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Does Andrew Not Deserve To Be Flogged?
Published Jul 05, 2020 IN Column, Blitz,
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 The family saw him as someone reliable, dependable and responsible, and with that positive impression formed about him, sent him from their community in the capital territory but in the jurisdiction of Aniocha council area, to Asaba, to buy a casket.

His cousins who lost their mother some months ago in the village came in from the various towns where they work to bury their mother.

The first son of the late woman, who never liked the casket in which the remains of his mother was laid and conveyed to the village from the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Asaba, was said to have out of annoyance, set it ablaze after removing the corpse of his mother from it.

The first daughter of his mother and second child Relationship Blitz (RB) could only identify as Ngozi, roundly condemned her elder brother’s action, asking him if it was through buying expensive casket for their mother’s burial he would show love for her, a mother he abandoned for them and never cared for all through the time she was sick before her demise.

Infuriated by what he termed venomous outpouring by his sister, and uttered under the full glare of the public that came to grace their mother’s burial, the man, said to be in his early 60s and, just retired as a Director in one of the up-scale oil companies, descended on his sister, a senior lecturer with a first generation Federal University in the northern flank of eastern Nigeria.

But for the timely intervention by the elders of the family already seated at the venue of the burial ceremony, the simmering fracas would have snowballed to boiling point. He said he never wanted to create a scene at the hospital when they went to bring the corpse home, hence he didn’t want to vent his spleen there.

In the end, it was resolved that a new casket be bought and Andrew was given a cheque of N350, 000 by the late woman’s first son to go to one of the First Bank branches in Asaba, to withdraw the money and buy a more befitting coffin for the burial of their mother.

Waiting to cash the cheque in a queue, Andrew was sandwiched between two girls, with the one queuing behind her pressing her boobs on his back blade shoulders. The nipples were piercing, just like the tip of a needle. She started pressing them hard on his back when she saw that the amount he came to withdraw was reasonable.

Andrew was unstable; his standing in the queue was not seen as being cumbersome again as other customers were seeing it. His inner and outer body parts were overwhelmed with sensation, looking as if something in form of chilled fluid was circulating round them; he was set on heat in fact. He would twist; press closer as if to go inside the girl who was herself, not complaining, and like a rodent seeking for warmth, gave him a gumming fuse. She was deliberatly doing it to elicit his interest.

Now out of the bank, having been attended to, he went out wishing the queue was as long as the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, in spite of the fact that his relatives were anxiously waiting for his arrival with the casket.

He was transfixed to a spot with his eyes fixed at nothing on the ground as many imaginable thoughts kept moving to and fro his entire frame. ‘I’m going to sleep with this girl before going to buy the casket. They have to wait for me. After all I did not ask them to set their mother’s casket ablaze. The money they gave me as transport fare will be added to my own N7, 000 to give this girl what she bargained for. See the way she was robbing her breasts on my back. I believe she needs someone to do it to her. I am conk sure. I will give it to her. Before I spend ten thousand on her, I’m sure to take her to bed.’

He was lost in all those imaginations when the girl came out of the bank, clutching a purse that contained the money she came to withdraw.

The girl, who was herself feeling bad that Andrew must have gone, was surprised to see him still waiting.

‘Excuse me, I like to know you, please.’ Andrew announced.

‘Hope there’s no problem, bros.’ she asked, looking a bit pretentiously surprised.

‘I actually wanted to have some chat with you while we were inside the bank, but because of too many people there. If you don’t mind, let’s find a cool place to hang out. I’m Andrew, but friends call me Andy for short.

‘I’m Catherine’ she lied, not telling him her real name.

They settled down in one of the hotels around Konwea Plaza, where Andy booked a room after he had arrived at a consensus with her to get her filed at an agreed fee.

Having been paid, she told Andy to allow her shower because she was at the time she was coming to the bank, covered with sweat before stepping into fully air-conditioned bank where she got some relief.

Andy who had since pulled out all his clothes and was only in his boxers, busied himself drinking the bottles of beer they bought she served in two cups.

Out from the bathroom,she asked him to take his turn in the bathroom. Andy went in and got himself showered with the cold water he so much enjoyed.

Immediately he came out, fake Catherine quickly served him another round of beer and poured herself a full glass from her own bottle.

Not up to 10 minutes Andy drank from the beer he was served, he started feeling drowsy instead of warming up for action. And like one just back from a long –tiring journey, he drifted into a deep sleep. With no intruder, and Andy lying like a log of wood on the bed, she made a clean sweep of all that was in Andy’s pocket. She did not stop at that—she went further to carry his cell phone valued at N120,000, his golden wristwatch, and chain, and quickly left the room.

At the gate, a security man asked her if they were through and she told him: ‘Don’t mind that yeye man, he wants to have it off with me without condom. So, I’m on my way to buy one.’

‘But we sell condom here.’ said the security man.

‘I have a special condom I use. So, let me go to where I buy it. My things are still inside. I’m coming right now’ she said, smiling at the security man.

Out from the hotel premises, she quickly joined Keke and vanished into the thin air.

When the securityman did not see the girl after about 30 minutes she left, and the man called Andy did not come out to ask after her, he became apprehensive, ruffled and unsettled.

First, he had to dash to the room they booked into. On opening the door, he met Andy in full sleep, dozing noisily with unfinished bottles of beer on the table.

He immediately ran out from the room to outside the hotel gate. He looked every corner, trying to see if he could sight her, nothing like her glimpse crossed his eyes. He then came back to the hotel to tell his colleagues that something suspicious had just happened.

They went to forcefully wake up Andy who, on noticing that the girl was not there in the room except some of the security men, raised alarm. ‘This girl has killed me-o; my money-o, my money-o, I don die-o, casket money don go, eh, wetin I go tell my people that came from Lagos? I’m finished, so you people didn’t see him when she was going?

On the whole, the money he claimed the girl stole from him was N365, 000, money he told the security men and other customers there, was meant for casket, and that his people would have waited for him endlessly for the casket to arrive, saying there was nothing to tell them in order to have them convinced.

Going back to Asaba was not possible, and it was after much pleading that he was given transport fare to enable him board a vehicle to his village.

It was 5pm when he arrived the village, a place he left at about 9am and left the bank at about 11-47 am.

His not returning with a casket provoked another round of pandemonium, and eardrum-tearing quarrels. There was general fight among the children of the late woman who died at the ripe age of 100 years. Andy told them that he joined One Chance Bus that took him to an unknown destination at Ugbolu near Asaba, where he was robbed of the money, while many believed, some did not.

It was in the process of throwing blames, the sister to the eldest son who first attacked him for setting the first casket ablaze, renewed their hot exchanged of words that resulted to a general fight between their children. The sister accused him of over reacting by burning the casket, while elders of the family agreed that he should be fined, a decision they never took at first but had to take it after seeing the delays in burying their mother, sister, aunty and niece.

Another man was sent back to Asaba with money raised by the eldest son to go and buy another casket. The woman was finally buried at about 8.30pm.


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