We just arrived from the Prison cemetery. An inmate died today. He wasn’t sick, he just didn’t wake up this morning. His name was Yemi , he was only 28 and he died a sad and broken man.
Like me, he was accused of murder and was awaiting his trial. They said his girlfriend of 1 year, Sharon died in his house. Everyone said he maintained his innocence from the day he was first brought here 2 years ago.
The story going round is that the girlfriend came to his house unexpectedly, on the night which was to become her last. She had gone to Abuja two weeks before to spend her mid-session break with her Aunt. It was on her way back that she stopped by Yemi’s house in Yaba to spend the night and leave for her hostel in the morning.
According to the few friends Yemi made here, she went to sleep almost immediately she hit the bed, and there was no issue during the night until he tried to wake her up in the morning.
Just like him today, she slept and never woke up.
I overheard one of his friends, Chikodi saying that Yemi died regretting that he called the Police that morning. He said doing the right thing landed him here and changed the course of his life forever.
Immediately the police arrived, and saw Sharon’s lifeless body, they arrested him and locked him up. By the next day, they had taken him to court on the charge of murder and then brought him here, his home for the last two years. They said his parents had spent the little they had to help him, but the police insist that the autopsy report shows that Yemi had choked her. They painted him as a jealous boyfriend who suspected his girlfriend was unfaithful and killed her.
I heard Yemi held no grudge for the girl’s family. He understood their blinding grief, their 22year old daughter was gone and somebody had to pay.
The thought of Yemi consumed me all day . I thought of the justice system that is so quick to declare the innocent and helpless guilty. I wondered if Yemi ever had a chance to truly grieve his loss even as he fought for his survival.
My strength is becoming thin Father, although not as fast as my body. I’m digging deep for the last batch of strength left in me, wondering how long I would be here awaiting trial and hoping my story ends better than Yemi’s.
Do you think I will have better luck Father? I wish you could see my heart and how it longs for your visit. I know it will give me hope and perhaps some strength.
Senator told me as we walked back from the cemetery, that the lawyers will come tomorrow. I will beg them to contact you and inform you to come with clothes so I can get rid of these rags that used to be my cloth. They will also tell my mother to bring two coolers of hot jollof rice; one for me and the other for the warders.
I will write it all on a note, so they don’t miss out on anything.
I have to go now.
Till I see you,
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