A lone policeman came to the old homestead to arrest him. He met Chikezie sitting under the udara tree eating his afternoon meal of pounded yam and soup made with stockfish.
“You! You bloody criminal! You thief! I have caught you today. Get up. You are under arrest” the policeman shouted and brandished a pair of handcuffs at Chikezie.
Chikezie, rolled a large ball of fufu in the soup and pinched a piece of stockfish into it with his thumb. He bent over the plate slightly as he put the mound in his mouth and swallowed. He looked up at the policeman.
“I’m eating. You cannot arrest me while I am eating” he replied chewing and turned back to his food.
“Come on get up! I said you are under arrest” the police man shouted and knocked over the stainless tray, with two stainless plates and a stainless steel mug of water on it. There was a metallic clatter and the pounded yam rolled away in the dirt and stopped in front of a startled billy goat eating his afternoon greens. The soup made a blotch in the dust as the plates rolled away.
Chikezie stared at the remains of his food. He had given his mother NGN1000 earlier in the morning to prepare it especially for him. He looked up at the police man with a spark of fire in his eyes.
“I said you are under arrest. Come on! Get up! You are coming to the station!” the police man shouted again and grabbed Chikezie roughly by the collar.
Chikezie sprang to his full height and stepped back, the police man stumbled against him, tried to hold him to steady himself and dropped the handcuffs. Chikezie brought his knee hard into the police mans groin and as he doubled over he took another knee into the police mans jaw. The man went down like he was pole axed. He came to a few seconds later found himself handcuffed and Chikezie removing his belt and boots.
The police man tried to shout for help. Chikezie shoved a piece of foam he tore out of an old mattress into his mouth.
Chikezie went to the police station with the man’s belt, beret and boots.
“These items belong to one of your men.” he said to the police man at the front desk from the relative safety of the door “He is in my cell in Ahumareze’s homestead. Go and bail him.”
He fled before they could stop him or ask him anymore questions.
An hour later a squad car arrived at his homestead with five police men. They found their colleague hands cuffed behind his back, a piece of dirty foam in his mouth and a rope around his ankles under the udara tree.
Chikezie watched from a distance while the police stomped around and made threatening noises. No body else was in the homestead, there were no witnesses. He smiled when they took the renegade cop away, hands cuffed in front of him.