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23B Ogunlade Street - Literature - Nairaland

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23B Ogunlade Street by Bigbako(m): 1:31pm On Jun 22, 2020
I grew up in a face-me-I-face-you Compound where reporting your neighbour to the police at the slightest provocation was seen as a means of ‘cashing out’. This monetary gain was made possible due to payments of “Compensation or Damages” done unto the accusers. Facilitated by the malicious relationships between neighbours and dubious Police officers, 23b Ogunlade Street became a hotbed of preposterous accusations, enough to make one pity the helpless bodies carrying the weighty senseless heads housing venomous mouths of supposed neighbours.
Ridiculous Claims like…
“My gold chain of 200k was stolen when he punched my face”
“The new Phone I bought for 75k disappeared when she was quarrelling with me”
“After we fought finish, I didn’t see the 100k I left in my pocket few mins ago”
“bla bla bla”……
Incredible claims upon incredible claims. Lies in different shades, colour and weight just to make that enemy pay for having the guts to fight with whosoever the accuser thinks they are.
So this “Go report give police” became a trend at 23B Ogunlade Street. If you mistakenly step on someone’s toe, they’ll rub Vaseline on it until it shines as if distended and ripened with pus, and before you’ll say “Do you aff cold meat pie?”, they are off to the police station to report you for striking them with whitlow.
And God bless some bad eggs in the Nigerian Police!
“Who first report na him dey win case”.
After being arrested. After the scribbling of statement, you’ll just be presented with a medical bill purportedly to be for the treatment of the mysterious whitlow. Payment of this bill will earn you your freedom. If you don’t pay, then you’ll face the more expensive and extra hassle of getting a lawyer to prove your innocence in Court.
It was a mad craze, and as a teenager, I watched all this happened with absolute incredulity on how people could do all sorts for enmity and money.
Rumours had it that….
“Baba Aliu was able to pay his children school fees after Mr. Okey paid 40k as compensation for a ‘torchlite phone’ that disappeared when they fought”
“Mama Ifeanyi bought two hollandis fabric rolls after Mama David paid 30k as compensation for a slap that made her collected 3pints of blood at the hospital”
They even said……
“Little Funmilola’s birthday party was sponsored with funds her Father got as compensation for his Blackberry screen that got smashed when Broda Wasiu threw him on the ground on his back, like a bag of garri.”
So, to avoid a story that touches the heart. To avoid dropping your hard earned money as payment for one kind yeye compensation, everybody cautiously minded their business and trod carefully on the conflicts inflammatory grounds of 23b Ogunlade Street.
But still.
Trouble came looking for Baba Sikira.
One sunny afternoon perfect for uninterrupted siester, Police came and arrested him after Iya Ayo, his next door neighbour, reported him with accusation that he beat up her daughter, Ayo, to a state of unconsciousness.
When did something serious like this happen?
Nobody in 23b Ogunlade Street was aware!
They went to the station; Baba Sikira said he only scolded Ayo for pouring the innards of a fish she just washed at the front of his door. He didn’t lay his hands on her. Just words of mouth, no beating, nothing nothing! He pleaded.
Iya Ayo vehemently objected to his claim!
She said her daughter was revived from the coma caused by Baba Sikira’s beating after she rushed her to the hospital. She presented medical reports and bill amassing up to 25k as evidence of the assault. That Baba Sikira must pay for the expenses.
Police asked Baba Sikira who witnessed the events between him and Ayo?
He said nobody was outside then as most of the tenants at 23b Ogunlade Street were at work and others, probably, sleeping. His only witness was the “Almighty Allah”.
Iya Ayo was fuming that Baba Sikira had always conceive ill feelings towards her family. But this time around, she won’t let this slide.
So as providence would have it, while all these drama was going on, the said Medical Doctor of the Hospital where Ayo was revived came to the police station with a tape recorder. He met the officer in charge of the case between Baba Sikira and Iya Ayo and handed him this tape with incriminating evidence against Mama Ayo.
This tape was played to the hearing of concerned Amebo neighbours like Mama Akara and others, who all trooped to the station to get the whole gist of the matter
And then Iya Ayo’s voice was clearly heard…..
Pleading…. Or should I say… negotiating with the Doctor that if he gives her a fake Medical report and bill to present to the police, he’ll be paid 10k out of the 25k to be earned maliciously. Every words of this conversation were captured on the tape and everybody who listened to it got their jaws dropped.
Chants of ‘Awuzunbilai’ ‘Jesus’ ‘ahn ahn” and all other kinds of remark people uttered when faced with shock filled the air. Even the police too were not exempted!
Iya Ayo buried her face in shame with a grimace of someone whose brain was stolen. On realizing the gravity of what she has done, tears rolled down her cheeks, but she didn’t beg for forgiveness. In her eyes, it was said that you could really tell she was sincerely sorry!
The Police released Baba Sikira and remanded Mama Ayo instead…..
Baba Sikira returned to 23b Ogunlade Str to a royal welcome of chants, cheers and praises on his victory against the enemy.
After two days, Iya Ayo was eventually released from the police station. She became an object of scorn to neighbours who were obviously not without sins too. This weakened her sense of belonging, even her daughter, Ayo, was rejected by peers. After two months of hell, she relocated with her family in the middle of the night, without anybody being aware until we woke up to an empty room with doors wide open.
That was the last 23b Ogunlade Street heard of Iya Ayo,
Until a neighbour bumped into her relative sometimes in 2019,
And he said;
“Iya Ayo died a year after she left 23B Ogunlade Street”
Written By: Bako Abdullahi

Re: 23B Ogunlade Street by Austine8090(m): 3:39pm On Jun 22, 2020
Street lives matters

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