The residents at Sedco area of Warri, Delta State were thrown into mourning because they lost a man who was always supportive of their cause and cared for their welfare. His compound, which had an eight bedroom duplex sitting comfortable at its middle, was filed with cries. The cries tore at the heart of passersby as sadness took over the atmosphere. Neighbours heard the cries from their houses. Wondering what was wrong, they left what they were doing and ran to the residence where the cries came from. The residence belonged to a very rich man popularly known as Jude. He had just come to Warri from Abuja for a short vacation. He came in with his wife, kids and some friends.
As the neighbours from the streets trooped into the atmosphere of the sad compound, they too joined the wailing and bitting of fingers. They cried because on inquiry, they learnt that the rich man was dead. He was a man who loved his community. He did a lot for them by repairing the roads, granting the children of some very poor widows scholarship and even gave some women money to start small scale businesses. His loss was indeed a big blow to them.
"But what happened?" One neighbour asked, in tears. She had hoped to collect some money for her child's school fees from the man. However, with the situation on ground, it was clear that her child's school fees was not forth coming. "Wetin make them kill am, just like so? Why? Why o!? God! Why?" She wailed. To everyone, she seemed to be crying for the late man, but in her heart, she knew that she was also crying for her son's education.
"We no know." The house help who was also in shock, replied, while trying to console her mistress. "Oga no come house last night. This morning na, we dey find am, we even go police station. After we report, police come go find am. Just na, them come, come tell us say oga done die for road." At that point, her voice became shaky and tears started down her cheeks. "Na People shoot am die." She concluded in serious tears, not able to hide her true feelings anymore.
"Oh! Why him, why him God!" The late man's wife who was on the ground and surronded by her three grown up boys, 16, 17 and 19 years respectively, cried. The people cried too but they also tried to console her. They had to be strong for her.
While they were at it, an elderly man walked into the compound. His face looked calm and his steps were calculated. However, one could tell that he was not just an ordinary sympatizer. He was dressed in a white tuxedo, a white hat and white shoes to match. He walked towards the people with a brown walking stick. He was not supported by it, it was only part of his dressing. His grey beards hug low, down to his neck. Walking beside him, was a younger man, about 30 years old. The younger man was dressed casually in dirty blue jeans and a red t-shirt. The people looked at them suspiciously but the men couldn't care less. The elderly man simply walked up to the new widow, said a word of encouragement to her and then turned to face the people.
"Please don't cry. What we need is solution." He said, "What has happened, has already happened."
"You are a man with no conscience!" An elderly woman spat at him. "How can you come here and say such a thing to his widowed wife and to us who were his neighbours, friends and extended family members? What are you made of? Stone?"
"I'm not here to exchange words, madam." The elderly man in the white tux said. "I came here because as the CEO of Criminal Investigations and Nation Security, the DPO called and asked me to help by conducting full investigation into the matter. Lucky for me, I found an eye witness faster than I thought I will. He saw everything and now, more than ever, I am sure his death was not a mistake, neither was it done by strangers. I believe your diseased was killed by people he knew, people he called friends."
"But how are you sure?" The new widow asked. " If you have proof, show me, then we can make sure justice is served. They can't just kill my husband and walk free. Look at me, I'm a widow and my children are now half orphans."
"I will get to the matter, madam, but you have to calm down." The elderly man said, happy that the woman was willing to hear him out. "I want you to tell us what happened here. When did your husband leave home and why?" He asked.
"Somebody called him." The first son of the diseased answered.
"Somebody called him from outside the house?" The man asked.
"No, on phone. Somebody called him over the phone and so he went out." The boy confirmed.
"So he just left the house like that? Without telling you where he was going?"
"No. After the call he said he was going to withdraw some money from the ATM." The widow spoke. "I wondered why it had to be at such ungodly hour and I voiced my concern. Well, he still decided to go. He said it was important. I am suspecting it had to do with the call he received."
"Precisely what time did he leave the house?" The elderly man asked, with a knowing look, as if something had suddenly clicked.
"About 11PM." She replied.
The elderly man then turned to the younger man that came in with him "Please Tejiri, tell them what you saw."
"Okay." Tejiri agreed. "Na like this e happen. I go river yester night go catch fish when I go sell for market today. I dey go for night because that time, too many people no dey and I fit concentrate. When I catch fish finish, I come back from river. I carry the fish for inside my basket come put am on top my okada. When I reach road, the okada stop. E no gree waka again. So I come dey try fix am. As I dey work na, I see one car dey drive from far come. I dey fear say e fit be politician, make dem no kidnape me, come take me take do ritual. So, I run leave my okada. Na inside bush I hide. The car pass where I hide small, before e pack. I come see say na jeep. As he pack, one okada from the otherside dey come. E come pack too for front of the jeep. When the person wen dey drive the jeep come down, I come see say na oga Amade na em drive come. He meet the okada people for front of the jeep. Them sit down for the bonnet of the jeep dey gist. Me come think say, maybe na people when dey work for am. Them talk tey small. After dem talk, all of them come follow oga Amade enter him jeep. I come dey wonder wether the other people no go take their okada again? I dey happy because if them leave the bike, I go fit use am carry my fish reach house. So as them enter the car finish, even lock door, I come hear loud gun shot. I even see the light from the gun as them shoot am for inside the car. I come dey wonder wetin dey happen. Before I know, them shoot another one. After small time, the okada boys open door come down from the car. Them climb their okada com drive comot. E tey after them comot before I come out from bush. I come out na, I come go check the car. Na there I see oga Amade dey rest him head for stereel. I point my tourch light, na so, so blood dey him back. I fear o! I just carry my fish for head take leg take begin go house. Na this morning the news come out. This oga," He said, refering to the elderly man. "Come dey find who see wetin happen. I tell am say I see everything." He concluded.
"In my own view" The elderly man said, after allowing the revelation sink deep in the minds of everyone present. "I believe your husband was killed by people who knew him, not just outsiders. In his car, apart from his body, bundles of 200 naira notess were. also found. From the look of it, the money was not touched. I believe your husband must have been owing a lot of money to somebody for a long time but refused to pay up, even though he can easily clear up the dept. I think the person had disturbed him a lot. He/she probably wanted to use the money for something important or someone important. I like to believe its someone important. Since the money was not forth coming, the person he needed it for must have died, or if its a police case, he must have been sentenced already. Since the person is gone, they thought your husband should go too. They took laws into their hands and killed him. What they needed the money for was no longer important and so, they didn't take the money. They just killed him and took his phone. Surprisingly, from what I hear, his phone is less expensive than the cash that was there. I believe they took the phone so that we can't get the number that called him before he left the house and investigate who the owner of the number is. Cause and effect madam. The cause of this tragedy is simple, your husband refused to pay an old, huge dept. The effect of his action was his death. The culprits must have been really sad and so, they thought that taking his life was the best. I'm almost sure its a case of life for a life. We will do all we can to bring these people to justice, madam. I pray God grants you the fortitude to bear your loss. Please take care of your self and if any useful information comes your way, please don't hesitate to let the police know."
That said, he tipped his heart in farewell to everyone and left. The silence that followed was indeed deafening. Every eye was wet, but their thoughts were on what the elderly man had said. "Cause and Effect." Even though they tried not to let it show in their expression, they knew, deep in their hearts, that they totally agreed with the elderly man's reasoning. Nothing happens without a cause and there is no cause without effect.
All Rights Reserved. March 2015 © Karo Oforofuo