I had just paid the kids school fees leaving my purse plus my bank account lean. I drove towards Ikeja with the intention to catch up with a friend. About thirty minutes after arriving at her place, I decided to take my leave. I contemplated on which route to take home. After much consideration, I decided to face Allen Avenue/Adeniyi Jones/Oba Akran.
The traffic light at the Allen round-about beamed green. I moved forward with the intention to go towards Adeniyi Jones but noticed the triangular curve at the junction. I immediately became confused wondering if I would be breaking any law if I decided to go straight. I had a last minute change of mind, making a decision to go back home through the same route I came. The car before me moved and I followed as I circled the round-about.
The traffic light on the other side of the curve shone red, so I waited. All of a sudden, an officer in uniform was by my side, trying to open the passenger door. When he noticed it was locked, he asked me to go round the curve and park on the other side.
I obeyed wondering what I had done wrong. He forced his hand into the car through the window which was slightly wound down and opened the door. “Madam, you jumped the traffic light.” He said as he eased into the car.
“No, I did not.” I answered him.
“Are you saying I don’t know what I am doing? I said you jumped the traffic light.”
“And I said I did not. I was looking at it.”
“You want to prove stubborn, abi?” He asked. “Where is your driver’s license?”
I took out my wallet from my handbag and brought out the coloured photocopy of my driver’s license.
He looked at it and held on to it.
“Where is your insurance and vehicle license?”
I opened the glove box in front of him and handed him the documents. He looked at all of them one by one; then handed them back to me.
“But you know you jumped the traffic light?” He asked.
This was going to be a long one. So I switched off the engine, removed the key and rested my head on the headrest. Thankfully, I was on vacation and not in a hurry to go home.
“Madam, you are not saying anything.”
I looked at him. “What am I supposed to say?”
“You know if I call those officials standing there, they would book you for jumping the traffic light.” He said pointing towards another set of uniformed officers cooling off under the shade.
“No problem.” I answered him.
Sensing that I was not budging, he decided to be upfront. “Madam, do something.”
I smirked. “Do what?”
“You know what I am talking about.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t. Please explain.”
“You are proving stubborn, abi.” He said again.
I put my left palm under my jaw and rested my hand on the car door.
“Put your hand inside your bag and bring out something.”
I picked out my wallet from my handbag and stretched it towards him.
“You want to put me in trouble?” He shouted as he looked at my hand still stretched towards him.
A man walked towards the car. Obviously, he had been watching us from a distance. He stood beside the officer and wagged his finger at him in warning before walking away. He was in plain clothes and I guessed he was probably an officer as well.
“Please oh, keep your purse. Ahn….ahn, see this woman? In broad daylight?”
So he was scared of getting caught asking for a bribe? I shook my head as I laughed.
Another officer walked towards the car; this time a woman. “Oga, wetin dey happen nau?” She asked her colleague.
“Na this woman oh.” He said answering.
“Abeg, open back door for me.” She said to her colleague.
He opened the door and she eased into the car; sitting directly behind him.
“Madam, what is happening?” She asked me.
“I did not jump the traffic light. I was actually going towards Adeniyi Jones but I got confused when I got to that triangular junction. I was not sure if I could go through to the other end.” I said to her; looking back.
“You have not passed this place before?” She asked me.
“No. This is the first time I am passing this route.”
“Aww….you can pass through. You won’t be committing an offence.”
I shrugged. “I did not know that. That is why I decided to go back through Allen.”
She looked at her colleague. “Make she dey go nau. She no know.”
“Which one be your own?” He looked at her in anger.
“Let me see your driver’s license.” She said to me.
“It is with him.” I said pointing to her colleague.
He handed the license over to her. She looked at it and was about giving it to me when he snatched it from her.
“No tear am nau.” She said.
“No be photocopy?” He replied hissing.
“Okay, so what do you want to do now?” She asked me.
“I don’t know.”
“Make she drop something.” The man said.
“I have given you my purse. You can open it if you want to.” I said to him.
“Can you imagine? This woman wants to put me in trouble.”
“Just give him anything you have.” The woman said.
“I don’t have anything. That is why I gave the purse. Let him open it himself and check.”
The woman shrugged, confused.
“Abeg, open the purse make you check wetin dey inside.” He said to his colleague.
She opened it and brought out a N500 and a N200 note.
“This is the only thing there oh.” She said to him.
The man hissed. So after all the wahala, na only N700 you carry inside purse.
“Give me the money.” He said to her.
“No, you can’t take everything. I still have a long way to go and I am not driving home empty handed.” I said to him.
The woman looked at her colleague. “Pity her nau.”
He collected the N500 note from her and told her to return the N200 note into the purse. He opened the passenger door and got out of the car grumbling.
As the woman was about stepping out of the vehicle, I asked her; “Madam, so you say I can go straight to Adeniyi Jones?”
“Yes, you are free to go straight.”
“Thank you.” I replied as I resumed my journey home.
Have you had any encounters with men in uniform? Please share in the comments section.
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