**LASPOTECH, Lagos **
‘Aisha Temitope Bello was a student of this school truly’ the secretary began her well prepared explanation to the officers. ‘She was admitted in 2023 and she finished her national diploma program in 2025, since then she has not returned to collect her ND result nor take the Higher national diploma form’
‘Is that all you have for us?’ James stared at her awkwardly as he asked.
‘That’s all I think you may need’ the secretary replied. James tried his best not to let out a hiss, but he was obviously pissed off by the lady as she could only dig out such little information after delaying their investigation for more than a week.
‘Tell or show us all you’ve got, let us be the ones to pick what we need’
‘Okay, no problem’ the secretary said and looked into a paper. She cleared her throat before she began to mention out points. ‘She was a student of the business administration department, her matriculation number was ND/23/FT/BA/35. She finished the ND program with a distinction grade. She was also involved in school politics and sports. She contested for the post of the “Sports Director 2” and won, she ruled for one year with the other sport director and they won several trophies for the school during their tenure. Aisha herself participated in the Ladies football team and captained the team, they came out second place in the Nigeria Polytechnics Cup 2024. She…’
‘It’s okay’ James stopped her after communicating something with his eyes to Sandra who was seated opposite him. ‘Did any of her friends come back for HND?’
‘I don’t know any of her friends’ the secretary replied bluntly.
‘Can’t you help us find out?’ James inquired.
‘I can but you have to come back some other time’
‘What?? Come back again?’ James couldn’t believe his ears, maybe it would take the lady a month now to help them find who Aisha’s likely friends were and if they returned for the HND program .
‘Yes, there’s nothing I can do now’ the secretary replied lazily.
‘Well, I think I know what’s happening here’ James spoke angrily. ‘You know this Aisha and you’re only trying to cover up for her’
‘No o’ the naive secretary seemed terrified by James’ prank.
‘Then why are you hiding her and taking so long to give us information about her?’ James asked, wondering how she quickly fell for his threat. He had expected her to respond boldly back to him, he decided to take advantage of the situation.
‘Okay, I will find out and tell you when you come back by tomorrow’
‘No, now!’ James barked. ‘Do something now’
‘Excuse me’ an elderly man who was the Head of the business administration department came out of his office. ‘You can’t be shouting at here like that, what’s the matter?’
‘Tell your secretary to stop aiding criminals and give us the information we need’ James answered him.
‘Yes, what’s the matter?’ The Head of department turned to his secretary.
‘Sir, they’ve come to gather information about Aishat Bello, the assassination suspect who was a student of this school seven years ago’
‘They want me to find out about her friends’ she added.
‘And she told us to come back again’ James quickly put in. ‘We need to conclude our investigation this week for God sake. We are giving the suspect enough time to escape by delaying the matter’ The man turned back to his secretary, he let out a deep breath and shook his head sideways before talking.
‘How are you planning to know who her friends were?’
‘I don’t know yet’
‘You were not monitoring her, were you? What you can do is to fish out all available information about those with close matriculation numbers to hers, they should know more about her’
‘Welcome Boss’ Cole greeted as Tarasha walked in.
‘Weldone’ she responded without taking a look at him. She dragged the centre table with her and sank into a sofa adjacent to Cole’s. She emptied the contents of the bag on the table.
‘Any useful information now?’ She asked Cole before getting up.
‘No, no other information’ he replied as he picked up the laptop from the sofa and placed it on his lap. ‘But I’ve gathered enough information about his son’
‘I’ll be right back’ Tarasha excused herself and walked away from the common room. She returned three minutes later in a blue sleeveless top and pair of comfortable Jean trousers with a black leather bag in her hands. She returned where she was previously seated and removed some of the tools from the bag.
‘So what option do we have?’ She asked as she hit a small hammer on a computer gadget.
‘Huh?’ Cole couldn’t hear as a result of the noise from Tarasha’s work.
‘What’s our option?’ Tarasha repeated. She began to pick out some chips from the destroyed gadget.
‘His first son is the only way we can get close to him’ Cole answered. ‘The man has been kind of surreptitious of recent’ Tarasha was quiet for a moment, the man’s recent secrecy was a known fact to her. Jubril Lawal, as if anticipating something evil had not been seen in public places recently.
His visits to government officials and public figures had always been in secrets.
‘Dare Lawal is a terrible womanizer and he frequents nightclubs in the city’ Cole began, looking straight into Tarasha eyes.
‘He visits Oriental Club every third Friday of the month’
‘Friday is too far, we can’t wait till then’
‘Maybe we should trace him from work then’ Cole said, he got up from the seat and adjusted his belt properly. ‘He is the CEO of his Dad’s retailing firm here in Abuja but he doesn’t really do anything. He closes by 4pm everyday and most of the times chill out with friends before heading home’
‘Going somewhere’ Tarasha responded to his movement. ‘Does he live with his father?’
‘No, he does not but he visits his father’s house almost every week’ Cole moved away the table blocking his way.
‘Please excuse me, I need to ease myself’
‘It’s okay’ Tarasha permitted. An alert note sounded in her brain as she watched him walk away, she was allowing him handle too much already. She needed to confirm the information he had given her before working with it, so as not to run into error.
‘I brought this for you’ Aisha’s voice sounded softly as she served Tarasha wine in a Champagne glass. She made a little groan as she bent to hand over the cup to Tarasha, her belly wound had not healed completely yet. Tarasha took the cup from her silently, she properly scrutinized the drink first, she took another look at Aisha’s face as if to ask if she could trust her. Aisha quickly looked away from those eyes staring at her. Tarasha had the same look on her face that day she was given a death scare.
She remember vividly how she vibrated when Benny cocked the gun, hot urine escaped down the bed immediately.
Benny closed his eyes as he pulled the trigger. Aisha heard the gunshot sound. Then her body was being carried away by unknown forces, to heaven, she thought. Not until the bed she was laying on hit the wall, then she realized that her bed had been rolled away before the bullet was released and the bullet had penetrated into somewhere else.
Cole and Benny who were surprised turned to look at Tarasha’s face immediately, they met a smile which made them more confused . They could not tell the reason Tarasha acted that script.
One of the legs of Aisha’s bed which had tyres for easy movement had been tied with a long rope to stop its movement. Tarasha cut the rope when she was sure that the trigger was going to be pulled. Benny was about to barg out of the lab when Tarasha spoke, he paused.
‘You would have died if you didn’t obey, I wouldn’t have let you live one more second’ He looked at her face for some seconds before proceeding out of the lab, Cole followed suit. ‘You’ll remain as a cook with us but you’ll not be able to go out as you used to do’ Tarasha said to Aisha before leaving the lab.
Unknown to them, Tarasha had other plans. To her, if Benny could attempt to kill Aisha on her order, then he would do the job when she asks him for the head of Don, his former boss.
Tarasha walked back to the living room to get the medicines she got for Aisha. She wondered how Benny and Cole really thought she wanted Aisha to be killed. She wouldn’t have gotten the drugs if she wanted the girl dead, she already knew Aisha was wanted by the police before she set out to get the drugs. Well, if Aisha was killed or not, her lifespan had been cut short by the bullets already.
** Present **
‘Thank you’ she said with a smile and took a sip of the wine. Aisha walked away. Benny came in few minutes later, he was sweating and looked dusty, the harmattan breeze had not been nice on him.
‘Good day Boss’ he greeted as he dropped a bag carefully in front of Tarasha, beside the table where she had her gadgets.
‘What do we have here?’ Tarasha bent to open the bag.
‘I got all you requested for except the “Walther PPK” revolver’ Benny answered. Tarasha hissed.
‘I still have one with me I can use though’ she closed the bag. ‘You can take it in’
Cole walked back into the common room and met Benny, he tapped him on the shoulder.
‘I’m cool’ Benny replied as he dragged the bag away.
‘What’s this Boss?’ Cole expressed surprise on a look at the table where Tarasha was working on. He was amazed at the speed she used to convert the bought devices to her own manufactured ones.
‘This, is a tracking device that can be implanted under the skin’ she displayed a very tiny pill-like material to him. She raised up another one that looked like a gun, ‘we use this to implant it’
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‘I’ll make sure they pay for it’ Sylvester cursed loudly. He sat on a stool beside the hospital bed where Henry was sitting, a bandage was wrapped round Henry’s arm. Henry hissed.
‘It’s okay, thank God you came at the right time, it would have been worse’
‘What did you do to them?’ Sylvester asked again, a question Henry was not willing to answer. Henry had made up his mind for a thanksgiving service in church the next Sunday. He who had heard several stories about the brutality of soldiers on civilians on several occasions had only partly believed the story. He had a friend with a gentle nature who was also in the force, his friend didn’t look like a brutal person. Henry concluded that only the wicked ones amongst them were brutal to ordinary people.
The ones he had met that day were more than wicked, they gave him only a little room for explanation before they began to use the whips on him. What had aggravated the matter was Henry’s identity card that was nowhere to be found, he could have gotten away by proving that he was working for a security agency. The two soldiers that addressed him wasted no time in landing the whips six times on his body as he delayed obeying their order to kneel down.
‘You wan go rape am?’ One of the mean looking huge soldiers had accused him of attempted rape.
‘No , I saw something suspicious with her and was only trying to investigate’ Henry had lied to save himself, but there was no ID card to support his claim. He received a total of six whips, three slaps and had done frog jump for about fifteen minutes when Sylvester came to his rescue. Sylvester had coincidentally seen the event through the surveillance camera’s transmission.
‘Take this two tablets, twice a day. This, one tablet thrice a day. And this, three tablets every six hours’ a Doctor explained how to use the drugs to Henry.
‘Don’t bother, I’ll read the instructions myself’ Henry snatched the drugs jacket from the Doctor impatiently, he wondered why so much drugs should be administered to him for just something little. ‘Is that all? Can I leave now?’
‘Yes that’s all, you can leave’
‘Thank you’ Henry got up and left with Sylvester immediately.
‘You still haven’t told me what happened with you and the soldiers’ Sylvester troubled him again as they settled into the car. ‘I want to know what action to take’
‘Thank you for saving me sir, I don’t think it’s necessary to take any action. I’ll tell you what happened later’ Henry hesitatingly answered. ‘We need to go back to the office now to check for my ID card. I have my MasterCard too in the pack’
‘I’m not sure you forgot it in the office, I saw you put it in the front pocket of your shirt’
‘Then where could it be?’ Henry searched his pockets again. His phone rang out, interrupting him, he didn’t know where it was.
‘Here’ Sylvester handed over the phone to him from the back seat. He started the car engine.
‘Hello, are you Henry George Ekene’ A voice asked.
‘Who’s this please?’ Henry replied with a question.
‘We found a pack containing some cards in our company, Seginet Computer International, your phone number was on it’
‘Huh?’ Realization hit Henry, it must have dropped when he almost collided into the strange lady. He frantically searched through his pocket for the bug, it wasn’t there. …
to be continued. PLEASE drop your comments