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Betty Abah: Clarence Peters – Contemplating the complexities of life

I’m here to reflect on the difficult situation of the famous young music video producer, Clarence Peters, and I’m really scared of the complexity of life. You are riding sensational waves of fame today, so a single slide, a single event involves you rightly or wrongly and it only takes the grace of God to get you out of the pits, also known as wahala.

According to the current news, a folk dancer, Kodak, died at Clarence’s home a few days ago. Although the initial cause of death had been linked to electrocution while charging his phone, Lagos state police command, Ikeja, arrested Mr. Peters over the weekend, saying he was “under investigation for murder”, pending ‘autopsy. We just hope that an autopsy can clear things up very quickly. At the moment it is not yet clear what really happened.

But this also brought back personal memories of how I was almost in trouble ten years ago.

One morning in 2010, more or less, I left my house in Ajilete street in Lagos and about a minute later I saw my old neighbor, who is also a relative of my late landowner, walking on the street. I stopped, said goodbye and offered him a ride. He refused. So I made to move forward, a movement that would mark a dangerous curve in the whole trajectory of my life.

In the interval of less than a minute, when I stopped to greet my elderly neighbor and offer him a ride, a boy of no more than two years had approached the front of my car and had taken a position there, COMPLETELY unknown for myself. It was so small that I didn’t see it at all. A move and it could have been crushed to death.

Then a miracle appeared as from the clouds. A man who walked several meters through the street door saw what was happening, but was too far away to be heard and screamed desperately at some students from LAFOGRAM, a nearby high school, who were relatively closer, to “say that driver who it doesn’t move, there’s a kid in front of me! “All the while, I had no idea what was going on. I made the car move intuitively, I stopped and I paid close attention to the students who ran towards me, gesturing wildly and all the confusion outside. I tilted my head to ask what was going on and they pointed to the car’s bumper, I had no idea yet, the gentleman’s head was still not showing. Then one of the students, a tall teenager, ran and grabbed the little one, dragging him from where he was still “balanced”, leaning on the car without worrying about the world! It was then that his distracted mother realized how far he had gone. I had diverted her baby, and then I also understood what I had almost got caught.

Relief. Relief. Relief for life.

And believe me, it couldn’t have taken up to two minutes, two significant minutes that almost ruined my life story.

To this day I still have goosebumps that contemplate the result if things had gone wrong. At least he could have been charged with manslaughter. If I ever go out, I would live the rest of my life with guilt and the stigma of having taken a life, a young and promising life. Thank goodness for that angel. I still feel guilty for not going out to get his details. I was so shocked that I stared for a long time, murmuring what I don’t remember now.

Life can be complicated sometimes; the wrong company, the wrong move, the wrong event next to someone, and then he or she is in a long situation, especially in a country with an overturned justice system.

One of the most memorable cases I have worked on concerns three Nigerians who were unjustly imprisoned for 15 years for the murder of the eminent statesman in October 1995, Pa Alfred Rewane. Two of them, Elvis Irenuma and Lucky Igbinovia were then young employees of the assassinated octogenarian house (it was later assumed that they were murdered by the powers). That of Effiong Elemi-Edu, the third was the strangest. He was arrested during a police raid when he was standing to order his (meat skewer) on a road in Ikeja one unfortunate night and taken to the police command section of Ikeja, Lagos (Special Anti-Theft, SAR).

Meanwhile, Rewane’s “suspects” had already been brought in when Effiong joined. Most of the others chosen during the Lagos raids the night before were “saved” with “any amount” from the uniformed monsters the next day. Effiong had nothing on him, he was unable to communicate with relatives. The police quickly assigned him and others like him to Rewane’s staff, tortured him, and seven others confessed to killing the old man. For the next 15 years, Effiong found himself in prison awaiting trial, a completely innocent man who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in a dysfunctional country. Of the eight incarcerated, Effiong, Elvis and Lucky were the ones who were lucky enough to live to tell their stories, the rest were tortured to death, while the survivors were mainly locked up in the Maximum Prisons of Kirikiri in Lagos, crossing the departments from the courts of Lagos. , awaiting trial, albeit wasting so many young years in prison for a crime they knew nothing about. After years of legal battles, and then intense media scrutiny of their case between 2009 and 2010, all three were acquitted between June 2010 and January 2011.

Here we wish Clarence all the best. When life goes really badly, we can only resort to the maximum Force: God. He is omniscient and, above all, he is the God of supreme justice.

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