ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE | Chronicles by Ilesanmi Seun

I strongly believe that while my parent wake me up every morning and like daily chastity instructions given to a young girl by her mother, continually melt out the same prayer " o ni rogun alakoba lojo aye re oo", other parents also engage in this normal routine for their respective wards. With levity accompanied with an unrefusable urge to continue my sweet night dreams which may never come back, the regular silent and unapproved "amen" I spit out depicts that I really don't believe in cases of implications.

As the gradual advancement of science and technology pave way for the enablement of auditory communication retarding physical and most times visual communication, this seemingly annoying short prayer from a concerned parent never cease to visit and wake me up every morning on my almost deflated two by three mattress which I share alone in my room across Asela street along University of Lapeju. Most times, I can't withstand the ringing tone of my newly bought Techno Spark 2, hence, I regularly place in on silent mode.

My second year at the university had been smooth until I witnessed the manifestation of this boring prayer. Adebola and I have been friends since our first year in the university. Most times, we were called twins from different mothers in the Department of Accountancy. Although, at the beginning of our second year, Bolanle, who was a newly admitted direct entry student became our friend but the already shared love and true friendship did not diminish, instead, it flowered. 24th February, 2003 flickered in my brain like a newly switched on electric bulb. I guess it's because of the State election preparation hovering Lapeju like an Owl.

 This day was a Friday and the university campus was empty because it was early in the morning. I, Adebola and Bola had just completed the fifth round of our studying vigil in one of the empty classes at the faculty and each of us was physically exhausted and stressed out. The powerful urge of nature beckoned to us. Around 5:30am, Samuel, a student of our department who is in his first year accompanied by an unknown guy approached us. The familiarity I had with Samuel made him explain to me that both his bag and that of the unknown guy has been stolen. According to his story, he woke up about thirty minutes ago with the bag still beside him, but unfortunately, he slept again waking up to find it missing. I honestly sympathize with him and offered to help broadcast the missing bags on various whatsapp groups I am, hence, he and his friend left thankfully.

We were still deliberating on the stolen bags when Adebola told us that he is leaving for his hostel off campus. He stood up and walked to the back of the class to remove his mobile phone from the multitude being charged there. We bade farewell and he left. I was left with Bola in a very cold ambience discussing the upcoming matriculation ceremony and our examination which is very close. About fifteen minutes later, Teju and Helen, my fellow classmates who have been helping themselves with sleep at the back of the class woke up to realize that Teju's phone is missing. A loud voice drew my attention and that of Bola. I wonder how some heartless individuals go about stealing what is not theirs. Well I guess the phone is expensive since it's an I-phone. I picked up my bag and phone and together with Bola headed for the school park. Honestly, I needed a good shower and an undisturbed sleep. Unfortunately, we met Samuel and his friend at the school gate who through the help of the security men, were searching shuttles for their missing bags. Afterall, I did not steal anything.

Like a daily bank alert, I earnestly waited for either of my parent's call which did not come as expected. After waiting for about two hours, I decided to call them since it was unusual. Well they slept off as a result of the church vigil they had gone for. I was about falling asleep when my phone rang. Oh oh oh! "why won't these people allow me to sleep for even ten minutes, did I offend them ni?" I asked rhetorically.

The call was unexpected as it was from Adebola. I guessed it was urgent so I picked it and the caller sounded confused, annoyed and afraid. He narrated how Helen called him accusing him of stealing an unknown "package". He was agitated so he headed back to the university campus to meet his accusers. As he said, "the journey looks longer than normal". Luckily, his accusers were waiting for him at the school park and when he was about to approach them, the guy who accompanied Samuel whose bag was also stolen appeared coincidentally at least giving him the chance to defend himself. He angrily confronted the guy of accusing him of stealing the missing bags. Adebola told me how perplexed he was when two different parties claimed that he stole from them the same time.

Well as a good friend, I took no time in waiting to complete my never coming sleep. Hence, I headed for the campus to meet my friend who is now a principal suspect of a theft case. Both the accusers and suspect dragged themselves to the school security unit and had their statements taken down. As per the phone case, an unknown lady claimed that she saw my friend remove a phone from the multitude being charged, hence, she believed that he stole it. The guy whose bag was stolen said Adebola stole it since he knows about the stolen bag even though he had never met him before. Oh! I really can't believe that the same guy who had accompanied Samuel now claimed that he did not follow Samuel in the search for their bags. After all confusing arguments were adequately taken by the officers, an important proponent of every student which is the ID card was seized from my friend. God! Exam is faster approaching and he needs it before he is allowed to write the exam. The officers fixed another meeting for three weeks time with better evidences presented.

Adebola and I were dumbfolded as we left the station. Unfortunately, the university shifted it's matriculation ceremony back to the following week Monday instead of the next month and announced the commencement of exams in two weeks time. Luckily, Adebola was able to write his first two exams before the scheduled date of meeting without an ID card. On the agreed date, I took with me Bolanle and Samuel to help defend my friend. On the other hand, only Razaq, the owner of the stolen bag came while Teju, Helen and the unknown girl were absent. Razaq's discretion was that because we are all friends coupled with the fact that Samuel was from my department, we tended to support Adebola. With the help of Samuel, the officers doubt that Razaq did not follow Samuel to meet me and my friends in the class that Friday morning was cleared . After critical examination of the evidences, the officers released Adebola's ID card on the ground that he may not have taken the bag or phone since he was with us; I and Bolanle.

To a large extent, prayers from Adebola's parent for him have not been said in vain, since he was able to complete his exams. Actually, Adebola had gone to use the restroom some minutes before Samuel and Razaq came in search of their bags, hence, a benefit of doubt that he had taken the bags although we did not make mention of that in order not to further complicate the matter. As I narrated the event to Favour, another coursemate, I said "only God can judge if he stole it or not".



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