This story was inspired by true events.
Dedicated to the ALUU 4 and everyone who has died because of the senselessness and brutality of Jungle Justice, the menace of terrorism, the Government’s neglect and finally, to those whose killers still roam the streets, free.
JUNE 2012, 7.30AM
He wanted to come down and do something; his heart was racing, his hands itching for a weapon of any kind and his mind cursing every single person in the angry crowd that armed themselves with clubs, knives and cutlasses while they beat his friends without mercy.
Do something Dapo! Do something Dapo!! Do something!!!
The words danced around his head, making him want to jump down from the tree that had been his refuge for thirty minutes. But he dared not come down, his hands gripped the branches tightly as he watched in horror the unfortunate fate that had befallen his best friends.
Awon omo ole! Thief! Barawo! Onye oshi! Kill them! Don’t show them mercy!!!
Oh no, he could not take it anymore. He could not watch the pain they were being put through by these wicked souls.
His eyes shut tightly as tears flowed freely down his face.
They had come here to harass someone; it was supposed to be harmless. All they intended to do was threaten the guy, take the money he owed one of them and leave the village. But that had turned awry when the guy ran out of the house and claimed he was being attacked by robbers. The whole community had been quick to dash out of their various homes as they rounded them all up and began to beat them. He had been lucky to escape. He had been lucky to find a way out of the house before his other four friends. And now he sat on a tree close to the empty field his friends had been dragged to and were being tortured from.
We are not thieves!
He heard one of them cry out. And he wanted to cry out too and say the same thing. They were not thieves. They were undergraduates at the University where they all studied Agriculture. They were innocent. They had never stolen anything, except when they took each other’s comb, or shirt or shoes, without asking first.
No mercy! On their necks!
His eyes flew open as he watched in horror, tyres being thrown around each of his friend’s necks.
He wanted to scream! He wanted to scream no! But he couldn’t. He couldn’t even make a call, his phone had been misplaced somewhere during the chaos that started about an hour earlier.
A tall man approached them, he was dressed in a Police Uniform and even though he was panic stricken, Dapo’s tension began to ease. The policeman would do something to restore peace and sanity, he assured himself. Even though he had grown up seeing the Police force as useless and incapable, he held on to the belief that there was going to be a difference this one time.
The crowd went silent as the officer tried to calm them down. His voice was not loud, but Dapo knew he was trying to tell them something about not taking the laws into their own hands.
The crowd murmured. A man with a scar visible enough for him to see from where he was perched on the tree and a limp which did not slow down his walk in any way approached the officer. He looked angry and he looked defiant, Dapo’s tension returned as he saw the man with the limp push the officer away and asked the crowd to return their earlier action.
Dapo watched in sheer dismay as someone approached with a keg of petrol and emptied it on each of his friends who were now exhausted from pleading for mercy and were at the point of death.
He tried to jump down from the tree, there was no way he was sitting on the tree while his four best friends lost their lives in the hands of a senseless and brutal crowd, there was no way he was watching the guys he had grown up with, burn to death. There was absolutely no way he was watching them die without achieving the hopes and dreams they had all talked about since they were little boys in Lagos.
Chinedu wanted to own one of the biggest farms in Nigeria together with him, Kayode wanted to be an actor immediately after graduation, he had already starred in two films and he could not wait to be done with school, so he could push his dreams further. Kassim wanted to be a rapper and his demo was waiting to be picked at the studio where they had all planned to be at after collecting the money from his debtor in this village and Mofe wanted to just work in a bank, meet a pretty woman and raise cute kids.
They did not all want to die like this at twenty three, they did not want to end their lives this way. He knew that. He knew that because he was their friend and roommate and because they had discussed their dreams with each other so many times, that each guy knew his friends’ dreams and at what age he wanted to realize it.
He had not made it down to the stem of the tree when he heard Mofe’s painful cry. He froze and like a zombie climbed back to the top and watched, mortified, as his friends, in pain, tried to fight the fire that engulfed them.
It was not happening. There was no way people were this wicked. There was no way a whole village, consisting of fathers and mothers, who knew what it was to have kids, would gather together and conspire to kill four innocent boys who had their lives ahead of them. There was no way his friends were going away like this.
No! No!! No!!!
“NOOOOO!!!” he shrieked but his voice was lost in the cheer of the insane crowd that now watched the dying four, with intense satisfaction on their faces.
The man with the limp watched as they burnt to death, the police officer who had tried to stop them some minutes earlier, watched in shock.
Dapo kept screaming. It was the only thing he could do for the next five minutes.
“I say I no dey sell gun. Whish kain wahala be dis one na? dem send you come hia?”
Dapo watched the unwilling man in front of him, he was in his forties and he went by the name Bombastic. He had not come by the name by mere accident, he had come by it because he had been instrumental in the bombing of one of the most influential politicians in Nigeria in the early nineties and even though he had come into hiding on the order given him by the man who had sent him to kill the politician, the people who knew him well gave him the name Bombastic. Bombastic from Bomb, the weapon he had used to execute his most successful operation till date.
Dapo had gotten over the initial shock of his friends’ murder and instead of calling their parents and friends to inform them of the unfortunate incident, he had marched towards the hostel of his closest cousin, Bode, who was a popular cultist and who he knew would know how to get him a gun.
Bode was very protective of him and so had questioned him on why he needed a gun and then advised him on the reasons why he did not need a gun, especially since he was not trained to use one.
“Dapo, e no easy like dat na. I no fit give you gun when I know you no sabi how dem dey use am.” Bode said calmly, trying to convince his cousin not to carry arms.
Dapo told him he needed it and then threatened to go and get it somewhere else. Bode had reluctantly described Bombastic’s house to him and assured him he would get the gun there.
Bode would have handed him his gun, but he did not want Dapo to handle his own gun.
When Dapo made to leave his room, Bode had called him, placed an arm on his shoulder and said gently, “be careful, bro”. Dapo had nodded and dashed out of the room.
Now he stood in front of Bombastic, trying to convince him he was the one he was looking for and the gun was of dire importance to him.
“And I say na Chairmo send me!!” Dapo retorted.
Bombastic paused and scrutinized his visitor. He knew very few of the boys on campus and only few of them were close to him the way Chairmo aka Bode was. The boy had stuck his neck out for him many times in the past and had won a place in his heart as one of his favorite men. If the tall, well built boy, standing in front of him had mentioned that sooner, he would have handed him the gun and would have returned to his room to continue watching the Nollywood movie he was watching, with a bowl filled with steaming akara.
“Whish chairmo?” he asked for confirmation.
Bombastic nodded, then he waited as if expecting more explanation.
Dapo put his hands into his pockets and retrieved a red piece of cloth, Bombastic smiled, revealing a dirty set of teeth, when he saw the cloth.
“You for tell me bifor na. Chairmo na ma boy”
Dapo nodded, he did not have time for stories, he needed a gun and he needed it ASAP.
“Can I get the gun now?” Dapo asked impatiently, he was tired of seeing the man’s dirty teeth that was smeared with palm oil. He wanted to get out of there and go on his self imposed mission soon enough.
Bombastic nodded, entered his house which was an old bungalow with more cracks than a cracked glass and emerged few minutes later with a nylon bag. He handed it over to Dapo.
Dapo thrust a five hundred naira note in his hands and disappeared.
Bombastic watched him leave. He had been dealing with cultists for a long time and he could smell them from faraway when he saw them. And the boy who just left him was not a cultist.
He wondered what he needed the gun for.
Dapo had it all planned out in his head. It was the only thing he had been thinking of for three hours and to him it was a very brilliant idea. He watched carefully, the man with the limp, as he emerged from his house with the Police officer he had seen earlier.
Dapo was hiding behind his car and he had chosen the spot because nobody was likely to see him in the little time it would take him to silence the first person on his list of people to kill.
“You people don’t do your job well, that is why we always take it upon ourselves to do it for you. See ehn, I cannot be watching thieves and assassins walk into my village anyhow. This village is not where they can do anything they like, they can try it in other cities but not in this village” he heard the man with a limp say, “Enough is enough and from now on, it is jungle justice for any thief we catch”
The policeman made to talk but the man with the limp did not give him the opportunity to.
“Oga Police, please let this one end here. I know you have to tell your superiors something but tell them you could not place arrest because there were too many people there and you were overpowered by the angry crowd. Which would not be a lie, you know?”
The policeman was reluctant, he did not like the explanation.
“I am going for the post of Local Government chairman next year and that is why I am willing to give the people whatever they want so they can see me as a man of the people. Besides, I hate thieves with a passion”
Dapo was enraged, the man was not sober for killing his friends.
He dipped his hand into the pocket of the white sokoto he was wearing and pulled out a wad of naira notes.
“You can use this one for the weekend ehn Oga Police”
The policeman instantly lit up, the money exchanged hands and he was suddenly shaking hands with the man with a limp.
Dapo had seen enough, he raised the gun and pulled the trigger. He missed. He had not been trained to fire a gun and he had no idea that he needed to aim well to hit his target.
He tried again and this time, it hit the man with a limp who had been trying to escape. He fell to the ground and started yelling in pains. The policeman had already vanished. Dapo tried again but this time he had to run because people had started rushing out to see what was going on.
He ran towards the car park and was almost there when he was overpowered by the Policeman he saw earlier. The officer pulled him close, sent him reeling backwards with a slap, and cuffed his hands with a handcuff.
“You are under arrest for attempted murder my friend!”
Dapo watched as he was pushed back towards the village.
JUNE, 2019. 5.30am
Tiwa ran her fingers through his lean and toned body and guided them gently towards his torso. She moved closer to him on the massive bed as her hand expertly worked its way into his boxers and found him slightly ready for her. She smiled, realizing she did not have to work so hard to get him ready for her. While her hand performed their job on him under his boxers, her lips teased his earlobes and found the most sensitive spot on his body, his nipples.
He stirred and mumbled something she didn’t quite catch. Then he tried to turn. Tiwa stopped him with her free hand and got on top of him.
“Tiwa” he muttered sleepily.
“Yes babe” she responded as she ditched the lacy lingerie she wore to bed the night before which barely covered her firm butt.
She placed his hands on her big firm boobs and leaned towards him. “I’m horny, babe” she whispered in his ears and bit it gently.
He grumbled. She smiled. He was getting harder and that meant he was ready for her any minute.
“Tiwa, it is too early in the morning na. let us wake up before we do anything…”
She giggled, “it is 5.30 Chima. We can do something now”
She parted his lips with her tongue and with a finger, slid her thong to a side, making it easy for him to enter inside of her. She moaned. He was not one with a “real big cock” like her sister, Ewa, would say, but he contained her and drove her crazy when they made love and that was what mattered.
“Oh Tiwa… Tiwa…”
“Yes babe” she moaned as she rode him gently, enjoying the pleasure his hands on her boobs gave her. It had been a while they had sex and she had wanted him for days. It had taken a lot of persuasion to have him spend the night at her place on a Sunday night, but it had worked and now she was getting what she wanted.
“Aaah” he said as he poured his seed into her.
Tiwa paused.”Wait, did you just come?”
“Yes now.” He replied, gently rolled her off him and strolled out of the massive bedroom into the bathroom.
Tiwa laid on her back in silence as disbelief flooded through her mind. They had seen just thrice in three months, had not made love in six and he just reluctantly made love to her and strolled away like that?
The light in the room came on, momentarily blinding her and causing her to shut her eyes tightly.
“Won’t you go and have your bath? Or are your cases going to figure themselves out in court?” he asked.
Tiwa opened an eye slowly and then opened the other. “Chima, we have not had sex in a long time and that is all you had to give?”
“Tiwa, I have fucked you, it was what you wanted and I gave you without wahala. What is it now again?” he looked irritated as he pulled out the shirt and pants he had kept in her wardrobe the night before when he arrived in her condo.
“Fuck? How many times have I told you not to refer to lovemaking between us as fuck? Am I a hooker or one of those your side chics ni?” she asked in annoyance. He had never respected the act of lovemaking between them and even though she had never caught him pants down with another woman, she suspected there were many that he hid from her. “We have been dating for five years and you have not learnt to respect lovemaking between us”
“its just sex, Tiwa. Get over it.” He snapped.
“It is just sex?” she asked, exasperated. She got off the bed and walked towards him. He stared at her as she approached him, her firm breasts which moved with her every step, distracting him. It was what had first pulled him to her five years ago; the firm beautiful and massive boobs. Tiwa owned a petite body, her waist was tiny and her butt albeit big was not a match with the breasts which gathered attention everywhere she went. The flat stomach which went with it made it easier for the boobs to be a beauty on their own. And all that coupled with her beautiful face made her one of the most perfect beings he had ever laid his eyes and hands on. It was why he stayed with her despite the distractions he daily got from other women, starting from that his very sexy secretary.
She reached him now and he held her hands and smiled, “Tiwa honey I did not mean it like that and you know it. You are my fiancé and sex cannot be just sex between us now. Not after five years.”
She eyed him and snatched her hands away from him, “I hope so.”
“come on now, I did not mean that.”
“Whatever” she said and strolled into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her.
She had been born into immense wealth twenty-nine years ago and up until the time her parents were brutally murdered by top politicians in the country when she was twenty three, life had been somewhat rosy. She had gotten what she wanted- all the designer clothes, shoes, bags, expensive hair, cars and even landed property and she had visited wherever she wanted at whatever time.
Her late mother’s exquisite taste in fashion had helped shape her into one of the stylish women in the country and the tabloids never got tired of writing what she wore, even to the office, even when it was just the good old black and white or simply black.
Stylish lawyer, they called her.
She walked comfortably in her five inch heels now as she approached her office in the most popular law firm in the country. In one hand was the day’s paper and in the other, her custom made Zara handbag.
She walked past her Personal assistant who hurriedly reached for her bag and walked with her towards her office.
“You got a call from the Professor whose only son committed murder and…”
“He needs to stop calling me” Tiwa muttered as she walked through the tiled office, her shoes making a sound as they hit the floor.
“The boss wants to see you” her personal assistant said as she dropped her bag on her desk.
Tiwa nodded, her eyes still fixed on the day’s paper. “Which one of them?”
The personal assistant watched her boss with envy and awe. Barrister Tiwa Abiona was like a goddess at twenty nine and even Davido had referred to her in one of his popular hits as a goddess with brains and style that made a man want to cum simply by staring at her…
He couldn’t have been more correct; Tiwa had that effect on men and even women found her attractive. Everything she did became instantly sexy, even ordinary things like reading the day’s paper while dressed in a short sleeve tight fitting shirt and black pencil skirt.
“Thank you, Queen” she said to her PA, dismissing her with a nod.
Queen smiled and took her leave. Wondering what it took to be like a Tiwa Abiona.
It was no news that IGE&OBI picked a criminal case every year and offered their services, Pro Bono, while they fought tooth and nail to save the accused. And every year, one of the very efficient lawyers in the law firm were randomly picked and handed the case file of whoever they were representing that year.
It was how it had always been, since the inception of IGE&OBI twenty years before and it was how Tiwa had met it.
Now as she sat in front of one of the partner’s of the firm, Lanre Ige, she learnt with little excitement that it was her turn to represent a criminal on the year’s Pro Bono case.
“Sir, it is not like I don’t want to do this, it is just that… that… I don’t… what if I don’t win this case? Every other lawyer in this firm who has represented a suspect on a pro bono case has won but me I just started my career and what if I lose it? I will be tainting this firm’s reputation and ruining my own career before I start”
Lanre Ige, stared at her, his expression unreadable, causing Tiwa to feel slightly uncomfortable. The old man adjusted his glasses and pushed a file towards her on the large desk crowded with so many folders, files and documents.
“That is the person you are representing. Thirty year old man awaiting trial and who the Government seems to have forgotten in the Police cell all these years.”
Tiwa nodded, no need pleading her case, she was going to have to see this one through. She opened the file and the picture of a chocolate skinned man with a face that still managed to look good beneath the full beards on his face stared back at her.
She read his name out loud, “Adedapo Obisesan”
“He was arrested for shooting some stupid man with a dead brain in one of these bush places seven years ago and he has been forgotten in the cell ever since. Get him out.” Lanre Ige said and she nodded. She did not know if this was going to be easy but she knew she better make it easy. When Lanre Ige barked orders like this, he meant every single word he spoke. She stood up and clutched the case file to her chest as she walked out of the office.
She watched the bearded, unkempt man in front of her as he eyed her with disdain. The fact that he did not seem to want her there made her uncomfortable and her job somehow harder. How did she talk to this type of person who clearly didn’t want to talk?
“You were charged with attempted murder” she said, braving herself for the task that laid ahead and directing her gaze to the file on the table in front of her.
“I wished I had killed the motherfucker though.” He said and she looked at him in surprise. He didn’t seem to feel any form of remorse.
“Dude supervised the killing of my best friends, he deserved to die” he said nonchalantly.
Tiwa had not seen this type of person before and it shocked her so much she almost didn’t know what to say. “Mr Obisesan, you cannot talk like that. Let us focus on getting you out of here”
Dapo smiled and for the first time she saw his face go from the hardened face of a criminal to that of a cute little boy. His smile changed the way she saw him in an instant and she wondered if he smiled more often.
“Barrister…” he searched for her name, clearly forgetting she mentioned it earlier when she arrived at the prison where he had been held for five years without trial, after being transferred from the Police cell that had initially held him hostage.
“Tiwa Abiona” she provided her name.
“Good. Barrister Abiona, don’t waste your time, because if I get out of here, I would go in search of that motherfucker and wipe away his entire family from the face of this earth.” Then he stood up and motioned to the prison warder that brought him. It was when he stood that she noticed his tall frame. Unlike Chima who had a lean sexy body, this one had a thicker body that had somehow stayed fit even in prison. “Have a nice day, Barrister Abiona” he said as he was led away by the Prison warder.
“He doesn’t want to leave that place, sir. I have been there twice after the first time I saw him and he refused to see me. There is nothing I can do about his unwillingness to be free. Maybe I should take another case?” Tiwa asked Lanre Ige. Dapo Obisesan had been proving hard to get and she was becoming frustrated.
Lanre Ige leaned forward, “Barrister, get that boy out of that place.”
“Get him out. Not all criminals are ready to be assisted, you have to let him see why he should be helped and exonerated.”
Tiwa had finally found out why her boss wanted Dapo Obisesan out so bad, he hated the man who Dapo had shot and tried to kill, with an overwhelming passion. The man was a politician who had stepped on many toes, his inclusive and who had a goal of keeping Dapo in jail for the rest of his life. Lanre Ige hated him and he wanted to show him that life did not revolve around his uneven legs.
However, Tiwa knew that made her job harder. She knew it meant Lanre Ige was emotionally attached to this case and she had better try her best to get Dapo out. She hoped this time that Dapo would try to see her. He had been refusing to see her for days. She was sitting behind the desk in the room where they received visitors in prison when he emerged.
She was wearing a smile as he took his seat.
Dapo looked at the chocolate skinned woman in front of him. She was beautiful, it was the first thing he had noticed about her the first time she had walked into the Prison to represent him. If situations were different and he was not in prison for a crime he wished he had finished committing, he would have chased her and God knows what he would do to that body if he handled it.
“Thank you for seeing me” she said.
He nodded, he liked her when she smiled, and he liked that the smile was for him. He wondered if she had a man and if she smiled this million dollar smile for him every day. The man was lucky to have her. He hadn’t wanted to see her initially but when she had become a constant at the Prison, he had finally given in and decided to see her. Especially since his cell mates told him to stop being unnecessarily stubborn.
Besides, who would pass on an opportunity to sit in front of a pretty woman who was begging to save him, even if he didn’t want to be saved?
“So where do we start from, Barrister?” he asked.
Tiwa almost grinned, he was finally letting her in and she was grateful for that, maybe her job wasn’t going to be so hard after all.