To ease his exhaustion, and to calm his trepidation Mr. Adeji began drawing in court. One drawing showed him hanging from a rope and wearing a suit. “not guilty” It was scribbled on.

“It’s hard to hear what they’re saying about me,” He stated that he had spoken to him one day after the court. He acknowledged that he had made a mistake in sending the Telegram messages. “I think the prosecutors are forgetting that we were all kids when this happened, and kids make mistakes.”

Last April, Mr. Adeji was small as he stood in the witness booth to testify in his defense.

He strongly denied that he was in a gang. He cried while recalling Mr. Soyoye’s death. He claimed that he joined Telegram Chat because he believed that his friends were planning a memorial. He said that he didn’t know the name of his friend who had been killed three days later when he joined the Telegram chat. He was angry, but denied plotting revenge.

The junior prosecutor, then Mr. Smith began his cross-examination.

“You said you were young and dumb at the time,” Mr. Smith spoke sharply. “Are you still young and dumb now?”

“No,” Answered by Mr. Adedeji

Mr. Smith brought up the contested meaning of Mr. Oni’s call to “touch something.” Oni said that the word suggested “any form of violence.” Mr. Adeji claimed that he understood “touch” It was meant to stab. However, he denied having that intention.

“I sent a postcode,” He stated. “I never said I meant to go and kill someone.”

During cross-examination it became apparent that the prosecutors didn’t really understand the hip-hop lifestyle they were trying to promote. on trial. That was especially apparent when Mr. Smith questioned Mr. Adedeji about an online conversation that came after Mr. Soyoye’s killing but that predated the Telegram chat.

Mr. Adedeji had been frustrated as teenagers mocked his friend’s death online. He confronted someone named “Prince Abu” on Snapchat posted a demeaning video about Mr. Soyoye.