Man In Black Episode 59


Chuks wasn’t even with the police, so he just decided to keep his mouth shut and let Kunle do the talking. Not that the talking seemed to be going the way the guy had expected. 

Kunle turned to the receptionist once more.

“I can get you Lagos Island Police Department’s Chief of Police on the line, if you would prefer he speak with you.”

The receptionist was becoming impatient. “I’ve told you there’s nothing I can do for you, sir. If you like call the Otunba, I will have to tender your request with the manager, so you can see him. Getting you those records you asked for might take another two weeks. . . ”

Chuks sensed movement behind him just as she trailed off. The receptionist looked like she couldn’t believe what she was seeing, with the way her eyes were wide. She looked from behind them to the both of them, and she opened her mouth to say something.

“They are with me, oui.” 

That French accent. Dé Crozon had entered.

Chuks looked back and there he was, looking from the receptionist to the whole lobby itself, with a red cigarette at the corner of his mouth. This man sabi do dramatic entry, he allowed.

The young couple were still at the counter, and no doubt they were tired of standing and waiting, but seeing Mr dé Crozon standing there made them wonder who exactly the other two were, and whether they were supposed to interrupt their discussion.

Kunle fixed the receptionist a look that said, Oya, what about now?

“You said you wanted. . . ”

“Video records from your CCTV cameras. You can do this for us, no?”

The receptionist typed a number on the telephone on the counter and raised the receiver to her ear.

“Ronald. Some men with the the police want access to our CCTV records. Yes. . . yes I know about that, but Clyde dé Crozon is outside here. In person. I’m serious. You can check, now, no be una dey monitor camera? Ehn, na him be that.” A long silence. “Okay, I’ll bring them now.”

There was another receptionist sitting beside her there behind the counter. 

“Let me just take these men to meet Ronald. I’ll not take long,” she said to her colleague and opened a door in the side of the counter. The couple, both of them this time, voiced complaints about the delay. “I’ll be back in a jiffy,” the receptionist said— with her practiced smile —and ignored the rest of their protest.

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The counter was near the right side of the hotel lobby, and to the left was a long corridor where the rooms lined both sides. They followed her into the corridor, stopping at the very first door on the right. The door had a plaque that read PERSONNEL ONLY in block letters. She opened it and they followed her inside. The room they entered had dim lighting, and the only real light came from monitors split into what had to be hundreds of screens no bigger than tablets, showing live feed from the hotel’s CCTV cameras. 

The flat-panels were clustered in groups, monitored by men in what looked like blue uniforms, though with the darkness inside here, it was hard to be sure.

“Ronald.” The receptionist looked around the room. A bulky man, definitely wearing a blue shirt, walked to meet them from deeper in the room. Chuks could tell right away from the way he looked at them that he was the one in charge here.

“These are the men?” the man asked.

The receptionist nodded and faced the three of them. She gestured to Ronald. “He will show you what you want to see, sirs.”

Merci,” dé Crozon said, and she left.

“They said you’re from the police, but I want to see an ID.”

Kunle promptly brought out his badge and flipped it open, holding it up. “Junior Detective Kunle Bakare, Lagos Island Police Department Homicide Division. I work under Detective Tobi Akano. We are here concerning the investigation of the murder of Ms. Felicia Durojaiye and the Honourable Minister of Defense.”

Ronald seemed satisfied with the badge, if maybe a little overwhelmed with all the other things. Chuks’ eyes had adjusted to the room’s darkness, but even so it was hard to clearly see anyone’s face, with the meagre light of the black-and-white video feeds.