Kirikiri Diary (1)

I heard the judge say “remanded’ and then ‘Kirikiri’, then he banged a wooden object on his table and I was whisked away, again in handcuffs.

Read Kirikiri Diary (2)

Dear Father,

I write to you knowing you may never see this, yet hoping one day you will.

I’m in Apapa, sitting at a corner in the prison room assigned to me since I arrived at Kirikiri seven days ago. Do you remember how you always threaten us with Kirikiri? You would always tell us if we don’t do right, we will land there. Well, I am there now father, at the dreaded kirikiri prison, and I still don’t know my wrongs.

It’s been 9 nights since the Police hijacked me on the street, pushing me into their vehicle. They say I’m a criminal and a murderer, yet they wouldn’t tell me who I have murdered. My cry of innocence fell on their deaf ears. They slapped and beat me. One man even choked me, they call him IPO. He said he wouldn’t stop until I confessed. And I did.

Father, I agreed with him, told him what he wanted to hear, only so I could breathe and perhaps get a cup of water. I didn’t get a cup of water, but I’m still breathing.

Then they took me to the court in Ikeja. A stern-looking man sat in front, looking down at everyone through his spectacles. The air around him thick with an inflated sense of self-importance, he nodded at the morose looking woman sitting at the desk below him to speak. She asked if I was guilty, and I told her I wasn’t, wondering when I would get a chance to ask the Judge what exactly my crime was. I heard the judge say 'remanded' and then 'Kirikiri', then he banged a wooden object on his table and I was whisked away, again in handcuffs.

Kirikiri is dreadful but better than the police cell. The food is bad but regular and no one has beaten me since I got here. Although the President threatened me and warned me against disobeying rules, once I assured him of my submission to his rule, he let me be.

Although I still don’t know who I’ve murdered, I’ve learnt all about the government within our Prison. The President is the supreme leader, voted for by the people and his vice is always handpicked by him. The Senate President is another powerful force here, he is like a union leader, who communicates the interest of everyone to the President. It was him who told me that the Police probably replaced me with the real criminal. He said it was a common thing in our country. He also gave me this diary, he said some missionaries brought it last year, but he does not need it.

The wardens are demigods, or at least they act like one. They are not friendly to me yet, I’m told it’s because I have no money to give them. But they are not mean either, they just ignore me.

I’m surviving, father, taking it one day at a time. This may be my new home except I’m lucky; at least that’s what the Senator says.

Greet my mother and sisters. Tell them I’m breathing, so hope lives.

I will write to you again.

Till then,

Your only Son.

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