Shade saw murder in Soleye’s eyes. With what she had seen tonight in his home, Soleye would not let her walk out of his home alive. She glanced at Uche and Agnes standing by the car. If she didn’t do something Uche would die and she would be responsible for her death.
‘Get out of the car,’ Soleye ordered.
The events that brought her to this moment played in her head like a movie. She had been driven by her greed and accepted a gift from Soleye. She thought it was harmless but apparently it wasn’t. If she had told her fiancée about the gift he could have saved her from all this trouble. Now she had put herself in danger and also brought her best friend into a trap. She had to make things right even if it cost her life.
‘What are you doing?’ Soleye barked. ‘I said you should get out of the car.’
Shade shut her eyes and uttered a prayer. ‘Lord, forgive me for what I did.’ When she opened her eyes, she turned to Soleye with a determination that made the cultist take a step backward.
She pressed the ignition button. ‘I am done being scared of you. I am leaving your house and I am taking my friends along with me.’
Rage spread on the deacon’s face like an ugly rash. ‘How dare you talk to me like that?’ He turned the gun on Uche and Agnes. ‘Shade, you will do as I say or you will watch your friends die before you.’
There was a loud bang on the gate. ‘Open this gate,’ someone shouted. Soleye and the security guard turned away from the women to see what was happening at the gate. Shade saw Uche reach behind her back and pull out the knife she took from the scene of the ritual. The security guard never saw it coming. The knife struck him from behind. He gasped in pain, fell to his knees and hit the paved ground with his head. Uche threw the case containing the money coming at Soleye. The case hit him on the waist. As he fell down he dropped the gun, it went off and a bullet hit the car.
‘Open this gate,’ the person at the gate shouted louder.
Soleye stood up, took one look at the guard on the ground and fled inside the house.
‘Shade, are you okay?’ Uche asked as she came around to the driver’s side.
‘I will be fine,’ Shade said. ‘That could be Kola at the gate. You should open it.’ Uche put the case in the trunk of the car. She turned to Agnes. ‘Find out who is at the gate. Open it if it is Kola.’ Agnes nodded.
Uche looked in the direction that Soleye fled.
‘Uche, don’t go into the house,’ Shade warned.
‘Are you coming with me or not?’ Uche asked.
Shade got out of the car. Uche picked up the gun, brought out the magazine, checked it and put it back in the gun. Shade regarded her friend with suspicion. Apparently there were many things she didn’t know about the intercessor. Uche kept the gun in the glove compartment of Shade’s car.
As she followed Uche into the building Shade couldn’t resist the urge. She had to know. ‘Uche, have you ever used a gun?’ Shade asked the former prostitute.
Uche took a breath. ‘Shade, there are things I have done that I am not proud of, things I didn’t want to share with you because they would not edify you. This is not the time or place to talk about such things. I promise you that when we get out of this situation I will tell you whatever you wish to know about my past. We should go after that man before he escapes.’ Uche entered the house. Shade stayed at a safe distance behind her. They entered the kitchen and found the back door to the kitchen open. ‘It looks like he ran to the servant quarters at the back.’
Suddenly Shade buckled at the knees and fell against the door.
‘Are you okay?’ Uche asked.
Shade touched her right thigh and her fingers returned smeared with blood.
‘You are hurt,’ Uche examined the wound. ‘This is a bullet wound.’ Blood flowed down the right side of her dress and dripped on the white kitchen tiles.
Shade gritted her teeth and pushed away from the wall. ‘I will be fine,’ she said in agony.
‘Shade, you have to take care of this wound. You don’t have to come with me. I can handle that dwarf on my own.’
Shade shook her head and looked at her friend in the eye. ‘No, I have to do this. It began with me. I must end it.’
Uche put a hand on her friend’s shoulder. ‘You don’t have to prove anything to me. This could be dangerous. I don’t want you to get hurt.’
‘I want to do this,’ Shade insisted.
Uche moved towards the back door, paused and turned to Shade. ‘To answer your question: yes, I have used a gun before.’
‘You have used a gun?’ Shade shook her head in disbelief. ‘What kind of life did you live?’ Shade wondered.
‘The dangerous kind,’ Uche forced a smile.
There was a sound above them. Both women looked up.
‘He is upstairs,’ Uche said. Continue reading
Uche Okpara came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. Shade regarded her with suspicion as she changed into her clothes. ‘What are we going to do?’ she asked.
Uche regarded Soleye who was groaning in pain. She bent down and examined his wound. ‘He will live,’ she said. She entered the bathroom, searched the closet and found a first-aid kit. She brought out a small scissors. Shade regarded her with suspicion as she returned with the scissors and moved in the direction of Soleye.
‘What do you want to do with that?’ she asked.
Uche stood for a moment in contemplation. She cut a strip of cloth from the bed sheet she discarded and turned to Shade. ‘Don’t just stand there, make yourself useful.’ Shade stood there not knowing what Uche wanted to do.
‘Help me lift him to a sitting position and rest his back on the wall.’
Moments later Uche admired the work of her hands. Soleye was bound hand and foot like a goat about to be sacrificed on an evil altar. He opened his eyes and saw the ladies standing over him. ‘You ladies don’t know what you are playing with,’ he smirked. ‘If anything happens to me you will be haunted down until you are disposed like animals.’
Suddenly Uche stepped forward and slapped him hard. He fell and hit his head on the floor. Blood oozed from his mouth. ‘Pick him up,’ Uche instructed Shade. Soleye was placed back in a sitting position. He spat out the blood in his mouth and laughed. ‘Before this night is over you will beg me for death but I will not grant your request.’ He turned his attention to Shade. ‘If you know what is good for you, remove these restraints and let me go and I will allow you keep your pretty face for your boyfriend,’ he threatened.
Shade turned to Uche. ‘I think we should let him go. I don’t want to be involved in this. I can’t do…’
‘Shut up!’ Uche said, cutting Shade off. ‘Your chattering is driving me nuts. I need to think.’
Uche tore another piece of the bed sheet and tied Soleye’s mouth. ‘That should keep you silent.’ She looked around the room and her eyes rested on the door which led to the other room. She opened the door and stepped into the room. Shade followed her.
‘What are you doing?’ Shade asked.
Soleye’s bloodshot eyes followed them.
There were occultic materials strewn across the room. There was a safe in the left hand corner. Uche stepped over the objects on the floor and knelt before the safe. She pulled at the handle. It opened. She looked inside the safe and turned back to Shade. ‘You should see this,’ she said with a smile. Shade bent down and took a peek into the safe. It was filled with bundles of dollar bills.
‘My God!’ she stepped back.
Uche regarded the money for a moment. ‘This is our reward for what that beast tried to do to us.’ She stood up, went into the bedroom and returned with a small briefcase. She threw the case open before the safe, knelt down and began to fill it up with money.
‘What are you doing?’ Shade asked.
‘What does it look like I am doing?’ Uche continued loading the briefcase. It seemed like the case wouldn’t contain all the money. ‘Make yourself useful and find me another case.’
Shade did not move.
Uche raised her voice. ‘Are you deaf? Why are you still standing there? I said you should get me another case from the bedroom,’ Uche said.
‘I can’t do this…this is wrong. This is stealing,’ Shade said.
Uche set the case aside and stood up from the floor. She regarded Shade in annoyance. ‘Let me tell you what is wrong. What is wrong is that diminutive man using charms to bring us to his house without our consent. It is called kidnapping and it is a crime, punishable by law. What is wrong is that evil man trying to use us both for a ritual but somehow we survived it. What is wrong is being drugged, stripped naked, placed on top of his bed and doing God knows what to me. What is wrong is this man touching my body without my permission and trying to rape me. That is what is wrong.’ She picked up a bundle of dollar notes. ‘This money is God’s way of compensating us for the horrors we were subjected to at the hands of Soleye. This isn’t wrong,’ she waved the money at Shade’s face. ‘This is the right thing to do to him. We will take every note in this safe and when we are done here, I will leave him my calling card, a small gift to make him remember me. The next time he sees me coming, that is if he lives through tonight, he will cross over to the other side of the road and scurry away like a scared animal.’ Continue reading
The Money For Miracles Scam.
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow:and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier:and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
One of the most moving stories in the Gospels is about the son of the widow from a city called Nain. Jesus saw the funeral procession and noticed that the woman was a widow probably by her attire. The bible says that he had compassion on her and comforted her, telling her not to weep. This was not an empty religious palliative. He told her not to weep because he was going to do something to turn her situation around, terminate her pain and bring her joy.
Now here’s what is worthy of note.
Before Jesus raised the young man back to life he did not ask for a special offering, a miracle seed, a prophetic seed, a prophet’s offering, a breakthrough seed, a resurrection seed. None of that. He was moved by compassion, rebuked the spirit of death and brought the young man back to life. He delivered the man to his mother, alive, strong, without any exchange of money for a miracle.
The bible didn’t even mention if the woman had any faith for the miracle that Jesus performed, yet he brought that young man back to life.
Some preachers would have us believe that nothing happens in the kingdom through a minister of the gospel unless money is placed in his hands as a seed. They want us to believe that it takes money to release the power of God upon a person to bring about deliverance, freedom, healing and transformation. Such ministers insist that until money is given to them or their ministry God cannot and will not move. They put money before the move of the Spirit of God insisting that if money is not given the Holy Spirit will not move.
This is a lie from the very pit of satan’s headquarters in hell. Continue reading
‘Do you want to tell me where you were on Friday night?’ Kola asked.
Shade looked at her hands in silencel.
‘We can’t go on like this. If you are not willing to tell me where you were maybe you are not ready for this wedding.’
‘I don’t remember what happened,’ she said. ‘I spaced out and remember waking up on my bed.’ This was not completely accurate, but she wasn’t going to tell Kola about Soleye until she had some solid evidence to show him. If she told Kola a part of the story he may take matters into his own hands. She loved Kola and she didn’t want to see him rot away in prison for attempted murder. She wished she could tell him what Soleye did to her and allow him beat the living daylights out of that evil man. But she didn’t have any proof. But today at the luncheon she hoped to get some proof.
Kola regarded her with concern. ‘This has never happened before. Do you think you should see a doctor?’
Shade nodded her head from side to side. ‘No. That won’t be necessary. It was probably some hormonal imbalance caused by my monthly flow.’
‘Are you sure about this?’ Kola asked.
‘Yes, I am. I didn’t want to alarm you yesterday that was why I didn’t tell you what happened.’ She reached out and touched his hand, looking into his eyes. ‘I know how much you love me and would do anything to protect me.’
‘I still think you should see a doctor,’ Kola insisted.
There was a knock on the window of the car. It was Uche Okpara. ‘Shade please come with me. The pastor wants to see you.’
‘I will see you at your place tomorrow after work,’ Shade leaned over, gave Kola a kiss and got out of the car. She and Uche walked towards the church were people gathered in small groups chatting after the church service.
‘What did you tell him?’ Uche asked.
‘I told him that I must have slept off at home.’
‘Do you think he believed you?’
‘With Kola you can never be sure what is going on in his mind. He keeps thinking about a matter long after it is over just to make sure he didn’t miss anything. Of all the people I met it was the one with the inquisitive mind that I decided to marry,’ Shade said.
‘God works in mysterious ways,’ Uche said. ‘This man is good for you. He will make sure you don’t get carried away by strange gifts of jewellery from strange men,’ Uche chastised her friend.
‘Speak of the devil,’Shade said looking beyond Uche.
‘Good morning, ladies. Are you ready for the love feast at my house?’
Uche turned around. It was deacon Soleye.
A frown creased Uche’s face like a white man eating bitter leaf soup for the first time.
Soleye brought out the blue bed sheets that the cult leader had given him. The leader assured him that these sheets were special. He had immersed them in charms for weeks. Soleye removed the old sheets and spread the blue one on the bed. His wife was returning from China on Tuesday afternoon. By then he should have completed his assignment.
The leader had promised him that the blue sheets would get the job done.
‘What will happen to the sacrifice?’ he asked.
‘You don’t have to bother yourself about that. Your business is to make sure the woman lies with you on the bed. The rest is mine to worry about,’ the man said.
He opened the first door of the wardrobe and it led to a secret room. Inside were various charms, amulets and effigies scattered around the room. He picked an amulet, wore it under his clothes. He muttered some incantations, opened the black pot on the floor and brought out a small tortoise tied with seven cowries and red pieces of cloth. He lifted the tortoise and looked at it to make sure it was still alive. The charm would be useless if the creature was not alive. He returned to the bedroom, lifted the bed and kept the tortoise under the mattress. He looked around the room with some satisfaction on his face. ‘Now to make sure I bring the sacrifice to the altar.’ He rubbed his hands together and left the room. Continue reading
‘You have to let Kola know what is going on. You shouldn’t keep this to yourself. If he finds out on his own it may destroy your relationship.’
Shade regarded her friend for a moment. ‘You want me to tell my fiancé that I spent the night in the home of a cultist but nothing happened? Kola will never believe me. This is the end of my marriage plans,’ Shade sobbed.
Uche placed a hand on her shoulder. ‘I know this is hard for you but the best thing for you to do would be to come clean, be totally honest with him.’
Shade looked at her friend. ‘Honesty cannot work in this matter. If I tell Kola that I was in that man’s house, I cannot predict his reaction. He may drive down to his house and confront him.’
‘That wouldn’t be a bad idea,’ Uche said. ‘That short man should get his butt kicked for what he attempted last night. I can see him running away from Kola, totally scared out of his evil mind,’ Uche said.
Both women burst out laughing.
Shade wiped the tears from her eyes as she laughed. ‘Uche, you have such a dark sense of humour. I can imagine Kola using him as a punching bag.’
‘At least I made you laugh,’ Uche said.
‘I love Kola very much. I don’t want anything to come between us. He has not called me since he dropped me off at my place. I am afraid that this situation is irredeemable.’
Uche’s phone rang. She looked at the caller. It was pastor Cornelius Akanbi.
She covered the mouthpiece and whispered ‘pastor’ to Shade.
‘How are you doing?’ the pastor began.
‘I am fine sir. Thank God.’
‘All the group leaders in the church have been invited to a love feast at Deacon Soleye’s place tomorrow after the church service,’ her pastor said.
Uche had always suspected that her pastor was spiritually immature. Now he had succeeded in eliminating all remaining doubt from her mind. Inviting all the heads of department of the church to a luncheon at Soleye’s home was the height of spiritual irresponsibility. How could a man who called himself a pastor be so blind that he couldn’t see that the man organising the luncheon was the enemy of Christ? It bothered her deeply that a pastor who was supposed to watch over the sheep was sending them all to the slaughter in the house of their mortal enemy.
‘Uche, are you there?’ the pastor asked. Continue reading
‘This looks so good on you,’ Uche said admiring the necklace on her friend’s neck.
Shade smiled. ‘And it is real gold,’ she said with some pride.
Uche examined the pendant that swung from the chain. She had a concerned look on her face. ‘Shade, this looks like a mermaid. Why are you wearing it?’
Shade caressed the pendant. ‘This was a Christmas gift from deacon Soleye in church. It came with a matching bracelet.’
Uche sat back in her chair. ‘Deacon Soleye gave you a necklace and bracelet as a Christmas gift? That doesn’t sound right. Why would he give you such a gift when he knows that you are already taken by another man? What did Kola your fiancé say about this?’
Shade’s eyes fell like a child who was caught lying. ‘I didn’t tell him about this.’ She lifted her head. ‘And I will really appreciate it if you kept this between us.’
Uche regarded her friend with suspicion. ‘You mean a man gave you such an expensive gift and you didn’t tell the man you are going to marry? What is going on here?’
Shade was silent for a moment, then she turned to Uche. ‘Kola is my fiancé and not my husband. We are not yet married. Should I tell him everything that goes on in my life? Shouldn’t I have some privacy?’ she asked.
Uche’s mouth hung open as she regarded her friend in shock. ‘I don’t understand. Are you telling me that the introduction and wine carrying ceremony you did in Osogbo counted for nothing? Remember that Kola was ready to go ahead with the whole wedding formalities but you said he should wait until April. Why you did that I have no idea. That guy was ready to marry you but you said he should wait and now you are saying that you want some privacy in your life? Are you really sure you want to get married? Uche asked her friend.
‘This is not what you think it is. You are taking everything out of context,’ Shade said.
‘What context? Isn’t Kola your fiancé anymore?’
‘He is but this gift has nothing to do with our…’ Shade stopped talking mid-sentence. She tilted her head away from Uche as if she was trying hard to hear something. Uche noticed the far away look she had in her eyes.
‘Shade, are you okay?’ Uche asked her.
Shade dropped the glass of orange juice she was drinking on the table. ‘I have to leave.’ She began to look around to put her things inside her bag.
Uche gave her a look. ‘Why are you leaving? You haven’t spent thirty minutes in this house.’ Shade said nothing. She was still looking around her to make sure she took all her items with her.
Uche regarded her closely. ‘Where are you going at this hour of the night? This was supposed to be a sleep over. Is it your mother?’
Shade nodded, her eyes not really focused on anything. ‘Yes, it is my mother. She needs me now,’ she stood up. Uche got up with her and held her hand.
‘Shade,’ Uche looked into her eyes. ‘It is almost 11pm at night. You told Kola you would sleep over at my place. Why are you changing your mind? It seems so sudden.’ Uche noticed that Shade’s hand was growing cold. She dropped it and stepped back. ‘Shade, I don’t think you should go anywhere tonight. Wait until tomorrow morning and I promise you that I will go with you to go see your mother.’
‘It will be too late by then. I have to leave now.’ She reached for the door and opened it.
Uche watched her leave with trepidation. Continue reading
He entered the sitting room and sat on the sofa. He picked up the remote and surfed through channels, his mind pondering the possibilities that existed in his relationship with Susan after this new information he had acquired purely by accident. Ogedengbe did not consider himself as spiritual as pastor E. A Adeboye or Bishop T.D Jakes, but he could recognise God’s providence when he saw it. Listening to Susan’s conversation with her husband was an act of divine providence. It was a sign that God wanted him to move on with his plans for Susan. How else would you explain this wonderful gift that was given to him even without his asking? A placed his hand on his forehead trying to sooth a twitching vein. No matter how he felt, there was only one meaning to what happened this evening: God wanted him to deliver Susan from the hands of that monster called Bassey Akpabio. He will assume the role of a deliverer sent to her by God; his relationship with Susan would be an act of mercy. No, it would be a supreme act of God’s grace on his hurting daughter who desperately needed help.
The thought crossed his mind that he was married and this would be a sin in the sight of God and man, but he waved it off as you would an irritating mosquito buzzing around your ears. As a deliverer he was entitled to some collateral benefits arising from his acts of mercy. What was wrong with Susan thanking him personally with her love if she so desired? She could reward him with some money, but he didn’t want her money. She would be his reward.
The thought he had swatted away returned, this time louder, like an enraged bee. Yes, he knew this would be considered sin in many religious quarters but he refused to be judged by any of those hypocrites who pretended to be better than him. His face creased in anger as he thought about the religious licence his colleagues had given themselves to contravene all the sacred teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ by acquiring material things and heaping up money like pagans who didn’t know God, yet they preached publicly that their followers should follow God.
‘Hypocrites!’ Ogedengbe spluttered, throwing out the word like a piece of stone found in a meal of beans.
‘Who are hypocrites?’ Ngozi asked, walking into the sitting room. Continue reading