Man In Black Episode 15


Detective Tobi Akano was in Chief Rikau’s office, being thoroughly lambasted. His dislike for the man increased. Why could he not go into the field and experience the thrill of chasing down criminals? No, but he preferred office work. Regardless of his feelings, however, for the meantime, Tobi kept his mouth shut.

“I don’t understand you, Tobi. Just one homicide happens, just one! But it has been a week now, and you have not been able to bring the culprit to justice. When I asked you how far you had gone, you said ‘you were going to get right into it with your team, sir’, he said, mimicking him in a really derogatory manner. Tobi clenched his teeth, just so he wouldn’t be tempted to say anything.

“I wonder if we are paying you just to investigate. We pay you to get results!” he said, banging his palm on his table. “People die everyday, Tobi, you should know that by now. If we spend weeks solving only one murder, how can we hope to get to the rest? How can LIPD Homicide show that we are not mainland police that don’t view murder cases as more than just getting dead bodies off the road?

“We have made a name for ourselves here, and I will not let anybody make carricature of it.”

Tobi just couldn’t keep quiet again. “Sir, we have delved into this case and gotten most of the facts we can hope to get. This killer shot somebody from not just outside her bedroom window but from outside her house. How are we supposed to find traces of somebody who— ” 

“What nonsense!” Chief Rikau shouted, this time banging both of his palms on the table and cutting off Tobi’s rant. “You are asking me to tell you how to do your job? Why can’t you just bring a pen and paper, let me dictate to you? I can’t believe this. And you are the head of our Homicide division. If you don’t even know what you’re doing, why are we even waiting for results from you people? Get out of my office. And Allah help you if you don’t get me something concrete by the end of today. Get out!”

Tobi would have stood, but the Chief had made him endure another dressing-down without even the courtesy of a chair, so he just turned around and walked out, anger simmering inside of him at being spoken to like an ordinary street policeman, but that anger stayed inside.

What he had said was incredibly stupid, true, but he couldn’t have helped it. The bullet analysis that Kunle had shown him said that the bullet had come from an M21 rifle. Tobi had never heard of such a weapon before and didn’t know what it was supposed to mean, but the report said that the weapon was a “sniper rifle”, the kind of weapon Kunle’s sniper would use.

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Everybody were looking to him to solve the case just like every other one Homicide took on, but the truth was that this particular one wasn’t like any other one he had handled.

What on earth was a sniper, for God’s sake? An animal?

The fact that nobody cared about the kind of limitations they faced had frustrated him to no end. It had been the primary reason for his rather senseless outburst in the Chief’s office. 

Of course they had pursued all the available leads they had. His junior detectives had spoken to Mrs Durojaiye’s employees at her boutique, asked them whether they knew of any enemies she had, anyone at all that would want her dead. The answer they had brought back to him was that, as far as the employees knew, she had none in the world. They had no idea why anybody would want to kill someone as nice as she was.

Not even her son had yielded anything. Festus Durojaiye had come back as soon as he heard of his mother’s death, just two days after he left for the United States. Tobi had spoken to him, asked him the same frank question he had asked the housekeeper, Matilda: had he connived to have his mother killed? All he had to do was give Tobi the names and identities of the people he had hired, and they could negotiate on his sentence once the matter got to court. 

The son had been as horrified as the housekeeper had been that he could actually be suspected of having a hand in his mother’s death, but he had still been more angry than horrified, and had insulted the police for trying to pin her death on him because they couldn’t find who had actually killed her.

Regardless of all of that, however, Tobi had still been having him followed from the moment he left the department, but aside from getting a new place to stay and parking outside his mother’s house to cry into the steering wheel of his car, Festus Durojaiye hadn’t yet done anything that struck Tobi as what a heartless murderer would do.

Of course, the crying could just have been theatrics. Maybe he knew he was being followed and was just trying to put on a convincing show for the policemen tailing him. But even that was no more than conjecture at this point.

And as for the woman’s former husband, his people had come back to him with a rather disappointing discovery: the man had stroke. And not just partial, stroke, either. Full stroke. They couldn’t talk to him, and unless the man could somehow have ordered his former wife’s death without talking or moving any part of his paralyzed body, he definitely wasn’t a suspect.