Judas and the driver – Part 2
HAKEEM picked his first passenger of the day. The trip was from Ikoyi to Lekki Phase 1. The passenger, a well -dressed middle-aged man was running late for a meeting. He was on the phone throughout the duration of the trip.
Luckily for the passenger, they made it to his destination in good time. The Ikoyi – Lekki Link Bridge was traffic free at that time of the morning. As soon as he alighted, Hakeem got another passenger: a very pretty lady and obviously not one of the troublesome Lekki big girls. From her smart skirt suit, you could tell she worked in a bank. Moreover, the infamous Lekki big girls don’t leave home this early, rather they return home from a night out in the clubs or dalliance with their numerous boyfriends.
“May I start the trip?’’
“Yes please, what is the expected time of arrival to Ajose Adeogun in VI?”
Hakeem informed the lady it would take them 25 minutes. Shortly before they got to the main gate of Lekki Phase 1, he was pulled over by a police patrol team. They didn’t look like the regular patrol team on the route. The policemen were dressed in full riot gear.
“Come down from the vehicle and show me your particulars?’’
Hakeem showed the officer his vehicle registration papers. The officer quickly glanced at the papers.
“Who is the lady in the backseat?’’
Hakeem had earlier identified himself as a driver with the popular ride hailing app and was surprised with the question. The officer was joined by two of his colleagues. They asked the lady to come down from the car.
“What is going on here officers,’’ she asked surprised too at their request for her to disembark.
“Madam, you have to get another taxi, this man is a suspect”
“Suspect how? He is a legitimate driver, I booked him from the app and he has not given me any reason to be suspicious.’’
“Oh now, you want to teach us our job? Madam, if you know what is good for you, you better get another taxi, before we arrest you too.’’
The lady was worried about Hakeem, but there was nothing she could do. He was touched by her defence, but knew she could be in danger as well. Hakeem pleaded with her to leave; he assured her that he had committed no crime and believed this was a case of mistaken identity.
“So you say you are driver, but we have information that some robbers just operated with a Toyota.’’
Hakeem showed them the trips he had made on the app, but this infuriated the officers. One of them gave Hakeem a slap for his audacity.
“Are you accusing officers of the law? Look at this stupid driver,” he slapped Hakeem hard before he could answer – an open hand across the face.
The officer was prevailed upon by one of his colleagues to stop hitting Hakeem. He took Hakeem to a corner and told him to give them N50,000 (Fifty thousand Naira).
“Officer, I don’t have that kind of money, all I have here is N5000 (five thousand Naira). I just started and the lady is my second passenger.’’
“Look, if we take you to the station, I can’t help you again, you will be in serious trouble. Do you have your ATM card with you?’’
He answered in the affirmative and he was asked to walk to the nearest cash machine to withdraw the amount requested. Hakeem had only N10,000 (ten thousand Naira) in his account; he quickly made a call to his wife who was able to transfer thirty thousand Naira to him.
He returned with the sum of N45,000 (forty five thousand Naira) and handed the money to the ‘friendly’ officer. The officer took the money to the rest of the team, after minutes of deliberation, he returned Hakeem’s registration papers and car keys and told him he was free to go.
In the evening of the same day, while returning from the neighbourhood clinic where Hakeem had gone to get treatment from the injury he sustained, Solape decided to stop by at Agnes’s shop to buy plantain for dinner. She also wanted to inform Agnes about their decision to help with the payment of Bright’s school fees.
“Welcome teacher my correct customer,” Agnes greeted Solape. Seated in Agnes’ shop was a policeman who Agnes introduced as her husband Judas.
Hakeem instantly recognised him: he was the police officer that slapped him hard.
This story is fictional. Names, characters, incidents, events are the products of the writer’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead or actual events are purely coincidental – because I know how overzealous some people can be.