Minnie Bannister

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The following letter came to my work addressed to "The President/Contractor". The letterhead included a 'Tom Jones Esq' as one of the partners. It also included a 'Mrs Bukky Samuel Esq'. Now by my reckoning an Esquire is a purely male domain, an esquire being a young boy assigned to squire a knight. Anyway I thought it would be a good exercise for young Min to answer it.

Sam Ogoh & Co
Progress Chambers
Barristers & Solicitors, Legal Consultants and Notaries Public

Sir (Forgotten my name Sam. Or pinched a list of fax numbers?)


After waiting to hear from you for a long time without success, I decided to make this direct contact presuming it would not come to you as a surprise hence you've been aware of my involvement in your deal here in Nigeria from the first day you sent your company's particulars to Lagos for change of an already existing contractor's name and bank coordinates to enable an early claim of funds overdue to the account you provided. (Phew! Quite a mouthful, Sam!) Sharing was agreed to be 70% for us and 30% for you (the account owner). I do not know if you have once decided to ask yourself why there have always been one problem or another each time all seemed to have been completed. (Quite frankly I think the guys at your end were feeling the same.)

Due to the selfish attitude of your so called partner who did not want to officially introduce me to you for reasons that are best known to him, (Some people, Sam! You just can't trust them. You can trust me, Sam) I decided to suspend the deal by officially writing to the authoritiies to withhold the transaction for security reasons which they obliged due to the fact that I perfected all legal documents for the change of both the original beneficiary name and bank particulars to yours. Even the contract number was authenticated by Progress Chambers which I am the Principal Solicitor.

Kindly call me as a matter of urgency on the above telephone line for details of reasons of my decision to withhold transaction and also the recent development in the legal Department of Central Bank of Nigeria. (What? Have they started an ethics department?) I would have completed this deal myself with the help of some other foreign company but for the reason that all the federal Governement Parastatals (Ah...good ol' parastatals. I miss the modalities, though.) here have your information as that of the Original Contractor hence I decided to involve you to complete all only if you agree with my condition. (Hang on Sam, you said that you did the paper work to install me in the system. Surely you could undo it...?)

Looking forward to hearing from you ASAP.

Yours faithfully,

Sam Ogoh
Principal Solicitor.

Min faxed a reply back:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your most interesting fax.

I must apologise for not contacting you, I had no idea that you were waiting for me. Most men don't bother.

Certainly my contact in Lagos has been running hot and cold. Sometimes I think that he feels that he can treat me like dirt just because I am a prostitute. It may be the oldest profession but it is an honourable one. You must agree with me - lawyers are probably the second oldest profession - just less respected.

I am reluctant to get further involved without knowing where it is leading. Certainly my contact in Lagos has just lead me around in circles with a series of most annoying problems. And costs.

Before I start trying to negotiate that most frustrating of mazes, the Nigerian telephone system, can you give me a bit more information please?

I may be contacted on any of the numbers below or on my personal email: minervabannister@hotmail.com

Yours sincerely,

Minnie Bannister.

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