AMAZING LOVE - Episode 32

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Eka’s parents were overwhelmed with shame when Christy and Ema took time to narrate to them what Eka had been through since the tim...

Eka’s parents were overwhelmed with shame when Christy and Ema took time to narrate to them what Eka had been through since the time they drove her away. Ema made sure she left no detail out; picking every event from the time Eka was knocked down by a certain lady called Efe, who brought her to the hospital where Dr. Gerry works and later abandoned her at the hint of Eka being accused of being a witch. While they narrated to them Ekaette’s ordeal, they mixed it with searing insults and accusations. Dr. Gerry wanted to be part of the emotional wounds his sisters inflicted on Mr. and Mrs. Effiong, but could not because Eka would have him help her out while she sewed the pile of clothes she had yet to finish. As far as Eka was concerned, Dr. Gerry was her husband. To make him realize how she felt about him she openly showed him affection. She pecked him at every chance she got and often chose to spoon feed him. Dr. Gerry would have preferred to wait a little longer for all of that, but Eka was done listening to the voice which reminded her that she was only fifteen years. She was in love with the man who loved her when there was no reason to love her, at a time when everyone turned away from her. In the heat of the case with NK, Eka carried on with her show of love toward Dr. Gerry as though they had been in love for many years.

On the other hand, NK who smelled rod in police cell told her lawyer everything as it happened and the lawyer swung into action; at Southeastern police station he obtained the statements Eka and Dr. Gerry made and wasted no time to go public with it. He was clearly taking a leaf from the methods the lawyers representing Eka and Dr. Gerry used. At home Eka, Dr. Gerry, Ema, Christy and the two lawyers were rattled when statements went public. NK’s lawyer was hell bent on proving that the so called underage girl whom NK was accused of trying to abduct for Silas Abasi was a full grown adult and not a teenager. While the public mused over the revelation, NK’s lawyer hit again by revealing that the image of the thirteen year old girl made available to the public was not Ekaette Effiong’s image but that of a girl in Ikot Abasi. He dealt a nasty blow to the police, NAPTIP and the lawyers representing Eka and Dr. Gerry by telling the media that his client was being publicly accused on account of her previous cases of trafficking in girl children which were left inconclusive as a result of NAPTIP being unable to find enough evidence to prosecute NK.

His bold claims stung NAPTIP officials, the police and the lawyers representing Eka and Dr. Gerry. Slowly they began to look bad in the eyes of the public, and NK began to look like she was being wrongfully accused. Taking advantage of the ripples his claims caused in the media, he pressed for the police to grant his client bail and after much dilly dallying, NK was granted bail. Silas Abasi was beginning to like the way NK’s lawyers handled the case and wondered if he should lend him support secretly. He knew it would be very bad for his image to turn around and claim he knew NK after claiming in the media that he did not know her. To undo all that NK’s lawyer had achieved, NAPTIP officials, the police and the lawyers representing Eka and Dr. Gerry rallied together and began to study the case bit after bit. While they worked hard to prove that NK actually did the things she was accused of, and was at best a serial child kidnapper; NK’s lawyer committed a major blunder by releasing the video in which NK gave the account of how the attempt to ‘acquire’ Ekaette Effiong for Silas Abasi happened. That was just the gaffe the lawyers working for Eka and Dr. Gerry needed, they latched onto it and planned to have Eka’s parents tell their version of what happened when NK came to their house with money in the company of a certain Michael who was still in police net.

Silas Abasi who was going to offer some help to NK’s lawyer withdrew and mad yet another public speech that he did not know who NK was and that she was sent to tarnish his image.  While NK and her lawyer basked in the euphoria of the media stunt they had pulled off, NAPTIP officials who were at this stage miffed over NK’s lawyer’s attempt to make them to stupid, moved with the police and rearrested NK on account of a new case which was brought to them by a certain Mrs. Rose who claimed that she gave NK her daughter at NK’s request but had not seen her daughter for over a period of three years since the day she parted with her daughter. After NK’s rearrest, Mrs. Rose was brought to national television where she narrated in graphic details to the public how NK threatened her each time she asked to know where her daughter was. Mrs. Rose ended her appeal by claiming that she had been informed that her little daughter was living with a man as his wife somewhere in Benin Republic. NK and her lawyer didn’t see that coming. NK was in a mess and her lawyer could see it. A multiple count charge of trafficking in underage girls was being prepared against her in earnest by NAPTIP and the police.

The final nail on her coffin came when Eka’s parents told the public how they were approached by NK to help them get Ekaette their daughter for an unnamed lawmaker and were given the sort of money they had not seen in all their lives. On a table before them in the video was twenty thousand Naira in smaller denominations, supposedly a leftover of the money NK had given them. The story caught the public fancy because Eka’s parents were well choreographed to repeat the things which NK mentioned in her video and included the things she left out. For example they mentioned how NK told them that they would never see their daughter again if they did not accept the money she offered them and claim at the police station that Dr. Gerry, the medical doctor who had taken care of Eka after she fell out with them and left home, had kidnapped her and was keeping her against her will. To nail NK, the police made a deal with Michael and got him to corroborate the claims Eka’s parents made.

The case about NK trying to abduct Eka would not make it in court and the lawyers representing Eka and Dr. Gerry knew it. However the details from the case were going to help other cases NAPTIP had against NK. The reasons the case won’t fly in the court were because it had been accepted by both parties that Eka was nineteen years, to claim she was otherwise would put Dr. Gerry, Eka’s parents and NK in trouble. All of them benefited from claiming that Eka was an adult who had the legal right to live with any man of her choice. Already NK had claimed the money she gave Eka’s parents was to get them persuade their daughter to choose Silas Abasi over Dr. Gerry. In her video she claimed that such things happened every day and was no crime. Having seen the way things were headed, the lawyers who represented Eka and Dr. Gerry, had Eka’s parents openly claim that they had no wish to press charges against NK and whoever she worked with and were happy to see their daughter had been left alone to live her life.

With the case quietly put to rest, NAPTIP and the police force who had much axe to grind against NK took up the other cases of NK trafficking children for her insatiable pecuniary desire.  One thing had come out of the case of NK trying to steal Eka from Dr. Gerry – their love for each other had somewhat in all of that been give legitimate backing by all. As the dust which the case raised slowly settled, in her subtle way, Eka began to ask Dr. Gerry what was next on their plans. Dr. Gerry however shocked her by revealing he was going to wait till she was actually eighteen years, “You may be nineteen years in the eyes of the public and look every bit like you really were, but I am going to wait for you to turn eighteen.” Eka did not like that, to clear her head and readjust to the idea of having to wait for three and half years to marry Dr. Gerry, she took a few day to go put things right with her parents and decide what to do with the money NK had given her parents. Her family members had left her to decide what to do with the money.

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 32 An African Literary Blog
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