There was so much noise emanating from the premises of the hostel at Onike, Yaba when we arrived. I immediately parked the car just in front of the gate since the hostel had no parking space. Dad did not even wait for me to turn off the engine when he alighted from the car and tarried into the compound and in few seconds I was hot on his heels too.
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“What seems to be going on here? Cletus what is the matter? Why on earth are you exchanging words with a tenant?”Dad was eager to get to the root of the dilemma that was rocking his rental property and he didn’t mince words about it.
“She’s not a tenant sir?” Cletus responded to Dad’s last inquiry. By this time the banter between Cletus, the caretaker of the building in question and Onyeka, the supposed tenant he was in a heated argument with had ceased.
“What do you mean she’s not a tenant?” Cletus response had left Dad confused.
“She got in here illegally through you daughter.”
“Through my daughter?”
“Ebun! I never knew you now work as an agent. You should have told me you were no longer interested in schooling now.”
“Daddy it’s not what you are thinking”
“Shut up! I wasn’t asking for your opinion. So Cletus I still don’t understand the point you are driving at. Last time I checked, you were the agent in charge of this property which means that no one can possibly live in this apartment or rent the apartment without your authorization and knowledge.”
“Very true sir. But sir, the problem is that the person who was previously staying in this apartment was a friend of Ebun, her rent was due three months back and she requested for more time to sort out her clearance in school before leaving. And since she was already through with school following her graduation, I granted her request.”
“Cletus, giving her a grace period of three months is in line with the Lagos tenancy law, so that shouldn’t have been an issue.”
“I understand that perfectly sir but she wasn’t even the issue. I just realized she had not been living in the apartment the whole time.”
“She wasn’t leaving in the apartment the whole time?”
“I am not understanding,” I lent my voice to the unfolding drama.
“Daddy he’s lying!” Ebun countered. The moment dad gave her a disapproving look I knew there was fire on the mountain.
“Must you let everyone know that your mum did not bring you up well? You dare accuse a man that is old enough to be your father of lying.”
“But he is!” Ebun failed to realise that Dad’s earlier remark was a warning that she should tread softly. Dad immediately removed the right leg of the shoe he wore and threw it on her in fury. The shoe hit her hard on her arm as she tried to fend it off her face.
“Arrrrrgh!” Ebun groaned in pain.”
“Get me the shoe” Though the shoe was just an arm’s length away from where she stood, Ebun was reluctant to get the shoe. She was more concerned about nursing her seemingly hurting arm. In actual sense, she was in too much anguish to obey dad.
“Ebun! Go fetch me the shoe before I curse the day you were born,” dad bellowed.
“Ehnnnn, daddy promise that you won’t throw it on me again”
“Ah Orunmila! this girl wants me to snuff life out of her. Ebun!” Dad tried to search around for a weightier object to use on her as I made efforts to pacify him. “Daddy please take it easy on her, you know you are still yet to hear her side of the story”
“What story can be worse than what I already heard, ehn Dele?”
“Daddy here is the shoe” Ebun didn’t have to wait for our old man to get a more menacing weapon. She realised dad was now at his wit’s end.
“Be thanking the gods of your mother’s ancestors for rescuing you from my wrath. So, Cletus where were we before the bastard intruded.”
“I said the I only just realized the girl in question had not been leaving here those three extra months she requested for”
“So where has she been the whole time?”
“In her father’s house in Port-Harcourt.”
“What about the stuffs she said she needed to attend to in school?”
“She was done with that sir before she even made the plea”
“But Cletus how come you know so much?”
“I make my tenants fill a rental form that has their personal details in it and phone numbers of their referees or guarantors since they are mostly female students. That way I can get any information about them when I suspect foul play.”
“So they fill a form that has their personal details in it asides the lease agreement forms they have to fill?”
“Oh really, I never knew that”
“I even take the time to do a background check on them”
“Ose! FBI!” The controversial occupant of the apartment in question quipped.
“Who is the scoundrel!” Dad won’t have none of it
“That’s the girl your daughter admitted into the apartment illegally with the help of the previous occupant.”
“You don’t say…So this is not a joke”
“Far from it sir”
“But Ebun you have mind o!” I had been trying to decipher the whole back and forth conversation from a distance and now it was obvious from Mr. Cletus’ revelations that Ebun had grown wings having spent barely a year in the four walls of a university.
“Barrister, that’s even half of the story.”
“There is more?” Dad quizzed.
“According to this lady here who is occupying the self contained apartment at the moment, she is here because your daughter is owing her 70,000 naira she was suppose to use to get an apartment, so Ebun asked her to just move into this apartment since she couldn’t pay up.”
“70,000 Naira? How? Ebun, What did you use 70,000 naira do?” Dad was beginning to completely lose it.
“She use am sort one of the lecturers wey she carry over her course,” Onyeka, the occupant of the controversial apartment fueled dad’s fury with her careless witty remark
“I beg your pardon! My daughter had no carry over. Her mum said she excelled way beyond her expectations in her last semester exams”
“Yes I’ m sure she did. If having 4 carry over is what it takes to excel way beyond her Mum’s expectations, then I guess your wife is right,” Onyeka quipped.
“4 carry overs in one semester! Please Ebun, tell me she’s just kidding,” I gazed at my sister in shock but she was looking in Dad’s direction. Seeing the anticipation on her face, I immediately glanced in dad’s direction sensing trouble. My Old man had already reached the ground before I realised what was happening
“Daddy, daddy!” Dad had fainted on the ground clutching his chest, consequent of Onyeka’s revelations of the dirty details about Ebun’s academical standings.
Bad Market Continues next week…
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