I was in a hurry to get to my destination. I was attending lectures for a professional course and I was beginning to run a little late. I drove the car with deft hands and was soon on the expressway; my destination totally on my mind.
About fifteen minutes into my drive, an officer standing on the right side of the expressway flagged me down. I hissed as I imagined this would take a few minutes out of the time which I did not have. Another car was parked on the right side of the road and I noticed some officers talking to the driver behind the wheel. With nothing to fear, I applied the brakes but left the car running.
“Good morning.” I said to the officer.
“Good morning madam.”
“How may I help you?”
“Can I have your driver’s licence?” The officer asked.
I handed over my original driver’s licence to the officer. He looked at it, was satisfied that it was still valid but held on to it.
He asked for two more items and I stepped out of the car, opened my booth and showed the items to him. He looked at both of them, scrutinizing them as if they were items which had just dropped from space. After a few minutes, he stood behind the car and asked me to go in to step on the brakes.
I sighed. This was beginning to take longer than I thought. I eased into the car and stepped on the brakes.
He walked towards the driver’s window and said; “I knew it. I knew one of your brake lights wasn’t working.”
I looked at him, anger clearly written on my face. “You flag me down right in front of the car and tell me you knew one of the brake lights wasn’t working? In broad daylight?” I asked him as I stepped out of my car,
“I have to seize your driver’s licence and issue you a ticket.”
“Go ahead but I think you should stick to your duties and quit the lies.”
“Madam, it is not that. I….”
“Can I have the ticket and a covering note because I cannot afford to get stopped by another bunch of officers on the way?” I said interrupting him.
A senior officer who stood by their official vehicle some metres away noticed the heated exchange. He called his report and asked him to come closer. “What is the problem?” He asked him.
The report tried to explain the situation to the senior officer.
“Hello Madam.” The senior officer said; calling my attention.
“Yes.” I said as I walked towards him.
“I see that you are upset.”
“Of course, I am. No one is stopping your officer from doing his duties but he did not have to lie to prove a point.”
“I am sorry. He should not have lied. He mentioned that he is booking you because one of your brake light is out.”
“That is what he said.”
“Please try to sort out the brake light ma.” He said.
“I will. Please can I have the ticket and the covering note so I can get moving? You guys have delayed me for my lectures and I am late already.” I said as I looked at my wrist watch.
“Okay. Do you know where to make payment for the seized driver’s licence?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Our office is located at Ikeja. You will need to come with the ticket and make a payment of N2,000 to the bank.” He said to me.
“Can I send someone? I don’t have the time to do this during the week. Besides, my office is on the Island and I am free only during the weekends.”
“Yes, you can send someone but give him/her a letter of authority so that your driver’s licence can be released. This cover note is for any officer who stops you on the road asking for your license.” He said as he handed over the sheet of paper to me.
The senior officer apologized once more for the delay and told me I could go.
I eased back into my car angrily but heaved a sigh of relief.
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