Beyond the façade 3


Beyond the façade #3

“Explain what you were doing at the bus stop.” The man in the tight police uniform bellowed at John.

“I told you already. I was going to work. They were about to burn her. I did what I had to do to stop it.” John placed his hand over the cold marvel counter. He was glad that Ore had been taken to a hospital. He didn’t know which one. He only hoped it would be one where she would receive prompt medical care.

“And why did they want to burn her?” The man asked. John refused to take his eyes away from the yellow eyes that glared at him.

“I don’t know. Why wasn’t their a police man at the police point to find out.” He retorted. He was blessed with a quick slap at the back of his head.

“I can see that you don’t have manners. Why would they want to burn a woman. They wouldn’t want to do that unless she had done something wrong. Besides, who is the they?”

“If you had gotten there earlier, I’m sure you would have seen a few of them fleeing away.” John said.

“Why were they running?” John snorted at the stupid question. Here he was, being harassed by the people who were supposed to protect lives and they were asking him why others ran away.

“I’ve already written all of this in my statement.” John snapped at the man. “I’m not answering anymore questions.”

“Okay, shebi you wan do strong head.” The man sneered. “Lock him up.”

You want to be stubborn right?

He was forced into a small cell that housed a few scantily clad men. The dark cell boasted of a bucket in the corner that reeked of human waste. John’s eyes contracted as he made out the slumped form of a man in the corner of the cell. He choose to sit on the floor but he soon regretted it as his butt met with the cold wet ground.

He forced himself to his feet, struggling because he could not use his handcuffed hands. He got to the wooden bunk and sat on it just before someone screamed at him.

“Bros, wetin dey do you now? Shey, you no get respect?” He jumped to his feet immediately and hit his head against the bunk. A sharp pain seared through his head as he fell to his knees on the cold floor that smelt like pee.

Mister, what is wrong with you? Don’t you have respect?

He looked at the person who had yelled at him. He could barely make out the face but it was as thin as Ore’s only more angular. The lean frame jumped out of the bed and stood. With the little light stealing through the metal bars, John saw that his accuser was a mere teenager. He wondered how such a soul could have ended up here.

“See… we get rule for this place. As you be new comer Na the floor you go sleep.” The boy pointed out. John shook his head. There was no way he was spending the night in the cell.

There is a rule in this place. As a new comer, you will sleep on the floor

“What are you talking about?” The stench coming from the boy’s body was worse than that in the cell. He wondered when last the boy had had a proper bath. “I will leave this place soon.”

“Dey there dey jones. You know how many years I don stay this place. Three years now,” The boy placed emphasis on the three. “And you know wetin I do. Just because say I steal chikini money like this. Welcome to the club of thieves. Na here you go die.”

Keep fooling yourself. Do you know how many years I have been here? Three years

Do you know the crime I committed? I only stole a little money. Welcome to the world of thieves. This is where you will die

If any other prisoner had a problem with this young man’s attitude, they didn’t say anything. They just sat wherever they were and remained the perfect picture of depression. He held on to the bars of the cell and tried to peer out to the policeman standing there. How could they be so stupid? He was only trying to help Ore. At least she was safe wherever she was. He hoped that she was getting good medical treatment.

“Hey. Hey.” He called out to the thin policeman that walked across his cell door. The man stopped in front of the cell and shot him a grumpy paired with a derisive stare.

“Ehen. Wetin you want?” The man’s voice was gruff.

What do you want?

“How can I leave this place now? I have written my statement. Who can I talk to? I have a meeting to attend.” He yelled.

“Ogbeni, shut up joor,” One of the inmates shouted. “You dey give me headache.”

Mister, shut up
You are giving me a headache

John ignored the inmate’s comment and faced the policeman. “See… the only person wey fit help your case na the DPO and he don travel go Kaduna. Until he come nobody go read that thing wey you write. Na for dustbin dey go throw your paper.”

See…the only person that can help your case is the DPO and he has travelled to Kaduna. Until he returns nobody will read what you wrote on the paper. They will throw your paper in the dustbin.

The policeman made to leave but John reached out and touched his hand. “Can I at least call someone?”

“The telephone no get credit.” The man replied and marched off. John stared at the cell again and shook his head. Was this what he got for trying to help Ore. Why hadn’t he learnt his lesson?

There is no airtime on the telephone

Oreoluwa Adeyemi was a terrible person. He tried to convince himself of the fact but he couldn’t stop himself from wondering how a family as rich as the Adeyemi’s could produce a thief.

**Notice: Subsequent chapters will be placed as replies to this topic. **


Better… I like your story, sadly it’s what we face with the Nigerian Police


That’s how today one of them harassed my neighbors transporter because of bribe. It’s just sad


Very Sad…


“Lunch time.” A female police officer walked to the cell holding a tray of food. From the corner he had retreated to, John watched the other inmates rush to the food like vultures would race to a corpse. He shook his head in pity as they stretched their emancipated hands to reach the bowls of watery beans that the woman passed out.

“Fine boy, you no go chop?” The officer asked him after she had finished serving her ‘customers.’ John choose to stare at the wall instead. Although, he had only been here for a few hours, it felt like the sun had travelled across the sky. At least it looked that way in the blackened cell.

(Fine boy, won’t you eat?)

“Leave am now. He dey there dey form. Hunger never waya am.” A deep voice growled. “You fit give me him food make am hold now.”

(Leave him. He is pretending. He is not yet hungry. You can give me his food and I will hold it for him.)

The police woman let out an hiss that would have shamed a vicious snake. “You… You there… You no dey talk? Shey you no wan eat?”

(You don’t talk. Don’t you want to eat?)

John still refused to answer and the police woman eyed him before walking away with his bowl of food. The man who had offered to help him hold his food walked over to him. John made out the figure of a large shut slipping off a bony angular waist. He could almost swear that he was looking at a human ruler.

“Oh boy, wetin do you?” Skipper asked. John kept staring at the wall, hoping the man would take a hint and walk away. His action only earned him a sharp slap from a bony hand. “I dey talk to you. Wetin do you?”

(Guy, what is wrong with you?)
(I’m talking to you. What is wrong with you?)

John placed his palm on his chin and allowed his face to contort into the rage that dwelt within him. “What? What do you want?!”

“See no dey shout anyhow for here.” The man said. The man sat before him and John wrinkled his nose. How could they seat and eat so comfortably in a place as filthy as this? “My name Na General P. Wetin be your own.”

(See, don’t yell. My name is General P. What is yours?)

John held his tongue and looked around them to see the heads that had turned their way. He had often heard stories of how prison members would gang up against a new comer. He couldn’t tell who and who had allied with General P. “It’s John.”

“Okay, John.” General P spoke like he was testing the sound of the name on his tongue. “Wetin carry you come here?”

(Why are you here?)

“Can’t you smell the feceas from here?” John asked.

“That’s not what I’m taking about. I mean, why were you apprehended?” General P switched from heavy pidgin to English. John’s jaw dropped at the perfect pronunciation that escaped General P 's mouth. “Don’t be so surprised that I can speak English. There is nothing special about it here. So why are you behind bars.”

“Hmm…” John sighed, remembering how an act of kindness had landed him in prison. “I… I tried… I was on my work when I saw… saw this girl.”

“All these women sef,” General P interrupted and show his head. "All they like to do is implicate someone.’

“That wasn’t exactly what happened. You see, I was almost late for work… then I saw this thief-”

“Shebi you said Na girl you see-” The young man that had earlier pushed John off the bunk cut in with a mouth full of beans.

(But you said you saw a girl)

“See Wale. I done tell you before. Make you no dey put your mouth for wetin no concern you. Whether he see thief or girl, Na something see Sha.” General P reprimanded the young man. “John, continue your story.”

(Wale, I’ve told you before don’t talk about something that doesn’t concern you. Whether he saw a thief or a girl, he saw something.)

“So. I had a feeling that the thief was a pick pocket-” John was interrupted once more.

“Wetin be prick pocket now?” One of the inmates that had licked his plate and spoon spotless questioned.

( What is prick pocket now?)

“Pick pocket. Not prick pocket. that one Na person wey dey steal from person pocket.” General P replied.

(Someone that steals from another person’s pocket.)

“Oh that one Na small thief dem dey call am now.” The interrupter replied.

(That one is called a small thief.)

“Wether Na big thief or small thief he no matter. Thief na thief make we hear the story finish.” Another inmate suggested.

(Whether it is a big thief or a small thief, it does not matter. A thief is a thief. Let us hear the end of the story)

John raised his voice now and recounted his story up until the point where he locked up despite the fact that his statement would have exonerated him.

“You see, John. I think you’re a nice guy. Fine boy oh but you don’t have sense.” General P condemned him.

“I don’t understand.” John replied when the other inmates voiced their support of General P 's observation. “What concerns sense and saving somebody’s life?”

“You see, in this life, if you want to do something you should apply sense. Assuming you did not know the thief would you have helped? Another thing sef, so you saved her from those who wanted to kill her and then what?”

“I still don’t understand.”

“You carried her away from her oppressors as the Superman that you are but what was your next step going to be? You thought you were going to take her to the hospital or a clinic probably. There they would still have required a statement. A statement that would have implicated both you and her because you would have to explain how she was beaten up like that.”

“Does it matter?” John spat with narrowed brows. “I’ve already written my statement. I just have to wait for the DPO to arrive and read it.”

The occupants of the cell broke into laughter and John began to feel like he was the object of a cruel joke. General P was the first to try and speak but his lips quickly failed him as he let out a roaring laughter.

“What is happening in there?” An authoritative voice from outside the cell quelled their laughter. John stared at the speaker and he took his eyes a while to accommodate light and make out the shape of the policeman that had hauled him to the station.

“Nothing. Nothing dey happen.” The inmates chorused. The policeman’s face contorted to a derisive smirk as he set his sights on John. He scoffed as he walked away earning a mocking cheer from the inmates.

(Nothing is happening)

“Ode,” General P spat out after the policeman had left. He turned to John with a mocking smile plastered boldly on his skeletal face. “You were sayong something about the DPO.”

“Yes. When he comes back he will read my statement. You know he went on a trip to Kaduna.” John replied, thinking he was the only inmate privy to that information.

“Ehen. I’ve also been waiting for the DPO to return from Kaduna.” General P said. John raised a brow at General P’s almost sarcastic tone.

“How long have you been waiting?” John could not believe that General P, who looked and behaved like he had been born and bred in the prison was also waiting for the DPO.

“Three years.”




This was perfect!!