THE ANGEL AND THE FUGITIVE – CHAPTER SIXTEEN PART B
© Reginald Obetta
Evelyn opened the the door of her apartment, revealing the darkness in it. Tafa had told her to take the keys with her, made the house darkened to appear like no one was inside. Tafa was asleep when she cracked open the door knob and came in. The clicking sound it made while closing awoke him from the couch.
“Sorry for waking you up”, she apologized.
“No, it’s okay. I was just taking nap, waiting for you to get back”. Tafa was fully awake now, cleared his eyes when Evelyn switched on the lights and kissed Tafa on the lips.
“How did it go with your parents?” , he asked.
“Very bad. They couldn’t stomach the mention of your name, let alone, your position in my life”
“What? You told them about me. I thought we discussed this”
“I can’t lie to my parents, not after what they have gone through. I just couldn’t”
“You mean the chaos I caused them. What is my position in your life?”
“Listen, I know it’s complicated but you mean something to me in every aspect. I love, you love me, that’s what matters. I have never loved someone this much before “
“It’s comprehendible for your parents to think of me like that anyways. Am nobody to hang around with you and have never been one”
“No, you are somebody” , she sat closer to him on the couch, took his hands in hers.
“Don’t ever let that creep into your mindset. You are somebody destined for greater things, only that sometimes, it doesn’t come as quickly as one would expect”
“I have something to tell you that I have never told you of. You remember when you asked me why I couldn’t release you and I said, it wasn’t in my power to do so”
“Yes, I remember. I assumed there was a superior power ahead of you that you answer to “
“Yes, it’s Alhaji Saheed Mohammed. He sponsored us. Everything we did, the bombings wasn’t our will but his. He made us believe what we were doing was the right thing”
“Wait, do you say Alhaji Saheed Mohammed?”
“Yes, do you know him or have heard of the name before”
“Yes, I know him. He was an ex-minister of Ministry of Iron Extraction Industry under the past administration”
“Iron Extraction Industry, that’s where my father once worked before getting sacked. He never told us the reason but I remembered him telling my mother that the rot in government has gotten to the ministry and because he refused to be an accomplice, and so, was sacked. I overheard everything”
“He was convicted of corruption. My father was investigating him when he was FCCU chairman but got him sentenced when he became president. The court found him guilty of fifteen count charge”
“How didn’t I figure it out before? It never crossed my mind “, he stood and paced about, holding his forehead with his hand. It was getting clear to him, Alhaji Saheed’s imprisonment was as a result of Evelyn’s father’s evidence and that’s why he used him and others to achieve his selfish personal vendetta, unleash a punishment upon him, frustrate him out of office to prevent him from being re-elected. He was in prison for the first three years and that’s why he started to exert his revenge so late. became more obvious why his father was sacked, he refused to yield in his embezzlement plans. Tafa knew his father as a strict and honest man, far from engaging himself in something dishonest. The reason his father left the ministry was because of a corrupt man like Alhaji Saheed. That’s one of the reasons why he wanted to kill Tafa, to prevent him from finding the truth but he knew there was more to it than meets the eye. Evelyn too was in ponder, she understood why the security crisis all of a sudden sprouted from one region to the other and then, all over the country. His father’s enemy had been plotting to render him incapacitated to her father’s ignorance. Her kidnap was intended to cause anarchy and make her father miserable and cause his followers to mistrust him. When Tafa had stopped thinking and asked Evelyn what was wrong, she told him everything she had been ruminating. Tafa again sat close to her.
“Can you help me get all the files about him the others charged for corruption? There must be a missing link. I know it’s too much to ask for but I need to be sure who else is a pollutant in this country. It just couldn’t be only him who is your father’s enemy, trying to see his downfall “
“I know that but I can’t help you even if it’s in my heart to”
“Why? Your father was FCCU chairman. He had files on all of them, every politician he suspected of corruption was under his radar. “
“He hates you so much for leaving everything he has built in rack and ruins, you know that. You almost ruined him, his ambition and government he still believes in that. He wouldn’t forgive me that easily if he saw me looking at his files without his permission.”
“You can help me correct all the wrongs I have done, re-write this tragic story. I want to make it right in my own way and I need you because you are the only one I could trust this with, I need you more than ever”
“Okay I will help you. I have no choice even if I wanted to say no. I will break into his office tomorrow”
“Thank you. I have one more thing to say, my uncle broke me out of prison. He is of a high rank in the military and under investigation by your father”
“What? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“Honesty, I have no answer to that but I just told you. Am completely honest with you, I promise. You can do something you stop your father from investigating him. If he is found, you know the consequences”
She kissed him good night and went to sleep surprisingly, leaving without saying a word.
Next morning, her father was out as he disclosed to her the day before, and his wife accompanied him too. Surprisingly, most of his convoy was still in the compound, so Evelyn thought he hadn’t gone very far. She questioned some soldiers and policemen but they replied in the negative. Her father didn’t disclose where he was going with her mother. She typed in the pass code on the door leading to the office and went in. The office comprised of six shelves, four wooden chair, a brown leather upholstery and a rectangular table at the center of the chairs and beside the upholstery. The books and files were arranged in a decimal system on all of them, four shelves comprised of books and the other two comprised of files and documents so Ajuwa Williams office was more of an immense personal library and an office combined. Evelyn immediately proceeded to the other two shelves, going from one file to the other. In her obsession of finding them quickly before her parents got back, and her attention, focused on the files, ignorant of what was happening, her father came in and bumped into her sitting on his chair and scrutinizing the files on the table.
“I can see my virtuous daughter has become a thief, sneaked in and sent by her new terrorist of a boyfriend to steal information from her own father “
“Oh, dad am not stealing. I thought you would be out for a long time”, she was caught off guard.
“No, I am not going now. I went to drop your mother in the clinic for a checkup and I came back here to get the medical files am supposed to take with me initially. Explain to me what you are doing in my office my dear if am mistaken you are not stealing. Are you arranging my already arranged files or what? Common, spring up excuses”
“If I asked you, you wouldn’t have listened to me, let alone grant my request because of how we ended up yesterday I visited”
“And the only way to avoid me or make it up was sneaking into my office and sourcing out information for who? Your boyfriend”
“Dad, please , give me a break. You are angry and possessed with rage for him and I get that, but he wants to help clean this up. It was your enemy or perhaps, enemies that has turned your dispensation into a mess and ridicule. So help me to help him solve this”
“Who are they? Of course, I know it’s my enemies that have done this”
“That’s why I came here. He told me to get some files on some people and the person he was working for”
“Who? I ask again”
“Alhaji Saheed Mohammed. You were once on his tail before he was convicted of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison”
“Three years, thanks to his excellent lawyer. He could have gotten more than thrice the number. Alhaji Saheed hasn’t set his foot in this country ever since his release. No one is yet to see him”
“That’s what he wants everybody to believe. He has been below the radar and didn’t want anybody suspecting him if anything but I tell you, he has been the architect of your government’s collapse. He is financing the sect and so if my Bin-Ahmed you are after was no more, there would still be another because of Alhaji Saheed”
“It’s not possible”
“It is am afraid and not a fabrication. My Bin-Ahmed is not the problem but Alhaji Saheed. I need all the files on him and every member of his clique that was convicted. We need to be sure who he was and is. Know if the person convicted and the same person instigating the crime are of one entity”
At that instant, the news was seen about a bomb blast the rocked Recrick supermarket store. The news caught their attention and Ajuwa Williams shook his head in displeasure. These men had continued what they thought was receding. Her daughter was correct, there would always be another Bin-Ahmed. He switched off the television, went to a section of the shelve and brought some files and handed them over to her.
“Everything you need concerning all of them, those in his clique and those suspected are here. I made copies of all of them”
Evelyn took them and thanked his father and was about to leave when she was called back.
“Make sure he finds something useful and you both should be careful”, he advised.
“Dad, I want all investigations concerning his escape from prison be dropped please,”
“I am fulfilling my duty which I can’t abstain from to satisfy your request. I just need to know whoever that planned for Bin-Ahmed’s escape”
“I assure you, whoever planned for his escape isn’t against you. He will tell you when the time comes. For the record, he is Tafa and not Bin-Ahmed “, she left finally.
Tafa sat on the couch, waiting for Evelyn when he saw the news dominate the headlines. He knew the continuation was to put up a plan for his capture. He knew how they all operated and wasn’t guessing. Thinking of everything made him grew more furious at Alhaji Saheed. He described him as a manipulation of thoughts and destiny. The connection of his late dad to him made him want to end his life at that moment but he knew nothing of him, except his voice and name. Evelyn unlocked the door and came in with her heavy bag and locked the door behind.
“Did you get it? “
“Yes, I did. It wasn’t easy getting them. My father found out by the way but he gave me the files himself and told us to be careful. He seems to like the idea”
“Thank you once again sweetie “, Evelyn handed over the files to him and they began digging into them one after the other.
It was approaching night, Tafa and Evelyn were still in the case. Only at some occasions, will Evelyn go to the kitchen and bring some refreshments. So far, they have been able to get the names of everybody convicted of corruption and noticed all of them have been released except one who still had two years and six months to go. The rest have never gone public since their releases. However, one of the numerous documents interested him one of evidences filed by the prosecutor in court. It contained how these men defrauded some people of their money with a false investment company they set up and the numerous names that were victims of their nefarious activities. Tafa scrutinized the names and found the names if his father, his photograph by the side. Another was how most of these men were denied their entitlement in their various ministry of work and again, his father’s name was bold enough to be seen. He closed all the documents, rested his back against the couch. His father not only lost his job, but was also defrauded by the same man and his team. That was an information he couldn’t take in. Evelyn comforted him all the way while he continued to ponder and then, little tears began flowing down his cheeks, not because of he was weak but because he was devoured by hatred and quest to kill them in the worst possible way, break all the bad eggs in the country.
“Am sorry for what happened to your father “
“You don’t need to be. Their blood will wash away their sins “
“What do you intend to do? “
“Vengeance. That is how is going to be done, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth “
“No. We have evidence against him at least. You are the real Bin-Ahmed and that’s a prove and you will testify against him in court and his clique will be nabbed “
“Who cares about the law? Your father was trying to uphold it and then, it ended up been his own grave. Saw himself in a messy water that is up to his throat, about to drown him. The law cannot efficiently eradicate these men because one way or the other, they would find the most expensive lawyers to alleviate them and provide an escape route for them and when they are out, they continue to cause tantrum clandestinely. Eliminating them is the best way, killing all of them would leave them out of earth and end their dynasty “
“Am not going to allow you. More bloods will be in your hands. Aren’t you tired of killing men? “
“Those would be the blood of guilty ones, not the innocent ones and my soul wouldn’t be at peace till they are all gone “
“God exerts the ultimate vengeance and not you. You have proof Tafa, please don’t result in any shedding of more blood. “
“Yes, God exerts the ultimate revenge but I will exert mine before he exerts his”, he held Evelyn’s hands in hers.
“I just have to do this. It’s my call and a new mission”
“I don’t want to lose you Tafa, finding someone to love isn’t easy and when I found love in you, I was at peace. I love you and don’t want to lose that love”
“You will not lose me. I promise”, he assured.
Evelyn gave up the argument. Nothing was going to change his mind and not even her pleas. Tafa felt guilty for killing innocent souls for a corrupt man that deserved death, a man that played his intelligence for his gain and he felt, it was in his power to make everything right. That, he didn’t sleep, he was contemplating on what to do next. The first thing he thought of was apologizing to Evelyn’s parents and return all the documents to him. After he made the decision, he went to bed.