Nothing Goes For Nothing

By Okpunobi Amarachi

Having heard from both the defending consul and the prosecuting consul and having discussed with the members of the jury, perusing through the case, Mr. Marlow, sergeant Jonas, Mr. Somadina Brown, Mrs. Tina Lace, Mr. David Rjack and young Dr. Hilary have been proven beyond reasonable doubt with evidence, as drug barons. They were guilty of drug trafficking, bribery and corruption, murder, violent, robbery with sophisticated weapons and they were guilty of other crimes against the nation.
With the power vested on me to proside over this case, I therefore hereby………,” justice Lambest Fredrick could hardly finish his verdict when Dr.Hilary rose to speak on his own, this caused an uproar as such has never happened. He was given audience and he spoke. My name is Dr. Hilary, you can do without my family name; my family has every right to its good reputation. Iam standing here to help the judge and the members of the jury to decide over one case since it seems hard for them to do.
My father died when I was nine. I was the first child of the five children, three boys and two girls, and our mother went through hell to see us through school. Our first daughter and the second male child are now dead. The first daughter was impregnated by the man who sponsored her through school. The man wanted a reward for paying her school fees up to the secondary school level, and he forced her to sleep with him. She died while giving birth in the hospital. Mother promised to sponsor me till the last. She swore that I would reach the top. So she borrowed money left and right to see me through in the university. To cut the long story, I managed to graduate and the main agony began, and to keep on with my story, I will be forced to tell a hard truth.
Nigerians can never be kind, good or charitable to anyone without expecting something in return. They always believe in the saying. ‘Nothing goes for nothing’. They are prejudged against what the Bible says strongly; that we should be nice to everyone without making distinctions among ourselves and become judges with every thoughts (James 2:1-4) RSV. I am referring more to what they believe and do than what they say. The first year following my discharge from the corps scheme, I attendee as many as seven interviews for employment and I am a graduate with second-class upper. I attended two in Port-Harcourt, two in Ebonyi, one in Abuja, one in Lagos and one in Enugu.
The last straw that broke the Carmel’s back was after the interview in Lagos. The truth was that I was told by my employee that I was qualified for the job but that I had to pay ₦500,000 before I could get the job. I went down on my knees crying and pleading with him to at least reduce the payment to ₦200,000 but all to no avail. I also asked him to give me the job and let him be deducting my payment from my salary which was just ₦35,000 a month but all to no avail
However, the job was later on given to someone who was still in her third year in the university because her father was rich and she could afford the money, and she didn’t attend the interview yet the job was given to her and I, a graduate failed. What a country! That was when I made up my mind that I must make it either by hook or cranny. By then, my mother was seriously ill and my younger brother just died a month ago because he refused to give some paper notes to some rascal police men whose jobs were to stand at the middle of the road and extort money from the poor masses. And my younger brother who was a commercial bus driver and whose papers were complete refused to give them some money and they shut him dead.
Doctors here refused treating my mum. I came back and went to a friend to check if he could lend me some money but he refused. He told me that he will teach me how to make money. I was desperate because my mother’s life was a treasure to me, also I have my younger siblings to take care of.
The following day, we went for a “stroll” that yielding what I couldn’t have gotten in two years as a Governor of a state. I knew too well that such career has no future. But I had no other option but to revenge. From what seemed like a twinkle of an eye, I boomed in my business and became very wealthy. Then, it was my turn to employ people, my turn to train people in school, my turn to help the poor. But the truth of the matter was that for you to be employed, I must sleep with you if you are a girl, for a boy you have to pay some huge amount of money or provide a land as a collateral. If I must train you in the school you must have to pay-back. Either I sleep with you or I subdue you under me as one of my boys.
My wealth gave me the opportunity of buying all the certificates I needed even without going to school to obtain them and today, I have my doctorate degree and I’m a lecturer of one university in Nigeria, and to avoid carry-over in my course “nothing goes for nothing “ is the rule you pay by cash or by kind. Today, nemesis has caught up with me and my boys whom I have helped in one way or the other but as the “rule” of the country suggests “nothing goes for nothing” and they have to reciprocate the kindness by helping out in my illegal business though they were not `aware of what they were carrying when they were over powered by the policemen along Awka-Onitsha Express Way, even the sergeant that work under me failed us.
To you Mr. Honorable justice, I have two favours to ask of you. Please grant amnesty to all of these my boys for they are not guilty of any crime. I am. For the second favour, kindly tell my countrymen that I have forgiven them because I have taken my own pound of flesh.
After Dr.Hilary’s speech, a pin-drop silence reigned in the court and justice Lambest Fredrick still holding his glasses in his hand felt immersed in a cold hot water. There was sweat rolling down his cheek but he wondered who will forgive the other, the society that believe in ‘nothing goes for nothing’ (including himself), `you and I or the criminal i.e. Dr. Hilary?