Laila sat amidst the vibrant flowers and lush trees in the courtyard of her house. She occupied a silver-colored metal chair positioned in front of a small table that held two large white papers, reminiscent of those used by artists. Next to the papers, on the right-hand side, rested a white box containing twelve pencils and three paintbrushes. On the left, there was a small table with a tea flask and two cups—one filled with milk and the other with steaming tea. Adjacent to the table was a plate of food, resembling a sizable yam.

She began by selecting one of the large white papers and carefully examined her drawing, nodding in satisfaction at what she saw. Dipping her brush into a blue color, she started applying it to her painting. After a minute of working with various colors, she set the brush down and scrutinized her artwork.

Suddenly, her cell phone rang, jolting her from her artistic focus. She reached for her phone in the middle of the table and answered it with an annoyed tone. “Yes,” she replied curtly, then added, “I’m coming.”

With an exasperated sigh, she tossed the cell phone onto the table, inadvertently causing the cup of milk to tip over. She paid it no mind, clearly irritated by the incessant calls from her father. Laila couldn’t understand why he hounded her like an old, blind man. He showed no regard for her enjoyment of life, assuming everyone shared his relentless pursuit of money. There was no respite from his constant pestering, making it impossible for her to savor her own wealth, let alone allow others to do so.

Laila continued to vent her frustrations silently as she made her way through the green foliage and flowers in the courtyard toward a glass door. Without bothering to say goodbye, she stormed inside.


At 9:30, the clock on the wall of the room displayed the time. Alhaji Balarabe, a tall, robust man with prominent cheeks and a fair complexion, sat in one of the grand chairs within the room. Alhaji Balarabe appeared to be around forty-five years old, but his appearance belied his true age, making him seem closer to thirty-two. His wealth was immense, comparable to that of a tycoon, and rumors had circulated for years that he could fund Nigeria’s annual budget without batting an eye.

What puzzled people most was the source of Alhaji Balarabe’s wealth, which remained shrouded in mystery. He didn’t associate with minor affluent individuals, as he believed they’d misconstrue their financial status when compared to his immense fortune. Arab pilgrims used a common saying to distinguish between millionaires and billionaires.

Laila was Alhaji Balarabe’s only daughter, and he cherished her deeply. Since her mother’s passing, he hadn’t remarried, save for a brief fling that earned him notoriety. While he had been involved with other women, he refrained from engaging in sexual activities, fearful of his mother’s strict beliefs.

From commoners to the elite, no one could definitively ascertain the origin of the millions flowing into Alhaji Balarabe’s accounts. Some attributed his wealth to his factories, but others remained skeptical, aware that there was another, undisclosed source. The answer eluded everyone.

Alhaji Alarabe was a significant player in the drug smuggling trade from Nigeria to neighboring African nations. While he appeared to be a legitimate businessman, his other, more clandestine activities kept his fortune secure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *