Mistaken identity - Episode 2
When they got to the station, to his surprise he was immediately handcuffed and put behind the counter. He tried to call their attention to understand what exactly was going on but no one paid any heed to him, he was still trying to explain to the female officer that stood by the counter when Ahalaji Abu came in followed by the young man that blocked his way and had started all this.
"Walahi you are in big wahala fa" Alahaji Abu said to him when he asked what was happening.
"I don't understand, I no do anything I swear" he said frantically
"This boy say you steal im machine with gun on Sunday night for ungwan saito" Alahaji Abu explained pointing to the tall young man that attacked him.
"Ah I don die, my God, me steal bike? why haba no oo I swear I didn't steal anything, i have never seen this boy, I did not even go near Ungwan Saito on Sunday"
"Keep quiet my friend" came the voice of an officer that came from a door beside the counter. The officer, a young man of about Tom t's age walked to the young man that accused Tom t, his name was Abdul and at the point was writing his report or more correctly speaking was having his report written for him by the officer that questioned him in Hausa.
"So you are one of the criminals disturbing our town abi?stealing bikes up and down".
The tall haggard exceptionally dark officer asked referring to Tom t after listening to Abdul.
He signaled to two other officers and they held Tom t dragging him deeper into the station, into a dark room with a single window high up and a single chair placed right in the middle of the tiny room. He sat there wondering what next. It was at this point that Alhaji Abu remembered to call Paulex letting him know what had happened.
The lanky officer walked into the room with the two officers that dragged him in.
"Young man for your own good it will be best if you just confess and save us the stress" he said
"Sir I swear before God I did not commit any crime" Tom t said
"Very good, its obvious he wants it the hard way" he said smiling at the other officers that now stood closely behind Tom t.
He unbuttoned the sleeves of his shirt deliberately been slow to emphasize what was about to happen.
He pounced on Tom t landing two punches straight to his stomach leaving him groaning in pain. The officers each beside him held him as officer Olutu punched more blows on his face stomach or wherever his fist landed.
"Jesus o my God o I die I die officer oo" tom t shouted.
"Are you ready to now confess?" Officer Olutu asked breathing heavily
"Okay I will talk wait o wait I beg" Tom t said gasping in pain as the officer made an attempt to continue his punches.
"I was not even near that side on Sunday, in fact I have not gone that side since this year" Tom t said
Noticing that officer was his tribal man Tom t tried begging in his language swearing his innocence.
Officer Olutu swiftly landed a thunderous slap across his face.
"Shut your filthy mouth who is your brother, criminal"
The officers quickly stood at attention as obviously a senior officer most likely the DPO walked in
"What's going on here?" He asked with an air of authority
"Sir we have arrested one of the notorious criminals stealing bikes at night and are presently interogating him and sir he is indeed a hardened criminal, but evidence suggest he is responsible for the series of attacks over the past few months" officer Olutu said.
"Oh really? Come with me" the DPO said to Olutu.
Whatever they discussed obviously stopped the torture or maybe for a while.
Tom t was still sitted half drenched in own blood when he felt a slap on his head, he startled awake now realising he had spent the night there in that same position he had been for God knows how long.
"Wear your clothes we are going out" one of the officers from yesterday said to him
All this while he had only been in his under pants and the blood stained singlet, a bucket of water with a towel in it was besides him to clean up himself.
He wondered where they got his clothes from but was no longer surprised when he came out and saw Paulex speaking with some of the officers at the counter. He could see guilt and pity in Paulex's eye
"Guy how far?" He said coldly
"What are they saying, are you bailing me?"
He swallowed hard "um guy they refuse bail o, so right now them the carry you go search your house for evidence"
"Please talk to my pastor, I swear I did not steal anything"
"Guy I know, I know"
"Oya move" the officer pushed him
"Abeg talk to my aunty" he said as the officer pushed him again this time harder
"Ah officer why you the push am like that?"
The officer shot him a cold stare
"Why you the look me like that, do you think he is a criminal, that you are maltreating him anyhow"
The officer paid no heed to his ranting as they walked into the hilux vehicle that parked outside.
"Oya give us your house address" officer Olutu commanded
"Bidda street,after the second transformer" Paulex replied
In no time they were in the compound where he lived, the officers instructed Abdul to meet them at the house and as if he was already in the area he was in the house in no time. One of the officers brought his key and opened the door
"Hmmm look at the house you are living in, what do you do for a living that you have such a well furnished room?" The second officer asked
"It must be from stealing, where else? Olutu replied
They ransacked the house looking for nothing in particular leaving every where as scattered as it could be. Next they searched his clothes flinging them out of the wardrobe. Suddenly Abdul now shouted speaking in Hausa saying "this is the shirt he was wearing that night, I remember very well"
"Ah you see, that's all the evidence we need," the third officer concluded
At this point Tom t started shedding tears, "why? Why, guy what have I ever done to you to deserve this?" He asked in tears
He was dragged out by the officers just for him to be met by the many eyes of his neighbours that stood murmuring and pointing fingers at him. While some were saying "Eya this gentle boy, eya" others were saying "so this boy na theif, God forbid" and so on and so forth. He begged God in his heart to let the ground open up and swallow him.
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The drive back to the station was a quiet drive, as even the officers said nothing to each other, by the time there were there, he was stripped of his clothes and dragged back into the tiny room.
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