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!……….