They stared at each other for a long moment.
Separated by the iron rods of a damp, dimly lit jailhouse holding cell.
A cell that reeked of stale urine and sweat.
Over crowded beyond its 12 by 8 feet capacity.
An assortment of varying offenders.
Mostly prisoners of conscience.
Poor innocents at the mercy of a moribund judicial system.
The two men conversed between the galvanized steel rods in very low tones.
While the other an investigating police officer.
The accused had been on the run for weeks.
Sensationally being caught at Kwangolam.
The Katsina border town between Nigeria and Niger republic.
Organizing mass protest that effectively shutoff crude exploration in the oil rich Niger-Delta region.
An action that started peacefully but became a violent insurgency after the Federal government refused to negotiate.
Preferring a full deployment of its military might, in an amphibious exercise code named “Operation bleeding creeks”.
Wave after wave of federal forces were deployed but the rag tag band of insurgents triumphed.
Resulting in the replacement of the theatre Commander
By another commander of same rank.
A Major General.
Whose brutally crude tactics.
Comprised a scorched earth policy.
As well as the indiscriminate arrest and detention of prominent individuals.
The populace protested and sent letters to the United Nations over what they termed genocidal killings
Reminiscent of the Nigerian revolution and Biafran civil war.
The UN kept mute in the face of a federal government enforced blockade.
To ensure the survival of his people.
The accused leader and arrowhead of the insurgence fled.
Almost making it across the border.
But for the betrayal of fifth columnist among his group.
Tortured and paraded on live camera.
He remained unbroken.
Insisting on his inalienable rights to self determination.
Citing economic oppression and environmental degradation.
He called for an overhauling of the system and restructuring as antidote to an eschewed system.
This early morning visit by his fraternal brother.
A high ranking member of the Skull and Bones.
Was a warning that he was to be extra judicially executed before the conclusion of his trial.
It was also a visit to offer him a chance to choose his exit.
Exchanging a capsule none of the other inmates or guards saw.
The officer bade his brother farewell.
Turned swiftly as tears fell from his eyes.
At exactly 6 a.m Central African Time.
The guards unlocked the cell gates and ordered the accused freedom fighter to come out.
At that moment.
The accused extricated and swallowed a very rare capsule known in espionage circles as Cyanide.
“Kai Baba i dey crase” barked one of the guards who had seen the act.
Rushing at him as the capsule melted in his oesophagus.
Wresting him down as the effects of the capsule took its course.
Extracts from: All blood runs red.