“You are under arrest”, said one of the Police Officers
“For what?” I protested
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a law court. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you”
I have never heard a Nigerian Police Officer recite those words to that point.
“What is my offense?”
No one answered me
One of the officers brought out his handcuff
I turned to the middle aged man and asked with all amount of humility:
“Sir, what have I done?”
“If I were you, I would keep quiet and save my strength for what is to come”
At that point, they had my hands cuffed
I let loose my voice
“What is to come, Sir?”
“Who are you and what have I done?”
I was still shouting like a parrot who has eaten too much pepper as I was led away
My voice alerted many people as they rushed to see what happened
I told myself that I would not be taken without a fight
So I started dragging with the officers
They kept pushing me like someone who has committed a treasonable felony against his country
I kept dragging
They kept pushing
People were still watching us, but no one had the balls to intercede
Finally, they pushed me outside the facility to a waiting van.
I have never seen this type of police van in this side of the country.
It was so beautiful
On sighting the van, I knew I was in for a long thing
Before they bundled me into the van, I turned to take a final look at the middle aged man, but he was nowhere to be found.
He must have stayed back at the reception where I was arrested.
After locking me in the van, two of the officers returned to the man, while the remaining four drove me to the station.
That was my first time going to the station as a suspect.
My dislike for Police Stations had reached the heavens even before that day.
I started thinking of the crime I committed in helping a pregnant woman who was involved in an accident.
‘Who was she’, I thought
‘Was that her husband?’
‘What made him that bitter with someone who helped his wife?’
“You think you people own the roads”, one of the officers broke the silence.
“We will teach you a lesson you will never forget, reckless driver”, said another officer.
“I am not a driver. I only assisted to take her to the hospital.”
“You still dey talk, abi? E be like say you never sabi wetin you don enter so ooo”
I refused to respond
In less than three minutes, we were at the station.
“Is this the idiot?” asked a female police behind the counter.
“Na him ooo”
They pushed me behind the counter and uncuffed me.
The female officer was a true definition of beauty.
She was a young fair girl of about 23.
I saw her dimples and gap tooth when she smiled.
She stood up to unplug her phone from the socket.
I saw her true beauty from behind.
Her legs were like freshly harvested yams from Benue State.
Her waist was well kitted with belt.
I was staring at her and wondering what such a beauty was doing in the Nigeria police force.
She returned and asked me to stand up.
A male officer approached and searched my pockets and found only my ATM card.
It was at that point I remembered I left my wife in the kitchen.
I remembered the cylinder I left on the road opposite the gas station.
The female officer collected the ATM card for documentation and smiled at me.
‘Why was she smiling?’, I thought
Instead of Chidinma killing me, let Amaka disappoint me.
I looked at my third left finger and remembered I left my wedding ring on top of the freezer in the kitchen.
And my phone?
Still on top of the freezer
I looked at the wall clock directly opposite the counter.
It was 7:49pm
My seven months pregnant wife was still very hungry.
I knew I cannot be bailed at that hour.
So I turned to the female officer and smiled.
“Please can I use your phone? I want to call my lawyer”.
© Ezekiel Umoren