They brought a boy in today. He is 16 years old but he said the Police recorded his age as 19 years in the statement he was made to sign. So he was remanded here in the adult prison.
His name is Ade. He has the face of a saint, one that looked out of place among the rough faces here. He looked really scared, Father, even though he tried to hide it with his brand of teenage bravado.
As tradition demands, the President questioned him, and Senator was only too happy to tell us all Ade had said. He was arrested during a police raid in his area two days ago, his only offence was being out roaming the street at the wrong time. He said he was arrested with nine other boys, but none of them were accused of any crime. He said the police just kept hitting them and telling them to shut up as they were driven to the police station and put in a cell.
He said it was the man they met in that cell that told them that none of them had committed any crime, but the police probably needed money, and raiding was a sure way to make some.
He said by the afternoon of the next day, the other boys were bailed by their family members one after another until only he was left. He is an orphan, Father. He lived with his Grandmother, and she cannot afford bail money. So, the police charged him with theft and made him sign a statement. The next day, he was taken before a Magistrate who set his bail at N10,000. He said his Grandmother was unable to raise the money and so the Police brought him here.
As the Senator was telling us Ade’s story, I looked towards where he sat staring into space, he looked so lost Father, and I wished I could take away his troubles.
Everyone has been nice to him though, at least since they heard his story. He is fast becoming the in-prison little brother. I just fear for his innocence, I hope it’s not robbed from him, for life in here changes the best of people.
Father, I discovered something about myself today. Babajide visited me today. Do you remember Babajide? My friend from the office, he was sorry for me. He said no one at work knew where I was, they were all worried, that they called my phone over and over again, and when they couldn’t locate me, they eventually gave up. He said he was sorry he didn't try harder, but since he didn't know any of my family, he had no one to call. I asked about the office and if anything had changed. He told me he got the promotion; the one we both wanted. He was reluctant to tell me, and I understand why. I was genuinely happy for him, yet sad for myself. His success immediately reminded me of my own failure and how my life has turned out. Does this make me a bad person Father? Or am I just human?
He promised to visit again but I hope he will never need to. I’m expecting the Lawyer tomorrow. He said he would visit to update me. I hope he comes with news of hope, and a game plan to leave this hole.
Keep well, Father.