Chapter One: Son of Sam

Chapter One: Son of Sam

I sat there in the class looking at first-class Detective Chris Adenuga. Most people say he’s a son of a bitch. But I get the feeling it’s just an act he put on for the world.

“I have as much hope of turning you rejects into detectives as the devil has of turning stone to bread” said Detective Chris Adenuga.
The room was completely silent. All eyes were on him.
“There are too many warm bodies in this room by far.” he continued. “On a good day when I am feeling the spirit move me,
this room will lose a third of its content by the end of this course. On a bad day, that would be half. By God, I have never seen such a bunch of wannabes playing at cops and robbers!”
There were thirty of us in the room. I wondered if I would be part of the 20 still present at the end of the day.
He was walking around at this point. He came to a stop in front of Officer Makinwa who was one of the most quiet cops I have ever met.
He took a look at his name plate: “Makinwa is it? I wonder why you look as if you have got my boots shoved up your ass? I have looked down to be certain and they are still firmly on my feet.”
Makinwa kept looking straight ahead. He didn’t say a word.
“If my utterances have offended your religious sensibilities and is causing you to frown in righteous indignation, you have my permission to walk out of this room right now. But if you do choose to stay, I promise you that at some point in the future, you will indeed have my boot stuck up your ass and the look on your face will be one of pain!”
No response. He continued moving around the room.
“Now, take a look at the murder scenario in your exercise booklet. The story is that someone or some persons killed someone. You should tell me who killed the victim out of the host of characters in the story.”
“Now don’t expect a pat on the back for solving it. In fact my 5 year old son took 10 minutes to figure it out. Did I give him a part on the back? No, I told him pats on the back are reserved for 5-minuters. And don’t go expecting a pat on the head either. We are not raising puppies here. If you want a pat, go for a massage. Hell! Go to one that offers a happy ending. Maybe when next you show up in this room, your synapses will be firing properly. Get to it!”

The story was just 2 pages long. There were 5 characters excluding the victim. I read it quickly. For such a short story, there had to be something obvious that would give the criminal away. How much plot can you fit into 2 pages if the murderer is one of 5 people in the story. On the second read I nailed it. One of the characters was lying about his whereabouts during the murder. It had to be him. The simple reason being that it’s almost impossible to hide another one in such a short story.
I didn’t realise I was smiling to myself until he came and stood in front of me.
“Officer Michael Adewole”
“Yes sir”
“Have you served in the military before Officer?”
“No sir” the question was confusing.
“So why all the sirs?”
I had no response.
“So. I see that you were smiling like the Cheshire cat. By my time, you started smiling around the 4-minute mark. So I will give it to you that you decided on the answer you think is correct about then right?”
“Yes … sir.”
“Don’t be a blushing bride. Give it to me.”
“It’s the doctor.”
“What do we have here. Someone with functional brain cells? I wouldn’t have thought it to look at you.”
“But yes, you are absolutely 100% f**king correct. It is the doctor.”
“How did you happen on him if you would be so kind to educate us.”
I gave him the reason.
“Not bad for a fresh-faced cop like you. But we shall see how you handle more complicated scenarios as the class progresses, shan’t we?”
I nodded slightly.
He started to walk away, pursed, then turned around.
“What book do you have there, Officer?”
I had the book under the class booklet, so I handed it over to him.
“I thought as much.”

“Do you think we should make the class read it?” he asked me.
That was trouble I didn’t want. Being responsible for additional workload on my classmates.
“Why are you making a sound as if you are the Son of Sam’s latest victim? eerrrrawh? What’s that?
“You know he was a throat slasher among other things?” You sounded as if your throat was been slashed just now.
I know I needed to say something otherwise he might not stop: “I think may be we can let the class decide?” I ventured.
“Do you think this is a democracy Mr Adewole? Because you call me Mr and I call you Mr? Everything is dandy and we are all colleagues?”
“No. By Jove no way! This is an animal farm and I tell you this pig is more equal than all you sorry mutherf**kers! Why do you think it is that I am the only one in this room with the liberty – yes – the liberty – to saunter around?”
He turned to the class and said: “We shall all be joining Mr Adewole on his quest to know all there is to know about the killer known as the Son of Sam.”
“Class. Kindly acquaint yourselves with a copy each of the book before the end of the week.”

I could feel the hostility in the room. But as I did not intentionally add to their workload, I was just going to let it wash over me and ignore them.

“Class dismissed.”

As the class emptied and everyone headed out the door, he suddenly said: “Son of Sam, see me after lunch.”

A great way to start the next phase of my career I thought not. Why not a nickname such as “Dirty Harry” for example. It had to be something as notorious as “Son of Sam.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* Harry Callahan – known as “Dirty Harry” is a cop character portrayed by famous actor Clint Eastwood in a thriller movie series.

Karma always wins. No exceptions.

These Karma “quotes” are from a story I wrote recently. The story may never see the light of day. But my sister (Yetty) who has read it put one of the quotes up on FB, so I decided I might as well put all the Karma quotes from the story up as a blog entry.
And no, the story isn’t titled “Karma” 🙂

  1. Karma always wins. No exceptions.
  2. Karma is an avalanche you didn’t see or feel coming until it hits you.
  3. The problem with Karma is that you can’t tell in what currency she wants repayment, or for how long, or when, or where.
  4. Karma, just like murder, has no statutes of limitation.
  5. Karma is like a spring loaded door you pushed open and forgot about. It’s going to hit you in the face on its return.
  6. Karma is like throwing sh*t at a typhoon fan and hoping someone else takes the hit. You can’t get out of the way fast enough even if you tried.
  7. Karma is in no hurry. It’s like a father watching a son misbehave in public and thinking of the rod waiting at home just inside the front door.

  8. Karma is the sadistic guard on the night shift. Coming round every once in a while to brain you with a truncheon just because of the way you look.
  9. Karma crosses a bridge, and burns it to the ground. There is no going back.
  10. Karma takes no prisoners.
  11. An eye for an eye makes Karma’s day.
  12. Karma can watch you struggle all the way to the top of Everest then trip you up on the very last step. That’s how she rolls, and it’s a long way down.
  13. Karma’s got a direct line to each person. We dial her number by our actions. It may take a while for her to show up, but you can bet your future on it, she will.

  14. Karma always wins. No exceptions. (rinse, repeat)



Yesterday was my birthday. I had assumed it would just be as uneventful as the 37 others before it. Boy, was I wrong.
It started out just like every other day I can remember. I made it to work just shy of the boss docking my pay, but I still got the evil look from him anyway. It was as if by coming in one minute before 8, I had deprived him of the satisfaction he would have derived from telling me that I might as well go back home since I was not going to get paid for the day – not that I could take him up on the offer – I had bills to pay and no response yet from the several companies I had sent unsolicited job applications to.
No one at work knew it was my birthday – except maybe the boss – but I knew my secret was safe with him – the skinflint wasn’t going to risk having to give me a present or buy the office lunch by announcing it was my birthday.
I can’t really remember exactly what I did before lunch, but I had made up my mind to treat myself to a reasonable lunch. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it, the only thing that would have made it special was to share the lunch with a special someone. The person I had in mind would have joined me for lunch only in her nightmare and my daydream: I guess there was a better chance of being hit by a flying boat on the second floor of my office building.
But time passed and the alarm on my laptop announced it was lunchtime, so I got up and headed for the eatery down the street.
It was relatively quiet for a Friday, but I guessed it was maybe related to the fact that the Muslim brethren were probably still at the mosques. I took a corner seat at a table and hoped no one else would join me. I looked at the menu, called a waitress over and ordered the most expensive dish on it despite the fact that I only knew what was in it after I had asked the waitress: the name of the dish was in French.
I must have been right because shortly afterwards, the place started to fill up. I soon had a companion on my corner table. Two strangers on the table. I wondered why he hadn’t sat at any of the other vacant tables in the place. Now I was wedged against the wall and I was no longer “feeling” it. I couldn’t very well ask him to move, so I resigned myself and went on eating my food. At least he was quiet and didn’t trying to make conversation – that was something to be thankful for.

The food wasn’t bad. The sudden “company” I could have done without. We were soon joined by a third person who sat opposite the first.
They both ordered lunch and while I ate slowly, they waited for their food.
I didn’t pay them much attention until the keening sound started. I looked up to find the first fellow doing what could only be described as playing with his food. He was using his fork to drag the individual bean seeds in his food gradually from the center of the plate all the way to the edge. The sound the fork made on the plate was quite disconcerting. But who was I to complain? If I wanted first class service, I shouldn’t be hanging around in economy. Maybe the guy wasn’t hungry or had a lot on his mind. He was reasonably well dressed: shirt, trousers and a tie.
Anyway, it was more interesting to watch the face of the fellow seated across from him. He had stopped eating. And the swiftly changing expression on his face hinted at a more serious struggle going on within – I think he was trying to control himself and not say anything. Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore. Dropping his fork on the plate, “What are you doing?” he asked.
The other fellow stopped dragging a bean seed midway to the edge of the plate. Instead, he tapped the bean repeatedly with the prongs of the fork, but he didn’t say anything.
“What are you doing?” The question was repeated.
“Mind your own business.”
“Crazy idiot.”
Even now I still doubt whether I actually saw what happened next, because it was so fast, I wonder if it isn’t the fact that I was subsequently involved that maybe makes me think I actually saw it happen. “It” was the quickness, with which the fellow with the fork sprang up and stabbed down with the fork on the palm of the other guy, but he didn’t stop there (and the next action I definitely witnessed.)
The fork was out of the palm and in flight once again as the scream filled the room. This time it went into the side of the neck. As the blood spurted out, he sat back down again and resumed moving the bean one by one to the edge of his plate. The red on his plate was now much brighter than the red from the palm oil that the beans floated in originally. The other fellow made a tinny sound and sliding sideways, disappeared under the table.
It was obvious I needed to get out of there immediately, but the fellow had me hemmed in, and I was hesitant to ask him to excuse me unless I was ready for a “fork fight”.
I needn’t have bothered because the decision was taken out of my hand in a couple of minutes. As the place emptied out into the street, a couple of mobile policemen came in.

“Halt. No one goes out. Stay where you are or we shoot.”
Apart from two or three waiters and waitresses, there were only about five customers left in the place: I think twice that number must have made it out before the policemen came in.

One of the policemen men prodded the man on the floor with the muzzle of his rifle: “This one is dead O.”
The other one looked around at all of us in the place: “If you have blood on you, you are coming with us.”
I checked my cloth and was glad to notice no visible blood stains.
Someone asked, “Why officer?”
“Because you have evidence on you.”
“Can’t we just give you the cloth and go”
“Are you joking? You can’t just go away with the evidence now. and if you step out of that door without your clothes, you have doubled your offence. That is indecent exposure and disturbing the peace.”
“But you have been told who is responsible already. And you can see he is not even denying it.”
“How can we be sure you are not co-conspirators? You have to assist us with our investigation.”
“Ok. Stop wasting our time. If you know you are involved or have the victim’s blood on you, move to my left. If you do not have blood on you move to my right. Welcome to your father’s kingdom. If you work here and don’t have blood on you join those on my right. If you are the manager here, join those on my left.”
“Mr. Criminal. Drop the fork and stand up.”
The man next to me finally dropped the fork and getting up, slowly joined the little group on the policeman’s left. Finally, I was able to leave the table. I gingerly stepped over what pool of blood I could see on the floor, and made for the policeman’s right and hopefully to freedom and back to work: I don’t think I have ever been that happy at the thought of going to sit behind my office desk.
“Gentleman. Where are you going?” The policeman directed his question at me.
“Respect yourself O. Is that not blood on your trousers? Join your friends on my left.”
I protested that the blood must have come from my brushing against the table as I got up.
“OK. You are trying to teach me my job now eh? So you were even sitting beside the main criminal? Just three of you? You are either a victim or a criminal. Since you are not stabbed, you are a criminal. Abeg, don’t waste my time, join your friends.”
There were now about seven of us on his left and four people on his right.
“The innocent shall not be punished unjustly. My friends, you are free to go.”
The four he addressed hot footed it out of the place in less than a minute.
“The ambulance is coming. Once it gets here, we will all leave in our vehicle.”
Soon, we were all aboard the police vehicle – a Toyota Hilux with a covered back. The “main” criminal was asked to get in first, followed by the rest of us who were “guilty by location”, lastly the policemen, who sat at the outer edge: I got the impression the policemen were trying to stay as far away from him as possible. As we pulled away, I noticed two paramedics exit the restaurant with the other man on a stretcher: I had assumed there would be a sheet over him, but there was none.
The trip to the station was hot and despite the station being only a couple of streets away, it took the better part on an hour under the relentless midday Sun and the gridlocked motor traffic.
We were matched at a rather quick pace into the station. We were soon “processed” in. One by one, we answered a few questions by the constable behind the desk, turned out our pockets, belt, shoes, declared our possessions and signed a sheet stating so.  The DPO emerged from some back office at about this time, took one look at us and commented “So these are the ones eh?” And with that, he receded back to his office.
The captain or whatever his rank was who was in charge continued to harangue us.
“That is my boss. You can see he knew already that you were coming. He is the alpha and omega in this station. And he has ordered us to give you the VIP treatment. If you don’t like how we treat you, you can say so at any time. We will then upgrade you to the very VIP “V.V.I.P.” category. Very few people complain when we put them in that category. But in case we have goats among you, there is even one additional category after that one, it is by invitation only: we invite you there when we see by your action that you are deserving very special treatment.”
“Gentlemen, follow me.”
We passed through one side of the counter to where the holding cells were situated.
One man asked if he could get his one phone call (our phones were collected at the restaurant).
“Ha ha ha. Free phone call. I am sure you have DSTV in your house. Is it Crime and Investigation you watch? You want to teach me my job? I think we should upgrade you pronto.”
“Constable!” Shouting to the officer behind the desk.
“Sir! Yes Sir!” Came the disembodied response.
“Do we still have space in the Very VIP lounge?”
“No Sir. Maybe later this evening. One prisoner has asked to be downgraded. He is waiting for his people to come and fulfill all righteousness.”
“You be lucky man O your highness. Please remind me in the evening to revisit your case.” He said to the man who had requested the phone call.
We were all perspiring, but the “phone call” man was shedding it in buckets. He was visibly shaking.
We soon came to one of the cells which appeared empty. The policeman opened it, and was about to ask us to file in when he peaked inside – there was apparently someone in there.
“You, come out here!” The policeman shouted.
A diminutive looking man came out slowly. One could immediately see why it was easy to miss him – he was a certain shade of “dark” that blended with the darkness in the far corner of the cell where he had been sitting. He was the kind of fellow you wouldn’t want as a foe on a dark moonless night.
“Constable! What is this man still doing here?!” The policeman bellowed.
“We never see his people O! E be like say dey don default O!”
“Oga move to one side! Abi you wan remain there? Wetin your crime again?”
“I steal sir.”
“Wetin you steal?”
“Goat sir.”
“Ordinary goat. How long you don dey here?”
“Three months sir.”
“E be like say the witches in your hometown follow you come Lagos? You wan make we pack you ordinary thief with these murder suspects abi? Na there them come finally finish you be that O!”
“Gerrrout and stand over there.”
“You still dey wait for invitation?” He was addressing us. So we went into the cell.
“Make yourself at home. The constable will invite you one by one for a one to one meeting very soon. So we know how to handle your case.” with that he locked the door behind him and was gone.
The trouble I was in became more obvious. No one would be looking for me. And I couldn’t think of anyone to call even if I had the chance. Maybe my boss – maybe not. I suspect he will courier my sack letter to the policestation under the guise that company policy does not allow for convicts on the payroll.
After about an hour, the constable shouted a name. 

No one answered. I guess no one could make out the name he called out properly or we all just missed it because we were preoccupied with our thoughts. He yelled the name again. This time someone answered. Then we heard his shoes beat a pattern to the cell door.

“Who be dat? You wan make I use megaphone call una?”

Which was ridiculous. It wasn’t as if we could leave the cell and stroll down to the frontdesk when he called. He needed to come and let out the person, so why shout the name and demand an answer first before showing up.

The hapless fellow was let out of the cell, while a few of the other inmates started begging and talking in unison – asking to be allowed to at least call someone.

“Order!” He shouted.

“One by one na so we go shave una heads. U don see fish wey dey in a hurry to swim inside peppersoup before?”

About 20minutes later, the constable returned with the fellow. The look on his face wasn’t too encouraging. It appeared none of the people he called could make it down to the station: either they were far away, didn’t want police trouble or had no money. It looked as if he would be spending at least one night there.

I wasn’t in a much better situation myself. In the meantime, I found I was somehow the one seated closest to the gentleman who landed all of us in our present situation. The other 5 guys were obviously clustered together away from the two of us. I was wondering how I came to be in the wrong group when the constable bellowed another name again. This time the response was immediate and the fellow was standing at the cell door by the time the constable showed up. Another disappearing act for about 20minutes. There was a noticeable difference in the fellow’s demeanor when he returned. His uncle was sending someone to come and bail him out in about an hour.

This went on until it was my turn. I followed the constable to the front desk.

He repeated my name for confirmation and I obliged.

“What was your purpose at the crime scene.”

“I went there to eat.”

“To eat?” He sounded incredulous.

“Do you always go there to eat?”

“No. In fact it is my birthday. I was giving myself a treat.”

“Your birthday? You don’t say.”

“You should have told us that since now. We would have given you special treatment.”
Going by the way they used the word when we got to the station, even if I had remembered it was my birthday, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it then.


“How we go celebrate am now?” he asked me.

He picked up the list describing my personal effects and scanned it quickly with his eyes.

“Oga, there is enough money here to throw a small party o. Make I call my second make he arrange something? I can’t leave this desk but he is outside and I know say he is willing and able.”

If he thought the little amount in my purse was a goldstrike, then I am much more well off than I gave myself credit for. Buying them lunch couldn’t hurt either. I gave him the go ahead. He handed me back my purse, I fished out some notes, and handed him back both the cash and the purse. He took a second to change the amount recorded on my sheet (downwards).

“Oga. It may help to extend your goodwill to the DPO too O.”

I guess the DPO deserved “special” treatment above and beyond his subordinates. Another exchange of purse and money again and we were good.

“Thank you. You will remember today for good. Many happy returns of the day sir.”

The day had taken a decidedly sad turn several hours earlier: did he even understand the meaning of those words – in my present condition?

I mumbled an unenthusiastic “Amen.”

“Constable Mabawonwi!”

There was a small commotion outside and another policeman rushed in.

He stood to attention.

“Sir! Yes Sir!”
“My Lord. Here I am. Send me!”

One could see he was just fooling around pretending the first policeman was his superior.

“Can you imagine. It is my oga’s birthday today and he has decided to bless us abundantly according to his riches in glory.”

More well wishes from the second policeman after which he was dispatched to go and get the food and some drinks.

“Hmmn. Back to the issue at hand. How we go do am now? You go get someone to come and bail you? If you want, we can follow you to the ATM, then you can come back and we release you on self-recognition. As I see you so, I dey sure you are an upstanding citizen.”

The beginning of an idea. Maybe I won’t spend the night in that cell after all.

I asked him about the bail amount and he gave me what he said was a discounted figure due to my special status. Under other conditions, I would have wondered if I was at the police station or a comedy house.

I knew the amount in my bank account to the nearest Naira give or take a kobo or two. Unfortunately, it was several thousands short of the bail amount.

I told him I was short of money.

“How we go do am now? I don try for you O.”

I racked my brain for several minutes. Thinking where I may have money outside my bank account. Finally I remembered a debt owed me by a former colleague who had been promising to pay for a long time but always defaulted when the time agreed comes round. I had given up all hope and mentally written off the money as a bad loan several months back. But with nowhere else to turn, I thought I would give it a try.

I explained the situation to the constable and asked if I may use my phone.

He handed it over.

I scrolled through my contact list and pressed dial on his number.

“Hello Dele. Long time. How now.” I was surprised I got through to him. He had stopped taking my calls some time ago.

“My Oga. How is it going?”

“So so. I need your help. I am at the police station.”

I was embarrassed to even say so. I had never had any troubles with the police in all my 38 years and now in one fell sweep I have a criminal record and have seen the inside of a police cell.

“Wetin you dey do there? You don change your career?”

“No.” The joke wasn’t lost on me, but I was not in a position to find it funny.

“I am in a small trouble. Can you please bring the money you owe me to the station by the office. I need it to settle my bail.”

Brief silence. Then it sounded as if someone was raking the phone over a rough surface, followed by “Hello. The line is breaking up. Hello I can’t hear you. Let me call you back.”


“Just joking O. In fact I have the money now. Give me about 3 hours. I will be there with you.”

“Thanks Dele. God will bless you.”

“You too bro. I know you don vex long time ago. I didn’t have the money which is why I stopped taking your calls. But maybe it’s God that withheld the money for a day like this eh? See you soon.”

That was a miracle if indeed miracles happen.

I repeated the good news to the constable. He became even friendlier.

“Oga, if not for say the area commander don start to dey make surprise visit, I for ask you to perch here with me for my office O, but how I go explain say criminal dey mann frontdesk if he shows up? When your others dey inside cell? No vex O, but na so e be. But as soon as your friend shows up, you don free be dat O.”

With that, it was back to the cell for me.

I was the last person he took out of the cell. The only other person who hadn’t paid a visit to the frontdesk was the man that had wielded the fork.

And after expecting the constable to call him for about 30 minutes, I assumed they weren’t going to offer him the bail option – after all his victim was dead.

I waited for my friend to show up.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Kill me slowly

I wrote “this” a few days ago when I was feeling particularly “sh**ty”.
If I had written it on a piece of paper, I would probably have torn it up and dumped it in the wastepaper basket. But it started out life as an email on my phone in the dark before dawn, and once I mailed it to myself, it was too late. Now it exists in the “ether” – both on my phone and my laptop and on some corporate mail server who knows where.
But things changed after that – and I think it should probably not have been written – especially the first stanza.
And today, I had a literal miracle (though some people would logically refute it). I was waiting for the result of an application I made last week that should have taken 10days (or maybe even 8 days if I was lucky). Today made it 8 days and I needed to have the response latest tomorrow if my other plans were not to be disrupted. This morning I prayed and asked God that I wanted a positive response today.

And sometime around 11AM, an SMS came in and it was the instruction to go pick up my document! Yeah, I know it was possible the process may take less than 10days, but the point was that relying on that would have been a gamble – complete hit or miss. And some people explain miracles that occur in response to prayers to be that God had known already that one would be asking for the miracle and if He had decided to grant it, he would have set the process in motion well before in order for the miracle to happen when you need it and He wants it to happen! And if you don’t believe in miracles, remind you to give you a heads up when I start to levitate 🙂

NOTE: the sections after the “But start now” in each stanza is meant to be read in one breath.

Kill me slowly 

Kill me slowly
But start now
Get ahead of the curve Before mortuary attendants – irreverent – dump bodies made immobile by the “ember” months’ insatiable thirst for the blood of the innocent and guilty alike – Bodies burnt, basted, battered, bloated, baked and broken

Kill me slowly
But start now
I do not need the loneliness of a XMAS morning Spent watching gifts opened with smiles on smiling faces And thoughts of rapid loss of pressure and pleasure as heartbeat quickened realizing loss of what never was there unreasonable desires unfulfilled …

Kill me slowly
But start now
Can I not remember how anger whispered to pride led me down the path I tred and tried to backtrack But the jungle of hate amidst the forest of despair had overgrown the path of opportunity in 2 months of silence?

Kill me slowly
But start now
We won’t call it murder – I asked for it and you got paid for a service you rendered with lips sealed Making me victor over the gathering gloom that threatens to bring sorrow its brother to come dine at my thanksgiving table Overstaying its welcome hanging around from boxing day to see the old year out and the new one in

Kill me slowly
But start now
Let me lie under canopied bed sheets From now till the second Feeding on salty tears like salted nuts Life is slow in pain and fast in joy But pain is my constant companion That bids me wake after a moment’s sleep Long before night changes to day And the XMAS cock blesses the air with the music it thinks it makes While its owners smile in secret understanding of the dirge the sharpened knife will make on the 25th

Kill me slowly
But start now
Did I hear you mouth “toxic” As the effect I have where I would rather have smiles Causing fear and crying brought close yet far over cold devices held to the ear making ephemeral that which was hard to hear and worse to remember Relived daily in dreams and waking moments Wondering what screw went lose in my head Causing temporary change in temperament Bringing loss and despair to the party of discomfort and sadness

Kill me slowly …
… but start now. 

27-11-2012 4AM