you cannot handle it by yourself you can get some people who are good in such areas to help you.· Do you agree with me that your own children are not safe until every other child out there is safe?· Do you, from time to time, find out the state of the relationship between your children and their close friends?· Apart from your children, who are the other friends kept by their close friends? This is because the friend of our friend is also our friend.· Do you know that the fact that you are a child of God does not make your family totally immune to some of the pains other families are passing through?· Do you know that you may be sincerely wrong to trust some unproven friends?· Is there any reason under heaven why you should allow your daughter to be very close and relaxed with a young man without any measure of fear or suspicion?· Are you aware that sexual hormones do not know who is a sibling or a friend?· Do you know that at times boys can use their association with your son to get at your girls and vice versa?· Am I wrong to say that none of my children should entertain their friends inside their room? Every friend must stay and be entertained in the living room, irrespective of who they are.· Am I also wrong to say that I do not allow their friends to sleep-over in my home unless I am fully persuaded about who I am relating with, down to knowing the family and their value system?· Who are your own friends?· What is the testimony of people in your area about your family?Please forgive me for throwing this number of questions to you at the same time. By the way, I still have many questions to ask but I just remembered that we are still looking for Bisola’s murderer.At the police station, the police quizzed the young man they picked from Pastor Joseph’s house.Officer: What is your name?Young man: (in a muffled voice) EdwardOfficer: Edward who?Young man: Edward Megida.Officer: Edward, did you recognize the man in the CCTV footage you watched before we left Pastor Joseph’s house?Edward: Ye-ye-yes sir.Officer: Who was that?Edward (stammering the more) I – I – I am the one. But sir it was the devil’s work (crying now).Officer: (mockingly) you wrote an application letter to the devil and he employed you without pay but we are going to pay you here. This will be a good lesson other devil’s employees like you. Now tell me, why did you kill that innocent girl?Edward: Sir I I, it was the devil.Another officer: (kicking him from behind) come on speak out before I destroy you now! criminal like you!Officer: My guy stop this your crocodile tears and just tell us everything you know about the death of that girl. And you better talk now before our oga comes here ooo! If you cooperate with us we may even do something for you before or when he comes.Edward: Sir I didn’t want to kill her but I was afraid that she might tell her family what I did to her.Officer: What did you do to her?Edward: I I raped her.Officer: (sounding amused) are you sure we will not collect that your dick from you so that it will not land you into trouble again? By the way, how did you gain entrance into the house? Was the door not locked?Edward: Bisola opened the door for me but the gate was open when I came.Officer: Why did she open the door for you? What did you use to threaten her?Edward: I did not threaten her at all. She just opened the door for me?Officer: Why?Edward still has a lot of revelations and confessions to make, he may even have some accomplice(s) within or outside the Josephs family.EDWARD, ARE YOU THE ONE? (Episode 3)Edward: She knows me very well and I have been going to their house.Officer: What do you normally go there to do?Edward: Her elder brother, David is my best friend?Another officer: (hit him on the head) you are a very wicked boy! You raped and killed the only sister of your best friend. You are not supposed to be alive by now.Officer: Why did you do that, a fine young man like you? Did you want her to be your girl friend and she refused?Edward: Sir I don’t know what came over me.Officer: When was the last time you went to their house?Edward: About six days ago, just before David went back to Rivers State where he is serving.Officer: What happened that day, which warranted your going back to kill that girl?Edward: Sir nothing unusual happened. All of us were just gisting and playing games in David’s room as we used to do before.Officer: Who were the other people?Edward: I mean three of us – David, Bisola and I.Officer: So what happened?Edward: Nothing sir. It is just that I became attracted to her. That day she was wearing one black bum shots like that, which was quite revealing of her very fair skin on her laps. And as we were playing she bent over my body to collect her phone from David and her chest rested on my own. At that moment I didn’t know what happened to me again and I started imagining some weird things.Officer: So?Edward: I quickly got up and told them that I was going and I left.Officer: And?Edward: When I got home I could not get her off my mind and I desired to have her by all means.Officer: Continue.Edward: That was just that. When my parents went to work in the morning I told my siblings that I wanted to pick some things from the mall and left the house. I went to their house straight.Officer: How did you know she was alone in the house by that time?Edward: I called her and told her that I just wanted to know how she was doing and if she was missing Dave. It was then she told me that she was alone and would not mind if I paid her a visit.Officer: So you accepted the invitation and went and killed her?Edward: I didn’t mean to. I only wanted to have fun with her. But she just died when I was still on that.Officer: (getting angry with him for the first time or so it appears) will you shut up your mouth you lying beast! She died while you were making love to her meanwhile the footage showed you suffocating her with a pillow. You even came around to have a second round with her lifeless body. And that reminds me, what was that liquid you tried to force down her throat?Edward: (obviously terrified) sir…sir, it…it was Sniper. But I just took a small quantity from the one in our house.Officer: You said you did not want to kill her, why then did you go there with Sniper?Edward: I…I…I don’t..A slap from the other officer behind him could not let him complete the statement on his lips.Officer: Now tell me, how many other girls have you done this to because you seem to be a master in the art?Edward: Sir, this is just the first time I wa…Another slap and a shove from the other officer brought him down to the floor with a heavy thud. This made him to cry out in pain. He was however mercilessly forced to stand on his feet again.Officer: I am giving you the last chance before something sinister happens to you. Tell me how long you have been in this business and who your accomplices are. By the way, why are you not in school since they said you are a final year student of Victory Crest University?Edward: (shaking like a leaf with blood dripping from one of his nostrils) Sir, I was sent out of school about 2 months ago because I got involved in a cult activity. But my parents are still trying to see if they can work their way into getting me back to the school. That is why no one knows about it yet. It was other members of the cult I joined in the school that introduced me into gang-raping of girls. They also taught me that the best way to avoid being caught is to eliminate the victim after using her. I don’t know the number of girls I have raped from my second year in the university when I joined the cult but this is the second one to die in my hands.Officer: Who and where was the first victim?Edward: She was a girl in my department in the school and it happened during one of our gang activities in the school. We raided the girls’ hostel and her room happened to be one of the rooms assigned to me to raid. We were meant to raid the girls’ rooms and collect their hand sets and other valuables. But when I got to their room her room mates were not there so I decided to rape her. While raping her she called out my name so I decided to kill her to cover my tracks.Officer: Mhnn, oh boy you have gone far ooo. Listen to your language; you decided to kill her TO COVER YOUR TRACKS. How did you do that? Well, I don’t think that is necessary now. Are your parents aware of all these?Edward: They got to know when they were invited to the school because of the last incident that involved the daughter of the deans of students’ affairs.Officer: How old are you?Edward: I will be 20 years in December.At this juncture those who went to the clinic to bring Mrs. Joseph and their nanny for some interrogations came in with them. Of course they had told her to console herself with the fact that her daughter’s murderer has been caught and was already in police custody. Hence, Mrs. Joseph entered the interrogation room with the utmost curiosity to know who she offended so much that decided to take smiles from her face for the rest of her life.And to think of it, that fateful day the T-shirt Edward was wearing was the same one Mrs. Joseph bought for him and his son, David when she took them to the trade fair complex about a year ago. She was not prepared for what she saw when she entered into the police interrogation office.On seeing Edward in that dimly lit police interrogation room, every atom of strength that remained in Mrs. Joseph left her. Just before she collapsed on the floor, she managed to say in a trembling voice, “EDWARD, ARE YOU THE ONE?”These are the facts we have been able to pick from the story:• Edward, David Jospeh’s best friend killed Bisola, the only sister David had.• Edward killed Bisola right inside her parents’ house, where he had always spent good times with the family before that fateful date.• Bisola trusted Edward so much and as such did not hesitate to throw their door wide open for him despite the fact that she was alone in the house. Another proof that 90% of pedophiles and other child sexual molesters are people known to the child.• Neither David nor his family knew that his best friend was a cultist and serial rapist.• They also did not know that he was already rusticated from the campus and could not conclude his final year.• Edward was filled with lustful desires to waste Bisola from the day she unconsciously exposed her thighs and chest in a very unbecoming manner before him. Another reason why we should ensure that our daughters dress decently even at home, especially when there are male visitors in the house.That is the end of the story . Draw your own conclusions as a parent and as a family.Shalom!