A black mercedez benz 190E pulled up in front of Clement’s residence. Two men dressed in tux suits alighted and walked towards the gate. One of them knocked on the gate.
“Yes? Who is that?” A voice asked from within. The gate was opened by a young guy who looked Igbo with a tired look.
“How may I help you?” He asked.
“Is this Inspector Clement’s residence?” One of the two men asked.
“Yes, and who are you?” Akpan who still had bandage on his body asked.
“We came all the way from the Federal security council. We need to see him now.”
“He is not home.”
“What about his wife?”
“They went together. They’ll be back by friday, next week.” Akpan replied.
“In case they return next week, please give us a call.” One of the men said handling a complimentary card to him with the inscription ‘FEDERAL SECURITY COUNCIL GARKI ABUJA.’ Akpan looked intently at the card in his hand as if to confirm its credibility.
“We’ll like to take our leave now.” They announced.
“Okay.” Akpan said holding the gate,ready to shut it.
“thank you for your time.” The two men walked out and hopped into their car.
“What do you think?” The man on the passenger seat asked his colleague who was about inserting the key into the ignition hole.
“Its a nice start. At least we just confirmed where he lived. We’ll keep twenty four hours watch on them. They’ll be back by friday, then we strike.” The man behind the wheel explained. He swung the car into action and drove off. Akpan locked the gate.
“Federal security council. I have never heard of that before. Where’s my phone?” He muttered as he walked into his house.
Clement was seated in his office with Mike and Ngozi opposite him.
“How do you suggest we handle this case?” Clement asked.
“I think this is a very delicate and tricky case. Viktor is the only lead we have got, but we shouldn’t loose our guard. Presently, the Khal corp had no idea of Viktor’s whereabout which I believe is a plus for us. We should make haste and get the needed informations from him before the corp know, because the moment they know he is in cutody, they’ll try to kill him.”
“There is no mole. They won’t know, at least for now.” Clement assured.
“Another thing is that, I believe Ayo Okorie has something to do with the insurgence, and the politicians too. No one in government is talking about it. They are all concerned with their ambition of selfishness. The politicians are the sponsors.” Mike continued.
“Mike! How sure are you?”
“You’ll see. Moreso, Ngozi, what did you get from Mr Ayo’s residence?” Mike asked.
“Nothing. Sylvester kept everything to himself.” Ngozi spoke for the first time.
“I guess that was why you made him come back with a bike?”
“Revenge.” She said still maintaining a straight face. Clement and Mike bursted into laughter. There was a sharp knock on the door.
“Come in.” Mike said. The door knob turned and a young constable walked into the office.
“Your attention is needed immediately sir.” The young officer said.
“My attention?” Clement asked.
“Yes sir. The commissioner want to see the three of you.” Mike shook his head at the boy’s stupidity. At twenty one, he still doesn’t know how to deliver multi- recipient messages or instructions.
Clement switched off his laptop and tidied up his office while Mike left with the boy. Ngozi waited behind. He raised up his head to see the same bothered look on Ngozi’s face just like she has been wearing it since she resumed.
“Ngozi, is anything the matter?” He asked. She contemplated for a while before she concluded that Clement could be trusted.
“We’ll talk about it later.”
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Clement was trying to contain his anger as the police chief spoke, and glancing at Sylvester on his seat, the smirk and the look on his face further infuriated him.
“But excuse me sir, its totally unheared of. Sylvester can’t take charge of things, it will only change the plans that we already have. Even before he arrived, we are making headways with our tactics, his arrival boosted our morale and speed up our tactical depth, now that you want him to be in charge, we’ll only have the tactics, but lack in the aspect of man power.” Mike explained the the Commissioner of police and the supritendent of police.
“Sergeant Mike, this decision was made for the good of the country and the police force.” The SP said.
“A decision made without Clement is null and void.” Mike continued.
“Clement is good in tactical aspect, he is good when it comes to the combative aspect which is the most integral part of this job. Am sorry, Sylvester is good tactically because that’s what they do in the FBI. So how come you want to relieve Clement of his duties?”
“No one is relieving anybody of his duties. He’ll still be on the team. Only the leadership will change, Sylvester will be in charge.” The SP continued.
“Everyone here is contented with Clement’s performance and personality off and on the field. You can’t bring someone in and expect us to take him.” Clement looked at Ngozi who couldn’t say a thing, maybe because she was surprised, short of words or wasn’t allowed to speak in front of the bosses. Then he looked at Mike who defended him wonderfully. He made no mistake, he didn’t stutter, everything seemed perfect. As if he had done a series of reharsals.
“Unless someone wants terrorism to continue in this country, you won’t relieve Clement of his duties. If the corrupt politicians are paying you to do this…. Am sorry things won’t work.” He continued.
“Mike!” Clement cautioned. The Commissioner smiled at Mike immediately he stopped ranting.
“Sergeant Mike?” He called. Mike lifted his face to look at him. “Do the needful.” He said. Mike adjusted his shirt and bounced out of the office. Clement could see the smirk on Sylvester’s face.
“You, go and prepare the progress papers, the point where the investigations are. Get them all computed and brief Agent Sylvester.” The Commissioner said to Ngozi who nodded and walked out of the office. Clement was now faced with his three enemys, those who wanted to frustrate him out of his job.
“So Clement, I believe you understand the decision we just took. Sylvester is a prized asset, he wanted to leave but we don’t want him out yet. You know he made some progress in your absence. Give him all the support he needed and we want results.” The police commissioner said.
“I’ll try my best.” Clement replied smiling.
“Okay, you can go.” The commissioner dismissed. Clement at once turned and walked towards the door. “And don’t forget to vacate your office.” The supritendent added. Clement gave one last look, then he walked out.
“Don’t tell me you are vacating this office.” Mike said angrily as Clement packed his belongings. Clement ignored him and kept packing his little belongings. His laptop and some case files.
“Ngozi, mouth this to no one. We are tackling Viktor’s issue. We’ll do it on our own, Sylvester should keep searching Mr Ayo’s residence. Lets hope he gets something out of it, then everything sums up in the end.” Clement said to Ngozi who collected some paper and held them.
“Clement, you should at least put up some resistance. I think you should call the state’s deputy governor or the minister for Defence. Let them know something is wrong.” Mike continued.
“Mike! Forget it…” Ngozi was saying when her phone beeped. She brought it out and on checking who the caller was, she hissed and rejected the call. Clement who knew she uses a different ringtone for her fiancee knew he was the one calling.
“Ngo, any problem?” He asked. Ngozi glanced at Mike then shook her head in the negative.
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Thirty-five minutes into the lecture, Darasimi walked into the hall. Her appearance didn’t take everybody by suprise, they all equally avoided her like plague.
“Good morning sir.” She greeted the lecturer who was looking at her totally surprised. Not everyone can do this, she was brave and courageous to come back to school.
“Check your time.” The professor who was popularly referred to as Time-keeper. He keeps up with change in time that he’ll correct you without glancing at the clock. He doesn’t use a wristwatch.
“Sorry sir, good afternoon.” She corrected herself.
“Have you been cleared?” The professor asked in a silent whisper. Darasimi wanted to reply but couldn’t say a word. She opened her mouth but no word came out. Hot tears trickled down her cheeks.
“Go get a seat.” The professor said patting her on the back. Darasimi walked to the front seat where Tolani was seated.
“Good afternoon.” She greeted sitting beside her. Tola opened her arms and enveloped her in a hug.
“What did the police say? Are you free to go?” Tola asked. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks as she replied.
“I have been freed.” Tola held her hand and squeezed her hand in hers.
“Don’t think about it anymore, thank God you are innocent.” Tola whispered.
The lecturer continued his business for the day being the last time he’ll be standing before them to teach. He gave them some hints concerning their fast approaching exams. At the end of the lecture, he signed out gracefully amidst applause and chants of his nicknames which they(the students) all said without fear. One after the other, the students all dispersed the lecture hall.
“Let me see the notes I have missed.” She said collecting Tolani’s note. Then a girl in their department who has continually won the most beautiful girl concecutively from her first year.
“Oh! Darasim, you are back. Aren’t you?” She said.
“Yes. I am back.”
“So, when are you going to court and prison?” She asked. Darasimi wanted to speak, but the fear of breaking down made her think twice as she tried to gather more courage in her voice.
“I know its your prayer that she gets a jail term because you think she is a muderer like your boyfriend who gives human life little or no value.” Tola said hotly. The girl was taken aback. Even though her boyfriend was a cultist, he was a silent one who wouldn’t be seen nor heard. He won’t move with the other members of the fraternity which has created a long time rivalry with Deoye’s fraternity.
“It remains to be seen how long you still have. I know you’ll be killed very soon.” she said to Tolani who immediately went pale, the moment she remembered the message she recieved at the start of the lecture.
“Darasimi, when are you getting her off the book?” The girl asked. Tolani packed her books and held Darasimi, they walked out of the hall while the girl was still ranting. Thereby, making a fool of herself as the few members of the class applauded Tola and Darsimi and laughed at the beautiful girl’s foolishness.
“Lets go to the library.” Darasimi suggested.
“No, I don’t want what happened in there to repeat itself.” Tola disagreed.
“So, what do you suggest?” She asked.
“Lets go to our room.” Tola said dragging her out of the crowd who were either passing side comments or throwing jibes at them.
Dolapo was already dressed when Tolani walked in with Darasimi.
“You are back?” She asked. She wanted to say
“No, I am not.” But she thought against it. Dolapo hugged Darasimi so tight that their shoulders threatened to snap off.
“Its too early to go for lectures na. You won’t be starting until two and professor Orimade won’t be in class until two thirty, so why are you rushing?” Tolani asked as she sat down on the bed.
“In my five years stay in this school, I never knew Orimade awards mark for punctuality. The class rep is always taking the names of the first ten arrivals and Orimade in turn give them marks for it. Something I have continually missed unknown to me. I have to get his free mark before I leave this school.” Dolapo explained.
“I think Dayo used to get the marks. She was always the first to get to Orimade’s classes.” Tola pointed out.
“Yeah. You know, once you guys are through with PRI by eleven, she moves to STAT immediately. Unknown to her, she was getting marks for that.” Dolapo explained.
Tola wanted to tell her about the message she recieved, but thought against it. Not while Darasimi was here, she still wasn’t conviced of her innocence. So she couldn’t be trusted.
“See you later girls.” Dolapo said and walked out of the room.
To be continued