Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation

MY INCARCERATION IN SOKOTO | In Court III

DAY 16: Tuesday September 2, 2014. 13:30 hours.

The discussion in the office of the court registrar developed into a direct attempt at attention seeking.

Idris, the prison warden attached to Wamakko Magistrate Court, began to address me.

– Revolting!

He would get me a job in the Nigerian Prison Service and take me to his home state of Zamfara.

– Spurious promises of a charlatan!

When I repeatedly spurned his overtures, he was frustrated: You don’t want to answer me?

Throughout, I articulated my views only to B.L who thought I should address Idris.

To B.L I quipped: I will not respond to him. It is very convenient that I am to speak only to you. So, you are my spokesperson, respond to him on my behalf. You are my representative.

I had a good laugh.

B.L understood and, of course, did not speak to Idris on my behalf.

She did suggest Idris could get me employed in the service as his brother has a high rank in the Prison Service.

He is lying, but if you think he is honest, you can follow up the issue with him. I will provide you with my name and credentials.

That was my suggestion to B.L. She came to a better conception of reality.

Deception is a trademark of the ethnicity.

Moreover, Idris was the same who, on Monday, August 18, 2014 as I lost my liberty, insisted on putting handcuffs on me despite my pleas and that of a gentleman present.

Later in prison, I enquired from H.M a great friend and a fellow inmate whether she too was handcuffed en route to the prison.

She was not and was shocked at the callousness of Idris.

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Moments later, I was called to the office of Fatimah Suka where she dictates her rulings.

The Chief Magistrate Court of Wamakko in Sokoto is the office of the judge; the courtroom itself functions as a temporary prison for accused persons, and is in a state of disrepair, as the judge does not discharge her duties there.

Fatimah Suka in typical disposition kept her head in her book, on which she recorded court events.

She lifted her head only to tell me to put my hands down. I should have put them under her chin instead to prop her up, so she sits straight.

Contrary to my expectations, the case was read.

I really need a legal team that can communicate facts as
straightforward as it is.

When the case was adjourned, B.L returned to work.

A little later and in the company of the lawyer from the National Human Rights Commission ~NHRC and the individual who signed my bail document, both of whom are Hausa-Fulani, I returned to Sokoto State Prison to retrieve my belongings.

We had to make that trip to prison twice, as Idris deviously withheld the release warrant, without which I could not be deemed a free citizen.

We did obtain the document only to discover the prison officials in charge of the Records Office had ended their routine.

Then there was the trouble of identifying precisely what I had on record, for on the day of my imprisonment only my money was handed to the Records Office.

In the custody of the female wardens in the women wing of the prison were the rest of my effects.

My writings, a pencil, a Niqab, a pair of socks, a SIM card and two memory cards in a small card holder, my apartment keys, and a purse were stored in my personal folder and kept along with my shoes, until the day a female prison warden Ameenah Fakai brought my items out without my knowledge.

She was deeply interested in the contents of my writings, and sought permission to continue reading them.

I granted no such permission.

In any case, she insisted my SIM card, plus the memory cards, pencil, and keys contained in my purse should be kept in the Records office, for as she claimed the women wardens will be penalized if the SIM card is discovered in the storeroom.

The SIM card, she insisted implied that a female official could permit me to make calls on the latter’s cell phone.

That was preposterous as prisoners have an official channel for making telephone calls.

Well, on that final day, Ameenah Fakai backed by her husband denied moving any of my belongings, except the SIM card.

An intense argument followed.

I was furious!

As I rejected the handshake of Ameenah, and responded silently to her Tasleem, a personal norm to avoid further interactions, she issued an array of threats and insults.

I will deal with you. You are not a Muslim. You are deceiving Muslims.

I ignored her. Whose acceptance do I seek to worship Allah? Only Allah owns Jannah.

She lied and expected me to shake her hand. My right hand is not meant for such a handshake.

AlHamduliLlah, the next day a well-wisher retrieved all of my possessions from the Records Office.

Yes, I told the truth, an unlikely state of affairs to some persons who are gullible to falsehood.

~ Post-Publication Addendum ~

Please note my name is Umm Sulaim Iman Taqwa; my ethnicity is Igbo

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2 comments on “MY INCARCERATION IN SOKOTO | In Court III

  1. Sidney Davis
    June 11, 2017

    I find it interesting and curious that official forms ask for tribal identity. I remember in filling out an application for a SIM card they asked for religion on the application. I put Voodoo.

    • Umm Sulaim
      June 11, 2017

      Sidney:

      Voodoo? That was funny.

      In the last two plus years, I rule over the religion section of any legal form. I find the religion section is a tool for intimidation and imposition.

      Sometimes, I put atheism, as that is a safer religious belief to take public. In fact, that is what appears on some of the forms I completed while in detention at the Department Of State Services ~DSS/SSS. I think I used same on a police document when they insisted on a religion.

      Recently, I did my voter’s registration and did not see a space for religion on the biometric computer. State of origin and ethnicity were on the form and I eagerly filled them.

      In fact, when I was not asked for my state of origin during initial filling of the paper form, I asked whether that was not required and was informed that applies on the computer.

      I was cautious that Sokoto not be input as my state of origin, as it has happened years ago, and that Yoruba not appear on the document as my ethnicity, as that is the assumption.

      The one and only,
      Umm Sulaim

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