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WHEN YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON YOU
Paul’s children, like other children, were naive and were interested in “money brags”. Such children claim that their parents have more money and property than the parents of other children.
One day, Rose came back from school and told her brother about an argument that took place in their class that day. When their mother, Susan, overheard them she walked hastily into the room.
“Do not get involved in any of those ‘brags’,” their mother warned. “Why, Mum?” The children asked. “The children who take part in those ‘brags’ do not know that they are only endangering their parents lives and you do not want to endanger us, do you?” Susan enquired.
“No, we do not,” they replied. “Very well then. You have to keep quiet whenever you hear those ‘money ‘brags’ going on,” said their mother. “Now let me tell you a story.”
THE ROBBERY VICTIM
“There was a man named Mr. Fred Peters, who had three children named, Emily, Jack and Frank. Emily and Jack were fond of boasting about their father’s wealth. On a certain Friday, a quarrel broke out between Emily and her class girl named Rita Abar. Emily had called Rita a church rat; boasting that her father could buy the whole of Rita’s family and use them as slaves. This made Rita very angry and she slapped Emily in the face. The two girls started fighting, but they were eventually separated by their classmates.
“When Rita got home, she narrated the ugly incident at school to her sister. Unknown to the girls, their father was eavesdropping on their conversation.
“The next day being Saturday, Mr. Fred Peters, Emily’s father, left his house around 6:00am for jogging; he always jogged to keep fit.
He had not gone two poles, when suddenly, Mr. Abar, Rita’s father, appeared from nearby bush.
“Stop there!’ he barked, pointing a pistol at Mr. Peters’ head. ‘If you move an inch, I will blow your head off.’
“Mr. Peters was as frightened as a chicken, and sweated all over. ‘Please don’t kill me,’ he pleaded.
“Quiet!” Mr. Abar barked again. ‘What do you have in your pocket?’ Mr. Abar demanded. ‘Now turn out your pockets,’ he ordered. Mr. Peters obeyed, and it turned out that he only had a cell phone with which he was listening to music with an earpiece as he jogged. Disappointed and angry, Mr. Abar hit Mr. Peters very hard on the head with the butt of his pistol. He collected Mr. Peters’ cell phone, his spike shoes and left. Mr. Peters lay on the ground, bleeding and writhing in pains. Fortunately for Mr. Peters, two policemen passing by observed his critical condition and rushed him to a nearby hospital for medical attention. They questioned him after he had received treatment and requested him to come to the local police station on Monday of the following week in order to make a formal entry.
“After Mr. Peters’ entry at the Police charge- room on the appointed day, the superior police officer in-charge handed the case file over to Inspector Mark, an Investigating Police Officer (IPO), to carry out full investigation of the matter. Based on Inspector Mark’s findings, a case of robbery was made out against Mr. Abar, which made the police to launch a search for his arrest and prosecution. He was eventually arrested in his house during an early morning raid by Inspector Mark, who led a team of other policemen. After Mr. Abar made his statement, he was detained in police custody pending arraignment before a Magistrate Court. While in police cell, Mr. Abar served as an attendant to the senior cell inmate as was the practice in most Nigeria Police Cell. This made him sad. But his face brightened when he was told that he would be arraigned before a Magistrate Court in a few days’ time.
“On the appointed day, Mr. Abar was arraigned before the Eleke Magistrate Court over which Magistrate Jane Thomas sat. Mr. Peters and members of his family were present. Also present were the prosecutor representing the state and the defence counsel representing Mr. Abar. After the case was called up by the clerk of the Court, who also read out the charges against Mr. Abar, Mr. Abar, the accused, pleaded not guilty to the charges. After this, his defense counsel made application to the court for grant of bail to his client. The Magistrate refused to grant the application because of the nature of the offence alleged to have been committed by Mr. Abar and instead, ordered that he be remanded in prison custody pending the final outcome of the matter. After 3 months of trial, the prosecution was able to establish its case of robbery with violence against Mr. Abar. The Magistrate, accordingly, sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250,000,00.”
THE EXIT OF AN ICON
When Paul was about seventy six years old, he started feeling pains within his chest region and he went to the hospital. In the hospital, he had an appointment booked with a cardiologist named Doctor Samson Parker, who proved that he had a hole in the heart through scanning. When Dr. Samson found this out, he advised that Paul should undergo surgery to slow down the rate of damage that was occurring. After the surgical operation, Dr. Samson gave Paul some medication and told him to engage in Physical exercise in order to sustain his life. He suggested that daily walks in Paul’s flower garden could be helpful. He however, advised Susan to prepare for the inevitable because her husband’s ailment was terminal.
After Paul was discharged from the hospital, his wife invited their children, who now had their own families, for a family reunion and it was fixed for the grant the application because of the nature of the offence alleged to have been committed by Mr. Abar and instead, ordered that he be remanded in prison custody pending the final outcome of the matter. After 3 months of trial, the prosecution was able to establish its case of robbery with violence against Mr. Abar. The Magistrate, accordingly, sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250,000.00.” summer holiday, which was six weeks away. The month of August that year was a very memorable one for the Okezie family because Rose and Macaulay with their spouses and children spent the whole month with their parents. Paul had great fun with his grandchildren. They usually accompanied him for his walk in the garden and sometimes, they played hide and seek. He also told them lot of stores.
By Onyemere, Ugonna Ekene