It's been a while I have written to you. The past two weeks have been a struggle. We were moved into another room and finding a space, even for our feet has been war.
Two days after K.E.D, our cell room was flooded. The rain started at mid-day and it was a welcome relief, especially since our rooms had felt like the gate of hell had been left open. The soft splatter of rain on our roof and the beautiful smell of wet sand brought me memories of home.
Suddenly, it became windy, the soft splatter ceased as our roof struggled to hold its own against the powerful wind. In a matter of minutes, our room became roofless, everyone scrambled to pack the few things they owned, as we ran out.
It’s been two weeks Father; all the rooms affected are still roofless, and even though the Chief promised that repairs would be done, we have now accepted that it may never happen. We all now sleep in whichever room we find space for the night.
It’s been tough, but I’ve been tougher.
Father, for a few days now, I have been having an unusual feeling; a heaviness in my soul and a strong feeling that I’m forgetting something important. I have thought long and hard, yet the truth seems to elude me always. I hope I remember it soon, whatever it is.
Have you been able to speak to your lawyer friend? Did he say he can help me?
The longer I stay here, the more my mind shifts from the reality I used to know. It is so easy to accept terrible fate here Father. The stories I hear daily is messing with me.
Just yesterday, I met Akorede. He laid beside me in the room I slept last night. He has been here for four years, serving a 21-year sentence for a robbery he didn’t commit. He told me that he worked as a security officer at the Model Bank here in Lagos and suddenly one morning, as he resumed, he was arrested. All they told him was that they had evidence that he conspired with the armed robbers who robbed the bank two weeks prior.
He said he later found out in court that there were videos of him captured on the bank’s CCTV where he was seen greeting a man on different occasions. It turned out the man was among the armed robbers who attacked the bank and the only one who was killed during the incident.
He said he knew the man, as he had been coming to the bank every day for 2 weeks. He didn’t know his name, but because of his daily visit, he became a familiar face and they would always exchange a few words of hello whenever he comes. He said when he saw the man lying in the pool of blood, dead, he was sad that the nice customer had been caught in the crossfire, he had no idea he was one of the robbers.
He said the few seconds of the daily conversation he had with that man and the smile they exchanged were enough evidence of their conspiracy. He said that was the only evidence presented in court, yet our justice system was satisfied.
The Police didn’t even care enough to investigate other leads, Father. Even if he was innocent, he fits their profile of a guilty person; poor, helpless and vulnerable. Do you know what the IPO told him when he said he was innocent? He said, “Someone like you did it, so if it’s not you, then you will take one for the team”.
His story has been on my mind since he told me. The level of injustice that exists goes beyond what I’ve ever imagined and this place exposes it all.
I know you must be trying everything you possibly can to get me out of here. But I still wish it could be faster. I’m losing my mind worrying and wondering if I would have a better chance than a lot of people here and if I would get a chance to show injustice my ‘middle finger’.
Let me hear from you soon, father. Good or bad, it’s better than no news at all.
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