To the Oriyangi Police Station on this wet and soggy morning where Okon is being detained on allegations of oil theft, petroleum pilfering, bunkering, illegal storage and pipeline sabotage thereby contributing to the economic adversity of the nation. He had been nabbed by undercover policemen while laying a pipeline that ran through a major house of worship and an orphanage around the Mowe-Ibafo axis.
The Oriyangi Station is located on a scraggy escarpment which abuts a ravine filled with water and murky sludge close to Arepo village. In its heydays, the gorge was reputed to be the abode of a truly fearsome man-eating albino crocodile which often raided the nearby cattle market for snacks. Often after shedding the customary tears, the monster reptile could be sighted lounging on an anthill while lazily picking its teeth.
This wet and cloudy morning, it was obvious that Baba Lekki was in no mood to take hostages as the old contrarian peppered the DPO with unanswerable queries. Oil brings prosperity and peace. But as it has been found out particularly in The Third World, it can also bring problems and palavers. This was what appeared to be playing out this morning as the choleric curmudgeon rounded on his quarry with savage relish.
The Divisional Police Officer, a roly-poly, normally affable, polite and easygoing fellow of Ondo extraction known for his fondness for his native Suberu Oni music and for swigging from a handy bottle of Schnapps, was completely nonplussed by the old man’s unrelenting adversity punctuated with foul insults.
“Officer, you have the wrong man in your cell!” the old man suddenly thundered.
“How do you mean? A boy who was caught red-handed with illegal petroleum product?” the DPO responded calmly as the old man continued his regime of psychological intimidation.
“You see, the case is completely non-justiciable”, the old crook crowed.
“Baba, I no sabi grammar, go tell that to my lord in court”, the officer responded.
“It means the case cannot be legally sustained. You cannot build something on nothing. Do you know the meaning of Arepo?” the old devil insisted.
“ I don’t know”, the officer responded glumly and warily, suspecting a forensic trap.
“It means we have found oil. Let the oil go round. This oil racket cannot continue. By Schedule thirteen, oil is now part of the Inclusive List. Everybody in Nigeria is an oil thief”, the old man screamed.
“Baba, if you are an oil thief, you let us know. I am a policeman and not a thief”, the DPO muttered.
“You see what I mean?” the old man began with a devilish grin. “Officer, I put to you that you are a blockhead”.
“Eiye ogbigbo laa y’oju re je!” the police man cursed in Ondo vernacular. Baba if not to say I know say you be friend with Egin Gani, I for pull out your useless front teeth”. A tense silence ensued. The old man opened up proceedings again with a sledge hammer.
“So what is the state of the case now?” the old man demanded.
“After preliminary investigations we hand over the matter. Or is there any other thing after preliminary investigations?” the befuddled cop mumbled.
“After preliminary investigations come investigations of the preliminary”, the old man retorted with a satanic smile. There was another tense silence.
“You see, this baba sabi book pass all dem put together”, a voice rumbled from the main cell. It was at this point that some thugs sacked the station sending everybody scampering for safety.