‘Bros keep eye for road, all man dey highway abeg’
Gbenga had a knack for driving and arguing. I don’t understand how the best place he could pick to argue ‘Man U VS Liverpool’s recent match was the highway to Benin. Coupled with the fact he was in a ‘good mood’ added to my paranoia that morning as we set out for Benin some minutes past 7. The car was full. Boys planned to move together in hopes of adventure. Hehehe. The 14-seater-bus has seven occupants at the moment, Gbenga the driver, Adebayo the 2nd designated driver and Nnamdi the 3rd designated driver. (Nnamdi doesn’t know how to drive tho).
Na so we dey road, blasting MAVIN’s ... No... They were already arguing the match by the time we passed the police check point. Our car was told to park as expected. Police is really y/our friend (who else decides to always check on you when driving)... We park, and a long bald policeman comes to Gbenga’s window. I remember he was tall and bald cos I was reading Game of Thrones and his look was the exact opposite Tyrion Lannister. The only ‘difference’ is he looked stupid.
Black Tyrion: Corper shun!!! He shouted
I closed my eye and rolled it inside. Well, he didn’t say ‘otondo’ which I hate more.
WE: Yes sir, shun sir etc the boys replied...
Black Tyrion: How far now, wetin una get for us..
Adebayo: Oga sir, see we be corper shun, gov no pay us allawi till we comot for camp, we hear say dey go soon pay, na why we dey rush go back benin.
Anthony: Shingbain ko si sir.
Black Tyrion: nNa so una go talk, see as u kack dey say money no dey
Nnamdi: Oga all this one na packaging, kosowo. Ego le.
Black Tyrion: Ehen so if we search una now, we no go see shishi
Taiwo (mumbling): Why does he want to search? We have done nothing. He can’t just flag us down and want to search us. He should ask nicely for whatever he wants and let’s go.
Me: Oga pls now, no be so, na small thing we hold say make we pay for t-fare buy fuel for this car dey with us. Shun sir, tuale.
At this point, he looks at me funny....
The alarm bells in my head go off but as ever I’m unable to know what/where the problem is. I question the point of knowing something is amiss when I can’t figure what it is...
Tyrion signals another policeman who looks at me, looks at the car and goes off mumbling,
“...na dem now, u know see him face”.
Gbenga looks at me, “dey don recognise you. Hope say you get money for them o”.
I’m wondering how they could know my face when the DPO comes to the door of the car and orders everyone out.
I scan my head for where I’d seen him before, any of them...
I come up with blanks...
I look at Jide and he knows...
We are in deep shit!!!
I start to come up with a plan...
We are travelling with 20k worth of vegetable to start a farm.
That was sure guaranty we were fucked up.
I remember the policeman I met at shrine the other day and remember I have his number somewhere..
‘Where’ is somewhere I’m trying to remember, shit I collected it with Muyi’s phone.
We are fucked and screwed.
You are fucked and screwed a fact it is.
All this travel faster than a hit of ayemowa to a 1st timer in my head.
We come down and two policemen enter and start to search while Black Tyrion opens the boot and gets our belongings out and starts to search. The DPO stands a way off and watches with eagle eyes.
I’ve seen him somewhere before. I know this.
Fat Ibo man (police): Wetin dey inside this case?!!!
I start to look at everyone’s face. What was happening wasn’t bad luck. Someone snitched. This was all a set up. One of us planned this.
Gbenga, Adebayo, Nnamdi, Jide, Taiwo, Anthony and I.
Who is it??
Taiwo’s bag was opened and inside were two smaller bags, one is identified as underwear and the other wrapped more closely is brought to the DPO
DPO: What is inside?
Anthony: Oga sir, it’s nothing, it’s just .....
Black Tyrion: it’s wetin? Na illegal thing? *Anthony shakes his head* then you fit show us wetin dey the inside abi now.
DPO doesn’t wait for tales by the road side and tears the bag open. At first the content was quite unbelievable in their eyes. I’m sure they had never seen so much at once.
One chuckled “see wetin we hammer today”. If it wasn’t for the situation we was in, I would have burst out laughing cos walahi, the scene was too funny. I managed to let a grin escape.
DPO: Explain this (with deep unbelief in his eyes)
Black Tyrion: Haba!!! Only you?
Anthony: No sir, not only me. It’s now what it looks like, I, we, have this urges, we can’t control myself so I have to whenever. My parents ...
Black Tyrion: E no even fit speak English well and you say you be corper. Disgrace!!!
DPO: you said ‘my parents’. Your parents know about this?
We bust into small laughter and the DPO glares at us.
Anthony: no sir, they don’t, they gave it to us at camp sir, NYSC camp.
DPO: camp? What kind of camp is that? Give you all of this?
Anthony is a sex addict. So he is always packing. He is your resort for a condom in the land of no rubber. So staring at us was all the condoms given during our camp to share, Anthony was platoon leader and as such embezzled all the condoms he was suppose to share.
This was his dilemma as he stood on the road side, cars passing and a policeman harassing him for having the sense, decency to use a condom.
Shaking his head, the DPO orders the search to continue and our faces turn grim from the predicament we hadn’t left.
Jide is by this time fidgeting and worried. Seun, Gbenga, Adebayo all had the look of disaster on them. Only Taiwo looked liked he didn’t associate with our present trouble. He might be thinking of how to get a police favour to intervene for him. Rich bastard.
The search continues and apart from finding lighters which they believe is proof we had vegetable on the bus, nothing else is found. We are in a separate police bus by this time as they searched every nook and cranny of our engine, boot, tires and etc. I was sure by this time that they had been tipped off. Who did and why was processing in my mind. Black tyrion and his partner come back for us and take us one by one to be questioned by the DPO. Whoever was questioned wasn’t allowed to return to us in the bus. I was questioned last. I knew I was going to be, so I took my time to come up with the best story to escape the present situation. My turn came and the DPO asked where the vegetable was. I tell him there was none on board... And stuck to the same story.
That was how it actually sounded.
The daze from the DPO’s hand tasted slap as well.
Never lie to a friend. Police is your friend.
I stick to my story.
Next moment, the DPO sends for someone.
I couldn’t imagine the shock he probably saw on my face but his actions showed he was mad at this point with the way he rushed at me the moment he entered the room, and shouting...
‘...A Y, how far... where this ish now, na me and you load am for bus this morning. Where you out am, u bastard?’
I tried to remember where things could have gone amiss, when was he bought, who bought him, When did it happen, All this is playing in my head while he is shouting threats at me and so on, while the DPO was shouting on him for leading him to a failed bust raid.
Lots of shouting. I tune out and visit my favourite place.
The DPO faces me and issues another slap. This one with more enthusiasm in front of the snitch.
He (snitch) begged the DPO to give him time that he was sure the vegetable was on board. He now looks for it where we kept it together that morning. The guys seeing what was happening and understanding the picture were shocked and looked surprised.
He doesn’t find the stuff and soon the DPO grumbles off after ordering his own arrest and we continue our journey...
I really did not care what his fate will be.
We continue our journey and after 20 minutes, Anthony slows down, parks the car and we all take a moment to just stare at nothing.
We saw the lights flashing before we realised the sound was with us as well.
The police car turns off the highway, and parks behind us.
He gets down and struggles with his load as he reaches our car.
He: ‘no vex about wetin just happen’
Me: small thing, na small thing
He: u sure? No tell Rikky say I slap you
Me: na all for show now
The DPO leaves without the load he brought down from his car.
I at that point wanted to ask what he will do with Jide but Gbenga starts the car and we continue our journey. I open the bag and bring out a small quantity, assure myself that all was in order, smile and close the bag.
A friend with weed is a friend indeed.
Police is your friend.