Saved by Receipts by Micheal A Adeniyi

On a brown new morning, a day after Easter, John dressed up to drip, swaging on, he walked majestically into his car, the ignition went up zoom, zoom and he zoomed off to party with his friends. This incidence occurred before the advent of covid-19, it was the days when men would choke up a party ground without the fear of a virus, this was also during the height of police brutality and wrongful profiling. It was at a time the police carved themselves a shameful niche in the criminal profiling world, a time when the use of a car by young colored citizen with dreadlocks is even much dreaded than the scene of an ongoing terrorist attack because some policemen believed one must be “too young or colored to be successful.”

Not speeding like a moving speed locomotive in China, and not slow like the growth of Africa’s millennium development goals, John cruised at a good pace, and after a few miles John was flanked down off his car by a team of policemen on that fateful morning, he parked and stepped down off his car in sagacity, the profiling began, the men asked if he was the owner of the car, he responded in affirmation, he was told to bring his license, another officer said he had a dreadlock and he could be presumed a criminal suspect, John responded by saying he had never committed a criminal offense all his life, he brought out his Identity card which clearly showed he was a Blogger, but that would become his greatest undoing, he was asked to provide his driving license, he did, he provide all the other documents the men had asked for, but the men could not believe a 19 year old would own and drive a very expensive SUV, they quizzed him more and obtained information on his parents, they realized he wasn’t the son of those saintly speaking but corruptly driven politician who throw money around, nor a child to non of the notorious corrupt patriotic men in public offices. The profiling would not stop, they demanded for his phone and forced him to supply his password, he complied immediately, the men scanned through, they saw loads of photos and documents he uses when publishing news stories around the world on his blog, his image gallery had pictures of people from all races across the globe. He had lot of foreign contacts, and without any preliminary inquiry into what blogging was, the men drove John into the police station and charged him with internet fraud even when the only argument they had against him was that he had foreign images and contacts and that he drives an expensive SUV, the illusion of scammer was created.

After hours of detention with shackles of handcuffs in hands while looking sweet like a candidate for BDSM with a swollen face, he was rushed to a mobile court and was charged for internet fraud, even without proof that he committed any crime but the vision of a drunken men who are drunk in illusions; the power of the police seem supreme. One would have thought the policemen was going to conduct some investigation whilst John was being held behind bars, but lo and behold, they went into John seized SUV and took all his car document which contained his drivers license and car receipt. They are not in for investigation, the policemen are in to kill and destroy, they fabricated more lies, they added to John’s charges ‘driving or taking of vehicle illegally’, drama began to unfold, the men took John to a nearby local court and made up a sworn affidavit, the affidavit was a setup, they had written that John was returning his own car to another man who claimed to be the owner, the man was the police alibi, the men of the police force made John sign the affidavit with a gun pointed to his head, they took over the SUV and returned John into custody. John life had taken a downward slope from a happy man humming the slang ‘who dey breathe’ over his fashionova drip to a man humming ‘I can’t breathe’. He found himself battling for his own life, he had just been robbed by men who are supposed to protect him, he feared he could be robbed of his life too, he hummed like Burna boy dropping bars underneath his breathe, he was down on his kneels and praying to a God, hours later, he felt a wringling of keys on the door to his held up cubicle called bars, he remembered ‘e choke’ vibes, probably ringing in his head, not the S3fa lyrics, no love, its not the Davido’s “e choke” too, it was not a slang of rich or love, it was a reality, he felt choked up in the bars without any company, windows or enough space to lie flat. He felt a fresh air when the doors went wide open, a young police officer had come to fetch him out. Bail is free but John found himself in the middle of about eight officers who dictated to him as follow: ‘Car was sold to bail me out’, they forced him to write that down in his statement, it was a done deal, he was set free, he had not only suffered from trump up charges, he had also lost his car, he walked home weak and dejected, he felt he would never see his lovely car again because the policemen the society entrusted with the power to search and arrest had sold his car and shared the proceed. They had also made away with the car receipt. He lost all hope, he wouldn’t have his car again, he thought. A week later, he took on his flash drive and inserted it into his computer in search of the keyword ‘My car’ to have a last look of his dearly flashy SUV and bury it off his memory in pains, but one file stood out in the search result, it was a scanned copy of his car receipt. He had scanned it few months ago. His hope of getting the car back came alive. John sent copies of the car receipt and other documents on his flash drive to the Human rights commission and other organizations who took up his case with the Inspector General of Police.

The case had escalated, the officers were invited, they denied any wrongdoing, they said John was a criminal for having foreign pictures and contacts and all sort, the lies was debunked with few proves by John. The policemen were showed original copies of the car receipt from John’s flash drive and they broke down pleading to return the car and keep their job, the police chief would not have it, he jailed the officers, recovered and returned John’s SUV. John had learnt a lesson, he would no longer throw receipt away until the goods/services he got a receipt for had perished or ended. He would hold on to meal ticket receipt until the meal is fully digested and excreted. He knew the power of cloud storage. He scanned all his document and saved them in the clouds, perhaps with the mind of telling the heaven to watch over his receipts and important documents so it doesn’t go with the wind on the papers that will end up with Akara sellers.

John decided to move to another country. He wanted a place where he would enjoy his dignity and sanity. He left for a neighboring country. Blogging was great in his new country of residence. He added vlogging to his duty, he now uses YouTube to communicate with his subscribers. The internet’s are fast and reliable in the new country, he decided to change his new media niche from general blogging to ‘Mobile and Tech” he would buy various phone and review them. He bought new smartphones on monthly basis, what he does with the smartphones is to make review of the smartphone on YouTube with video and through blog posts to his audience. He was good at it, soon he had 1000s of subscribers.

When John is done reviewing the smartphones, he would in turn proceed to sell them off and purchase another new set of smartphones at reliable stores with receipt issued. It was time to review the new iPhone 12 pro max, John couldn’t get hold of it at the Apple store in his country, he was told the limited quantity had been sold out. He moved from store to store, he couldn’t find one, he decided to search deeply into the middle of the market, he tried a mini-store, and found it. The price was a little pick up from what he saw on Apple’s website, so he asked for a swap, he would swap his iPhone 11 pro max and some few dollars for the iPhone 12 pro max. He demanded for a receipt and the mini store owner could not provide one. He decided to halt the deal and moved on, unknown to him while checking the phone and feeling up its design and specifications another man passing-by had spied on him, the stranger heard the seller saying ‘there was no receipt’ so he thought John had completed the deal. Once John came out of the mini store and took some turning away, the stranger approached John and accused him of stealing an iPhone 12 pro max. He started causing a scene because he had thought John had swapped to iPhone 12 pro max without a receipt to show for it. Mob started gathering, some people are already calling the police, others are ready to administer jungle justice, then 3 security men from nearby store came to the rescue, they asked John to hand over his bags and phones, he complied, they found only Samsung S20 and IPhone 11 pro max on John. There was no IPhone 12 pro max. The accuser was apprehended and he confessed to eavesdropping when John was making the deal at the store, and that on hearing ‘there is no receipt,’ in John’s conversation with the seller, he knew John will not be able to prove it was his. Again John was saved by receipt, but many people are dead and in prison because they refuse to take receipt. #Mikematics

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