Sylvester was in the ground floor reception leaning with his two hands on the desk when Henry walked back into the office. It was too late for Henry to turn back as he had already met with Sylvester’s gaze.
‘Mr Henry’ Sylvester gave a mischievous smile, aware that Henry had been trying to avoid him since morning time.
‘Good afternoon Sir’ Henry greeted reluctantly, trying to fake a smile.
‘Good afternoon’ Sylvester replied, extending an handshake to Henry.
‘I checked your office and met it locked, I thought you had left already’
‘No I went to get something in the computer store’ Henry said.
‘Alright.’ A lady with Sylvester’s brief case arrived at the scene Henry looked at him in surprise.
‘You’re going home?’
‘Yes’ Sylvester answered him happily, adjusting his shirt. ‘I’m done with everything I need to do today and I’ve even done part of tomorrow’s work’ he said full of smiles.
‘Are you sure you got the whole day covered?’ Henry’s eyes widened, wanting to know Sylvester’s new source of happiness and speed.
‘Yes, I’ve got all the app processes running. I’ve extended the monitoring time to sixteen hours. So I can monitor from anywhere I am.’ Sylvester handed over his phone to the lady holding his brief case, he turned once again to Henry.
‘We’ll see tomorrow’ he said before walking away. Henry stood still and watched as Sylvester walked out of the building, wondering if the man knew what he was saying. He shrugged and continued his walk to his office, happy that Sylvester didn’t ask him about the day- before’s event.
‘We are really sorry about the unfortunate incident and we’re trying our possible best to bring to book the perpetrators of this crime. We’ll make sure everyone involved in this pay heavily’ Dakolo said to soothe the woman’s heart in preparation for his questioning. Ken was seated beside him in silence. Chief Mrs Jubril was seated on the couch opposite them, she was putting on the native black Yoruba attire. A young lady in black was seated by her side, also wearing a black cloth but a very short gown which exposed her thighs with the way she was seated. She was placing her head on Mrs Jubril’s shoulder. With the resemblance on their faces, one could boldly say that the lady was Mrs Jubril’s daughter but she wasn’t, she was Dare’s niece who lived outside the country with Mrs Jubril. Mrs Jubril sighed and twisted her lips in a pitiful manner.
‘Ma, we need you to give us every information that’ll be helpful to us in our investigation’ Dakolo continued. She nodded in agreement. ‘We’ll ask very few questions’ he said and collected a tablet device from Ken. He turned on the screen and entered the password. ‘When did you arrive in Nigeria for the party?’
‘I arrived just the day before the party’; she answered. ‘With her’ she added, gently stroking her the girl’s hair.
‘Have you been suspecting anything or was there any threat you heard about before coming?’
‘No, we had no suspicions’ the woman answered and tightened her scarf. ‘Why should we have any suspicion? We are not wicked people, so we don’t expect anybody to harm us’
‘What about after you arrived? Did he tell you about anything he was contending for? Or anyone he had a disagreement with?’
‘And you didn’t notice anything suspicious? Whether in his behaviour, words or countenance’
‘No, he was the same Jubril, always business minded. Even on his birthday, he was preparing to complete a business deal’
‘What kind of business deal?’
‘Ermm… He talked about a girl from Canada’ the woman paused and squinted, trying to remember correctly. ‘A girl from Canada who was a friend to Dare’
‘He didn’t say anything more about the deal?’
‘No, he only talked about the girl’
‘What did he say about her?’
‘Nothing serious. Except for how Dare was interested in her but was slow in taking steps’
‘Okay’ Dakolo said and quickly typed in something on his device.
‘Do you know if the lady showed up that night?’
‘Yes, she did. She was accompanied by another man’
‘Another man? Was he also invited for the party?’
‘I don’t know’ she shook her head in negative. ‘Except for two of my friends that I personally invited, I wasn’t involved in sending out the invitations’
‘Okay. But did Chief Jubril later get to meet with her’
‘No, he was supposed to meet with her after the programs lined up had ended and after the cake had been cut but he mentioned playfully at a time that Dare was with her and it looked like they were proceeding to somewhere quiet’
‘Dare was with her and they were proceeding to somewhere quiet’ Dakolo repeated in low tones, thoughtfully. ‘Was there any other person who the Chief was supposed to meet with?’
‘I’m not aware of any other’
‘Okay, Dare’s body was found in the security room.’ He said slowly as he stared straight into her eyes, careful not to strike any emotion but he was unsuccessful at it, the colour on her face was already changing. He decided to rush up the questions to get the maximum possible response.
‘Do you know what he went there for?’
‘No o, I don’t know’ she replied, tears already forming in her eyes. Dakolo turned to the young lady beside the woman.
‘What about you? Do you by chance know how he got there?’
‘No, I didn’t even know he got up from his seat’
‘Weren’t you seated close to your mum?’
‘I was but I got up to take pictures’ she replied, swinging backwards the hair which covered her face.
‘You took pictures?’ Dakolo’s eyes widened in surprise. He took a quick glance at Ken and a smile formed on the lips of the both of them.
‘Yes, I couldn’t wait to get the pictures from the centre’s camera so I began to take pictures and little recordings of the presentations’
‘Did you take pictures of the guests too?’ Dakolo asked impatiently.
‘I took some shots of the whole guest from where we were seated but only personal pictures of distinctly dressed guests’
‘We need to see those pictures, we need to check them for signs of any strange person amongst the guest’
‘I have them in my device upstairs’
‘Alright, you’ll get it and send all of the pictures to me before we leave’ Dakolo said with a stern face. ‘All of the pictures’ he reiterated. He licked his lips and rubbed his finger against his forehead, staring at their faces in the process. He wondered if it was the right time to ask the next question, but he had to do it anyway.
‘Did you see the killer’s face?’
‘The killer’s face?’ Mrs Jubril broke down and began to sob, wailing and cursing the killer.
‘What is happening here?’ A gruff voice sounded. Dakolo and Ken stood up immediately in respect as the Vice President walked in with two of his security officials by his side.
‘Officers’ the Vice President hailed.
‘Good evening sir’ Dakolo and Ken greeted in unison, bowing in respect.
‘What have you come to do here?’ He asked as he extended a handshake to Dakolo.
‘Doing our job sir’ Dakolo smiled as he replied. ‘We’ve came to get some few important details’
‘I see’ Elvis smiled back. He turned to miss Jubril and the young lady.
‘Aduke, bawo ni’ he asked Mrs Jubril how she was faring in Yoruba language. She was already quiet.
‘We’ll be taking our leave now sir’ Dakolo bowed as he announced.
‘Officers, hope I’m not the one sending you away?’ Elvis took a look at them before proceeding towards the couch where Mrs Jubril was seated.
‘No sir, we are actually through with our questions’ Dakolo answered.
‘Okay then, farewell’ Elvis waved them bye.
‘Thank you sir’ Dakolo said and then turned to the young lady who had already gotten up from Mrs Jubril’s side. ‘We’ll be coming back for the pictures tomorrow morning’ he whispered. The two officers made their way out immediately, Dakolo giving orders to Ken as they moved, they were to visit Debo, Chief Jubril’s PA for more questioning.
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Just that day at work, Tarasha had learnt so much about the NSCC. Luckily for her, Sylvester had ignorantly handed over his personal laptop to her when she promised to help him prolong a particular monitoring session after he complained bitterly that it was too short. He thinking that he had hidden all secret files and protected his personal apps with passwords, he didn’t realize that the Kimberly he was working with could do more than the project he read about. From the laptop, she had gotten an idea of how the street cameras were specially installed and the process laid down to uninstall them without raising any alarm. She learnt that the codes for uninstalling each cameras without raising alarm or destroying them were kept in files in hidden sections of each regional office. The file type and what type of hidden sections referred to was unknown to her yet, but she was very sure that the files would be in computerized formats and they would be hidden locations on their main control computer systems.
The PDF document from where she got this information also stated that copies of all codes and files used in the nation for installing and uninstalling these cameras were contained in the Abuja office. Tarasha recalled that Henry Paul, her neighbour was a regional staff working in the head office. She didn’t know the capacity in which he functions but she believed that she could get some important data from him. It didn’t take time before she got her opportunity to meet him again.
‘Hey Evelyn’ someone called as Tarasha stepped out of the gate. She looked to her right side and saw Paul. He was in front of his gate, munching some peanuts from the nylon in his hand as he was about to enter. His white shirt and shorts reflected the little of sun rays radiated from above.
‘Hi Paul’ she smiled at him.
‘How are you Evelyn?’ He said, closing back the gate. He began to move closer to her and feeding his eyes on her thighs revealed below the bumshort. She took note carefully of how he was looking at her and licking his lips lustfully.
‘Fine, how about you?’
‘I’m fine too.’ He said, half inaudible because of the quantity of peanuts in his mouth.
‘Where are you coming from?’ Tarasha asked.
‘From a friend’s place, I went to copy a movie into my flash drive.’ He took out the flash drive from his back pocket and showed it to her.
‘What movie is that?’ She asked, looking interested.
‘Inseparable by Young C.c’ he answered. ‘I’ve been wanting to get it since I saw the trailer but work did not permit me to go to a store. So, I asked a friend to buy online for me’
‘I heard of the release too but I’ve not been opportune to see the movie or trailer, I’ve only read the book’
‘You wanna come watch with me?’ He offered.
‘That’ll be nice’ she accepted his offer joyously.
‘Are you starting right away?’
‘Yes… But I could delay a little because of you’
‘Thanks, I need to get something in a store next street’
‘Should I accompany you?’
‘No, you don’t need to bother’ she rejected politely and began to walk away slowly, to nowhere in particular, just to buy time and make her acting complete.
‘Ermm…’ Paul signaled for her to wait. ‘What about your friends? I didn’t see any of them since Friday last week’
‘They traveled for something urgent’ Tarasha answered. ‘They’ll be back soon, I believe’
‘Okay, say hi to them when they call’
‘Sure, I would’ Tarasha smiled.
‘I’ll be expecting you’ Paul said before turning back and walking to his gate.
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Tarasha was in his living room thirty minutes later. His living room was decently decorated, not large but neat and comfortable. Paul began to play the film after serving Tarasha fruit juice and a pack of popcorn. They were both seated on the opposites ends of the three seater sofa. One hour went by and both of them were deeply engrossed in the film, at least Tarasha pretended to be while she was thinking of the best way to get out what she needed from him. She knew it would be against their job ethics to let out the information she needed, so she needed to do something special that would make him give her all she wanted.
‘Do you think Frank would get out of Bola’s trouble?’ Tarasha tried to begin a conversation with the highly concentrating Paul.
‘Ermm… He’s got to come out. That girl is evil, he may not even be responsible for the pregnancy she’s carrying’ he hurriedly answered her and returned his concentration to the screen. He did not want to miss any part of the thrilling movie.
‘He is responsible, she couldn’t have lied to her father’ Tarasha said but got no reply. She turned her face back to the screen, taking time to think of the best possible way to distract him. ‘I’m feeling sleepy’ she announced after another five minutes. He took a glance at her and gave a “I don’t believe you” look.
‘Sleepy?’ He asked to be sure if that was what he really heard.
‘Yes’ she replied. Without waiting for his response, she turned and laid her head on his lap placing her legs on the arm rest she was resting on before. She made sure her backhead was placed in between his legs, to have contact with his manhood. She felt him shiver as she stretched and pressed down with her head. He stared at her face for a while. She was beginning to get his attention now like she wanted. She waited for some minutes again before taking her next move. She began to rub his bare knee with her palm gently.
‘What do you do in the office?’ She turned her head to face him as she asked. Her hand left his knee and went under his shirt on his belly.
‘I…’ He squirmed and swallowed, signals were being sent through his whole body. She had to pause to enable him give her an answer.
‘I’m a regional staff like I told you. I’m the assistant to the regional coordinator here’
‘What are your responsibilities?’
‘My main responsibilities are to watch over the streaming, cut and save files and also convert the video files into other formats for reporting’
‘Are these the only things you do everyday?’ She continued rubbing her hand on his abdomen softly.
‘Yes, basically’ he replied, his chubby body shivering. She raised up her head and got up to sit on his lap.
‘Are you also involved in installing the cameras?’
‘Yes, but that does not happen often.’
‘How do you install the cameras? Do the NSCC have special processes for theirs’
‘No’ he paused and stared into her face thoughtfully for a while. ‘Why are you asking?’
‘Nothing darling’ she smiled and pushed his chest backwards, taking off his shirt. He didn’t resist. ‘I’m interested in working in the NSCC, that’s why I’m asking’
‘Oh! You…’ He vibrated all over as she placed her lips on his n—-e. She stopped and look at his face.
‘Do you know how to install the NSCC cameras?’
‘Yes, it’s the same way you install every other security cameras except that the NSCC has a special code to install and uninstall it, if one tries to uninstall with another code, it raises an alarm in the office’
‘Those codes, how do you get them?’
‘It’s manufactured by developers and they sell it to us, then we protect them using IVC solution.’
‘How do you use the codes?’
‘The codes are used to connect each camera to our monitoring system. You know the cameras are wireless, so since no wires connect them, the codes makes the connection’
‘I know that, what I mean is that how do you install the code into the cameras?’
‘Okay, that happens during production. Each camera is made to have a code that have been bought before packaging and installing them’
‘Hmm…’ She paused and licked his n—–s for some seconds again. ‘Are the codes always long?’ She stopped again. She could see disappointment on his face, he was getting tired of the questions already and wanted her to complete the job which she had started on his body. She could already feel his hard manhood touching her bum underneath.
‘No, the codes are always six characters’
‘And how are six character codes stored?’
‘We use the Nitex Pad in the IVC for keeping them on our main system. It’s a very secure tool’ he said impatiently, his body already vibrating for action.
‘Nitex pad’ she mumbled under her breath as she got up and pushed his chest to lay straight on the sofa. She touched something on her back pocket as she sat in between his legs and began to dip her hand under his shorts. Paul had lost all his senses at this time, all he wanted was to consume the lady in front of him and he didn’t realise that he had just done something which was against the ethics of his job. He had given so much information, well , he never thought he was giving it to someone that could do any harm. He laid there anticipating what’s next when an alarm sounded. Tarasha got up hurriedly and took out a tiny device from her back pocket.
‘Oh! It’s time to use my drugs’ she announced, looking very worried. ‘I have to rush home now’ she said and adjusted her top hurriedly. She tightened back the button of her bumshort which was loose and began to proceed towards the door immediately.
‘Are you coming back?’ He shouted behind as she opened the door.
‘Maybe’ she replied and walked out, closing the door with a loud bang. Paul felt stupid and miserable as he got up and picked his shirt which she had flung to the floor. His manliness was still hard and yearning. He hissed as his eyes met with the TV screen. Just now, his expectations had been raised beyond measure and dashed again within minutes when he was already feeling close to heaven.
9am, next morning. Dakolo and Ken were driving out of the Jubril’s house. They had asked some more few questions which included the names of Jubril’s close friends and addresses, they got the names of two of his friends who were also at the party and decided to visit one immediately. They got the pictures as planned the day before. The young lady had helped them to categorize the pictures into two folders; one containing the guests in the party which she knew were family friends of theirs and the other containing those she did not know. The latter had more pictures in it. All their questions had to be answered by the young lady as they didn’t see Mrs Jubril all through their stay. She was said to be slightly indisposed with fever.
Ken sped off as they drove out of the gate while Dakolo tried to view the pictures. He started with the pictures of the Jubril’s family friends but couldn’t recognize any one as hard as he tried except for two notable ministers in the country. He gave up on trying without getting to the last picture in the folder. He decided to wait until they go to Chief Jubril’s PA who should be able to identify the guests.
In thirty minutes time, they got to Lanre’s office, he was a friend to Dare and was also an attendee of the party. He was asked several questions about Dare and the newly found friend, Alexander Evelyn. After answering other questions to the best of his knowledge, Lanre also stated that there was no suspicious movement Dare was involved with until he met with the new friend, Evelyn. He was said to have changed and stop clubbing frequently like he used to do. Lanre told them of how Dare started looking miserable after some days of strange happiness but refused to talk to his friends about anything, but they were able to guess that it was either that he was jilted by the girl or he found out that she was dating someone else. Apart from that Lanre had nothing more to say.
After thanking Lanre, the policemen found their way out of his office and headed for Debo’s house. They got there twenty minutes later and were ushered into his living room. They began the interrogation at once.
‘Apart from that lady, Evelyn, was there anyone else Chief Jubril was supposed to meet?’ Dakolo began.
‘No, she was the only one’
‘Did you see her when she came in?’
‘Yes, from afar. I saw her front view for the first time that day’ Debo said thoughtfully. ‘But it was from afar, I can’t even remember how she looks like’
‘Then how do you know it was her?’ Dakolo pushed.
‘I heard Chief Jubril talk about her to his family, they were making jest of Dare immediately she walked in with another guy’ he answered carefully.
‘Who was the guy?’
‘I don’t know him either, I couldn’t see his face clearly’ he paused and cleaned his eyes. ‘The truth is I’m short- sighted but asides from that, the only reason Chief Jubril recognized her from that distance and wth the kind of lightning was because he knew her face very well before. He didn’t know the guy too’ Debo explained.
‘Was the lightning poor?’
‘No, but we couldn’t see people far off’ because of the very bright lights and performers at the stage in the middle.
‘Hmm…’ Dakolo hummed under his breath while scrolling through something on his device.
‘…the lady and the guy were both putting on blue clothes. They were distinctly dressed’ Debo quickly added as he remembered. ‘The guy was putting on a shiny blue suit while she was on a short blue gown’ Dakolo suddenly looked up.
‘Would you recognize them with the clothes if you see the pictures?’
‘Yes, I remember what they wore but it’s a pity there are no…’
‘There are pictures’ Dakolo cut in. He stood up and collected the tablet device from Ken. He swiped it open and went to sit on the arm rest of the couch Debo was seated on. Debo was surprised on hearing that there were pictures, he didn’t believe until Dakolo opened the larger folder and began to scroll through the pictures.
‘Tell me if you see them here or if you see any other strange person’ Dakolo said to him. The both of looked into the device intently for minutes, Debo readily identifying those he knew in the pictures.
‘Here he is’ Debo finally said in a loud voice after ten minutes.
‘Here’s the guy who came with her, in the blue suit’ …
to be continued