Episode 31

Three days.
• • •
We abducted the rival gang guy and held him in our custody for three days. Three days of merciless beatings, terrific torture and brutal starvation like they did to me, yet, he refused to talk or say anything concerning his gangʼs whereabout and location.
We deviced all sort of methods, all sort of techniques and also tried all types of styles of torture on him, but still, he didn’t budge. He acted abrasively stubborn!
So, having no other option, Simonʼs next idea was to cut off his ears and his fingers, and maybe a toe from his foot too. Maybe by that, according to Simon, he might surely speak up to confess. But I decided against it! I decided to intervene.
I asked them to take me to the torture room so that I could speak with him one on one. At first, Boma was reluctant and declined adamantly about me going there, but after much plea and pressure from me, he hesitantly allowed me to go.
I was led outside to the corridor, behind the building where there was another small secluded boys-quarters. It was locked with two padlocks and chains fixed onto it. After opening the locks, we went inside.
If I hadn’t seen this guy before we abducted him three days ago, I would have said he wasn’t the same person I laid eyes on as I walked in. His face had really changed, probably from the endless beatings every day. His eyes were swollen and soggy, as well as his cheeks were bulgy. His lips had lost shape, and his body was something else to look at.
He was cuffed and chained to a chair, wearing only a trouser as his bare wounded body remained visible. I would have felt pity for him if they had also felt pity for me, too.
I drew a chair and placed it directly in front of him, and I sat. Boma stood behind me, while Simon moved behind the hostage and stood there. I paid rapt attention to his face to try and study him. I watched as his eyes flickered as he raised his head up slowly to face me.
For a moment, he looked like he was shocked as we made eye contact, gazing at me intermittently. In another moment, he fixed a frown quickly with his face squeezed, showing no facial expression.
“You again?!” he exclaimed with an anger-vested tone. “So na you them use catch me? God punish you!” he cursed.
From the back, Simon lashed him a swift blow on his neck. He yelped in pain from the impact.
“Say one more word, Iʼll give you double!” Simon warned menacingly, tightening his fist for another blow, but I stopped him. I raised my hand and gestured to him to calm down.
“You should be thanking me you are still alive now,” I said, referring to the hostage.
“I should be thanking you? I swear na God go punish you!” he cursed again.
Despite my raging countenance, I still managed to keep calm and tolerate him.
“I want to help you, only if you behave and cooperate with us.” I said, trying to reason with him.
“So this one wey una do me never satisfy una abi? You tortured me for three good days without food and water, yet you still get mind come back dey yarn me bullshit!” he fumed angrily.
This time, I just lost it! I snapped my fingers and right away, Simon lashed him heavily from his back. He screamed!
“Whatʼs your problem? What is wrong with you?” I was forced to yell out loud, “I am trying to be nice here. I’m trying to reason with you. Itʼs for your own good! Donʼt make me change my mind!”
“If you change am, wetin go happen?” he spoke again.
This guy had guts! He was probably trying to show us how stubborn he was.
“Simon, maybe you should tell him what we actually planned to do to him before I pleaded on his behalf.” I exclaimed to Simon.
“I been wan cut your fingers, cut your ears, chop off one of your toes, and finally I go come gouge out one of your eyes then cook am give you chop…” Simon explained.
On hearing that, I could swear I saw him shiver instantly from those words. He looked terrified, scared and shocked at the same time.
“So you see why I said you should cooperate?” I asked.
He nodded almost immediately, filled with fear. That fear was the exact thing I needed to proceed.
“So tell me, who do you work for?”
“I said who do you work for?” I repeated.
Silence again!
Simon was about to raise his hand and lash him heavily from behind, not until the guy opened up his mouth to speak.
“I work for a set of confidential people… I don’t think you would know them…”
“Just talk!” I urged him on.
He heaved a sigh and continued, “Our major aim is to help them win the upcoming election in any possible way, regardless of any obstacle we might face. We were given orders to waste anyone that proved to be a threat to us. I was only following my orders I swear to God… I didn’t do it intentionally!”
“But you kidnapped me.” I said.
He remained silent.
“You kidnapped me and you also killed my friend, you murdered her in cold blood. Isnʼt that enough reason for us to kill you now if I decide to?”
Again, he remained silent.
“Let me take over from here.” Boma said from behind me and walked closer to the front.
“If I ask you anything, just dey give me answers straightaway” he warned cautiously. The guy nodded.
“First of all, wetin be your name?” Boma asked.
“Scorpion Bite!” the guy answered.
“The name wey your mama and papa give you, idiot!”
“Bolaji na my real name,” he replied.
“So Bolaji, who exactly are these people you work for? We already know of Senator Randy Ogbonna, we know of Big Tiny and also that other idiot called Lady Tee. Who else is attached to the list, and secondly, how do we track them?” Boma queried.
“I don’t know anything about the Senator I swear on my life, neither do I know anything about Big Tiny or Lady Teeʼs whereabouts.”
“Bolaji, don’t lie to me!” Boma warned.
“Bros I no dey lie… If you don’t believe me thatʼs your bloody problem!” he answered.
Three hot slaps followed suit immediately after that statement. Boma didn’t waste time.
Three hot slaps followed by a kick to his stomach and a blow to his face.
“Boma stop!” I quickly stood up to hold him down.
“Fifi leave me alone!” he yelled furiously. I didn’t release my hold on him nevertheless.
“Leave him alone, please. Just let me talk to him one more time…” I pleaded with him.
Slowly, Boma shifted backward and gave me space to come closer. I released my hold from his arm and stepped closer to the guy, bending slightly in front of him.
“Bolaji, this might probably be your last chance. I don’t want you to die here. I want to help you. Let me help you… Try to cooperate with us, please.” I said, trying to reason with him.
“F–k you!” he said next.
I was baffled. Upon how nice I tried to be, upon how nice I sounded, that was the best way he chose to respond back.
“Do whatever you want to do with this guy, Iʼm done here!”
I turned back and began walking towards the door angrily. I walked out of the boys-quarters and I heard footsteps following me behind. I looked back, it was Boma. I faced front and walked faster, but I could hear him calling out to me. I didn’t respond. I didn’t stop.
Suddenly, as I made to take another step, a sharp pain scourged through my stomach. I screamed.
From behind, Boma hurriedly ran towards me with panick evident on his face. I bent low with one hand on my thigh and another hand holding my stomach.
“What happened?” Boma asked as he got near me and held my shoulder.
“I felt a sudden pain.” I said, still holding my stomach.
“Stand up first,” he said and held my hand to try and lift me up, but the moment I lifted my legs, the sharp pain emerged again more painfully. I screamed and fell back down, breathing heavily.
The next thing I knew, I felt this sudden urge to throw up as a bile of saliva hung to my throat. I felt something rushing up to my throat and, within the blink of an eye, I vomitted the bile out.



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