This Update Might be filled with errors but I’m in school now and can’t proofread till night time.
® 18 + SNVL
© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
‘Boss, Boss,’ Cole called twice to get Tarasha’s attention where they sat in the computer room.
Her eyes turned to him but she didn’t look startled even though she had previously been staring like someone who was lost in deep thoughts.
She raised her eyebrows at him when he stopped talking after calling her attention.
‘So, what are we going to do? The stature of the guy in those footages is exactly the journalist’s stature, we’re sure he’s the one who was with the Chief before the abduction, we also saw someone with Rex’s stature.’
‘I’m trying to be as careful as possible, it would be foolish for us to fall into a trap at this stage. It could be the end of the road for us,’ Tarasha replied.
Cole sighed and rested his back. They remained in silence for almost five minutes.
‘Okay, we would reply his message while we start the move to Lagos. I’m trying to be sure he’s not working for the Vice President too.’
‘So, what do we send back to him in reply and how do we move to Lagos?’
‘You should book the next available flight for all of us while I handle the message,’ she said to him and turned back immediately to the computer to begin work.
IGBEDE, LAGOS STATE.
Chief Nonso shivered in the room as cold breeze blew in through the opened window. He opened his eyes and looked around. He was still on the same chair with his hands and legs fastened with ropes and his mouth covered with a tape. He stared at the window for a while, trying to guess what time of the day it was. It was turning bright already but the sun wasn’t out yet.
Another gentle wind blew in again and after it followed the sound of water droplets on the ground. Chief Nonso was now beginning to perceive the smell of rain. Soon the winds began to rush in more violently as a sign of a coming heavy rain. It continued for some minutes before Stainless walked into the room and went straight to the window to close it. He walked out back without saying anything to the Chief. Just as he closed the door with a loud bang, the rains began to pour down heavily
Twenty minutes later, Stainless returned into the room with another man. The lights in the room were turned on and the dark place became very bright. Rex dragged a chair to the front of the man and sat down.
‘Good morning Chief,’ he greeted in a cool voice.
Chief Nonso stared at him without blinking. He recognized Rex as the man who ordered him into the car the day before.
‘I see you have no time for unnecessary formalities, so I’d go straight to business.’ Rex said and adjusted his seating position. ‘We have a deal for you, it’s either you agree and go free or disagree and pay heavily for it.’ Rex paused to get a response from the man but the Chief remained mute. Rex got up from his seat and placed his feet on a little space on the man’s seat, he rested his arms on the knee of the leg placed on the seat and leaned forward o look into the man’s eyes. ‘Well, we want you to deliver Samantha Osman to us, how easy would it be for you to do that?’ Rex paused again to get a response from the man but still got none, he was getting angry already but tried his best to maintain his calmness.
He placed his feet back to the ground and took in a very deep breath. He walked some steps away from the man to the left side of the room and faced the wall. ‘I want you to realize that you do not only stake your own life but that of your wife and children and even your extended family’s life.’
Chief Nonso was shaken a bit by the threat but he tried to hold himself in. He remembered what was done to Chief Onwuli, how the man was killed and his whole family was wiped out after him. He couldn’t imagine the same happening to him but he knew that the same person who ordered Chief Onwuli’s death was still as wicked as ever and would not mind wiping out his family just like his abductor threatened.
‘Who are you and who sent you all these?’ Chief Nonso finally spoke out.
Rex turned back and faced him. ‘I’m out to stop Samantha Osman, bring Samantha Osman to me and I would let you and your family be.’
Chief Nonso gasped out. He didn’t know whether to believe his abductor’s words or not.
‘What are you considering? If I would keep to my words?’ Rex asked, raising his upper lips in scorn. ‘You have no choice, no one knows you’re here and no one can save you.’
‘I have to be go**** sure that you will fulfill your part of the bargain before I agree,’ Chief Nonso slammed angrily.
‘Calm down Mister, I could have chosen to force out the location from you but I chose to give you a choice.’ Rex said as he walked back to his seat and sat down.
Chief Nonso pondered on the matter for a while and concluded in his heart that it was better to give in than risk the lives of his family members.
He looked up and stared at Rex’s face. ‘But the truth is I do not know where she is right now, I don’t even have an idea.’
‘But you can help us bring her to a location we want,’ Rex said with an evil smile.
Rex turned back and flashed a quick look at Stainless. Stainless moved closer at once and took out two phones, he handed them to Rex and stepped back.
‘In which of them do you have Samantha Osman’s number stored?’
Chief Nonso pointed to his own phone, the second one was the female journalist’s phone which he had picked from the floor in his house.
‘Our first task for you is to call her and tell her to deny all her allegations against the Vice President,’ Rex said and got up to his feet to help the man take off the ropes fastening him to the chair. It took Rex a minute to take off the rope binding the man’s hands off but he still left the ones binding the legs. He handed the phone to the man and returned to his seat. He turned to Stainless and made a signal, Stainless understood and quickly walked to stay behind the man to monitor the call.
‘I’m not sure if I would be able to reach her,’ Chief Nonso said, still waiting for the phone which he had just powered on to finish loading.
Rex raised his eyebrows, demanding for reasons the man was speaking of possible inability to reach Samantha.
‘She has only called me twice on this number, but it never connects when I try to reach her.’ The Chief explained.
‘Is that the only phone number she uses?’
‘That’s the only one I have.’
Chief Nonso placed the phone on loud speakers for the two of them to listen. His call was directed to voice mail.
‘Drop a voice mail if her number wouldn’t connect and send a text message after the voice mail, she would get one of the both,’ Rex said.
AJANGBADI, LAGOS STATE.
‘Palace Hotel!’ Dave shouted out loud, calling unto a passing cab. The cab which speed had been slowed for him sped off immediately the driver heard the location. It only meant one thing, the driver was going to the location or anywhere close by it.
Dave heaved a sigh and shook his head. He was totally drenched already with the rain water and it was still pouring down on him but he refused to leave the road side and join Stephanie where she was hiding under the balcony roof of a closed shop. Stephanie had asked that they waited until the rain intensify reduced but Dave wasn’t willing to wait, he needed to get to the hotel as quick as he could so that he could check his mail for Samantha Osman’s response and also check the flight bookings of Abuja to Lagos to see if he would notice her movement. He knew it was possible for her not to be coming from Abuja, so he had already made plans on how to get an overview of those who lands in a flight to Lagos that day from any state.
Fifteen minutes later, a cab going to his destination finally stopped by. He beckoned on Stephanie as he opened the front door of the cab and entered, Stephanie quickly walked into the rain from her hiding place and entered into the car. They got to the hotel not too after and were lodged into two separate rooms close to each other like the first. Both of them settled in their individual rooms and began to do their different works.
It took some few minutes for Dave to set up his laptop. The first notification he received after setting up the laptop was the email reply he was expecting. He eagerly opened it, thinking that she had accepted his offer but he was disappointed with the reply he saw.
‘Mr. Dave James,
I kidnapped the only Chief Nonso Abel yesterday as the news reports, which other Chief’s location are you reporting to me?’
Dave paused for some minutes to think. He couldn’t understand what game she was trying to play. After a while he realized that she must be doubting the location he sent to her and his claim to know how the man was kidnapped. He clicked on the compose tool and began to type in a reply to her.
I know you didn’t kidnap the Chief, and I know how that the known signature is not yours. The location I provided you is real and I hope that you do act before it’s too late.’
He proofread the message after typing before he sent. He stared at the screen for a while after the message was sent, expecting an instant reply from her but he realized he wasn’t chatting and that it could take her several hours to see the message.
He felt a growling sound in his stomach and he knew that it was his body crying to get some food. He got up from his seat and proceeded to the bed to get his phone. He wanted to call Stephanie and ask what she wanted to take for breakfast.
A call came in just as he was about to dial Stephanie’s number.
‘Hey! Agent Dan, Morning.’ He saluted his colleague.
‘Morning sir,’ the caller replied in the same tone as his. ‘How are you doing this morning?’
‘I’m fine, how about you?’
‘I’m fine, and what about your girlfriend, is she better now?’
‘Yes, she is even though she’s yet to regain her memory but the doctor says its only temporal.’
‘That’s sad, but I pray she gets perfect soon.’
‘Alright bro, hope you remember you are to resume work tomorrow,’ Dan said.
‘Oh! Yea… I do,’ Dave replied, sounding not too happy to be remembered. ‘I’ll see you at work tomorrow.’
‘Okay, safe trip.’
Dave heaved a sigh after the call ended. He wasn’t planning to return to Abuja before the next day and there was no way he would resume work. His job was at stake and he knew it. The only way he could get permission to stay more was if he reported to the office that he got a good lead or headway on the present case and he had to remain there to investigate further. If the chairman accepts his lead or headway as good enough, he would be permitted to stay for as long as it takes to solve the case but would have to send reports every forty eight hours to the office and might also be sent people to work with him. His major fear was that the person or persons sent to him would be like Dan who would have been compromised with money.
A message ringtone sounded on his laptop before he could think of dialing Stephanie’s number again. He dropped the phone and quickly walked back to the laptop, he had gotten a reply from Samantha Osman.
Meet by five am tomorrow before at Newton’s College in Okokomaiko.’
A worried look appeared on Dave’s face after reading the new message. It was obvious Samantha Osman still did not believe him. He took some minutes to think of what to do and decided to send her another message.
‘Tomorrow might be late, the man’s life is in danger.’ he typed and sent. He placed his elbows on he table, one on each side and buried his face in his palms. A reply came to his message in less than a minute.
‘In whose custody is the man?’
He began to type his own reply immediately. ‘He was kidnapped by the same man who killed Senator Garuba Ahmed and Mr Eze Okafor.’ he paused for a minute to read through again before clicking on send.
‘I killed both men, what are you talking about?’ her reply came seconds after. The conversation was becoming more like an instant messenger chat.
‘I believe you didn’t kill them, the real person who killed them just kidnapped Chief Nonso.’
‘Mr. Dave James, see you at Newton’s College tomorrow morning.’
‘I insist that tomorrow morning might be too late,’ Dave typed in and sent.
He waited to get a response like the previous ones but stayed for ten minutes without getting any. He placed his forehead on the table beside the laptop and was about sleeping off when he heard a knock at the door.
‘Come in,’ he said and turned towards the door, thinking that it was a room service agent.
The door opened slowly and Stephanie walked in. She closed the door and stopped just behind it.
‘You were not answering your calls,’ she said and began to walk towards him slowly.
‘Oh! You called him,’ Dave asked with his eyebrows raised. He got up from his seat and got up to look for his phone. He discovered that he had tossed it under the pillow and that had muffled the sound of the ringtone. He had also gotten two missed calls from Lizzy.
‘Aren’t you going to get something to eat this morning?’
‘I would of course, I already thought about coming to ask what you would like to take but I’ve been waiting to receive the reply from Samantha Osman.’ Dave answered as he walked back to the seat.
Stephanie sat at the edge of the bed and crossed her feet. ‘Is it possible that she didn’t receive the message yesterday?’
‘She did, I’ve gotten a reply to yesterday’s message already and I’ve exchanged a couple of messages with her during the last thirty minutes.’
‘So what did she say?’
Dave remained quiet for a while. He refreshed the email application to see if it was network delaying the entrance of her reply.
‘She wants to meet me tomorrow morning in a school at Okoko,’ Dave replied.
‘Oh!’ Stephanie’s eyes turned bright. ‘Would we go together?’
Dave glanced at her briefly and then looked at the computer screen again to check if any message had entered.
‘Are we going together?’ Stephanie asked again.
‘Steph, I’m not sure if I would go yet.’
‘You won’t go?’ Stephanie asked in a disappointed tone.
‘Yes, I won’t. It’s dangerous, I don’t know what she could have in plans for me.’
‘But we’re trying to help her by telling her how to help the Chief.’
‘She doesn’t know that yet and even if she does, she still remains a criminal and a very dangerous one at that.’
‘So what do we do?’
‘I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it.’
‘The bags are ready Boss,’ Cole reported to Tarasha in the computer room. He was dressed in a shiny white Hausa attire and a cap to fit. He had new beards on is chin to further aid his disguise.
Tarasha was also dressed like a Hausa woman and had inscribed some marks on her face. She was working on the laptop in front of her. A small cubic box scanner was by the side and some books and documents by the side. The documents includes the documents given to her by Chief Gab, some of those given to her by Senator Garuba Ahmed and those she got from her several investigations.
‘The flight is in an hour time,’ she said to Cole. ‘I still have one more book to scan,’ she added as she took out her mother’s diary from the arranged books. She took a look at the diary and tried to estimate the number of pages it had in her mind. She typed in 100 as a command using the scanning machine buttons and opened the box. She flipped open the first page of the diary and place the book into the box.
‘Is Dr Ekwueme also ready?’ Tarasha asked Cole.
‘Yes,’ Cole replied.
They had all planned to travel as one family disguised as an Hausa family with Dr Ekwueme acting as the father. Their flight was scheduled for 11AM.
Tarasha who had not taken more than two hours sleep had taken time to plan out their activities, that was after spending about an hour to study the map and pictures of the location which was sent to the email address by the journalist.
‘This is the last on the scan queue,’ she said to Cole who was staring at the computer screen. She looked at the progress level of the scan and saw that it remained five minutes for the scan to be completed.
The door to the room opened and Henry walked in and proceeded to Tarasha. He was also dressed in the Hausa native attire and also had beards attached to his chin.
‘Tara, the Vice President would be travelling to Lagos today.’ Henry said as he approached the both of them.
She looked up quickly and kept her gaze on his face. ‘When is he leaving?’
‘Three pm, he’s going on the Presidential Private Jet.’
‘What about the Inspector General?’ Tara asked.
‘I don’t have any update about him yet, he’s still in his house.’
Tara paused to think for a few minutes. By the time she was done, the diary had been completely scanned into the computer system. She plugged her USB cable to the port and connected it to her phone. Then she converted the scanned diary document into a PDF file before sending it into the phone’s memory card.
‘We’d have to change our plans, we don’t need to check that location anymore, we’d wait for the Vice President’s arrival into Lagos instead and we’d track him and take him at the right opportunity.’
‘We want to kidnap the Vice President?’
‘Yes, that’s the best way to go.’ Tara replied him boldly.
‘But that’s like attempting suicide,’ Henry said shakily. He glanced at Cole’s face and then looked back at Tara. It was obvious he was terribly afraid.
‘We got to move now,’ Tara said and rose up quickly from the seat. She dragged the books and files in a big bag she picked from under the table and quickly zipped the bag. She handed the bag to Cole and sat back to shut down the computer system.
‘Dave, you haven’t answered my question,’ Steph said, looking at his face intently. She was seated at the right hand side of the car while Dave was driving. They were both dressed in black tops and face caps. Stephanie had a camera hung around her neck and a dark goggles on. She had put on everything only based on Dave’s instructions but without understanding why she did. She had asked him but he promised to answer her questions while they were on the way.
‘Which of the questions?’ Dave glanced at her.
‘I asked you why we are dressed this way and where we are going to,’ she replied.
‘We’re putting on black tops because we represent the same media house and we’re going to welcome someone at the airport,’ Dave replied.
‘Yes, the Vice President would be arriving by three o’clock.’
‘And why does he need us to welcome him? What would welcoming him do to us?’ she asked in an angry tone. She was not too happy that she would be taking pictures of the Vice President as Dave made it seem like.
‘He’s coming to Lagos to check the new General Hospital on behalf President.’
‘And what is our business with that?’
Dave smiled at her. ‘It is the role of journalists to cover every news they can.’
She shook her head sadly and heaved a sigh.
‘Don’t worry Steph, it’s not like you think.’ Dave reassured with a smile.
‘Then it’s what?’ Stephanie frowned. ‘I don’t understand all this and I even thought the launch of the hospital was supposed to be tomorrow.’
‘Yes, it is by eleven a.m. tomorrow but the Vice President chose to come here tonight instead of taking the morning flight tomorrow.’
‘Then why are we going there?’
Dave glanced at her. The smile on his face disappeared, he had expected her to understand at that point but he remembered that she wasn’t an investigator like him and wasn’t trained to think like him.
‘Steph, the Vice President’s decision to arrive here today means he has something to do here in the little hours he would spend before 11am tomorrow and what he likely wants to do is check Chief Nonso who he had ordered to be kidnapped.’
‘Oh!’ Stephanie exclaimed and let out a breath. She rested her back on the seat and closed her eyes. She realized that Dave was on the right path.
Lagos international Airport
‘He’s coming out of the plane already,’ Dave said to Stephanie was stayed close to the door of the room.
Dave was at the window side, with his hands holding a device at the front of his eyes as he viewed the landing ground from his position.
‘What do we do next?’ Stephanie asked as she proceeded towards him.
‘I’ll give the instructions as we go,’ Dave replied. He stepped away from the window and tried to fold the sighting device he just used but Stphanie stopped him.
‘Can I view with this please?’ she asked, pointing to the device.
‘It’s okay,’ Dave answered and gave her the device. He made way for her to the stay at window side. ‘Just thirty seconds please.’
‘Okay,’ Stephanie replied and placed the device in front of her eyes. She continued to move the direction until she located the Vice President and his escorts where the plane was. She tried to count the number of men on black suits beside the president but couldn’t because of the time. She was about to take the device off her eyes when she saw something that caught her attention. She looked again and met a very big surprise.
A lady was standing beside the Vice President and smiling as she greeted those who came to welcome the man. It was Madam Henrietta.