Henry stopped to think for some seconds. He thought of answering no since he wasn’t an invitee but just accompanied Omotara to the event. No one knew about his attendance, so it was better if he hid it completely. He cleared his throat.
‘I…’ The doorbell interrupted. Henry paused to check who it was on his computer. Frank it was, standing with a laptop in his hands.
‘I thought I told you I was coming to do something urgent and important.’ Frank muttered with so much disgust in his voice.
‘I’m busy Frank,’ he said into the transmitter. ‘Please come back later, or better still, I’ll join you when I’m done.’ He watched Frank leave before turning back to Dakolo. Dakolo’s eyes showed his impatience to receive the response to the question he had asked. Henry cleared his throat as he was about to continue. ‘I…’ Henry tried to continue but couldn’t. Somehow he felt a strange kind of fear surge through his heart. One that told him that he was about to put himself in deep trouble. His head began to ache him severely, he felt as if his head was being used to play football.
‘I’m still waiting,’ Dakolo said impatiently on seeing Henry’s reluctance to talk.
‘I did,’ Henry finally said, releasing a deep breath alongside with it. A bitter frown formed on Dakolo’s face. He felt disappointed in Henry for attending a party organized by Jubril, somehow in his heart, he was hoping that Henry would have proof enough to claim that he wasn’t in the party and that the person seen in the photo was just a lookalike or the camera position had only made their faces resemble. But he was still happy that Henry did not deny the truth, that would have showed that he was guilty. He was also sure that Henry felt remorse for attending the party, the reluctance to answer the question already showed Henry’s disappointment in himself and regret for attending the party.
‘Miss Kimberly,’ Sylvester called as he proceeded towards her table. He had given her a space in an open office with four other occupants to stay. She was at the end corner of the office while two other tables were on the same line with hers. The tables were several centimetres away from each other, giving each occupier space and privacy.
All eyes followed Sylvester behind as he marched on to Kimberly. The other employees who were sub regional staffs had been surprised when Sylvester introduced her as a special staff who was to share the same office with them. As far as they knew, she had no specific job description or duty, some of them had began to spread rumours that she was Sylvester’s concubine. ‘Kimberly,’ Sylvester called again as he dropped a paper on the table, ‘I want you to confirm if this number was cloned or not, can you do it?’ Kimberly took the paper from the table and looked into it. She took in a deep breath and made her acceptance known with a nod to Sylvester.
‘Yes sir, I can.’
‘How long would it take you to get back to me?’ Sylvester asked.
‘Before the end of the day.’ She replied.
‘What??’ He opened his eyes widely in shock and folded his arms, staring at her like she was an alien. She stared back at him in surprise. He calmed himself and lowered his voice.
‘Mr Henry asked for three days to work on it.’ Kimberly chuckled.
‘Yes, it’s even possible to use up to a week or more, especially when you have to contact the network providers over there. Why I can use less than a day is because I already have links there, I have links in Canada. If not, I would have needed to use three to four days too.’
‘Okay, I understand.’
‘Yes… But sir,’ Kimberly stared into his eyes. ‘I thought you said Mr Henry did it already?’
‘Yes,’ Sylvester replied with a sigh. He pulled an empty chair and sat on it. ‘He did it when the late Chief Jubril requested for it but now it’s the police that needs it. A senior agent just gave me the job to do now’ Kimberly stared at him, still unsatisfied with his answer. In just two days, she had become so comfortable with him to the extent of questioning him. She had been his lecturer for that two days, explaining to him several things which she did that he didn’t have knowledge of.
‘What about his report?’ She asked.
‘It’s with him,’ Sylvester answered with another sigh. ‘It’s just that we want the investigation to be carried out by another person.’
‘Okay, but can I still get the report? I Just need to check out some processes that would make the job easier. With that we can even finish the job in less than an hour.’
‘Mr Henry is busy right now with the Agent in his office, and he is not even aware that we are carrying out a reinvestigation,’ Sylvester explained in a very low voice. ‘The Agent wants me to keep it secret from him, so I can’t go to him.’
‘It’s okay sir, I’ll do what I can do.’ She replied and began to work immediately on the laptop.
‘Thanks,’ Sylvester said with a smile. ‘We’ll need to discuss tomorrow and conclude on the terms of your job, so that you can start fully.’
‘Huh?’ Kimberly opened her mouth in surprise, looking elated by the news. ‘Does that mean I’ve gotten a job already.’
‘Yes,’ Sylvester replied happily too. ‘For the rest of this month, you’ll work with me and I’ll be responsible for you while we try to create a space for you and sort out your responsibilities.’
‘Thank you sir, I’m grateful.’ Kimberly got up to thank him, covering her mouth with her palms to show her extreme happiness.
Ken and a junior officer sat in front of the computer, the junior officer scrolling through some pictures with the aid of the mouse while Ken paid special attention to the screen. After going through the pictures of Mrs Dakolo’s daughter earlier, they selected the two pictures of the blue suited man who was said to accompany the Canadian business lady to the party. The new pictures that were being examined were pictures taken by the press after the assassination had occurred. The press had come to take pictures and videos of the scene after the news of the man’s death broke out to them. This particular set of report was the one gotten from the desert reporters. They finished viewing the pictures without seeing anything significant and moved on to the videos.
After playing two videos, the third and last one was being played. A desert reporter was in front of the camera reporting the sad incident. The advancr scene was videoed at the car park.
‘It’s okay,’ Ken said when the video was about to come to an end without any useful thing seen. ‘Make sure you copy those files completely before returning the flash drive to them, I’ll need to see everything again.’ Ken ordered and got up from his seat, stretching his body.
‘Okay sir,’ the junior officer replied and clicked on the pause icon.
‘Oh!’ Ken exclaimed as his face met the screen again. ‘What’s that?’ He asked pointing at something on the screen. ‘Please play.’ The blue suited man was incidentally captured by the camera, it looked as if he was looking for something at the park. ‘Zoom it,’ Ken ordered in a loud voice. The officer zoomed the video and clicked pause. Henry’s face was shown but not too clear there. Ken couldn’t recognize who it was. ‘Take a screenshot and send it to Femi, let him search for that face and get back to me as soon as possible.’
‘How come you attended the birthday party? I could have never imagined that you’ll ever attend any function organized by Chief Jubril,’ Dakolo said in a painful tone. Dakolo’s stare was piercing through Henry’s heart, making him feel more guilty and regret going that day with Omotara. Henry bowed his head, ashamed of himself, he couldn’t speak also. ‘You were even one of the well dressed males in the event.’ Dakolo continued. ‘What did you go there to do? To have revenge?’ Dakolo began to raise his voice in anger. Henry took a quick glance at Dakolo’s face at the sound of the revenge allegation.
‘No, nothing like that sir, He tried to find his voice.
‘Then explain why you went to the party with Samantha Osman?’
‘Yes, that Evelyn was Samantha Osman.’ Dakolo alleged, in a bid to make Henry confess if he ever had any suspicion or was aware if Evelyn was the same as Samantha.
‘Evelyn is not Samantha,’ Henry argued, sure in his heart that he was saying the truth.
‘She is Samantha,’ Dakolo insisted with a strong note. He got up from the seat and picked his device, he unbuttoned the sleeves of his shirt and rolled them up. He got beside the wall and stood directly under the air conditioner. He stared at Henry from where he was.
‘Your Evelyn is the same person as Samantha Osman,’ he stated again. Henry shook his head in disagreement.
‘A man was the one who killed Jubril Lawal, not a lady. So we shouldn’t even be talking about Samantha Osman now in relation to Chief Jubril’s murder. Furthermore, Evelyn could be anything else; she’s not a killer.’ Dakolo gave a chuckle and walked away from the wall back to his seat. He sat down and positioned himself to face Henry.
‘Since everybody is saying that it was a man who killed Chief Jubril, then that man must be you, Samantha sent you.’
‘No, why would I do such? I can’t kill anyone neither have I come across any Samantha Osman.’
‘D–n! You did it to take your revenge of course.’ Dakolo hit his hand on the table violently, making Henry more uncomfortable and scared of the situation. ‘The man and his son were your enemies, you killed both of them on that same day and You didn’t kill them only, you also killed your kidnappers.’ Henry’s mouth was left open in shock. He couldn’t believe that the Dakolo could accuse him of assassination. Dakolo’s phone rang, he took out his phone and stood up on seeing the caller.
‘Officer Ken…’ Dakolo spoke softly, walking slowly to the window area. ‘You… ‘He said in a shocked tone and made a quick turn to Henry, he tried to conceal his surprise. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll do that myself.’ He said and cut the call. Henry was still perplexed by all that was happening, his heart couldn’t accept Dakolo’s allegation that Evelyn was the same person as Samantha Osman. He couldn’t agree that she wasn’t Samantha Osman or an assassin but he was quite sure that she was Omotara Danjuma, a fraudster.
He could remember well how she left him at the table that day and never returned, he also remembered that she mysteriously disappeared from the place but his feelings for her had beclouded his sense of reasoning. Dakolo gave Henry the shock of his life when after he ended the call, he took out a key and removed a handcuff from behind as he proceeded towards the table.
‘I’m sorry Henry, this has gone beyond my personal investigation. You’re expected in our station right away.’
3pm, Same day Mr Sylvester finally returned to the office several hours after he left with no explanation. Those who had seen him leave said that he left with Henry E.G who had been handcuffed by a Special police agent and led out of the building. Rumours began to fly around immediately. Few minutes after the Agent had led Mr Henry away, a Lady who was one of the occupants of the office where Kimberly was had gone out for a short break and heard the rumour. After spending more than the duration of her break period, she returned to tell the other occupants of the office what she had heard. How the special agent took away Henry in chains with Mr Sylvester pleading to get an explanation from the Agent. They said the Agent insisted that Mr Sylvester had to come to the police office if he wanted to know anything about the matter.
Different versions of stories were cooked up immediately, especially as the event occurred few minutes to most of the worker’s official break time. Some people said that Henry E.G had used his wide range of knowledge to defraud the Central Bank, some said he had hacked into the country’s Treasury system and redirected some of the monies to his account while some said that he had stolen money from the NSCC. All these stories were unconfirmed yet, but still spread around rapidly because the gossipers needed something to feast on. Only Mr Sylvester who went to the police office to have an idea of the real cause of his arrest.
‘Welcome sir,’ Kimberly could hear her colleagues in the office greet in unison. She raised up her head to see who they were greeting, it was Mr Sylvester walking towards her without responding to the greetings from the other staffs.
‘Sir,’ she said softly as he got to the front of her table. He sat on the empty seat and let out a deep breath.
‘ Kimberly, how are you?’ He asked in a fatigued tone. His countenance clearly showed that something was wrong.
‘I’m fine sir, I’ve checked your office and I found out that you were not around.’ She replied.
‘Yes, I went to the police office with Henry E.G. He was accused of being an accomplice of Samantha Osman,’ Sylvester said to her in a low voice, he placed his elbow on the table and buried his face in his palms.
‘Samantha Osman? What’s the basis for their allegation?’ Kimberly asked. Sylvester raised up his head.
‘He accompanied a lady to late Chief Jubril Lawal’s party recently, I never saw that lady but I’m aware that they were friends and most likely lovers, they both stayed in the corporation’s house for a couple of days.’ Kimberly took in a deep breath and stared into the air, she knew the police was closing in on Tarasha already. She was sure that Henry would confess to knowing her once he faced the Nigerian police torture. She had learnt about their method of forcing out truth from their suspects and she was sure that Henry would not have the skin for it. She even wondered why Henry had not told them everything about her already, why did he have to be arrested by the police.
What she thought before was that he had already told all he knew about her to the police. But she was the one who made the fatal error. Henry was supposed to have been killed already but she left him alive for some reasons which was inconsistent with her mode of operation. It would take much more effort now to clear Henry and the mess he had created and was going to create.
‘So the police alleged that the lady is Samantha Osman?’ Kimberly questioned.
‘Hmm…’ She heaved a sigh and then folded her arms. After some seconds of silence, she turned the laptop to Mr Sylvester.
‘Here’s the report for the job you requested.’ Sylvester looked at the screen immediately and continued scanning through the report for few seconds, reading the words under his breath.
‘So, it’s a Canadian number truly?’ He commented after reading it.
‘Yes.’ She replied and turned back the laptop to herself.
‘That means Mr Henry was right about it,’ he said. ‘Please print out the report, it would be of advantage to us and Mr Henry.’
‘Alright sir,’ Tarasha said and bent to pick up the cord for the printer. She plugged it in and tapped the shortcut for print on the keyboard.
‘Sir?’ She called after sending the document to the printer.
‘Yes,’ he answered, the tone of fatigue still sounding in his voice.
‘Do you really think that Mr Henry did help the assassin to murder Chief Jubril?’ She asked in a concerned tone.
‘I don’t even know what to think,’ he sighed and rested back. ‘I don’t know what to think. I’ve always felt Mr Henry’s passion to put an end to the assassinations by our input as the NSCC, so I don’t believe he would help the assassin but with this strong claim by the police that one of the assassins was seen with him, I don’t know what to think anymore?’
‘Hmm…’ Kimberly inhaled deeply as she collected the printed document from the lady who brought it to them. She stared into the paper for some seconds before handing it over to Sylvester.
‘Would he be granted bail?’
‘I’ve contacted a lawyer on his behalf, I’m sure he cannot sleep over in the police cell tonight. He’ll be granted bail but the Agent said he’ll be placed under close watch. He told me to advise him not to play any tricks.’
‘Is it that serious?’ Kimberly widened her gaze and folded her arms as she rested her back.
‘Yes, something that involves the assassin group Samantha Osman leads is serious. Another thing the Agent made mention of is that Henry may be a member of the assassin team.’
‘Hmm… What a pity!’ She exclaimed in a really pitiful tone. ‘That means that he would not be free to move around anymore.’
‘Yes, his movement would be restricted and he’ll be followed everywhere. Even in his house, he’ll be monitored.’ Sylvester replied.
‘Yes, so he’s staying in his home tonight?’
‘Yes,’ Sylvester answered with a slight groan as struggled to stand up from the seat.
‘His house…’ Kimberly repeated severally under her breath. That was all the information she needed to have, she just wished that Henry wouldn’t have spilled out too much information before the police grants him bail.
‘I’ll be leaving in fifteen minutes time sir.’ She announced to Sylvester who was about to turn and take his leave.
‘Oh!’ He turned back slowly and sat back. He stared at her face and put on a smile.
‘Thank you for your help Miss Kimberly.’ He said. She smiled like a child without saying anything. The man took out his wallet and phone from his pocket. He dropped the phone on the table and opened the wallet, he then counted ten thousand naira and took it out. ‘I learnt that you have a car,’ he said as he returned the wallet into his pocket.
‘Yes, I do,’ she answered, a little hesitant.
‘Okay, you can get fuel with this,’ he said as he handed her the money.
‘Oh!’ Her eyes lit up with gratefulness. ‘Thank you sir, ‘ she said as she took the money.
‘You’re welcome.’ He replied with a smile of satisfaction, glad that she was happy to receive his gift. ‘I have to do some work now,’ he said as he got up.
‘Alright, till tomorrow sir.’
‘Bye sir.’ She said as she watched him leave, he had forgotten his phone on the table. The eyes of the other people in the office turned to her as Sylvester walked out of the place. She ignored them and turned back to the laptop. The smile on her face totally disappeared immediately. She closed the laptop after shutting down and disconnected the power cord. She then picked the phone which Mr Sylvester had forgotten, it was his most used phone where he received both business and personal calls. She swiped it open and opened his call settings hurriedly. After scrolling through for some minutes, she minimized the program and opened Xender, an app for transferring files. She took her own phone and opened his Xender on it too, she connected the phones and then transferred into his phone another app. It entered within few seconds and she installed it immediately and made the settings to track his phone calls, she then hid the app and refreshed the phone memory. She straightened her cloth and got up from her seat, wanting to go to Mr Sylvester’s office to return his phone but the man walked back into the office just in time.
Fifteen minutes later like she told Mr Sylvester, she was out of the main building and was proceeding to where her car was parked. The first thing she spotted when she got there was Henry’s car, parked at the opposite direction. He must have seen her car, she was sure. That was the goal for bringing the car anyway, to make him suspicious about her presence there and begin to try to find her, then she would lure him into her a trap. But with the new turn of events, that strategy would not work anymore, she needed him to be unaware of her presence now, she wished she had never brought her car. But she still had nothing to worry about, there was always a plan B.
The device in her bag began to beep loudly as she moved closed to the boot of her car. She gave an evil smile, she knew that Henry wasn’t going to leave without doing anything when he sees the car. She brought out her device and checked the notification, she silenced the alarm after dismissing the notification. She returned her device back into her bag before searching around the car for the tracker that had been placed there.
After five minutes of futile search, she took out her device again and clicked open the app which notified her of the tracker’s presence. ‘Basta*d!’ She cursed under her breath as she began to scan the body of the car with her camera. Scanning the outer body didn’t yield the result, so she began to scan under the car. That was when she located the tracker, installed somewhere close to the tyre.
She pulled out the tiny device and dropped it on the floor. She cursed Henry in her mind again before proceeding into the car. As she drove out of the compound, she spotted a police vehicle entering into the compound. She drove away hurriedly, something had to be done about Henry that night. It had to be that night.
Sylvester had barely settled in his office when his phone rang, he checked the screen and the caller ID displayed was the police office.
‘Hello,’ he answered the call.
‘Mr Sylvester, I’ve sent some boys to your office now and they are already in the compound. They have a search warrant with them, I’ll like you to cooperate with them and lead them to Henry E.G’s office.’ Agent Dakolo’s voice came through.
‘It’s okay sir.’ Sylvester ended the call with a sigh of frustration, he buried his face in his palms and let out a deep breath. He suddenly remembered something and picked up the phone again. He dialed the police office.
‘Any problem Mr Sylvester?’ Dakolo answered the call.
‘No problem sir,’ Sylvester replied. ‘Like I told you before, the result for the reinvestigation of the number was supposed to be out today. It’s out already, I’ll send to you the document through your boys.’
‘Okay, but what was the result?’ Dakolo asked.
‘The number is Canadian.’ Dakolo gave a very short but threatening chuckle.
‘Mr Sylvester,’ he called in a low voice but rigid tone. ‘Don’t get yourself into trouble trying to help out a suspect,’ he warned.
‘No,’ Sylvester said with fear in his voice. ‘I’m not trying to help him out. I wasn’t the one who did the job, I’ve never done that kind of job. I gave it to a capable person who doesn’t even know Mr Henry personally.’
‘I hope so, because if I find out that you’re trying to help him, I’ll make sure you get into trouble with him and I assure you it won’t be easy to come out of it.’ Dakolo said, still in a threatening tone.
‘No, nothing of such sir.’
‘If that’s the case, send me the document then.’
‘Okay sir.’ Dakolo said as he ended the call, his doorbell sounded immediately. He checked his computer screen, his expected visitors and his secretary were at his office entrance. He picked up a bunch of keys and a card from his drawer, he also took the result document and folded it into an envelope before getting up to join them. …
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to be continued