The guard clanged his baton hard on the bars to wake us up, once he ensured we were all awake he gave us 10 minutes to get dressed and come down to start the day. The typical day of an inmate starts as early as 6:30am with roll call. We were given 15 minutes to take our baths then we are served breakfast in our cells. We are sent out to do labour, we do jobs like washing the bathroom and uprooting the grass around. We have lunch and then we’re allowed to make phone calls at the general phone booth. We go for supper and then another roll call happens in the evening. We retire to our cells.
I’ve been here for 20 years now, I’m here for the crime of robbery. Out of intimidation I foolishly followed my friends for an operation. It was a first time for me but my friends were very experienced, it was their job after all. After seeing that after many operations they hadn’t been caught I began nurturing the idea of joining them on their escapades, that and the notion that the Nigerian police are unserious. I decided to follow them that day for an operation. Unknown to us all, the police were on our trail studying their time and pattern of attacks. We were busted mid-operation. I was frozen with shock, my friends with years of experience and various encounters with the police knew what to do and how to do it. Apparently the rule was, when the shit hits the fan, its every man for himself. They took off with the speed of light and somehow they got away.
Unfortunately for me, I was the only one arrested. I was tried and found guilty, I was sentenced to 20 years in prison with hard labour. In the prison i was exposed to various forms of bullying from both inmates and guards alike. Mainly because I didn’t look tough. I was 24 when I was sent to jail, I’m 44 now. I wasted 20 years of my life wishing for freedom and now that I’m about to have it, I’m going to use it right.
The gate to the exit of the prison opened and i stepped out, the sun beating down my face in the most pleasant of manners. I now walk a free man.