‘Evelyn is nowhere around ’ Henry said as he walked back into the house with his search party. ‘Did you check the whole compound?’ the voice at the other end asked.
‘Yes, I searched with the maids and the security men’ Henry answered, motioning back towards the room.
‘Okay, let me check what we have from the cameras’ Sylvester said before hanging up. Henry was about to enter into his room when he looked at the door to Tarasha’s room and noticed that the position had changed from how it was left. He closed back the door and proceeded towards the room. He touched the knob, it was tight this time, it was locked. Had someone else gone in? Henry knocked.
The door was opened in few seconds and Henry was surprised to meet Tarasha still clothed in her night gown. His mouth was left agape.
‘Good morning’ she greeted first, leaving the door opened for him. She returned to the bed.
‘Where have you been?’ Henry walked in without responding to her greeting. ‘We’ve been searching for you everywhere’
‘I’ve been in this room’ Tarasha replied him, unperturbed.
‘But I was here some minutes ago, I searc…’
‘Yes, you searched everywhere in the room and also the restroom and you called my name several times without getting a response’ Tarasha interrupted.
‘Were you really in the room?’ Henry’s eyes widened.
‘Why were you searching for me?’ Tarasha asked, trying to change the topic. A maid appeared at the entrance off the room, peeping through the opened door. She seemed surprise to see Tarasha.
‘Come’ Henry motioned her in. ‘Did you know she was in?’
‘I told you I saw her earlier today and that she should be in her room’
‘But I searched around and couldn’t find her’ Henry retorted. He turned to Tarasha,
‘were you really in the room?’
‘Yes’ Tarasha answered bluntly.
‘I was in the restroom, meditating’
‘Meditating?’ Henry repeated, still finding it hard to believe.
‘Yes, that’s why I couldn’t answer you, you don’t speak to anyone in the process’
‘Meditating? The Hindu way?’
‘Kind of’ Tarasha smiled.
‘That’s strange’ Henry frowned. ‘I thought you were not religious at all’
‘Ermm…’ Tarasha stammered. ‘But I do believe in meditation, it helps to calm the soul’
‘Mr Henry’ someone called from outside, diverting their attention. ‘The police officers are here to pick you’
‘You have to dress up and prepare, we are going for medical check-up’ Henry said to Tarasha as he left the room. The door was closed.
‘Thanks for your help’ Tarasha smiled at the maid.
‘No problem’ the maid smiled back.
‘Here’s your phone’ Tarasha said handing her a cellphone.
‘Alright, so when are you going to see me?’ The maid demanded for her payment as she took back her phone.
‘Humm…’ Tarasha stood up and dipped her hand into her pocket, like someone who was searching for money. Suddenly she grabbed the maid by the neck and injected a fluid into the maid’s arm. The maid fell down unconscious immediately. Tarasha dragged the body into the restroom and laid her on the floor, she brought out some money and stuck it into the maid’s pocket before leaving the restroom. The maid had been injected with benryl and would forget everything that happened in the last two hours by the time she woke up.
12pm Henry continued to steal glances at Tarasha as they headed for the police station to take don their statement. The officer who drove the car drove slowly thereby prolonging the journey and the moment of silence between Henry and Tarasha. Henry’s phone disrupted their peace.
‘Hello’ Henry answered the incoming call.
‘I couldn’t find anything on the tapes’ Sylvester said with a note of tiredness after being asked several times by Henry to check and cross check again.
‘Don’t bother, I didn’t check well, she was in the restroom’ Henry said, stealing a glance at Tarasha, their eyes met.
‘So why were you now disturbing me to cross check several times?’ Sylvester asked angrily.
‘Erm…’ Henry stammered. He couldn’t give an answer as he did not want Evelyn to get the impression that he was doubting her. Tarasha gave a short smile which later turned into a frown. She understood his trick but was not bothered. It was just a day left for her to complete her mission and she would disappear from him and from Abuja. She’ll kill him immediately if he happens to resurface anytime or tries to cause trouble for her.
‘Oh!’ Henry exclaimed as Sylvester reminded him of the job he was supposed to give a report for by the next day. ‘Thanks for helping me start the job. I’ll report to the office once we leave the police station’
The drive to Division A lasted for fifteen minutes more. Evelyn and Henry were ushered into the station immediately. After taking down a written statement, they were ushered into another office for interrogation. The interrogator, an officer in his early thirties walked into the room carrying a tablet device in his hands.
‘Hi, I’m officer Ken ’ He introduced himself, shaking the hands of the duo. ‘You’re Henry and Evelyn, right?’ The two nodded in agreement. ‘I want you guys to tell us all you know so that we can nab those criminals’ Ken continued, checking through his device for the list of questions he already compiled.
‘How were you taken?’ He began. Henry started first. He explained how the kidnappers had dressed like policemen and come to arrest him with a fake Identity card, he also explained how they made him lead them to Evelyn. After him, Tarasha also gave her own account of the abduction. Several other questions were asked after that and henry and Tarasha took turns to reply each question, most times individually.
‘Who were those that you say helped you?’ Ken asked one of his final questions.
‘The kidnappers let us go’ Tarasha said, surprising Henry. ‘They released you and gave you the car to leave with?’
‘Yes, I believe that they were ordered by the person who sent them. They released us after a big man entered and spoke in Hausa language to them’
‘Hmm…’ Ken sighed as he took down notes. Henry was staring at Tarasha in surprise. She had told him that passersby helped them and not that they were freed by the kidnappers themselves.
‘The man was somewhat like a boss to them’ Tarasha quickly added. ‘He entered into the compound violently so I first thought that they were just passersby who heard our screams outside. It was later I realised that they were of the group’ Henry became calmer after Tarasha’s explanation but she still had some explanations to do to him. Why didn’t she tell him the whole story?
Ken gave a signal to one of the junior officers standing beside him. The junior officer nodded and left through the back exit. He returned in two minutes time with Mallam Jefa.
‘Was this man a part of the kidnappers?’
‘No’ Henry answered. He stared at Tarasha’s face for confirmation.
‘No, he isn’t’ Tarasha confirmed, staring at the man who she remembered was trailing behind them as they escaped.
‘Okay, you can process his release’ Officer Ken said to the junior officer.
‘Please, I have something to say’ Jefa shouted as the junior officer tried to take him away. All eyes focused on Jefa.
‘Bring him back’ Ken said. Mallam Jefa was returned back to his position.
‘Yes, what do you want to say?’ Tears formed in Jefa’s eyes as he opened his mouth to begin. He let out a deep breath. …
‘So what’s the Boss’s instruction now?’ Benny asked joining Cole and Aisha in the living room.
‘You are to act as a backup for her in the banquet, you step in case anything unexpected comes up. We’ll all be communicating through our devices, your Bluetooth piece should not leave your ear’
‘Okay. How do I get to attend the banquet?’ Benny asked, taking his seat. ‘I believe there’ll be a ban of entry of uninvited guests’
‘Tarasha would work out your invitation card, so you won’t encounter any problem entering into the hall’ Cole answered his questions before proceeding with the rest of the instruction to Aisha.
‘Your job is to monitor the switch off the streets cameras when if we give the order. There’ll be a tracker on the Lamborghini, you have to keep monitoring our location both with the cameras and the tracker. If you notice any strange movement or someone following us through the streaming, you have to let us know immediately’
‘Boss is almost doing this job individually’ Benny commented. Aisha hissed playfully.
‘So don’t you like it like this? You want us to be so involved like we were in the last job? Her methods are so daring and dangerous’
‘Yes, so dangerous but I do think I love them’ Cole said thoughtfully.
‘Yes, I’m beginning to love her methods too. Its making us gain more experience’ Benny added.
‘Too dangerous’ Aisha insisted with a playful frown on her face.
‘Lazy girl, just make sure you do your job well tomorrow’ Cole teased as she walked away from the living room. He turned to Benny with a serious face, looking like he just remembered something important. ‘Benny, there’s something I’ve not told you. The banquet is taking place at Jubril Lawal’s mansion and there may be serious security protocols there. One very important thing the Boss wants you to do is to smuggle in the guns she might be making use of. You have to find a way to pass through the security stands without the machines detecting you have guns with you’
‘Wow! How am I supposed to do that?’ Benny widened his eyes. ‘That would only happen if I’m able to get to the control base of the security doors and deactivate the detecting of metals’
‘If that’s the only option, then you have to do it’
‘Huh?’ Benny stared at him in surprise. ‘Do you know how many security guys would be present at Jubril Lawal’s doorpost? Am I supposed to fight all of them?’
‘Eh!’ Cole hushed him.
‘Stop whining already. I believe the Boss has her own plans. Her instruction was that I should tell you to begin to think of a way to do it’ Benny shook his head in disbelief. Cole continued talking, ‘she also said you have to come in first without any gun and find her during the party, she’ll give you more instructions’
‘Can’t she take in the guns herself?’ Benny asked.
‘She won’t be free to move in and out of the party. Remember she’s a special guest and would have a lot of business people to meet and friends to make’ Cole answered. Benny sighed.
‘Don’t get all worked up Ben, she only wants to get you prepared. I’m sure she’ll be able to get the job done without guns’
‘Then why is she asking for guns then?’
‘Because she doesn’t want to take chances’ Cole slammed at him. He was getting irritated by Benny’s sissy behaviour.
‘Why the hell is she even passing information through you to me?’ Benny shouted back.
‘Her phone is lost and she has only my number offhand’ Cole replied, purposely to taunt Benny. Benny hissed. He got up from the sofa and began to walk away slowly, shaking his head.
Her ways were too dangerous truly. How does she expect him to take in guns past machines that were designed to detect them?
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‘What do you have to say?’ Inspector Ken repeated to Jefa.
‘She..sh..sh..’ Jefa stammered and paused again, facing Tarasha.
‘She did what?’ Ken snapped impatiently.
‘She was the one who drove out the car yesterday, I saw her’ Jefa finally said, rushingly.
‘Is that all?’ Ken asked. Jefa nodded.
‘Please take him back and return his belongings to him, let him go’ Ken dismissed the junior officer. ‘That man sells food and drinks just at the front of the building you were kept in’ Ken said to Tarasha and Henry just as Jefa and the junior officer left.
‘Oh! I see…’ Henry muttered.
‘So, who do you suspect?’ Ken directed his question toward Henry.
‘Ermm… I do have suspects from two sides. First, from Samantha Osman’ Henry began. Tarasha glanced at his face.
‘Which Samantha Osman?’ Ken asked.
‘Same unpopular one, who carried out two notable assassinations recently’
‘Okay, go ahead’ Ken relaxed back on his chair to listen.
‘I’ve been working on locating her recently, that’s why I was brought to Abuja’ Henry continued. ‘She might have gotten signals of my job and decided to come for me’
‘She killed the officers and the special US agent that tried to locate her the other time. Why did she now free you after capturing you first?’
‘I believe it’s because she found out that I’m no longer working on locating her’
‘You’re no longer working on that?’
‘Yes, it’s complicated, we had to quit it. We’re working on blocking her from manipulating the CCTV systems for now’
‘Hmmm…’ Ken leaned forward.
‘Who is the other suspect?’
‘Dare Jubril Lawal’ Henry looked into Evelyn’s eyes as he mentioned
‘Huh? Why is he a suspect?’ Henry stared at Evelyn, as if to ask for confirmation whether to go on or not. The look in her eyes discouraged him.
‘He threatened me recently’ henry gave an indirect reason. ‘He thinks I’m dating Evelyn here’
‘Hmm? She isn’t your girlfriend?’ Ken asked in surprise.
‘The report we got was that you were kidnapped alongside with your girlfriend’ He turned to Evelyn.
‘I’m not his girlfriend’ Evelyn spoke, mentioning her words slowly, one after the other. ‘We’re friends who just met recently’ she glanced at Henry. Henry nodded in confirmation.
‘Unbeleivable!’ Ken exclaimed. Correcting his previous notes on his tablet device. After sometime, he looked up again. ‘Do you have proof that could link him to the kidnap? Any proof?’
‘No’ Henry shook his head sadly.
‘Then we just have to investigate properly first before accosting him. Stepping on the toes of someone like Jubril Lawal is like stepping on the government toes itself’
‘I understand’ Henry shook head slowly. …
to be continued