By Muyiwa Adekojede
The band of harmattan surrounded me around 5:30 a.m. as I sat on a slab in the heavily pen-marked room scribbled with names of previous residents.
Other than the sound of the endless fan, which has been running for at least the past 12 hours, my room in Jaja hall and the dorm as a whole, was relatively quiet. However, it was not for long.
King Jaja hall is a dormitory for boys at the Akoka campus of the University of Lagos. Located a short distance from the Faculty of Science, Medical Center, and Dean of Student Affairs, the hall is a three-story building hosting a mini stadium-like structure at its center.
From the upright passage next to my room, my attention was called by sharp roaring voices. It appeared as if Jaja boys had seen Ororo score again. But, that wasn’t the case, as they weren’t yelling “Gooaaallll”. Rather, it sounded like a protesting scene.
Jaja boys is a collective name used to refer to the male students residing at the Jaja hall or dormitory at Unilag.
My question then was, who fights around 5 a.m.? It turned out they’ve caught a thief, one which had been long sought for. I have heard at least four to five instances of theft since my one and a half month stay in Jaja Hall, Unilag. These incidents are usually theft of phones, especially iPhones. All of which, the owners of stolen phones never secure their phones back and or find the culprits.
These odoriferous incidents have been on for long time. But, today was the end of that rein.
How the ‘ill-fated’ Theft Began
Around 5 a.m., a guy called Shady (not his real name) walked into a room like any staylite would. Few guys half-asleep might have thought he resided there or was trying to locate a friend.
Sadly for Shady, a half-asleep occupant named Alfred, (not real name) in the room had spotted him. In a matter of seconds, Alfred couldn’t catch sight of Shady. It was as if seeing a ghost for a few seconds, and then it vanished. In that instance, the thought that ran through Alfred’s skull was his phone. Immediately, Alfred rumbled toward the upper corner of the room where several phones were kept. But, to his dismay, the four iPhones were already missing. This transmitted to Alfred’s Central Nervous System much faster than the speed of light. Realizing in nanoseconds that the person he just caught a glimpse of wasn’t a roommate nor was he searching for a friend.
Meanwhile, other boys in the room were still romancing and massaging their cover cloths with their bodies, chasing away the dusty and dry wind that whirled around the room. That continued until Alfred disrupted the romantic atmosphere anyway after he discovered the unfortunate.
In an effort to find Shady, they searched the intersections and corners of Jaja Hall. Nonetheless, they were unable to find him.
Initially, after the theft, Shady concealed himself in a toilet on the second floor. However, due to the gravity of the search-and-capture exercises going on then, he had no choice but to move to the upper part of the building. He hung on the upper layer of a window shelter block, just below the roof of Jaja Hall.
Unlike his first hide spot, the upper layer of the window shelter block Shady hid this time was open to the public as the day was half-bright.
As of this time, Shady had been uncovered by Jaja boys. The ground was already populated with boys holding bottles and pipes to deliver punishment on Shady. Meanwhile, Shady was already scared out of the skeleton. Nonetheless, Jaja boys showed no remorse, not after a series of robberies that had taken place in Jaja, all of which the culprits were not found.
The height at which Shady hung himself was far too high for a safe jump and landing. Though he attempted, fear held him back. In spite of this, the number of boys lining up kept multiplying. Much like a meating — or group — of butchers waiting to slaughter a goat.
After a while, an extrication vehicle arrived to rescue Shady safely back into the building. This wasn’t the end of the hunt anyway. In fact, it was the beginning.
Even after being rescued back to the Hostel Building, Shady couldn’t find an escape route. He was left to take the devil’s path, which was the main exit of the hall on the first floor.
Having already surrounded every part of the building, Jaja boys waited impatiently for Shady to come through in order to deliver hellish justice. In his struggle down the stairs, Shady was struck severally by different hands and feet. All of these continued until Shady barely managed to reach the porters’ lodge, at least, to stay alive.
All Sins on the Shoulder’s of One
Even after Shady reached lesser-violence-inciting hands at the porter’s lodge, Jaja boys refused to retreat or surrender until justice was served; for all theft of phones and accessories which had been taken in the hostel. Some have even vowed to stab classes in order to achieve their brutal justice.
In contrast, a christ zealot (among the crowd) refuted the notion that brutal justice should be served.
He proclaimed that Christ doesn’t want such justice against anyone, preaching such punishment as unfair. These words were definitely not welcomed by the enraged crowd as they shouted while the zealot spoke. From no direction, a face-switching slap came upon the zealot, which ultimately sealed his lips.
As the situation worsened, the Alpha Base, a top-level security unit at the school, was contacted. The DSA visited the scene as the incident escalated more, according to sources.
In the porter lodge, Shady was still been kept away from the throngs of shirtless, fully-packed-abs lads awaiting justice outside.
It took some moment before a conclusive deliberation could be reached by the security team on how to move the Shady without putting him into the cage of jungle justice. For the security officials, this was a reasonable effort that must be acted upon, but for Jaja boys, it was a long-awaited opportunity.
As security officers tried to sandwich Shady through the crowd of beefy boys outside the lodge, much like a tug-of-war battle. The only difference is that, in this case, Shady was the rope being pulled.
For a short moment, the boys won the battle.
Jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts, followed by whippings from straightened pipes fell on Shady. As a result, Shady fell at the feet of the Jaja boys, who unleashed heavy booting on Shady from all angles.
At the last moment, the security officials had a glimpse chance. They secured Shady again, and they hurriedly bonded him into their van and zoomed off.
Shady had been probed (in the porter’s lodge) before he was whisked away. During the probe, several questions were thrown at Shady regarding his identity, faculty, department, and level. All his responses confirmed that he is nowhere near a student or officer at a prestigious University of Lagos.
This is a true life event which occurred on the 24th of January, 2022.