This particular morning, I woke up and began crying. I had spent over a year in Malaysia while my mates in Nigeria Would be already through with their NYSC. I wished I had listened to my parents. I wished I had never come down to Malaysia. I wished I haven’t even carried drugs. I don’t know what would happen when my mum would see it in the news that her beloved son had been sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia. It would be embarrassing when my friends in Nigeria see my face on T.V and newspaper. How I wished I had the courage to talk to my family back at home that I would be killed. I wished I headed to the advise of madam rose. Tears rolled down my eyes as I overheard some prison inmates singing “death songs.” One was singing “the world is not my own” by jimmy reeves. I began wondering, why was it that we were caught so easily. Others that went had gone their way safely, but 10 of us were caught smoothly. How come? And they were not even interrogated us. Now I agreed with amnesty international claims that Asian countries have poor human sympathy. They torture, abuse and kill humans illegally. As I was there thinking about all that, a hot slap landed on my right cheek. That slap brought me back to the present scene. As the slap landed on my cheek, it just looked as if my eyes were blur. I began seeing people around me in motion. The only thing I was hearing was “stand up.” “poahhhhh,” another slap landing on my left cheek. I didn’t know when I started crying. I looked straight to see who was giving me the hard treatment. It was a policeman inside our cell. he wanted to give me another slap, na so i dodge the thing. He wanted to start beating me, the other one with him held him. They dragged me out and asked me to follow them which I did with handcuffs on my hands. We got to the entrance of our cell unit, the security man there told me that someone wants to see me. I began wondering who was that that wants to see me! Who know me sef. Well I followed till I got to the waiting room for about few seconds before the door was opened and I went to the visiting room. I met the surprise of my life. Na madam rose come see me. Immediately she saw me, her face changed, she looked sad. But I began wondering how she managed to know and how she did it that they allowed her to come and see me. Maybe she get connection shah.
She called out my name. as she moved closer with her arms wide open to hug me, she reiterated. Maybe because there shouldn’t be a major contact with inmates by visitors. And there was a prison guard behind us. We sat opposite each other as we talked. She asked me how everything happened, I told her all. She told me she got to know 2 days back when she went to drink at the bar and she was told. That means the news don already dey spread small small. Madam rose has always taken me as a son because she said I look like one of her children doing his masters degree in university of Ibadan. She’s also a grandmother of 2. Now I was beginning to see the values of her advise.
I and madam rose began talking. She started blasting me. Telling me that she warned me but I never listened. Only if I had listened. As she talked, I couldn’t even speak a word. I asked if there was anyway she can help me. She said there was no way she could help. The one she rendered some months back, I never headed to it. I was so arrogant to take it, now look at were it has landed me. Na so I begin knee down beg ooo. I started crying. She said the only thing she can help me do is to relate the matter with Nigerian Government, thereby putting my name and picture on Nigerian media. So if the Nigerian Government can help some of us who are been tortured in Malaysian prisons. I thought about that idea, but its an embarrassment seeing my photos on the internet that am on death roll in Malaysia. She said that was the only way she could help so if the Federal Government can do something, maybe we can come to Nigeria to serve prison sentence. The idea was good because I don’t want to die. It was sure they would be taking us to court and sentencing us to death. As we were still talking, the Malaysian prison warder came and told her it was time to leave that the time given to her had elapse. Infact, before I knew what was happening, two hefty prison warders came and dragged me out of the place back to the cell.
As days went by, we began hearing rumours that they were going to kill all the 10 of us without charging us to court. That it was a waste of time, energy and money charging us to court. Well, how I wished that madam rose had done something fast. I wished that we would just get a notice that the order to kill us will be on hold and that we should be given prison sentence and transferred to Nigeria to serve it. But would they do that?
3 weeks later, about 6 mufti men and some few police came to our cell. They took 6 people from the cell. 2 days, 4 days 2 weeks and the 6 were yet to be brought back. It was unusual. Later, we heard that the 6 had been killed and buried and the officers will soon return to kill the rest 4 of us. Na so fear just enter my body.
3 days later, 4 hefty military men came to our cell and took the rest of us away. I was so scared. I began imagining how we were going to be killed. I wished I had talk to any of my family members. I wished madam rose was there with me. I looked around. I felt it was my last day on planet earth, the world in general. They took us to court. And the session lasted for about 15 minutes. They were just speaking Malaysian language. I, soji and the rest 2 couldn’t even understand what they were speaking. They took us back to the cell.
When we returned to the cell, two hours later, two prison warders came and told me that someone wants to see me and I followed them. I was scared. Even soji spoke in pidgin language and encouraged me. I guessed it was my own time, I would be killed. I got to the visiting place and it was a white American. He told me his name and that he is a human rights activist based in Malaysia. He asked me to seat. He asked me to narrate everything that happened and how we were caught. I narrated everything to him. He said he heard 6 of us have been killed, remaining 4 of us. And an order had been passed that the rest of us should be killed in the next 5 days but madam rose got in touch with him and explained the situation. So he had forwarded it to Amnesty international accusing Malaysian security officials of extra judicial killings. That at least they should have taken us to court of law which would finally give the sentence or decide our fate rather than start killing us like that. So it was Amnesty international that wrote to Malaysian Government to do something which triggered the officials to take us to court that day. “But what’s the need?” I asked, since they are still going to sentence us to death. Well he said to me that we might be lucky they just give us jail terms rather than death sentence. He said that they were making sure that we were not killed without judicial order. He encouraged me and told me that madam rose had contacted my parents. He said madam rose said the only thing my dad said was that I am on my own. If they like do anything they want to do with me. Chaiii, the man sef no send. He also said that our next visit to court, a lawyer would be provided for us and he would be there.
After talking, I returned to the cell believing God Almighty for a miracle. That I would live to serve him.
2 days later, we were taken to court again. It didn’t even take time. Just 20 minutes and the judge delivered judgment. She spoke in their Malaysian language while they interpreted to us. They sentenced the other 2 guys to death by firing while I and soji, our case were adjourned till the upper week. I began wondering why it was so since we were all caught together. Even the way we were caught at the airport was suspicious. It seemed like a set up. Everything was just abnormal in my eyes. I thought we would be sentenced the same time but they only sentenced 2.
Unfortunately, the week of our final judgment came. I was no longer scared. I was ready to take anything that came my way. The judgment was scheduled in the afternoon. That same day was the day the other 2 were executed in the morning.
Afternoon came and we went to court. I and soji prayed. Though I wept so hard that morning for the other 2 guys.
At the court, judgment was given, but it was an unfortunate judgment. Soji was…………
What happened to soji?