So I have been on vacation in the past month and I used that period to make a strong resolution to start a new series. If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know by now that I don’t really write series. It’s such a daunting task. I would rather post a short story and call it a day. Or week. I give it to bloggers like Tomi Adesina and the grand Master, Lord Tunde Leye (though he has stopped now) who post on the regular! Lord Tunde has kinda taken a sabbatical at the moment…
So I have resolved to start this new series titled “Amicus Curiae”. It will be posted every Friday, starting from tomorrow. Here is a teaser subtitled “The Wages of Sin”. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comment box below. Gracias!
THE WAGES OF SIN
It happened the night before. Bamidele Odusote had just returned from a business seminar organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce at the Civic Centre along Ozumba Mbadiwe road, Victoria Island. Being a young, successful entrepreneur and chairman/C.E.O of Bamz Holdings, a billion naira annual revenue conglomerate that has investments in many facets of the country’s economic ecosystem ranging from oil and gas to manufacturing and energy distribution, Bamidele was invited to speak to young budding entrepreneurs on the myths and realities of operating a successful business enterprise in a difficult ecosystem as Nigeria. He had kept his message precise and straight to the point. He was very critical of the Federal Government for failing to provide enabling environment for small scale businesses to thrive. He was also critical of commercial banks operating in the country for exploiting local business owners.
“The banking system has failed us as well,” he said. “Our banks would give a six percent interest rate to foreign investors who take their loans – and this, they would do without requesting for any security, but would slam a gargantuan twenty-six percent interest rate on local companies who apply for the same credit facility. And of course, collaterals must be provided.”
Bamidele Odusote also blamed local entrepreneurs for being ignorant of certain investment incentives which abound. Then, he went ahead to briefly lecture the crowd on the Pioneer Status Certificate issued to local businessmen who invest in certain business areas.
As soon as he was done with the lecture, Bamidele scampered out of the hall, rushed to his Jaguar F-Type S in the parking lot and drove out of the Civic Centre, heading straight to Club Uno at Adetokunbo Ademola street. He had a date with Bimbo. They had gone three weeks without speaking to each other after she found the nude picture of another girl on his phone. He wanted to make everything right tonight.
Just as he was approaching the gate of the club, he perceived a foul smell oozing from the backseat of his car. He kept driving but the smell became stronger. Then he heard a movement behind him. Bamidele knew he was the only one in the car, so his blood froze for a millisecond. He turned on the inner light of the car and looked into his rearview mirror. The car was dimly lit, but he could spot an object on the backseat of his car. It appeared to be a wrapped polythene bag. With his left hand on the steering, Bamidele reached for the object behind him with his right. The bag seemed to contain some pieces of something firm. At this point, the foul smell in the car had increased. The air now smelled of dead meat.
Bamidele, with dollops of sweat trickling down his face, drove into the parking lot of Club Uno and jolted his car to a stop. He turned around and reached for the bag which emitted foul odour in his car. As he pulled the bag open, the battered, disfigured face of a human rolled out and dropped to the floor of the car. It was the chopped head of Bimbo. At this point, Bamidele could almost feel his heart stop beating. He pushed the bag away as he took short breaths. The weight of his own head grew too heavy for his neck as he felt sharp pangs of pain biting into his skull.
Oh God, Oh God, he gasped.
Red liquid trickled out of the now agape polythene bag, onto the footmat of his car. Bamidele felt his stomach churn in disgust, then vomited at the sickening sight and smell around him. He sat on his seat, shell-shocked for a couple of seconds, trying to come to terms with reality. Then he heard a knock on the pane of his glass window. He threw a quick look at two figures standing by the side of his car. They were not the club’s bodyguards. They were men in uniform. As he lowered his window, the closest of the men to him pointed a card at him and uttered some words Bamidele could barely hear. The man opened Bamidele’s car, pulled him out and placed a cuff around his wrists. Bamidele could hardly fight back. He could hardly breathe.