Storming into his office, Mr Atobatele heart jumped up.  You have just tomorrow left to make your choice. It is either you sign those files or you resign, the Finance Director shouted authoritatively as he wanted him to digest every bit of his words.

Sir, I have made up my mind to resign. I would drop my letter of resignation tomorrow and I would not step into this office the next day.

Bravo, that’s a brave and courageous decision Mr Jekayesinmi responded as he was happy that the stubborn thorn in his flesh would finally be laid to rest and removed for good.

 ****** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Mr Lawal, call Mr Atobatele for me. I am sure you know that for us to be able to take this money from the company’s treasury, Mr Atobatele would need to address and sign these files because he is the Payment Manager.

But Sir, Mr Lawal cut in politely. You know that Mr Atobatele Pastors one of these fast growing churches here in Lagos and many of his members are workers in this company. He would never want to be involved in such a scandal. He was the one that frustrated the former Finance Director before he resigned to pick up another appointment. Previous people that have worked under him seriously complained that he is not corporative when it comes to compromising his faith and stand in the Lord.

Mr. Lawal, are you trying to tell me that I am not a Christian? Do you know how much I have invested in the new church building project of the assembly where I worship? How do you think I get all the money I use to help those in need? Do you know how much I have invested to get to this position I am today? Don’t you know that the Managing Director and the Board of directors are very much aware of this deal, and I must deliver a certain percentage to them? Forget it, we are all sinners. God is a merciful and loving father. If we ask him to forgive us, he would forgive us.

Sensing that the situation was getting out of hand, he left Mr Jekayesinmi office to get Mr Atobatele. Instead of Oga to allow us carry out this mission without involving this foolish man, he is doing strong head. I just hope that this man would not cause trouble like he did the last time. God please help us ooo, let him change his mind and sign those files. Realizing that he had just finished saying a useless prayer, he smiled and reminded himself that he needs the money seriously, and even God understands his predicaments.

I even wonder why all these pastors refuse to face their church business squarely. They make enough money from tithe, offering and even first fruits and yet they refuse to allow us to make our own tithe and offering from the coffers of these companies. They have made enough money from their church members to take good care of their family, then they would come here and start forming holy. Nobody can stop me from making money either legally or illegally.

Getting to the office of Mr Atobatele, they both exchange pleasantries. Pastor, Pastor, Mr Lawal greeted Mr Atobatele as he wants to ensure that he is in a good mood before he goes on to meet the Finance Director. Bawo ni ise leni? Bawo ni iyawo ati omo (How is work today? How is your wife and your children?).

Fine Sir, Mr Atobatele reacted as he was sensing something fishy. He and Mr Lawal had not been on very good terms since the Last Finance Director resigned. He coming to his office today was the last thing he expected on a sunny Monday afternoon.

Mr Jekayesinmi would like to see you in his office for a very important meeting right now. You can drop what you are doing now because the meeting promises to be very brief.

Okay sir, Mr Atobatele answered as he dropped the files he was addressing and headed straight to the office of the finance director alongside Mr Lawal who was scared about the outcome that would come out of the meeting.

Good Afternoon Sir, Mr Atobatele greeted.

Ooh Payment Manager, you are here. Mr Lawal, you can excuse us from the office, Mr Jekayesinmi said as he winked his eyes at him to pretend like he is not aware of the reason why the brief impromptu meeting was arraigned.

Mr Atobatele, since I came into this office about Seven Months ago, you have been one of my best staffs. You have been very hard working, loyal and submissive. I am thinking of recommending you for promotion in the next board meeting, but before I do that you must prove to me that you are still as loyal, dedicated and hard working as before.

Over there are some files of the company. I need you to critically study them, see how you can maneuver them and ensure that you sign each of them before twenty four hours.

Thank you very much sir for the kind words, but what do you mean by maneuver. If the files are accurate and truthful, there would be no need to manipulate anything there. PM (payment manager) just go and do what you are asked to do, Mr Jekayesinmi replied as he showed him the door signifying that he should move out.

That strange feeling caught up with him. The memory of Mr Abdurrahman the former Finance Director still looks fresh in his memory. This was the same way he was called into his office, addressed and asked to manipulate. When he was unable to do it, he received numerous threats of sack from him.

It was God in his infinite mercy that delivered him from the hands of Mr Abdulraman by offering him (Mr Abdulraman) a good job somewhere else. That was what made the former finance director to resign. God, I don’t know how you would deliver me from this mess, but I know that you are with me.

On getting to the office, Mr Atobatele opened up the files, checked each of the documents there and realized that the atrocities he was asked to commit was far greater than the one Mr Abdulraman asked him to do.

Confused and disturbed, he decided to call his wife Eberechi to explain his predicaments to her.

Hello dear, how are you doing? Fine Sweetheart, his wife replied. What’s wrong with your voice, you are breathing fast and you only behave like this when you are tensed up.

My dear, it’s true that I am tensed up. I have been asked to manipulate and sign some illegal documents. They want to siphon the money of the company and as the payment manager, the files have to pass through my office, for a clean and perfect job. I just called to inform you that you need to start preparing because I would rather resign than do what is wrong and unethical.

Don’t think too much about the issue, we would talk better when you get home his wife said with hope and believe that God would intervene fast.

 ****** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Seun Emmanuel Alaofin.


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