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I happened to be in the temple of justice recently when an unsuspected drama ensued.

The accused person, an elderly man of about fifty to sixty-something, whom, from the proceedings it was established has fathered many children, was charged with the offence of defiling minors — mostly girls.

The prosecuting counsel having proved his (accused’s) guilt beyond reasonable doubt, it was time for the judge to give his judgment. The accused’s lawyer was given the chance to make his closing address. The defence counsel, perhaps cleverly or maybe inadvertently, decided to give the accused person the whole ten minutes allotted him to address the court. All was silent such that we even heard our slow breathing.

The accused man, wearing an apparently faked remorseful look, started off with the most familiar ridiculous of remarks: “Na de satan ooo, na im cus am. Abeg make una helep me, I no go do am again. Me, I get am for plenty wife and shildren. I no say…”

I instantly noticed a matronly woman, obviously her heart the most gnawed and stricken and her head reeling from the horrors the accused had created, silently stand up and make for the exit as if she was trying to go ease herself.

She however retraced her steps and stealthily stole behind the accused person, still unnoticed by anyone except me, and from there stretched out her right hand, land three numbing/jolting thunder-strikes on the accused’s face in quick succession. Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!

A feeling of disagreement echoed through the accused man, harder than a scream, but as definite as thunder. The sound of the slaps ricocheted off the whole courtroom like the bark of angry thunder in dry season.

The accused man stopped in mid-sentence, his unspoken words hanging dangerously in the hallowed courtroom ceiling; surprise and fear trickling over his skin like high-voltaged electricity.

Thankfully, for him, a policeman, half asleep or half roused was nearby. The policeman instinctively jumped at the woman to prevent more thunders from barking inside the courtroom.

When later the accused was being led out of the courtroom into a waiting Black Maria, the same woman walked up to him again. But this time, the prison wardens and policemen leading the accused were alert and on their guard. She shot him a long scornful and enraged glance, muster enough inner strength and muttered in a high-pitched scream, loud enough for everybody to hear amidst the whole frenzied talk: “I hope the devil enters somebody else one day and he does the same to your own daughters, too!” She hurriedly stomped out of the courtroom, seething with unsatisfied anger.

I filed the incident away in the innermost recess of my memory, to be recalled when the need arises.

That need perhaps would never had arisen had it not been for the current spate of disturbing news making waves round the whole country of children being defiled and desecrated.

To be Continued….

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