FORCE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OFFICE
Superintendent of police, Sunday Onche was summoned by the commissioner of Police Mr. Frank Ahindero. Ahindero was the sleeping patient whose clothes and Wallet Kumalo had Stolen at the hospital .
He sat on the executive brown leather swivel chair in his office. Behind him up on the wall hung his portrait, that of the executive governor of Enugu state and that of president Good luck Ebele Jonathan smiling as usual. The smiling face of the president was the only friendly thing in the office, so SP focused his attention on it as the CP accused him of everything.
“What are you telling me? What are you and your team telling me SP”? The commissioner of Police asked furiously banging his fist on the large sparkling mahogany table in front of him. The picture of his wife and children displayed on the table tripped over, he returned it to position. “This is gross negligence on duty! It is gross incompetence”! “The officer that should be on night guard at that hospital should be arrested and locked up immediately”!
“That has been done already”! The SP said quickly.
“He should be charged! He should be dismissed and jailed for corroborating with a criminal to escape”! The CP fired on. “I am very sure he knows about the boy’s escape! How can a sick boy un-cuff himself, steal my clothes and my wallet and then knock out a man twice his size before escaping? How can? Is he a wizard”? CP asked. SP was staring at Jonathan.
“I simply went to take a rest at the hospital because my BP was high”. “I could not go home because my Kids are on holiday and my house was full”, the Kids brought their friends home to spend the holidays! CP explained. I woke up to realize my clothes were not on the table where I kept them, I sat up and looked around but only saw someone’s hospital clothes on the floor close to my bed. I opened the door and peeped out to see if any nurse would be on the corridor so I could get assistance, nothing! I then remembered I had put my phone by the pillow, it was still there so I called my orderly to bring some clothes for me at the hospital. I sat in the ward till 10.00AM before the stupid Orderly came around! 10.00AM! Can you imagine? I was supposed to have a telephone conference with the IG and other CP’s nationally at 8.00AM”! “I called John my Orderly at about 4.00AM, he lives in my compound! In my BQ! Yet it took the stupid recalcitrant, lousy! Oh! I don’t know what else to call him! It took him six hours to go to my house and collect my clothes from my people! The idiot said he forgot and fell asleep again! Can you beat that? I was trapped in the hospital wearing only my boxers without any money on me waiting for my own Orderly! SP my Orderly was sleeping in his house”! He banged his fist on the table again tripping the family portrait once again. He returned it to position and got up from his seat. SP stood at ease with his legs spread apart, arms behind his back as he focused on Jonathan.
He is a suspect! Since he likes to sleep, I have sent him to where he will get enough sleep. Nonsense! CP continued. SP Sunday Onche! You and your men are not on top of your game at all at all! I must say that I am highly disappointed in you and your team! And to say I recently endorsed your promotion, now see what I am getting! Its like this your new rank has made you to become lackadaisical!
No Sir! SP said quickly.
Go and put your house in order and get me my wallet! I have one hundred and fifty thousand naira in that wallet! I want my money! You are dismissed.
SP came too attention, saluted and marched out of the CP’s office. He smiled when he closed the door behind him and he took a deep breathe. But how will a wallet contain the sum of One hundred and fifty thousand naira? He pondered. That is a bundle and a half. Even if it were in the highest denomination of one thousand naira notes, a wallet can never taken more than half a bundle, in fact quarter of a bundle. CP lied on that one and he knew it. No wonder Jonathan kept smiling above his head. Jonathan must have heard a lot of lies in that office.
He knew better than argue with his Boss. He had to obey first before complaining, he had to obey the last order. The last order was to look for Kumalo and his wallet. How can the ID badge of a whole Commissioner of Police be in the hands of a wanted criminal?
He now understand what Peter was trying to tell him about the Egbesu Cult and their capabilities. How could just one injured man accomplish such a feat within so short a time? He stole from the CP, un-cuffed himself and knocked out a healthy male nurse twice his size and then he vanished into thin air, the stupid receptionist on duty said they saw something ran past! They said they were too busy. Lousy people! And how on earth would a police officer abandon his duty post and go home to sleep? The fact that that boy had his legs cuffed to the bed should make the officer on duty know the worth of such a suspect. He went home to sleep with his wife! Stupid officer! No problem, he will be dismissed definitely and he will have enough time for the wife. By the time he does not bring home money for the family upkeep after two months of eating up what ever he has as reserve then he will know the really meaning of the word House wife!
Those were the thoughts of SP Sunday Onche as he drove to the State criminal investigation department. He brought out his phone and dialed. “The two of you should meet me at the office right away”! He barked into the mouth piece and dropped the phone on the console.
Bros Jato, the leader of the Egbesu cult is seated. With him are Kumalo, Ese, Kumalo’s girl friend and two gentle men on suit.
One of the men on suit was talking.
“As it is now, Okiemute need to go to the Police station to make a formal statement about his incarceration and eventual escape from the Police in the hospital at Enugu. He was held hostage illegally by the police because he committed no crime, rather an attempt was made on his life and his brother was killed in the process”. “Why was he chained to the bed? His life was even at risk when those boys attempted to kill him at the hospital yet what did the police do about it? His brother was murdered! His mother died in the process! Yet the police did not deem it fit to release him to come home! In fact we need to sue the police! We need to sue them”!
“Another thing we need to do now is to ensure that Okiemute remains here in Warri until the revenge mission at Enugu is accomplished. He needs to be close to the police here so that he will not be suspected for whatever happens in Enugu”.
“And how will he be kept close to the police here”? Jato asked.
“We will cause a little gbege at the station that will lead to his arrest”. “When we get there, the police will naturally threaten to arrest him for escaping from their custody in Enugu. At that instance, we sill start trouble which will lead to our arrest”. Said the man on suit.
“But you are a lawyer! How will they arrest you”? Jato asked.
“That I am a lawyer does not give me the right to constitute nuisance at a police station”. “They will arrest me quite alright but they cannot beat me or keep me there more than necessary. They will release me because i am a lawyer but when ever Okiemute is released, we will cause another gbege that will send him inside again. We will keep doing this until the mission at Enugu has been executed”. All these should not exceed four days said Barrister Otioto.
“Bros e”! “Are you saying that i will not go to Enugu for the hit or what”? Kumalo asked.
“Which kind hit you dey talk about Kumalo”? Ese asked. “You well at all? Craze dey worry you”?
“Why you dey shout for me Ese”? Kumalo asked.
“Why I no go shout”? Ese fired back.
“Yes Okiemute! You cannot go for the hit! You are a wanted man in Enugu and the Police will naturally expect you to go for revenge, so if anything happens to those hawks now, you will be the primary suspect and they will hunt you down! You do not under estimate our police if they set out to work”! Barrister Otiotio explained.
“Okiemute please listen to the voice of reasoning I beg you”! Ese pleaded. “Please I beg you! Mama and brother Jumbo are dead! You are the only one in the family remaining”!
“No! I must be there”! Kumalo stood up. “How can you deny me the pleasure of taking revenge on the murderers of my brother”? “They cause the death of mama also! How can you do this to me bros”?
“Look Kumalo! They killed an Egbesu child! We are Egbesu! They killed our brother! Do you understand that”?
What of my mother that they led to an untimely death? Kumalo asked angrily.
She is the mother of two Egbesu Children! We are Egbesu! She is our mother not your mother alone so sit down there now and stop creating a scene here! If you shout here again i will blind your ear! Sit down! Jato commanded.
Kumalo sat down grumbling. Ese wrapped her arms around his neck to console him but he flung her arms away angrily, leave me I beg! He shouted.
Barrister Otiotio continued.
Everything is in place now; we have Okiemute here hale and hearty. Jato! Send words to Rukewe in Enugu to execute plan A while we go to the police station with Okiemute now and file a formal statement. Oya guys lets go!
CAMPUS 3 IMT ENUGU
Rukewe, Sampson and Pastor came down from a Toyota Camry popularly called ‘pencil light’. Rukewe had parked the car close to the Bus stop Pavilion.
The trio dressed in uniform of red jeans, white T shirts and white berets, their eyes are covered with dark sun glasses and each lit up a stick of cigarette and started walking towards Nkutu-ume. The school’s joint.
Their appearance caught the attention of the other students going about their businesses on campus and pockets of people began to gather. They moved from shop to shop looking for somebody. Many students ran away as they approached the shops while others cringed closer to the walls while hiding their faces.
The Egbesu trio were puffing out smoke from the cigarettes as they scanned the shops one after the other until they got to the shop where the Black Panther men were relaxing and discussing. Rukewe removed his glasses and looked at their faces very well.
Maxwell stood up abruptly. Na wetin dey happen here? Na who una be? He asked
Hey you! Pastor called. You no go sit down there now or you want winch to chop you? You dey craze? Why you dey show your self any how?
Sit down Max! Danladi advised. Sit down! Maxwell sat down.
Rekewe went to meet Danladi, he pulled an empty plastic chair closer and sat on it facing Danladi. Pastor and Sampson stood as sentries with legs spread apart and arms folded across their shoulders smoking. By now pockets of students had gathered at different angles watching the drama unfolding.
Rukewe picked up a pack of Benson and Hedges from the table in front of Danladi and brought out a stick from it. He removed a fire lighter from his breast pocket and lit the cigarette. Took a long drag on it and puffed the smoke in the face of Danladi.
Maxwell could not stomach the humiliation to his Boss as he charged towards Rukewe. Something intercepted and hit him hard on the fore head and he fell to the ground on his buttocks. He looked up and saw Sampson standing between him and Rukewe. Rukewe had not moved an inch. Maxwell got up again and charged towards Sampson but received another head butt that sent him down on his buttocks again.
Stay down Max! Danladi said. Don’t allow him to hit you a third time please. Danladi also remained seated as he pulled out a stick from the packet of Benson and Hedges also; he removed a stick, lit it and inhaled deeply before exhaling the smoke in the face of Rukewe.
Maxwell got up again and rushed towards Sampson with a right kick. Sampson swerved to the left side and allowed Maxwell’s foot to hit the ground before sending a flying head but to Maxwell’s face. Maxwell screamed as he went down on his buttocks for the third time.
My eyes! My eyes! He screamed as he crawled on all fours on the ground. His forehead had punctured and blood was dripping over his face.
“Wetin dey worry this your man”? Rukewe asked Danladi.
There were creams from the crowd. Pastor had not moved from his position. He was looking around the school environment from his standing position. Sampson picked up his Beret and his glasses from the ground and wore them then he went back to his sentry position while Max sat on his buttocks cleaning the blood from his face. Paschal the man ‘o’ war was starring at the trio with awe while the other Panthers sat in silence staring at Maxwell the hardest of them all.
Rukewe brought out his phone and showed to Danladi.
That’s my man! Rukewe said. Where is he?
Egbe! Danladi called. He is now a born again Christian! Danladi said.
I know! That’s why i need to see him; they need him in heaven right away! Rukewe said.
But you can’t hit a servant of God nah! Danladi pleaded. Meanwhile he is no longer number one, he had been dethroned.
I know! Stanley is number one now! Rukewe said. He is also on my list.
Well, he is always preaching at the bus stop there these days! Danladi said.
At that moment, Stanley, his ground lord, Emeka the number two and four other members of the Hawks confraternity ran into the Nkutu-ume arena with portable Axes. They have come to see what was happening in their school. They are the Hawks and they rule the campus so who could be pulling stunts in their school?
Who them be? Where them dey? The Hawks were asking aloud, brandishing their number 7.
Amici! Pastor shouted as he saw them from his standing position
Amici! Rukewe shouted as he jumped to his feet and joined Pastor
Amici! Sampson shouted as each of the trio picked up a bottle of coca cola and started marching towards Stanley and his men.
Stanley and his crew spread out as they saw the trio advancing dangerously with bottles in their hands. Danladi and his men got up and pulled Maxwell up and outside the Arena to a safe distance. There were screams everywhere as the school was witnessing an epic event.
Amici! Amici! Amici! The Egbesu boys were chanting as they charged towards the seven Hawks men.
There was no time or room for negotiation as the two group clashed. The Hawks men cut the Egbesu boys randomly with their Axes but nothing happened. The Egbesu kept chanting and fighting.
Emeka looked at the blade of his Axe after cutting Pastor severally when Pastor held on to his neck punching him in the stomach. He wanted to be sure that the blade was not blunt. It was that moment that Pastor hit him hard with the bottom of the coca cola bottle oh his head.
At this point that the music changed.
Igbokigbo! Igbikigbo! The Egbesu boys started to chant and jumped about, the whole school went on rampage with students running about screaming and girls crying while some bold ones were taking pictures and videoing the scene.
The bottle of coca cola which Pastor rang on Emeka’s head opened the head yet the bottle did not break. Emeka screamed as the Axe in his hands fell off. Pastor hit him hard across the face with the bottom of the bottle pulling off the whole front teeth, Emeka slumped. Pastor picked up the Axe that fell from Emeka and gave two quick blows to Emeka’s neck. A vain was cut and blood gushed out like from a slaughtered Christmas goat. Sampson was wrestling with another Hawk’s man, he gave him a head butt and the man fell on his buttocks but before he could stand up, Pastor was on him with the Axe chopping off his head. Rukewe was busy stabbing a Hawks man in the stomach when the sound of a gun went off. Stanley’s bull dog had barked. The bullets tore Rukewe’s T shirt. Rukewe turned around and the Bull dog barked again, Rukewe staggered back wards and dabbed off smoke from his shirt, he bent down and pulled out a pistol from his boot and fired at Stanley on the leg. Stanley screamed and fell down. He got up but fell again; Rukewe went closer and fired the other leg. Stanley screamed and fired at Rukewe three more times, he fired at Pastor and Sampson but the bullets did not harm them, the Egbesu boys were chanting Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo!
The remaining two Hawks men that were not lying on the ground fled limping with deep cuts. Stanley was left on the ground writing in pain. The Egbesu men picked up their Berets and wore their sun shades then they faced each other and started cutting with knife and bottles still chanting the Igbokigbo. Rukewe shot at Sampson with the gun, Sampson dabbed the smoke away and collected the gun from Rukewe to shoot at Pastor, Pastor vibrated and jumped higher chanting before collecting the gun to shoot at Rukewe, the school went agog, and students were hailing them shouting Igbokigbo.
The Trio marched back to the Car they had come with and zoomed off. The Car had no number plates.
Egbe had just arrived at the bus stop for his daily preaching when the clash happened. He witnessed what happened to his men but could not decipher where the men on white and red came from. He had hidden his face and kept his distance but from what he gathered from the students that witnessed everything from the beginning, the men in red and white are mercenaries imported by the Black Panthers. They had a meeting with the Panthers before attacking the Hawks.