To be Continued…!!
“I won’t hurt you John” I said while rubbing his little head. “Just give me some little time and I will be back with you” I said to him in a gentle and friendly way. He accepted my excuse and I quietly left the room. I pretended to go outside and checked the pre-recorded message of madam Grace voice I had in my phone and it was a perfect thing to use and execute what I had in mind. I waited outside and after some few minutes I ran back into the room where John was and I was panting heavily.
“Your mother deceived us, she never had the intention of paying that money” I said to him. His facial expression changed immediately and I could feel sadness all over it. I knew it was going to work and I continued harder.
“You think I am lying John?” I asked him with disappointment in my face.
“Listen to this” I said to him as I brought out my phone out and played the recorded call I had in it.
“I don’t care and I will find all of you and kill all of you. You guys mean nothing to me and all I care about is…” That was madam Grace’s voice and I quickly terminated the remaining part of it. I ran to his side and removed the cloth I used to tie his mouth and adjusted him properly.
“John listen, I love you and I will make sure that nothing happens to you. Your mum wants us dead, but I won’t allow her kill you. She loves her money more than you” I continued to speak with him.
He was already fidgeting and shedding tears, but I wasn’t willing to stop.
“Where did you grow up?” I asked him
“America” He responded with tears in his eyes.
“Do you know about heroes who saved themselves when the time was come?” I asked him with all seriousness and persuasion. He nodded as his cry increased.
“You have to be the hero now, because your time is now.” I said
“What should I do, please tell me… I don’t want to die please.” He said while crying.
“She even told me that I have exposed her, that she will kill me and carry you home and kill you at night. I will make sure it doesn’t happen John. You have to trust me and do as I said.” He nodded immediately as he anticipated my escape story.
“I have two guns at home, I will use one while you use the other. I will die defending you” I said in a convincing tone.
“But you have to defend yourself in case I die. You don’t have to give up like a coward”
“I will loosen your hands, and I will move outside. If you don’t hear from me again, anything that passes through this door and enters here, just shoot.” I said as I held his shoulders and shook them vigorously. He continued to respond positively to my suggestions.
I knew he was convinced of how wicked his mother was, and I was about to make the greatest decision of my life now.
“This will be your gun, I will give you. At least you can kill me with it, but I know you already know who we are fighting again” I said as I pulled out some bullets and left some inside.
“There are just two bullets inside this gun” I said to him gently. “I will take the other and go outside like I said before. If you don’t hear from me, kill anything that passes through this door. You understand?”
“Yes” He said. I moved outside the room once again and waited a little while. From a perfect view, I could see movements. The cars were in a convoy form, and I knew exactly who it was going to be. I ran back in haste to the room with tears in my eyes.
“We won’t go down without a fight” I said to him. His hands were visibly shaken and his adrenaline level pumping so fast. Just then we started to hear the sounds of sirens outside. I picked up the little pen knife on the table and walked up to him.
“Let me show you on whose side I am”
I took the knife and cut him loose. “I will defend you till my last breath” I said to him looking at him straight to his eyes with tears in mine.
“If anyone opens this door, just shoot!” I ordered him. I slowly handed the gun to him and cocked it right in front of him. I was walking slowly away from him expecting to receive a bullet through my back, but alas I felt nothing hot penetrating through my body. I turned around and looked at him and smiled. I immediately closed the door and went to the main door from which she would enter from. I could see Madam Grace ordering the policemen to remain outside while she does the entering. She knocked on the door and I failed to respond despite being close by. After so many knocks, she decided to open the door by herself and entered before closing back the door…
“Shiiii… your hands where I can see them” I said to her. She jerked upon hearing that and she quickly raised up her hands.
Next thing I felt was a heavy hit on my head and I fell down immediately. I looked back and saw a policeman surrendering me.
“Now stand” he said to me. I managed to stand albeit holding on to my head as my vision became blurred immediately.
“Now lead us to the boy” He ordered me. I hesitated for a while but a slap from him made me shout and I responded fast!
I moved slowly towards the door while directing Madam Grace on where to go.
“He is inside there?” She said with an angry tone. I don’t know if John heard her voice, but as soon as she entered inside to see her lovely John, she was driven back with a hot bullet lead penetrating through her stomach.
“Jesus!!!” She yelled as she fell back and held on to her back. The policeman quickly left my position and fired randomly into the room, all I heard was the shout of a young man who hoped to live and survive the ugly incident. Other policemen quickly rushed into the house and took over immediately. I was on my knees with my hands on my head. Everywhere was now calm as recovery of the dead bodies began.
A kick to the back sent me up on my legs as I was bundled straight up to my feet into the waiting police car outside. I was filled with mixed feelings because I didn’t know whether to smile or cry at the action that took place just few minutes back.
We arrived at the station and I was stripped to my boxers almost naked. A lot of journalists came along and conducted an interview with the police men around. I remained calm and kept on a smiling face all through. The guns used were placed in front of me and tagged as the weapons they recovered.
“He is the dreaded kidnapper that has been terrorizing Iyana paja and it’s environs” The police officer told the journalist who was interviewing him.
“The two dead bodies have been recovered and has been deposited at the mortuary. The suspect a 25 years old man will soon be charged to court” The journalist spoke into the camera.
“Did you kill them and why did you?” One of the pressmen asked me. I looked at him into the eyes and asked him
“If you see a killer, can’t you recognize?” I smiled and looked the other way.
“What exactly happened? Did you kidnap them?” Questions upon questions kept on flooding my ears.
I was later taken back into the cell, and that was just the beginning of the sorrowful day for me. I was finally taken to the questioning room.
Beating upon beating, torture upon torture.
“You must say you killed the both of them” The hefty looking man who coordinated the beating said to me. I knew that anything I said will be used against me in the court of law. My eyes were swollen, two of my teeth gone.
Knee cap almost disjointed
Hair forcefully barbed with a broken bottle.
Life was becoming an illusion for me but I had to survive.
****The Next day****
“You have a visitor” The policeman said to me as they helped me on my feet and I limped with help from him.
“Who could that be?” I asked myself. I looked straight from afar but couldn’t see clearly due to vision constraints. I approached closer and found Aunty Juliet and her husband.
She immediately rushed to hug me as I cried upon her arms. She helped and carried me to the table where I met with his husband.
“I missed you love” She said to me.
“I have secured a court case for you, and I will be handling your case now” He said
“Are… yo..u …a lawyer?” I said with words mumbling
“I am a SAN” He said with a smile.
“That you connived at a certain day kidnapped a boy and made him murder his own mother, which is punishable by death under section 325 subsection 42 of the 1999 federal republic of Nigeria’s constitution.”
“Guilty or not guilty?”
“Not Guilty My Lord” I replied.
Arguments upon arguments in court.
Exhibits upon Exhibits being tendered in court.
Adjournments upon Adjournments trailed the whole case as I was finally transferred to Ikoyi maximum prison after my bail case failed. It was closely followed all through the country. I saw myself on the pages of newpapers making headlines.
I knew I wasn’t fighting against just Madam Grace and about her death; I was fighting against her cabal whom I never saw but knew they existed.
****** Last day of court session*****
“Someone came to see you…” Aunty Juliet said. I asked her who it was and she pointed at her car. I saw a young lady step out of the car looking like a goddess in human form.
“Shinarlaura!!” I called out as I paused on the prison warders to let me hug her. They obliged me and I gave her a hug. My Indonesian girlfriend was right with me. The emotional period was cut short as I was dragged out of her and was escorted into the court room.
Daily court proceedings took place and after several round-up speeches by the prosecuting and defending lawyers, the judge went back to his chamber and came out after few minutes. It was the longest period of my existence here on earth.
I could hear my own heartbeat. I looked several times at Shinarlaura and tears flowed through my eyes.
“Upon hearing all the arguments and having consulted with the jury. I hearby pronounce the following sentences.”
“Having not been remorseful of your actions despite being the brain behind the whole act; I understood the situation you found yourself but conniving to kill a woman was out of it. I wish you were remorseful and sought for forgiveness, you would have been considered.”
“Under these conditions, I thereby sentence you to death by hanging!!!!”
There was heavy uproar in court as a lot of people continued to shout and weep. I looked at Laura and winked at her. My heart was heavy but I did what I was supposed to do. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I knew I did what I was supposed to do.
I miss my friends Wind and Myles and I know I would get to see them soon. In case you read this story, just know that I died fighting for what I felt was an injustice against people without voices in our society.
Chinedu Chukuebuka who was later granted state pardon by the Enugu state government but later died same year as a result of medical complications at the age of 29. (1987 – 2016)
Michael Titus Igweh
Izuchukwu Ezimoha and a host of others who died as a result of drug trafficking.