Mr. Johnson the school teacher left Madam Folorunsho, the paraga seller and walked towards the alley preceding the street he lived in. At the other end, he sighted Ajanaku and Ori ejo struggling for wraps of marijuana in a ‘poly bag’. They saw him and, fooled by the darkness, ran off, almost out of the alley until Johnson whistled a tune they were familiar with, did they turn and grin in the dark. A smile replaced their previous expression as Mr. Johnson strode towards them.
‘What are you doing here this late sir? ‘ Ajanaku asked, feigning ignorance as they shook hands.
‘ A little thing came underway. I had some student-teacher issue to discuss.’ Mr. Johnson replied. He was about to tell them of his escapade when the praises of the boys cut him off. The boys pretended to be oblivious of tired workers and school children struggling to sleep in the intense heat and ‘swarm’ of mosquitoes pervading their rooms. Rather, they shouted in the dark night. Mr. Johnson silenced them with a wave of his hand and asked, ‘I see you boys have been busy. Any luck?’ they shook their heads. ‘The bus gave us problems. So we had to spend…’ Mr. Johnson nodded quickly to show he understood.
The #5000 Naira they had placed in his hand as proceeds from routing Agege to Oshodi and finally to Bariga for at least 8 times was a lie. He would try to see if they had made more. So he asked cynically,’ you must have made more money right?’
‘Actually, we were thinking of something else.’ The reply came from behind; it was Ori ejo who had then placed a knife on Mr. Johnson’s back, ready to plunge it in. The recipient gasped silently and hurriedly placed the keys to the bus and the money into Ajanaku’s hand. Then, with a signal from Ajanaku, Ori thrust into the man’s back, the steel knife.
Another figure appeared from a corner not too far from where the deed had been done. His inquisitive and bloodshot eyes reflected the disastrous self he was made of. To Ori he said, ‘Leave him there . Just make sure you wash your hands. We don’t want blood on our hands do we?’
‘Of course not.’
‘The police will have something to keep them busy. Let us go.’ They had walked ten steps when he turned sharply and let out two silent shots from a previously unseen gun. Two thuds followed. He smiled then walked off. That was how three adults were killed on the night of October 31 without their consent. That was the beginning of terror and haunts on the alley and its environs. His mountains leveled, Omogori walked off with the keys to a bus and the sum of #15,000 Naira in his hand.
In the bus, he turned the ignition, nothing budged. Omogori cursed the dead men under his breath,’Irresponsible idiots!’. He tried once, twice and countless times until the bus wheezed, coughed and jerked before releasing a strenuous sound that probably meant,’I Do!’ then the driver steered off the side onto the street towards Agege. However, the bus swerved on its own accord, ramming its headlights into a parked lorry on the roadside. Omogori’s head hit the steering which out of prolonged use was battered. The force sent his head jamming into a gap between the steering wheel and dashboard.
No sound came from the battered bus. Only the occasional drop of blood trailing from the victim’s head down his body making a pool on the ground could be seen. In the dark night the man died.