Oh how I wish to go back to the innocence of a child; I want to be born again. I want to go back to the days when all I could worry about was to go get myself a playmate; I want to go back in time when I would just say ‘mama ar want eat’ and it is all good; I want to go to the days when I would not worry about rapists because I can’t even figure out whether or not they are terrorists. Did I actually mention rapists?! Well, maybe that is because there are so many, or should I say uncountable numbers of rapists all over the human kingdom called Sierra Leone. Oh yes! The human kingdom has rapists ‘wutehteh’ and we all know them. Some of them are even government or ex-government functionaries. If you want proof I will refer you to my Ariogbo looking glass and you will see incontrovertible evidences if only you have extraordinary eyes like Ariogbos. But if your eyes are ordinary, it means you fall under the category of humans ‘white people’ will refer to as shortsighted.
Anyway, I have a very serious message for you today. I started my testimony with the ‘lappa lappa’ song because I am very disappointed at humans. Oh yes! Humans are irritating at times; but Ariogbos will rather sing than cry when they are treated inhumanly by ordinary humans. Yes, I mean inhuman treatment meted on Ariogbos is vexing. Oh yes! Humans should accept us as their kinds, especially for those of us residing with them. And we expect them to treat us like humans. If you don’t understand what I mean, please don’t read further because I will only add to your confusion. Drop this paper now and go about your normal and abnormal businesses. Hahahahaha!!!!! And you are still holding and reading this paper huh! Well, no worries; it only means that you fully understands the content of my submission. So read on and smile on.
Today, I shall be talking about no less a person than the ex-minister undergoing trial on the serious allegation of raping a ‘school pikin’. Your guess is as good as mine. I am talking about the one and only Mamoud Tarawallie. Don’t call him rapist because he is yet to be convicted by a competent court of law. Besides, I am not here today to talk about what transpired between Mamoud and the ‘school pikin’ because that matter is being decided by a human court. ‘Ariogbo nor want palaver with mortal man Judge them’. What I want to narrate here is the fact that Mamoud has been summoned by the controversial Ariogbo Judge on a fresh allegation of ‘defaming an Ariogbo’ in his (Mamoud’s) desperation to save himself from the human case between him and the ‘school pikin’. You heard me right?! Mamoud is said to have told the human court that the Ariogbo representative in the human kingdom demanded bribe from him to suppress or kill or dump the ‘rape story’. Could you imagine the insult ‘sef’ against the entire Ariogbo Kingdom? ‘Ariogbo dae take bribe?’ Are you kidding me?! Are you for real?! That abomination will never happen in the Ariogbo Kingdom. An Ariogbo will never ever act like common ‘congosa’ humans. We are demons with pride, respect, dignity, quality, humility, and above all content mind. And we are also not rapists like common humans.
But ‘sef’, why were the ‘congosa’ humans so happy to publish the said allegations against the Ariogbo? Jealousy huh! They hate us because they hate us, period. ‘But tiday na di day’. All of those humans have been summoned by Judge Better-Must-Come to testify in the Ariogbo Inquest, and they are here already. Let’s go to the demon court.
JUDGE: Today, I will neither greet nor introduce myself because I am so vexed and calm at the same time. If you ask me what that means, it simply means you are as confused as I am. So let us just forget about my status and focus on what we have here. I have summoned four humans to testify so as to ascertain as to whether or not the bribery allegations against our representative in the human kingdom is anything to countenance. The first person I will call on the witness box is the former rape minister; sorry, I meant to say the former minister accused of rape, Mr. Mamoud Tarawallie. Tell us what you told the human court about our Ariogbo now. Honestly, I was shocked when I read in the human media about your alleged testimony against our Ariogbo and the first words that emanated from my vocal cavity were: “Et Tu Mamoud Tarawallie?” You will not understand my expression because you are ordinary human. When Ariogbos are shocked, we speak in Latin instead of English or Krio. For the benefit of Latin illiterates in the human kingdom, the expression ‘Et Tu Mamoud Tarawallie’ simply means “You again Mamoud Tarawallie?” Oh yes! These words were forced from my guts and transmitted through my throat to my vocal cavity for the ears of humans because I have heard about this Mamoud name on only two instances; and both instances ended up being controversial. Hmmm!!! He is always in the news for the wrong reasons?! Well, read on. The first time I heard the name Mamoud Tarawallie was on rape allegation. And now the name is sounding again on an allegation made by the ordinary Mamoud against an extraordinary Ariogbo that has the blessings of the ancestors. So you see why I ‘Latinized’ my expression? I will repeat the same expression again, but this time round in Krio: ‘Mamoud Tarawallie na you back?’
MAMOUD: Ariogbos and humans, hello. Yes, It is me again the one and only Mamoud Tarawallie that was sacked with full speed when news broke out that I had raped a ‘school pikin’ as if every other minister is an Angel. Humans will never get the true picture about what happened behind closed doors. All they will rely on to make their judgment is my ability to defend and her ability to prosecute. Therefore, I will not bother myself here to narrate that story because this court is not as competent as the human court to preside on such matters. I already told the human court that I actually had sex with the ‘school pikin’ but that it was consensual. ‘Na the pikin gree for the enjoyment.’ So let us allow the human court to decide on that, period. What I told the human court about my encounter with the Ariogbo is simple and straight forward; that I was shocked that the Ariogbo published the ‘rape news’ because I refused to heed to his demands. Again, what happened between me and the Ariogbo would never be clear to the public unless the Ariogbo wants to explain. ‘Me en Ariogbo nor get case’. I expect the Ariogbo to show understanding on my testimony because I am only trying to defend myself from rape charges. That is my testimony.
JUDGE: Mamoud are you really sure that our Ariogbo demanded anything from you other than your own side of the rape story? Do you know that the ‘witch-glass’ through which you spoke to the Ariogbo is a recording device with the full account of what transpired between you and our Ariogbo? Do you recall that the Ariogbo rejected your offer of bribe and insisted that you give him your side of the story on the very first conversation between you too on that fateful evening? Did you also remember that you asked the Ariogbo to get your side of the story from the P.R.O of your then Ministry and that the Ariogbo did just that? Do you also recall that you called your ‘congosa’ journalist friend (who is now a media commissioner) that very night and asked him to negotiate with the Ariogbo to kill the story, but the Ariogbo refused and ended up publishing the story? If we ask you to put forward a single evidence to substantiate your bribe claim against the Ariogbo, do you have any? Are you aware that your testimony against the Ariogbo is counterproductive as the Ariogbo is all set to associate with the prosecution to present all the evidences in the human court to render your testimony null and void? Why are you continuously portraying yourself as a non credible character?
MAMOUD: ‘Well Ariogbo Judge you see wuna yone business’. Why are you doing this to me? Can’t you see I am only trying to defend myself from going to jail? Don’t you know that the outcome of this case will determine whether or not I will ever hold government office again? Why can’t we just let sleeping dogs lie?
JUDGE: Hmm!! Mamoud, I will come back to you later. Do you think you can just defame an Ariogbo like that and go scot-free? ‘You nor see natin yet’. We might just meet soon in a human court.
Now let me come to the congosa journalists that fell for your gimmick and rushed to publish big fat lies against our Ariogbo. They are going to be forced to confess in the Ariogbo way as to why they believed the testimony of Mamoud to an extent that they could not even crosscheck the side of the Ariogbo. The first person I will call is Jonathan Leigh; the human congosa journalist who has been in the media profession for decades without learning anything. Yes e! Can’t you see he is always in trouble for acting like a cub reporter? So Grand Papa Jonathan (or should I say Old Konker Jonathan), why did you publish that our Ariogbo demanded two million leones bribe from an accused rapist?
JONATHAN: Well, Ariogbo I will not talk plenty because old age is gradually taking a toll on me, and that is why I am always in the news for the wrong reasons. I happily publish the two million bribe news against the Ariogbo because he is an associate of my worst enemy Sylvia Blyden. Wherever I get any negative news about Ariogbo, I will not bother to crosscheck anything; I will just publish it on my front page. Besides, Ariogbo is a household name in Sierra Leone, and publishing his name on my front-page will increase the sale of my newspaper for that day. Under normal circumstance, my Independent Observer newspaper will only sell some hundred copies; but with the name of a powerful Ariogbo on my front-page, ‘the mammy e money dae commot’. That is my testimony.
JUDGE: Hmm!! When an adult behaves like a kid. Pa Alie of Eagle Radio, you are next on line. Tell us why you published that Ariogbo demanded fifty million bribe from Mamoud. Jonathan said two million and you are saying fifty million, what is going on?
PA ALIE: Judge, I did that because of three reasons. Firstly, Ariogbo is a supporter of Isha Johansen and I am an errand boy for Rodney Michael. So we are the proverbial ‘dog en puss’. Secondly, Ariogbo was supporting Babatunde in the just concluded SWASAL elections while I was supporting Frank Cole. The testimony of Mamoud came in few days to the elections so I was desperate to publish something that will distract the Ariogbo from campaigning for Babatunde. We ended up winning the election. Lastly, Ariogbo is very popular in Sierra Leone and only a few sports stakeholders know me. So I had to publish the news against Ariogbo so as to gain recognition through his name. ‘Ar dae katch pa Ariogbo e fame gbet’.
JUDGE: ‘Pa Alie you talk o.’ Let me now move to Premier News as they also published that our Ariogbo demanded twenty million bribe from the same Mamoud on the same issue. This is laughable even by Ariogbo standard. ‘Jonathan say two million, Pa Alie say fifty million, then Premier News say twenty million.’ What an uncoordinated malicious attack against a powerful Ariogbo?! Okay, let me make it simple for them. If we add all the amounts mentioned, it will end up meaning that the Ariogbo demanded seventy two million leones bribe. If we subtract Jonathan’s two million and Premier’s twenty million from Pa Alie’s fifty million, then the Ariogbo requested twenty eight million leones. The list goes on and on. Ar sabi Maths eh! But how much really did the Ariogbo demanded? Anyway, let Premier tell us the rationale behind their publication.
PREMIER: Well, ours is simple. Premier is owned by Julius Spencer and we know that the Ariogbos are not happy about the activities of our boss in the ‘IRN dae’ Ebola money. So we feel relieved to publish negative stories against Ariogbo ahead of judgment day at the SLAJ AGM. That is all.
JUDGE: Hmm!!! ‘This full me mot’. So none of you published the lies against Ariogbo on professional grounds?! This is shocking even by human standard. Anyway, I can’t hand down verdict on you all right now because I need to consult with the ancestors what to do to you. But trust me; you all will definitely pay for this. Tata!!!