BEHIND BARS(Amina’s diary) 02

Mike wasn’t startled by sir Seun’s warnings, he knew winning a murderer’s case is difficult, more so when the culprit confessed her deeds of killing two civilians. He knew this case of an homicide is not something he can win, however he doesn’t want to lose either. If not because of his ill father’s connections, he wouldn’t have gotten this case. To the law world they may know him as a brilliant novice, but on his own accord, he wants to prove he is better than they think and that without his father’s connection he can still make what goes around come around.  He was still thinking when Lepa  who have been talking without receiving any replies cuts in…

Lepa:  Mike! You are not listening. What are you thinking? Is it about Barrister Seun’s warnings? (Mike kept mute and watched with great fear the leaving sir Seun munching his kola nut) forget about him, every law court in abuja knows sir Seun is a veteran in playing mind games. So, do not be welled in his game…his mind games can make you speechless. When he controls your mind, he controls your proceedings….do not play

Law. Mike:  Forget it! I’m not thinking about him.(he lied)

Lepa:   I hope so, but in the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.

Law. Mike:  I suppose that’s Deepak Chopra’s?

Lepa: (she smiles) perhaps, but not all that looks okay is okay. The justice awaits you..

************
Lepa left, Mike followed, but stopped when he heard a siren signal outside the court. He walked few steps to the aluminium window and lowered the blind, it was a van, the black maria. Through the window, he saw as the handcuffed culprit came down followed by three policemen. The culprit wore a white veil, murky blue northern dress with shining stones, few bangles and waist beads that sounds quietly akin to ‘cheke-cheke’ as she walks. She stopped and demands for her medicated glass,the female policeman by her right gave it to her, she wore it and legged on. If not for the lackadaisical  police officers, ruthless cellmates; the filthy police cell with stench of urines and mice pea-black excretes that taint her natural beauty, she was a beauty to behold. Her eyes behind her glass are doves, her dark hair behind her veil are curly, her teeth behind her pink lips are as white as  wool. Her big hips are scorching that even her waist beads could hardly fall. Mike’s mouth was wide open that he gasped to the beauty of his client. He had never met her, not because he never wanted to, but because anytime he goes to see her in the police custody, she sends ‘ I don’t want to see him’ message. She never wanted a lawyer, it was the muezzin and the imam of the mosque after the bridge in Kubwa phase 4 that patronised him. If only he can give a thousand naira to know what’s rumbling in her mind, perhaps it would have been easier for him. How can he defend someone who doesn’t need a protection? How can he defend someone who reported herself to the police? ‘Argh!’, he tapped his lap, sighed and watched with lustful eyes the Muslim beauty as she was being questioned by journalists. She kept mute to every question thrown at her. However, the shocking question that moved everyone on their heels among others was – ‘ is it true that you belong to the terrorist sect WORM(we own religious maniacs)?’ She didn’t say a single word, neither did she smile or frown…..her face was lacklustre. Few witnesses who heard the question went back. Two Ebira friends who just passed the gate keeper heard the tittle-tattles of the witnesses leaving stopped, tip-toed back and gossip silently in their dialect ; one with a eleven tribal marks stressed in – ‘Ota mi(my friend) It’s favourable we leave now o….Ah! I believe you heard the rantings of these people that just passed us now?’ The other, a bit short in height chipped in -‘ I did o…. I have not even finished mourning my fears of BOKO HARAM and even today’s rain, i am hearing WORM. Infact i heard thought he meant those worms that these fishermen use, until i heard the meaning. Arihin o(please o), i don’t want to die a victim of bomb blast…it’s favourable we are leaving now o’
The man with the eleven tribal marks was still showing his friend the injuries he sustained from the fight he had with his wife as a result of his cheating confessions to God when the unexpected rain fell and insinuate that his reason for coming to the court is to file for a divorce, when they saw the gatekeeper closing the gate. They ran quickly to meet him, but before they could reach, the gate was shut. They beckoned that the gate be opened, but the soldier sitting close to the gateman ordered them to go back to the court. By this time, the culprit and journalists have all gone inside the court room. The two friends couldn’t help but  grieve, drive their fingers into their hair and lament in similar cliche as they walk faithlessly to the courtroom – ‘Oh! Ohomorihi(oh! God), we are doomed!’

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
Inside the courtroom, all persons made way for their positions. This time, the gathering was more of sitting than standing except the securities who stood on guard, holding guns that contain fire powers. The court was still noisy when the female clerk(Lepa) slammed her desk with a mallet ‘court!’ demanding decorum. Silence outdo the noise, the court was quiet that the change of lesson bell ringing inside G.S.S Kubwa and the sirens of ambulance  in Kubwa general hospital could be heard. The culprit was ushered to the witness box, proceedings started  as Barrister Seun and Lawyer Mike battled words out. Every one of Mike’s attempt to justify his client was rendered futile …nothing seems to be availing. Barrister Seun was the veteran type, he was good with words.The proceeding came to it’s peak and in soonest the justice will pass his verdict when the culprit demands that her story be heard.

-” Why should we listen to your story ehn? oyi!(Thief!)”, the eleven tribal marked Ebira man chipped in. All eyes focused on him…He held his mouth vividly, he didn’t know when those words came out from his loose mouth. All he ever wanted was for the justice to pass his verdict so that he leaves the court ASAP to avoid being a victim of any terrorist attack. He was extremely sad when he turned to rely on his friend only to realise that he wasn’t sitting close by anymore. When he uttered those rantings, his friend had quickly switched seat close to a old woman. The justice signaled to one of the securities to go teach him a lesson, so that next time he learns to control his tongue. Outside, the quick cries of him could be heard as he was ordered to frog-jump round the parked black-maria. The culprit’s demand was revisited again as the justice ordered that her story be heard. She signaled to the muezzin who in turn fetch her a old book with torn covers. She opens the book she titled: behind bars and told everyone that she wrote the journal when she was a prisoner in Ikoyi prison, Lagos state known by the name ‘prisoner 0099’, she adjust her glass, smirk and reads,

Prisoner 0099:  I’m a ghost!……….

ⓢⓛⓜⓜⓐⓡSε√iεs

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BEHIND BARS(Amina’s Diary) 01

FAVOUR LOCKED HER DOORS, IT REFUSED TO OPEN.
MY FRAGILE HEART LOVED, BUT WAS BROKEN.
TRUST BETRAYED ME, AND LED ME ASTRAY.
I WAS NEVER TRACED, NO ONE TO FOLLOW MY TRAIL.
I WAS HURT, I CRIED.
I HAD FOUGHT, BUT LOSE……I TRIED
ALAS! I’M ALL ALONE;
MY FRIENDS, FAMILY LEFT ME ON MY PATMALONE.
I SWEAR! LIFE IS CHESS; I BET TILL ZILCH…I FROWN.
IT WAS A LOSS, I SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BORN….

image

On the 26th of may, 2011….The unexpected rain had fell heavily all through the night. Thunder and lightening struck countless times. Electric poles fell, buildings collapsed, houses built closed to rivers were filled with water. The roads was alone, it was wet and serene. The sounds heard was that of the wind that follows the pouring ice filled rain and others from people crying over their collapsed houses. Doors were locked…all persons residing in Kubwa were scared, they were afraid like a mouse running from cat. They were scared the world is coming to an end. Mothers held their children close, feeding mothers breastfed their crying babies afraid of the rain. Infidelity fathers were seen keeping prayer vigil. All animals except the aquatic ones hid in their shroud, but unlike Noah’s tale, their was no ark….it was just a rain leaving the white cloud. It was just a rain that fell the day an apprehended murderer is to be judged….her name? – no one knows. But however, sources from Lagos said she is known to be Prisoner 0099, an ex-convict!
************

     By 7:30㏂, the rain stopped, pupils were seen going to their sundry schools. Workers were seen going to office, some site. The lonely road became covered with cars of different brands- POM POM POM” honks from vehicles overshadowed the cries of the victims of the rain. The road to G.S.S Kubwa was graced by WAEC students and some regular students wearing  black and white uniforms, and opposite the school lies a court: the sharia court of appeal!

By 8:30㏂, persons gathered around the court; journalist belonging to Newspaper companies were in the background, security personnel made way for their standing positions. Lawyers and other enforcement agencies gathered in en-masse. Their gathering was more of standing than sitting. At one side of the court was Barrister Seun and the other side was Lawyer Mike. Barrister Seun is about 4’9″ tall, he wore untrimmed grey beards and a moustache of about few weeks old and a broken tooth he calls ‘gap tooth’- He had lost some of his teeth to a fight in the court. Barr. Seun exchanged pleasantries with other persons until he got to lawyer Mike. Lawyer Mike is about 6’2″ tall; dark in complexion with a well carved low-cut hair style, on his wrist was a Romandir Panerai silver plated watch and on his body was a dolce & Gabbana fitted suit. Mike was on the line talking to his sick father when Barr. Seun intentionally poured swan water that marred Mike’s well dark polished Italian shoe….

Lawyer Mike: (on line) I will call you later dad (he hangs up) excuse me Sir Seun (he tapped seun’s shoulder paded shoulder)…

Barr. Seun: Oh! Sorry…did i stain your dashing shoes? (He pretends) Sorry Mr. I don’t know, my apology please (he bows) How are you? (Mike kept mute) It’s been few days now…you still don’t want to give up on this case, is it? Well, try your luck, but you will lose. Hmmm Everyone here knows i have never lose a case…not even half of my 51 cases( he adjust his wig and then his suit. He walks to and fro majestically; cleared his throat and continued) do not take this as showing off- I’m just too good for you. You may have graduated with a first class in the law school, but read my lips….you will lose! (he exclaimed, shrug his shoulders pridefully, hissed and turned to walk away)

Law. Mike: Sir. Seun! ( Seun turned frowning) I understand this is my first case and a difficult case, about a murder. But I salute you(He doffs his wig and bow) you are like a mentor to me. However, seeing the way you boast of your achievements makes me sick! And…

Barr. Seun: (He interrupts) Sick ke?! Mentor kini! It’s not pride…it’s my prime, my time. My late grandfather who used to be an herbalist told me I shall live over a century old, and my pastor also told me I may die the day i lose a case. Well, I’m sixty two already…do you think it’s possible i lose a case so soon? Most especially to you? Hahahaha…(he laughs mockingly showing his brown broken teeth)

Law. Mike: I’m not into this to challenge you; i’m into this case to carry on my sick father’s legacy.

Barr. Seun: Hahahahaha….Father legacy ko, father legacy indeed! Lest i forget, i heard your old man his still lying sick on bed. Peradventure, did you ask him the reason behind his non-healing sickness? He’s been ill for a 11months now i think?

Law. Mike: Wh…at? (He stutters) What do you mean?

Barr. Seun: Hahaha……i feel like laughing in French( He walks to Mike’s Rabbit-like left ear and quietly say)- Your self confidence father lose his last case to i (He bangs his suited chest) Seun Badmus (and nod his wigged head) Anyways, he did this to me( He shamefully showed Mike is broken teeth and stressed out)- Your Old man broke my teeth…

Law. Mike: Oops! Sorry… I never knew(he lied and smiles spitefully)

Barr. Seun: Don’t worry…it’s nothing new. What’s new is your non-healing old man of a father lying sickly, and you in near minute to lose your first case. Sorry, after losing this case, no plaintiff or defendant will patronise you- The end!

Law. Mike: God forbid! ( He snaps)

Barr. Seun: It’s not a matter of God forbid e. Ah! Oga o..it’s a pity youth of nowadays detest the truth. Well, you are still young, you can bounce back…your inevitable shame will pass. Huhm (he writes his phone number at the last page of his jotter he carries around, tears it and hand it to Mike) here is my digit; call me to congratulate me on my victory, if it happens you are too shy to congratulate me in the open. Argh! (he smiles) Don’t hate me…it’s my habit. Take it e

Law. Mike: (He collects the piece of paper…memorised the digits and tore it away) I don’t need it? What for? I’m better than you think.

Barr. Seun: Trust me ogbeni; Mr. I don’t know, it’s relevant…you need it( he laughs)
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
They were still conversing when Barr. Seun heard is name….He was called by a slim dark igbo girl

Barr. Seun: Ki lo de omo igbo?!( what is it igbo’s child?!) Yes! What is it, lepa? Are you a witch?…Stop calling my name anyhow. I know you all want me to fail, but it won’t work. My grandfather told me i shall live over a hundred years old. Emi O le ku( i can’t die) ( He jumps up, renders sweet panygerics to his soul,his image he calls Eleda.) Please Lepa, learn to call my name effortlessly…i mean with respect. I like you o… So, what is it?

Lepa: It’s time…Good morning Lawyer__________
(she faces Mike)

Law. Mike: It’s Mike….Mike Ezeonu is my name( he smiles beautifully)

Lepa: Okay, Sorry i couldn’t place your name. It’s time! (Mike looks at his spiffy watch; it was 08:46㏂)

Law. Mike: Oh! It is…(he laughs)
°°°°°°°°
Lepa exchanged quiet a number of friendly words and some ‘you are cool’ gestures with Mike. Barrister Seun never liked the idea, hence…

Barr. Seun: Excuse me jawe( He cuts in, brushed Lepa on her slim hand and passed, he paused and then turned jealously) This is how love story starts, (He demonstrates with his wrinkled palms) I don’t want to be the villain in your story(to Lepa) Mike! (He paused, dept his hand in his pocket, brought a kola nut to chew and then continued) Smile as much as you want now, but remember, no Lawyer wins a murderer’s case….

ⓢⓛⓜⓜⓐⓡSε√iεs

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