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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, hospital, police sergeant, police, University, policeman, guns, Mitsubishi Galant.

Kato!!! An angry looking police sergeant kicked Dubem from behind. “Ayii!!!” he exclaimed in pain.  “Kick him again, Danladi!!” Mustafa, another police sergeant bellowed from behind his desk. The police station was typically shabby. Paints were peeling off the walls, leaving patches of assorted colors all over the walls. The chairs in the lobby were mostly three-legged, barely able to hold the weight of six-month-old child. The floors were coated with layers of dust that left bold inscriptions on you, should you or your shoes or clothes make direct contact with them.

“I did not shoot anybody, ask my girlfriend, Ifeyinwa,” Dubem pleaded his case. He had been arrested a few hours after Chikere was shot. “Shut up your dirty mouth,” sergeant Danladi shouted him down. “You beat the girl up…attempting to force her to be with you and when that did not work, you went after her boyfriend. It is people like you that have ruined this world. I will kill you if you don’t tell the truth!” Danladi shouted, kicking Dubem again. He was sprawled helplessly on the dust-inundated floor.

“It has been three or four years now since the last time I saw Chinagorom. I swear, I did not do anything. I have never shot a gun in my life.” “So, who did you pay to do the dirty job for you?” “No one! I swear, I did no such thing.” “Danladi, send him back to the cell. Those animals in there will rip him apart.” “Please, don’t send me back there. Please, I beg you. I don’t want to go back there. I did nothing. I am innocent!” Dubem continued to plead his case, but his plea fell on deaf ears. They tossed him back into the cell. Soon after he was back in the cell, he was being slapped around by angry hardened criminals.

Chinagorom, Njideka who had been discharged from hospital, her boyfriend, Kingsley, Izunna, Joy, Chinagorom’s siblings and several other friends sat solemnly in a lobby at one of the top surgical units at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. Hardly anyone could muster the strength to utter a word. The air was filled with anxiety and a deep sense of worry and concern. Finally, Chinagorom’s daughter, Chiasoka broke the silence. “Mommy!” she called to Chinagorom. “Yes, Chiichii.” “Is uncle Chikere going to die?” she asked. She had heard that Chikere was the reason everyone was in the hospital and lately, one of their neighbors had gone to hospital for treatment, but he died some days later.

“No… No… God won’t let that happen to me…to us,” Chinagorom said defiantly. “Chikere is not going to die,” she added, mustering the last vestiges of faith in her. After the first surgery at Bishop Shanahan hospital in Nsukka, the doctors there found out that one of the bullets was lodged in tissue near the spinal cord in Chikere’s back. Aware that any damage to Chikere’s back might lead to terminal loss of his ability to work and use his arms, they referred him to a neurosurgeon at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu.

“Then stop crying mommy. I hate to see you cry. If Uncle Chikere is going to be alright, then you don’t need to cry,” little Chiasoka admonished her mother. “I know you are right, Chiichii, but I love him very much. I can’t help crying my dear, but I know God will see Chikere too.” “I love him too mommy.”

“Are you sure of what you are saying?” asked the policeman. “Yes sir! I am very sure. I know my boyfriend is involved in that shooting. I found a gun carefully hidden under his bed while cleaning his apartment. Then, last night, he and his flat mate thought I was asleep while they were conversing. I heard them talking about the money they had been paid for shooting that boy at University,” Irunna replied emphatically. “What is your boyfriend’s name?” “His name is Ikemefule, and his flat mate’s name is Diogu. They live at No. 41 Akuruka Street, just outside the University.” “Let me have your phone number, lady. You must not mention this to anyone. Is that right?” “Yes sir.”

“We will get on it. If I were you, I’d leave town for a few days as we try to round them up. Where would he be now?” “He should be in class at University. I know his last class today ends at 4:00PM.” Irunna returned to her hostel, packed a few personal effects and headed straight for the car park to board a bus for Enugu. She was too afraid to hang around.

Ikemefule was under a mango tree puffing cigarette smoke into the air like a chimney. Diogu was standing to his right, while another friend of theirs, Martin sat on the steps of the building in front of Biochemistry department. Arinze, the policeman that Irunna had spoken to earlier sat in an unmarked police vehicle across the street with his colleagues. They were heavily armed. “I think we should move in on them now,” one of them suggested. Behind them was another vehicle, a Cherokee Jeep that was brimming with armed policemen. “Let’s do it!” Arinze ordered.

The first car drove slowly across the street and into the space in front of Biochemistry department building. The second care remained across the street with the occupants ready to run out and cover the area. They were all in mufti, so Ikemefule and his friends had no idea that the Mitsubishi Galant that rolled into a parking slot in front of them was full of policemen. Like a thunderbolt, Arinze and his men jumped out of the car, brandishing guns. Arinze wanted to run, but the sight of guns pointed at him and his friends left him frozen. They threw their hands in the air in cooperation as more policemen arrived. Those in the jeep were flying out in numbers, pointing their guns at the occupants.

Swiftly, a third vehicle, a Toyota Corolla screeched into the commotion as students looked on. Ikemefule was shoved into the Corolla with two armed men on either side. They handcuffed him, Diogu and Martin. The other two suspects were shoved into the Mitsubishi Galant and the Jeep respectively. As soon as they arrived, the policemen left with their suspects in hand. They sped out of the university premises, into town and then further off town towards Benue State. They drove to a remote location by veering off the highway, using an untarred road. They alighted, dragging Ikemfule and his friends with them. 

“Shoot them and bury them here,” Arinze ordered. “I think we should bury them alive,” suggested Zungu, one of his colleagues. “Please, don’t do this. I beg of you. I will give you anything you want, officer,” Martin begged as they tied them to a tree. He was shaking feverishly. Not even the mighty Ikemfule, a hardened cultist who had shot a number of people in the past (something he bragged about to his friends) could stand the fear of death. “Officer, please don’t do this. I have money in the bank. I will give you whatever you ask for,” he pleaded.

“How much did they pay you to shoot that boy, what’s his name by the way?” Arinze asked them casually. “Chikere! Yes, Chikere,” answered Diogu who was nearly peeing in his pants. One of the policemen had his gun pointed at Ikemefule while another trained his machine gun on Diogu, who could barely open his eyes. He kept thinking that the gun would go off any moment. Martin was shaking like someone with Parkinson’s disease.

“Three hundred and fifty naira, sir…that is what we were paid to shoot him, sir,” Martin offered. “And how much do you have in the bank now?” Arinze asked. “Ikemefule still has the whole money in his bank account, sir. We were waiting for the storm to calm down before sharing it.” “Good. You have done well. I believe you have done other jobs in the past, right?” “Yes!” Martin and Diogu could not hold their tongue – they were suffering from diarrhea of the mouth as fear kept their tongues wagging. “So, I can see that you are the leader of the gang,” Arinze said to Ikemfule. “How much do you have in the bank altogether, for all the jobs you have done of late?” “At least, one million naira, sir,” Martin offered before Ikemfule could say a word.

“That is a lie! Shoot them!” Arinze said. “Please sir!” They shouted as Arinze’s men raised their guns as though they were about to let the trigger go. “I think we have close to two million in the bank, sir,” Arinze replied, shaking as the nuzzle of a gun pointed straight at him at close range. “Good! We are going to drive back to Nsukka with you. We will go straight to the bank and you will clean out the account and hand the entire money to us, okay?” “Yes sir!” All three of them echoed.

“Get well soon, my love!” Chinagorom said to Chikere who was lying numb on the bed. He had been in coma since after his surgery. She had hardly left his side since the surgery. “He is going to be alright, Chiichii,” Joy encouraged her. “He will, Chichii,” added Njideka. “Let us run to the restaurant outside and get something to eat,” suggested Joy. “You two can go. Just get me a plate of rice and stew, please,” Chinagorom suggested. “I want to be here when Chikere comes around.” “Come on, Chiichii!!! You haven't blinked since Chikere came out of the theater. He is going to wake at some point. Take a break. Let’s go outside and catch some fresh air,” Joy urged her. “She is right, Chiichii. Come with us,” Njideka offered.

Reluctantly, she went with them. She took one more look at Chikere, then turned and left with them after carefully closing the door behind them. He stood across the lobby, watching them carefully. As soon as the girls left the building, he briskly climbed upstairs, covering two steps at a time. When he reached the first floor, he walked casually towards Chikere’s room. After one more look over his shoulder to make certain that no one was following him, he opened the door and entered the room.



Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, hospital, police sergeant, police, University, policeman, guns, Mitsubishi Galant.
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