The loud pop from my friend's overzealous opening of his bottle of Guinness, brought a much needed silence to the frenzied argument.
"Guys, we came here to watch football and not discuss political nonsense," he screamed.
We, the three who were guilty as charged, gave each other sarcastic looks, as we struggled to hold our laughter. To be fair, we were breaking one of the cardinal laws of sports. We are here to argue about goals, tackles, the referee, VAR and why Victor Moses outfell Neymar by a ratio of 3 to 1.
The one thing we definitely were not here for, was to bicker about; the Nigerian finance minister and her allegedly forged NYSC exemption certificate. After the game, sure, we can don our political colours, but not whilst watching England's young lions trying to make history.
Consequently, all three of us bowed our heads in false contrition and mournful silence. That was until Leicester's own, Harry Maguire saved the atmosphere, by sending a bullet of a header into the corner of the Swedish goal.
With the over-celebrations concluded and a slight lull in the game, we, the guilty three sensed an opening. We took it and I nominated myself as ringleader.
"My thing is this; there was an extensive delay in appointing these ministers in the first place and the presidency's explanation at the time, justified it all by claiming detailed checks were being conducted to ensure the process was above board. So, how can this happen," I asked, downing my glass of wine and shaking my head for effect.
Our Guinness friend, eyes fixed on the game, kept a dignified hush, whilst we re-ignited the war of words. Matthew, my fellow wine swigger, wagged his finger as he made his point.
"The fundamental issue here, is your lack of understanding of Nigeria. I know you travel to Lagos four or five times a year, but that does not mean you can decode that society. I have lived there for thirty-five years and seen so many wonders. Many of the same legislators who Premium Times claim are holding this woman "hostage," are themselves in place due to false certification. Process? What process? Should we talk about Magu? My brothers, leave that thing abeg!"
Not fully furnished with the details of the Magu affair, I decided to tread softly.
"So, are you saying the due process doesn't exist? I doubt the presidency will tender a name to the Legislature for approval, knowing that person had an aberration on their record."
Somehow, I had managed to further irritate Matthew.
"Stop mentioning due process! You are making me crazy with all this your Oyibo nonsense. In Nigeria? Due process? Do you realise it is possible those supposedly charged with doing the checks for the government, were probably partying and enjoying the illicit proceeds of their Aso Rock connections, instead of carrying out their duties?"
I am not quite sure what instigated his decision to join the fray, but my Guinness friend had clearly heard enough.
"You guys are jokers! Forget the presidency and the checks. Forget the senate and their possible blackmail of the Finance minister. Forget all that garbage and ask yourselves one question."
"Really? What question," I asked.
"Okay, I will tell you. You all know I have no horse in the race, abi? I am neither sympathetic to the minister nor her detractors. But has it occurred to you that Kemi Adeosun may have applied genuinely for this NYSC certificate of exemption, and the person in charge of the process may have circumvented NYSC rules for financial profit and issued her with a fake certificate?"
"Go on," replied Jolomi, the final member of the trio.
"Do you know it's possible that she is now on the phone to the uncle, auntie or whatever contact who oiled the wheels of influence at the time, demanding to know how this could have happened? Do you know that the one person who did a good job here and discovered the alleged spurious nature of the certificate, may have only done so only after financial favour?"
All three of us hummed a chorus of agreement, as Mr Guinness continued.
"My brothers, in these end day times, the people in charge of public office in Nigeria, be they APC, PDP, AGPA or XYZ, are not trustworthy. Even the people who are not in power cannot be trusted. Patriots are few and are shunned, rather than honoured. My advice is to leave the politicians to deal with their mess. Most of them would have known of this scandal since 2015, but kept it secret for potential political gain. Don't give yourself high-blood pressure because of a House of Cards."
A sober silence descended on the room.
Thankfully, England were 2-0 up, so the mood was not completely bleak.
By the way, that silence.....is still with me now as I type this and the last of my friends left about 3 hours ago.
With a heartfelt and deep-seated sigh, I join my country's government in leaving Nigeria in God's hands.