A 23-year-old man with a pseudonym ‘Clinton’ sits with Chude Jideonwo, host of #WithChude to discuss how he sold illegal substances, got arrested, went to the dreaded Panti, spent jail time in the dreaded Kirikiri, narrowly escaped a four-year sentence, and ended up in the throes of the vile SARS.
Speaking of life before he got into the world of crime, he said, “I attended Governor College, Egan. I did well in JSS 1-3. It was in SS1 that I mixed up with a bad gang. That was when everything changed. I started at Governor College, but I finished at Penny International College. I was still facing schoolwork, but I started missing school and getting involved in school fights. After secondary school, I went to learn a trade. My parents forced me to go and learn ‘engineering’ because I used to fix things around the house. I stopped within one week because my spirit wasn’t in it. After that time, I went to tailoring, and I was doing fine. Later, I stopped because I wanted to make small money, this is why I started the cleaning job. I stopped the cleaning job because it wasn’t paying enough”.
‘Clinton’ shared further on how he joined the National Union of Road Transport Workers Middle Men (ticket sellers) in order to earn more money. Because of the risk involved, and the street fights, he had to switch to selling weed. He also shared on the chaos that followed his decision which included multiple arrests. On his first contact with the police, he shared, “We were smoking on our street. I just wanted to get a cigarette from the Aboki. I did not know the police had been called by someone who lives on the street. That was how I was arrested and taken to the police station and the police also identified me as the one selling weed. They had heard of me, but they haven’t seen me before. They decided that my case was too complex to waste time. I was taken to Panti on Friday, and I appeared in Court on Monday morning, and I was sentenced with bail to KiriKiri Maximum Prison.”
Sharing his experiences at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti and Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, he said, “It is another country entirely. The suffering there is too much.” He also narrates the difficult state of SCIID. On his experience at Kirikiri, he said, “My first day in Kirikiri, I thought I was in my village. The building was very big, and the cells were labelled A – Z, yet they were building more cells. The punishment was very bad. I packed faeces on my first day.”
Clinton speaks on the way forward for him, “I will go back to tailoring because I still want to. The weed business I used to do is very risky”. On his relationship with his mother, and what he will say to her, he said, “I will beg her. When I wanted to start Government College in JSS1, my mother carried my table while I carried the chair. I told her that day that I would make her proud. And till today, she will remind me of that statement and wonder why I’m the one still behaving badly. I believe I will find my purpose, and I pray I will change soon.”
Watch the excerpt, here.