Missed Part 1… just click HERE
Nedu could hardly believe the predicament he currently found himself in.
He had worked late and decided to leave his laptop and some other gadgets at the office, since there was zero chance of him doing any work at home. He hadn’t thought anything would go amiss when he drove off and started his twenty-or-so minutes journey home.
Eleven minutes and two flat tires later, he locked dup the car, said a silent prayer for its safety and made his way on foot, hoping to catch a ride, bus, keke, bike…just anyway to get home. Instead he had run into his fellow engineers and now, here he was on the ground with his life at the mercy of four drunk policemen
“INNER LIGHT ALLOFYHU”
“Sah, we don’t have inner light sah,” Mr. water engineer said
Why did he have to shout?
The short policeman walked closer to his colleague and whispered something in his ears
Mr. ShortCop then came forward and asked them to slowly stand up and make their way to the police van.
This isn’t happening
He got to his feet. “Officer see, there’s been a big mistake here.”
ShortCop walked up to him and looked up at his face. “You said?”
“Sir, I said there’s been a big mistake sir. I’m not a thief. These men were trying to steal from me.
“It’s like you want another slap abi?” He raised his gun to Nedu’s face. “You know I can shoot you now and nothing will happen. You know right?”
Nedu swallowed hard and shut his mouth. Cement engineer sniggered as he walked past. He promptly made his way to the vehicle without much ado, his head scrambling for a way out of this mess.
He noticed that the touts were being loaded to the back of the truck.
“You, enter the back seat”
He turned. “Enter? I should seat at the back you mean?”
With one look at ShortCop’s face, he scurried into the vehicle and shut the door behind him. He noticed a policeman sitting quietly at the wheel. With one glance at him, Nedu realized that he was sober and probably the youngest in rank, given the single stripe on his sleeve
“Bros I hail o, well done.”
He turned his head to look back at him for some seconds, probably sizing him up
“Good evening.” After a beat. “What are you doing at this time with these guys? You don’t look like a tout.”
Hope flooded Nedu’s heart. He leaned forward eagerly.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell Mr. Loud…errr, the other policeman there. He refused to listen to me. Those guys were trying to rob me when you caught us.”
The policeman nodded slowly and then said the words everyone dreads the most from the police
“Don’t worry, you can explain at the station.”
The ray of hope that had managed to come on in his heart went off instantly.
He rested back in the seat and almost hissed. The night was turning out to be worse than expected
“Any chance of me leaving that station tonight?”
“Nope. My ogas are even too drunk to answer you tonight. It’s till tomorrow they’ll talk to you. They’re coming.” He straightened up as two of the policemen entered the vehicle, on either side of him.
“OYA, TO THE STATION!”
Nedu sighed again. He would probably go deaf before the journey ended.
ShortCop just stared at him for a few seconds and then turned to look outside.
The journey to the police station lasted about ten minutes and was relatively quiet save for the periodic static sounds from the police radio. Nedu racked his brain thinking of who he could call to get him out of this predicament. He had only moved to Lagos two months ago and had very few friends, none, an important figure in the society unfortunately.
Once they got to the station, they were lined up like sheep to the slaughter and headed inside. He kept his eyes to the ground and tried to avoid eye contact.
The station was a bit quiet. Two men and one lady sat behind a long counter where they processed the men in.
Processing was stripping them of their shirts, belts, shoes, mobile phones, wristwatches, wallets and any cash and then whispering something to each person. After which each person was put into the cell right behind the counter or taken through a door to some unknown destination
When it was his turn, the blank faced policewoman asked him to strip and drop all his valuables. He did so, also handing her a small wad of cash he had in his pocket. Her eyes opened in mild surprise. While she started to put away his things, he glanced behind her into the cell and saw no less than twenty faces staring back at him, his fellow engineers inclusive.
“Reception or palace?”
What was that?
“I said reception or palace?”. He turned to face the policewoman asking him. So, this was what the whisper was about
“Please where is the reception?”
She pointed behind her
“Please send me to the palace”
She looked at him. “Are you sure?”
Anywhere but where these guys were. “Yes ma”
She kept her eyes on him and with amazing stealth, slid some of his own cash into his hands.
He was quickly taken away by another policeman, away from the reception and the cell behind it. It was a lot darker inside and he struggled to keep up. They eventually got to a large metal door that had only a slit for an eyehole on it.
This is the palace?
The door opened and he was shoved inside. Before the door slammed shut behind him, with the help of the faint light from a bare bulb hanging at the center of the room, he took in his surrounding and his new ‘roommates’
He knew he had made a terrible mistake.
He jumped at the sound of the door behind him.
He just stood there watching them… everyone else, the angriest scariest looking bunch he had seen in a long long time, watched him back. Some, with smiles. Wicked smiles
From somewhere in the room, a deep gruff voice called out.
“Oya. Lights out!”
The lights suddenly went out. He knew, there and there, that he was in trouble.
As he staggered backwards at the force of the slap to the side of his head, he could make out shapes making their way towards him. He doubted they were approaching to give a cheerful welcome.