By Young C.c
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They were all seated at a round table, Mr Sylvester was sitting at the middle, Tarasha, Frank and the second guy who worked with Henry were also there.
‘She’s Kimberly Evelyn Alexander, but I love to call her Evelyn because my first daughter is Evelyn too.’ Mr Sylvester introduced her to her colleagues, smiling.
‘Nice to have you Kim,’ Frank was the first to speak, offering her a handshake.
‘Kim or Evelyn, I don’t know which to choose.’ The other guy joined.
‘Choose Kim, I prefer to be called Kimberly.’ Tarasha said politely, receiving the handshake from the other guy too.
‘Okay, Kim it is.’ the guy replied.
‘I’ll choose Kim too, since it’s what you prefer,’ Mr Sylvester continued. ‘Some… I mean most of Henry’s jobs have been rolled over to her,’ he said to the two guys. ‘So she would need the coperation of the both of you to work well.’
The guys nodded in satisfaction and agreement to work with her. Frank had met with her before and was sure of her abilities. The other guy had also heard about her exploits from Frank, so he had less reasons to doubt the lady’s ability.
‘Miss Eve… Kimberly,’ Mr Sylvester faced Tarasha. ‘I know you must have gone through the documents and reports on your table already. Do you have any question now or you would like to leave it for later?’
‘Thank you sir,’Tarasha adjusted her seating position to address them properly. ‘I have questions, so many but I don’t think I can ask all now rather do I think it’s the appropriate time for questions.’
‘Well, you may do it anytime you want. They are gentlemen and would always be willing to help you.’
Like students who had just broken their parent’s rules and were being reprimanded, Dakolo and Ken stood before the Vice President and the Inspector General of police answering questions and making explanations of their recent movements. Dakolo felt awkward having the Vice President question them always, he wondered why the man could not just collect and read the monthly reports that was sent to the IG. As far as he was concerned, the Vice President had never made why meaningful contribution to their investigation, but he had no choice, he had to always answer because he was under the man’s authority.
‘So no news has been heard about the Senate President yet?’ Chief Elvis asked.
‘None sir, we’ve not been able to make any reasonable conclusion yet.’ Dakolo replied.
‘Rikau, these your boys are just messing up and wasting time,’ the Vice President turned to the Inspector General. ‘These assassins are gaining more grounds everyday and getting bolder, very soon they may come for me and then the President himself.’
Rikau was silent, he didn’t know what to say. He also had not been able to make reasonable contribution to the case himself, so he could not chastise the officers.
‘Please, you guys should leave my presence.’ Chief Elvis said angrily.
The officers bowed and walked out of the place silently, happy that they could now leave finally. Dakolo’s happiness was mixed with a little unhappiness though, he didn’t like how he was made by the IG to reveal Henry’s new location to the Vice President, he was of the view that the man wasn’t supposed to get that information yet. But he consoled himself on remembering that the Vice President was once a police officer and a very respected one at that, with several of the new innovations and successes of the day’s police force to his credit.
‘That girl is coming after me soon, something has to be done quickly,’ Chief Elvis said to the IG after the officers had gone out.
‘But what about the guy you said you’re ordering for?’ Rikau asked.
Chief Elvis sighed, ‘he’s coming. He’ll come but he may not arrive very soon, even when he arrives, he still has to take some time to study the area and understand the country.’
‘Hmm, we just have to take extra security measures then. Let’s study the cases of the past victims and see how the assassins got them, that way we won’t work into any trap or be deceived by anyone.’
‘I’ve started that already,’ Chief Elvis cut in. ‘I already began to study the cases of the past victims and I’ve discovered a lot. She always comes to them with something like a business proposal and ends up gaining their trust before killing them.’
‘Did she come with a business proposal to Chief Nasiru too?’
‘Come on, why are you asking me that? Are you not the Inspector General? I should be asking you.’
‘No, I just want to point out to you that it wasn’t really a proposal for business.’
‘Yes, but it was a proposal of a kind.’
‘Yes, you’re correct.’
‘What I’ve decided now is not to start any personal deal with anybody, even if I receive an international body, I’ll ask one of my boys to handle it somewhere far away from me.’
‘Hmm… That’s a good protective measure. One thing I think you should add is that if anyone comes with a proposal, no matter how harmless or innocent it looks, investigations on it should start immediately.’
‘Yes, you’re correct.’ Chief Elvis said, he paused and took in a deep breath. ‘I’ll be traveling soon.’
‘Traveling? Is it an official trip?’
‘No, it’s personal. I’m not feeling too fine and I’m going to the United States for medical treatment.’ Chief Elvis replied.
‘Oh! You’re not fine sir? Since when has the illness began?’
‘Come on, I’m not sick.’ Chief Elvis said, shaking his head in disgust of Rikau’s response. ‘Don’t you understand what I mean?’
‘I don’t understand what you mean sir?’ Rikau replied. ‘You just said you’re not feeling fine.’
‘It is you who is not feeling fine,’ Chief Elvis slammed and got up, Rikau got up too. ‘I’m going to the United States to hide for some weeks and my excuse would be that I’m not feeling too well, I hope I’ll be permitted to stay as long as I planned.’ he said and began to walk away slowly.
‘Hmm… But sir, wouldn’t they question your decision not to stay in Nigeria for treatment?’ Rikau asked, following after Chief Elvis slowly.
‘No one won’t, what happened to Henry E.G last week is enough excuse not to want to stay in Nigeria for treatment.’
Dakolo was quiet as he drove in the car with Ken back to the officer. They had people who were lined up for questioning, one of them was the bold journalist who was replying Agent Dakolo on the day the attempt on Henry’s life was made.
Dakolo was more determined to nab the assassins now, they were really getting bolder and dangerous as the Vice President had said. There was no day that passed by that he wouldn’t wonder and ask himself what kind of person the leader of the assassin group could be. Whether it was Samantha Osman, or Aisha Bello or even Henry’s girlfriend Evelyn, she must really be a genius, he thought. But no matter how genius she was, he was going to bring her down one day, that he was sure of.
They got to the office after twenty minutes drive and went straight to the interrogation room to question their invitee who had been waiting for them. The journalist appeared to be seated patiently in the room, waiting for them. There was an untouched bottle of soft drink and a glass cup on the table.
‘Sorry for keeping you waiting man,’ Dakolo apologized as he walked towards the man with Ken and another junior officer behind. ‘Why are you not taking your drink?’
The journalist have a crooked smile and raised his brow, giving Dakolo a stern look. ‘I can’t take the drink Agent, I’m not aware that the Nigerian Police now entertain those invited for interrogation.’ he spoke calmly, his voice showed that he didn’t trust the source of the drink.
‘Well, that means you’ve not been invited to the police office for quite some time,’ Dakolo said, taking the seat directly opposite the man. ‘Police officers are humans, so they are sensitive to the feelings of their invitees and other citizens.’
‘Go straight to your questions sir, I’ve wasted about an hour here already.’ the journalist said impatiently, in contrast to the way he appeared.
‘Okay, I’ll just like to ask some more questions about those two who came to alert and gather the rest of you to the hospital.’ Dakolo began his questioning, he rounded up all in thirty five minutes.
‘Thank you so much for your clear answers, as I said earlier you may have to return tomorrow, so that you’ll try to identify the both of them from the pictures we would show you. We may also require you to describe both the male and the female to an artist that would be present here tomorrow.’
‘But how am I going to be able to describe very well people I’ve only seen once?’
‘Don’t worry, the artist has his way of getting what he requires from you.’ Dakolo replied.
‘Ben, Ben’ Don called slowly and softly. ‘What did she give you to make you this loyal to her? Tell me so I can give my my boys too.’ Benny was seated in a wooden chair while Don was seated directly opposite him in leather settee, his two legs were on a footstool and his cigar was in his hand. The room was dark and filled with smoke, there was only a small window in it which did not allow for proper ventilation.
‘She didn’t give me anything, I was loyal to you also, remember?’ Benny answered him.
‘But you ain’t loyal anymore,’ Don countered. ‘You ain’t loyal to me anymore, the girl has turned you to a dog, a very loyal one at that.’
‘I was loyal to you,’ Benny corrected, ‘I can’t be loyal to you anymore because you’re no more my master.’
‘Hahaha,’ Don laughed hysterically, he got up from his seat and moved closer Benny. He placed a foot on Benny’s seat beside his laps and lowered his face, blowing smoke from his mouth at Benny’s face. ‘So a girl is your master right?’
‘She is more than a girl, she’s a man, more capable than you are.’ Benny said boldly to Don.
Benny’s words earned him a resounding blow from Don. Benny fell off from his seat and rolled on the floor.
Don followed up with more blows on Benny’s face and belly. Benny tried to resist for a while but when the blows were getting too much, he used his feet to push Don away and quickly struggled to get up. He had never attacked Don before, Don had been his master from the beginning and Benny was no match for him. But he knew Don’s secret, Don was a drug addict which had over the years continued to make him weaker. Benny was sure he could beat up Don now, especially with his new experience and tactics learnt.
Don staggered back and struggled to maintain his balance. After standing properly, he stared straight at Benny, amazed that Benny now had the effrontery to attack him back. He rolled up his sleeves, picked up the footstool and charged towards Benny in anger.
Benny waited patiently for Don to make the attack with the footstool first, he bent down and the footstool passed over his head while he swiftly pulled Don’s leg with his two hands. Don fell backwards to the floor, his head hitting the wooden chair Benny was previously seated on. Benny pulled Don up immediately and attacked him with jabs in his belly. Don tried to defend himself and attack back but all his moves were countered excellently by Benny.
Don finally landed on the floor, weak. Benny rose up and climbed over him, placing his strong fingers around Don’s neck, he fastened his grip and began to squeeze life out of Don.
Don was hitting his fists on the floor in his struggle to escape death but his struggle was not enough to save him, his strength continued to reduce as his struggle increased.
Benny continued to tightened his hand on Don’s neck, though not with the intention of killing him. He was about to release Don’s neck and stand up when something hard hit his head. He blacked out.
Don was gasping for breath, his eyes still closed in readiness for death. Then he suddenly felt a relief on his neck and then his body felt free, he managed to open his eyes slowly. Then he saw Stainless standing behind with the butt of a gun in his hand.
**Tuesday Morning, 11am**
Inspector Ken had just arrived from his new place of primary assignment, the secluded area where Henry was. Dakolo had left him there the last evening after they both visited Henry, Henry refused to talk or even look up. He remained covered on the bed till they left. They had also involved Dr Tobi in an interrogation where they asked him to tell them everything the lab scientist told him, he was also asked describe the nurse who deceived him out of the lab.
That Tuesday morning also, Dr Tobi was connected to the office via a video chat where he described the nurse’s face to an artist who interpreted it on a drawing sheet.
The artists was also made to interpret the interrogated journalist’s description of his unknown male and female colleagues who led them to the hospital. After taking down all the sketches, they couldn’t match them with any in their memory. Agent Dakolo and the other officers began to take out pictures they had in the archives. They took out all of Don photos and Facebook pictures that they had and compared it to Benny’s, there was no resemblance in any way.
It was when they took out Aisha’s pictures and compared it with the sketch of the unknown female journalist that it began to make sense. Being black and white, the sketch did not really show the complexion, but some of the facial features on the sketch was the same as Aisha Bello’s. But a notable difference was that Aisha Bello never had her hair cut in all the pictures that they had, but the person in the sketch had a low cut.
‘Sir, the journalist must be the same with the nurse who deceived the doctor,’ Ken finally noted a huge similarity between the two sketches. ‘Both had their hairs lowly cut and if you look well,’ Ken said and moved to the board on the well where the pictures and sketches had been pinned to. ‘Their nose is the same,’ he said as he touched the noses on the two sketches. ‘I believe that Dr Tobi didn’t see the nurse’s face very well, that’s why he missed other descriptions. You know he also said the nurse was putting on a wig before.’
‘You’re correct Ken, very correct.’ Dakolo commented as he moved closer to the pictures too. ‘People’s descriptions can never be the same but the highest point is that the nurse and the female journalist both had their hair cut and not plaited.’
‘Yes sir, ‘ Ken said and stepped back for Dakolo who wanted to touch the sketch on the board.
‘Now we can also connect this sketch,’ Dakolo continued talking, touching the sketch gotten from the journalist they interrogated. ‘We can connect this sketch to Aisha Bello’s pictures especially the most recent ones, the eye brows, nose and lips look alike.’ He paused and let out a breath, ‘but the cheeks are quite different, the person in the sketch has puffy cheeks.’
‘Yes sir, there’s also a big difference in their jaws,’ Ken noted, stepping closer again. ‘The lady in the sketch also has dimples.’
‘True,’ Dakolo turned and returned to his previous position, he folded his arms and stared at the board for a minute. ‘Go check if the journalist is done writing his report. If he’s done, bring him here to see the pictures.’ Dakolo said to the junior officer with them.
The junior officer left and returned six minutes later with the journalist.
‘Are you done with your statement?’ Dakolo asked the journalist.
‘Yes and I was about leaving,’ the journalist replied with an unhappy face.
‘We’re sorry for taking your time, we just need you to see something.’ Dakolo said with a light smile. ‘Please come closer,’ he said, leading the journalist to the front of the board.
The journalist stood in front and folded his arms, he began to stare at all the pictures scattered all over the board.
‘This is the sketch of your description,’ Dakolo brought his attention to the two sketches gotten from him. ‘This guy,’ Dakolo continued slowly, pointing to the male picture now. ‘Does he in anyway look like this?’ He asked, making reference to the place where Daniel’s pictures were pinned.
‘No, not at all.’ the journalist replied in a strong tone, shaking his head to emphasize point.
‘Okay,’ Dakolo moved his hand to the female sketch. ‘Does she look like this?’ he asked, making reference to Aisha Bello’s pictures.
‘Nnn…N.. ermm…’ the journalist stammered for a while first comparing the pictures of Aisha Bello’s younger days with the sketch. He narrowed his eyes when he got to the recent pictures. ‘No,’ he finally said, after a total of two minutes.
‘Are you sure?’ Dakolo asked.
‘Yes,’ he answered with confidence. ‘The girl is the picture is way darker than the journalist and the journalist’s face even looks kind of funny, not as half as pretty as the girl in the picture.’
‘Are you sure you’re not saying this because the journalist was on low cut?’
He paused and stared at the pictures for another two seconds. ‘No, they are not the same.’ He stated with certainty in his voice.
Dakolo remained quiet for a while, someone who had had physical contact with the person they were trying to identify just disconfirmed that the she wasnt the same with Aisha Bello while he and Ken was just trying to connect them. After some seconds of thinking, he suddenly remembered that a lady on low cut was also one of the abductors of the Senate President, he remembered Fatima, the Senate President’s daughter telling him that the ladies who visited were on heavy make-up.
‘Did you notice if the female journalist was on makeup?’ he asked the journalist again.
‘No, I don’t know about that but it’s normal for ladies to use makeups.’ the journalist replied.
‘Hmm…’ Dakolo sighed, the journalist did not understand what kind of makeup he was talking about, they had to go back to Fatima for more questioning. ‘Well, thanks.’ he said smiling, offering the journalist an handshake. ‘Thank you for your cooperation with the police force, we’ll get back to you if we need your assistance again.’
‘You’re welcome,’ the journalist replied, taking his handshake. With that, Dakolo dismissed him. The junior police officer led the journalist out, leaving only Dakolo and Ken
Dakolo turned back to see Ken staring intently at the board. He joined him and stared at the same place.
‘It looks like I’ve seen someone like this recently,’ Ken said, referring to Daniel’s picture, the supposed boyfriend of Aisha Bello.
‘I can’t really place it but I’ve seen someone like this recently.’
…to be continued
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