I was pushed inside a police cell without explaining to me what i did. Not that i didn’t know but money had exchanged hands and i believed officer Basil Duru was related to Chinasa’s family. Right at the counter, i had called my cousin and told him that i had been arrested and that i was at the Area D Ijesha, i also told him not to come to the station that night. It was actually a good getaway for him and Chinelo to hit it off.
Inside the police cell, there were two other boys; one igbo and one Yoruba. They weren’t getting along very well. I wasn’t interested in why they were there. I had entered and sat in a corner near the entrance door.
I wanted to greet them but decided against it.
”Guy wetin you do” the Igbo boy asked.
I had heard about how inmates intimidated new comers in prisons and how some claimed to be the bosses inside police cells. I didn’t want to start argument or quarrels with them, therefore i said ”I stole a car”
”You get mind be that” he said.
He went on to tell me that he just had a fight with someone and was brought there.
The Yoruba boy who had kept quiet all along said that we were disturbing him and that we should keep quiet. I needed to concentrate and think, therefore his request was a welcomed one.
I sat there for hours until i got sleepy, then i lay on the bare floor and closed my eyes.
Some noises woke me up early in the morning. Some policemen and women had started to change shifts. I didn’t know what time it was but i figured it was around 5 or 6 in the morning.
The floor had started to get cold. I sat up and thought about the events that led me to the cell.
Apparently i had done something nasty and deserved some kind of punishment too but i wondered what Chinasa had told her father and the policemen.
Inside the bus that took us to Ijesha police station the night before, i was asked where i had kept the shoe and handbag. I had told them that i didn’t have it and that i didn’t know where they were. They said Chinasa had left the bag inside my car. Her father said that i had planned to do rituals with her daughter’s belongings to increase my money and had poked me in the left eye with a finger.
All of them had calmed down when i told them that my lawyer would come in the morning. They apparently didn’t expect that.
At around 7:30am, Chinelo and my cousin came to the station. They brought rice for me. I was called out to the counter where i met with them. I had told my cousin to contact Barrister Eze in Lagos Island. Barrister Eze was from my neighbouring village.
After eating the rice, they took the plates and left. Chinelo said she would come again in the afternoon.
I was taken from the counter to an office where i was told to make a statement. I had told them that i won’t say anything until my lawyer got there. They had tried to trick me to write but i had refused.
I was taken back to the cell room until my lawyer arrived around 11am, he was with another lawyer.
I was called out again to the office where i was told to make a statement earlier.
Barrister Eze had asked me what happened. The second lawyer wrote as i narrated what happened the day before. I had told them that Chinasa was my girlfriend and that her parents knew. I had also told them that after i returned from Ghana with a lady, Chinasa had ordered me to ask the lady to leave my house. I told them that i refused and as a result, Chinasa had been making troubles with me. I narrated how we had gone to the beach and how misunderstanding had ensured, as a result, Chinasa had refused to return back to mainland with me and had refused to take her bag when i asked her to do so.
Barrister Eze asked where the bag was.
”I took it to the Police station on my way back.
Great! That was the hit point.
I saw the two lawyers smiled when i said that i left the bag at the police station.
Chinasa’s father had been making noises about how i had planned to do rituals with the bag.
”We are going to court” Barrister Eze announced. I agreed.
Two police officers had come into the room. One of them was Basil Duru, the man who had slapped me.
”This is the one who hit me last night. His name is Basil Duru” i said as i pointed to the policeman. He looked at me with fury but there was nothing he could do since the lawyers were there.
The lawyers excused themselves and left me in the custody of the two policemen.
”I heard you say that you took the bag to th police station, why didn’t you say that last night” Basil Duru asked me.
”I will explain that in court soon officer. Remember to tell your friend to get ready for court. He said that i am a ritualist. You will be his witness soon” i said.
The officer was angry at the way i addressed him. I wanted him to slap me again but he held himself.
When my lawyers returned, i signed some papers and got my belongings back. I was released to go.
I called Chinelo and asked her not to come to the station.
We entered the lawyer’s SUV and drove to the police station at western avenue. The officer in charge of the case was there. We told him why we were there. After some discussions, we listed him as our witness numero uno. From there, we drove to Jakande estate where Chinasa lived.
She was home when we arrived, her mother was there as well.
”Where is your husband” Barrister Eze asked the wife as soon as we finished exchanging greetings. The woman was surprised to see me with the two gentlemen. She skipped the question and asked me what was happening.
”Your husband told the police to kill me and that i was a ritualist. We are going to court to claim N50 million naira for character assassination and attempted murder” i said.
Barrister Eze asked me to keep quiet.
”where is your husband” he asked the woman again.
Chinasa came out of the house and was crying. She had come close to me and held my hand.
”There is no need to cry now baby girl, the time to cry is surely coming” i said.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every
activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time
a time to plant and a time to
a time to kill and a time to
a time to tear down and a
time to build,
a time to weep and a time to
a time to mourn and a time
a time to scatter stones and
a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time
to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time
to give up,
a time to keep and a time to
a time to tear and a time to
a time to be silent and a time
a time to love and a time to
a time for war and a time for
peace” Ecc 3:1-8