Let me tell you a story.
One Friday evening of last month, I was rounding up my things, getting ready for a quiet weekend when a call came in. It was Osarieme calling, the Business Manager of Value chain in Benin City (the team that sits on the same floor with my team.)
The conversation went like this;
Osarieme: Hello, Iyosayi is Paschal in the office? (Paschal is my direct boss)
Me: No, he has gone home o.
Osarieme: What of Eze? (Eze works under her)
Me: Hold on, while I check his office to ascertain if he is in.
Few minutes later I replied her.
Me: He is not in the office.
Osarieme: Okay. Please I need you to help get Emmanuel to release one of the Mobile Policemen (Mopol) attached to his unit. (Emmanuel is the head of Bullion services)
This time my curiosity got picked.
Me: Okay. What’s happening?
Osarieme: We have been arrested o. We went to market some *** Ltd distributors but the man thought we were fraudsters….
Huh? Huh???? By now my jaw had already hit the floor. Biko who goes marketing and gets arrested eh???
I hurriedly rounded up the call so I could get help for her. My ‘office bestie’ – Nuel was also arrested along with her. Honestly sha, I just needed to get to the police station so I could laugh at him. (I mean, that’s what bffs do, right? Laugh and tease each other)
I dropped the phone on my table. For a split second, I didn’t know who to call or what to do. I saw Eme photocopying stuff at the machine (Eme is my team member). I broke the news to her.
“Osarieme and Nuel have been arrested o. They went marketing but the customer thought they were fraudsters”
Eme gave me that “what is this one saying?” look, abi is something wrong with him?
She asked what I just said. I repeated it. She stood looking at me. Obviously she was still processing what I had told her.
I left her to call my direct boss, Paschal. I began explaining it to him but in middle of the conversation it dawned on me that they were actually arrested because they went to market, hian!
The laughter that busted out of me was so strong, I fell on the office floor laughing. My phone fell down and the phone call went off. I couldn’t contain myself.
Eme came to me, she too started laughing and kept asking, “Who goes marketing and ends up in the police station?”
Instead of us to look for help we stayed there laughing. I managed to get back on my feet. Paschal was calling back. I tried to stop laughing but I couldn’t help it so I gave Eme the phone to talk to him.
I did my best to calm myself. I called the Bullion service head afterwards to inform him that we needed his Mopol officers because Osarieme….I busted out in laughter again. I managed to finish the statement that they had been arrested. He too started laughing, in between his asking how come?
After all the laughter he said his Mopol guys were out.
I took the still laughing Eme downstairs to meet the operations head, Tony. I was still laughing, tears gathering in my eyes, my jaws hurting. I told her she was the one going to talk since I couldn’t comport myself.
We met Tony at his desk. Eme started narrating the story, the pregnant lady in front of Tony’s table started laughing. Tony joined in the laughter. People came to meet us asking why we were laughing, as they heard the story they joined in the laughter.
Tony gave us one of the branch policemen. To the police station we headed. Even the driver couldn’t help but laugh. Common now, fraudsters? Didn’t they carry their identity cards? For crying out loud who goes marketing and ends up being arrested?
The moment we got to the station, I sighted Nuel. Our eyes met and we both communicated via our eyes. He knew I was laughing at him and I knew he knew I was laughing and I also know he was calling me a witch.
Anyway, the whole crux of the matter was, Osarieme and Neul were given a list of *** distributors in Benin City to market. Unknown to them, two days earlier, someone at our head office had sent them an sms of *** Ltd’s account number to all *** Ltd distributors with the bank but it was a wrong account number. *** Ltd on their part sent a counter sms to their distributors dissociating themselves from the wrong account number. The person at the head office in turn sent an apology sms afterwards with the correct account number.
During all these developments, no one thought it wise to relay any of it to the team in Benin they had asked to market the distributors. Osarieme and Nuel approached of one the distributors and started their usual marketing opening speech of concessions et al they would grant him if he opens an account and bla bla. After their speech, the man asked if they were the ones that sent the front sms from the bank, they said they were the ones. (Na here dem enter ozeba, why admit to something you didn’t know about just ‘cus they said its from the bank?)
The man then told them to hold on, he called the MD of *** that the people that sent the initial sms were at his shop. The MD asked if he was sure, he said he was. The MD said he shouldn’t let them go, he should get a photographer to snap them, he should also photocopy their ID cards and send to the bank to verify their identity and they should be apprehended in the meantime.
That’s how my dear colleagues ended up at the station. Of course this is an abridged version of the events. I don’t want to make it long, in summary the distributor was just an annoying man who wanted to be a hero who had caught fradusters. Even when the rest of us with a police man arrived, his sense of reasoning should have told him there was actually no issue and they were not thieves. But he was bent on pushing the case, from the DPO to the Inspector to the highest ranking police officer in that station. It was all so foolish really.
At the end the case was dismissed. Time to go back to the office, Osarieme and Nuel said they didn’t have a car. They had sent their driver back to the office when the wahala started at the man’s shops. What the hell? I asked if they were actually planning on spending the night at the police station ‘cus I really didn’t get the idea behind dispersing their driver.
The gist went round the bank like wild fire. Myself, I helped to spread the gist ni. It was just damn too funny, hot and fresh to nor spread. Nuel’s Group head called from Lagos to apologize for the bad experience, Osarieme started ranting she wasn’t going to market the distributors again o …lolz
The next week I kept calling Nuel ex–convict. Dude took it graciously, making different jokes about the embarrassing experience. I was like, why didn’t the guy snap them self, and send to Linda Ikeji. His sisters would have had a heart attack when they see their brother’s picture on the blog ni! Eme kept wondering aloud how it was that they even followed the man to the police station. So many things we really didn’t get. Nuel was like, they didn’t want to cause a scene before those around would have pounced on them and started jungle justice, so they had to act cool and just follow him to the station.
So if the photographer had come, they really would have posed to be snapped abi? *sigh
Well, in this kind of situation it’s easy for us that are not involved to see the ridiculousness of it all. But like they say – who nor go, no go know…
By the way, I bet when you saw the title of this post, you thought I was the one who got arrested. Sorry to, nope, I’m actually happy to burst your bubble: D
Well, I wrote a story, posted it on my blog. You came to read it, so you tell me…