April 28, 2031
EFX Studios, Asokoro Extension.
‘Alright stop!’ the music producer ordered as he tapped the space bar on the keyboard. His head fell back tiredly and he let out a breath. He turned his swivel towards the recording boot. ‘Vivy, why don’t you allow us reduce the tempo of this beat a little?’ he asked, staring at her with a finger pressing against his lips.
She took off the listening headset and stepped away from the microphone. ‘Do you really think it’ll be better that way?’ her voice sounded low.
‘Yes, I’m very sure.’ the music producer answered confidently.
‘Okay, reduce it and play for me to listen.’
The door to the studio opened just as the music producer turned and held the mouse. He focused his gaze on the computer screen and refused to be distracted. Only after he finished reducing the tempo and tapped play he looked towards the door and noticed that the person who entered was a total stranger. The stranger was putting on a pull over which covered his head and still had a face cap under, he wore a jean trouser and hiphop shoes to compliment his dressing. A backpack was also strapped to his back.
He paused the music and squinted at the visitor who was looking around and proceeding towards him slowly. ‘Hello, please, didn’t anyone attend to you at the reception?’
The stranger just flashed a look at him and kept on moving closer, his eyes still searching everywhere in the studio. The stranger’s eyes finally located the transparent section of the boot and he saw the person he was looking for. She had a headset in her hands and her gaze was fixed on the music producer until she noticed his presence. Their eyes locked and the stranger let out a wry smile. Vivy’s gaze moved back to the producer, wondering why the beat was stopped.
‘Bros, na wetin you want?’ the music producer resorted to Nigerian pidgin English, thinking the stranger was one of those struggling but arrogant upcoming hip-hop artistes.
The stranger looked at him and smiled, he felt like taking out a gun and shooting the music producer for his loudness but he wasn’t permitted to kill anymore except it was indeed necessary. ‘I came to see her,’ he said to the music producer and then faced Vivy who stared at him with a confused look.
‘What’s happening Veniyx?’ Vivy asked, looking at the producer for an explanation.
The stranger located the entrance to the recording boot and began to proceed there.
‘Hey! Where the hell are you going to?’ Veniyx shouted at him and jumped out of his seat. He dashed towards him and tried to stop him from entering the boot.
The stranger twisted Veniyx’s hand and grabbed his neck as he tried to pull him by the shoulder. He opened the door to the boot and dragged the music producer into it with him. He pushed the producer to one side of the boot at the entrance after almost choking him to death, then he proceeded towards Vivy, slowly.
‘Who the hell are you and what do you think you’re doing?’
Cole stopped at her front and let out a smile. ‘Sorry you had to meet me this way Vivy, I’m a big fan of yours,’ Cole said and stretched his palm to her for an handshake.
She stared at his hand for a second and eyed him arrogantly, not making any move to accept his handshake.
‘Oh!’ Cole chuckled. He withdrew his hand and took off the backpack strapped to his back. He opened the zip and took out an office file. He strapped the backpack back to his back and then stretched the file to her. The music producer at the back continued to cough as he struggled to get on his feet.
She only took a glance at the file and stepped back. She stared him in the face and shook her head gently. Then she hung the headset of the microphone stand and attempted to walk away.
‘Get back here b****,’ Cole dragged her back and took out a gun from his back pocket. ‘Get back in,’ he pointed it at the music producer who was already trying to get out of the boot. He motioned for the producer to step back before turning back to terrified Vivy. He pointed the gun to her head. ‘Now, move this way.’ he said, pointing her to the side where he could see her and the music producer together.
She obeyed fearfully, raising her hands halfway up.
Vivy tried to read what document she was about to sign but couldn’t read much as the stranger barked at her to quickly sign it. All she knew was that she signed a confirmation of receipt, but couldn’t tell the receipt of what she was signing for.
‘Now, your thumb.’ Cole said as he brought out an inked pad and placed it open on his palm. She pressed her thumb gently on the pad and printed it on the space made for it on the paper she also signed.
Cole returned the pad and pen into his bag first and then took the paper she signed on from the file, there were still some other documents left there. He passed the paper to the music producer and asked him to fold it into four, still holding the gun to Vivy’s head.
‘The remaining documents there are for your Dad, you can deliver them to him if you like. But if you do not, I have proof that you received them already. Tell him it’s from Samantha Osman when you give it to him.’
Cole collected the folded paper from Veniyx and put it into his back pocket. He stepped back carefully until he got to the door. ‘I won’t hesitate to blow off your heads if you try to make any sound,’ he said before opening the door. He stepped out of the boot and locked the door from behind.
He proceeded back to the reception where he had tranquilized two receptionist and a visitor. He took out the tranquilizing pins from the victims’ bodies one after the other and stepped out of the place quickly before they recovered.
Back in the studio
After a minute, Veniyx began to struggle to get the door opened while Vivy began to check the documents in the file. There were about sixteen A4 papers stapled together in the file. The first one had a letter head of NOTD Pharmaceutical Limited and the letter was dated May 2, 2011. It was sent to a pharmaceutical company in Europe and it was a request for a specific quantity of drugs. She skipped the other parts of the letter and was about to flip to another page, but something in the complimentary close caught her attention. She saw her father’s name and signature at the close. She scrolled up again to see the name of the pharmaceutical company. She was confused. She never knew her father to work in or own such a company. It was that same period her father served as the Deputy Governor of their state of residence. She opened to the next page and there was a letter from the World Health Agency to the Nigerian Drugs Agency, informing them about the ban of the drug that was requested in the first letter. She closed the file for a moment and stared in confusion.
‘Do…do you have your phone with you?’ Veniyx who was still struggling with the door asked. Vivy stood frozen to a spot, she was totally absent minded. ‘Vivy!’ Veniyx shouted.
She flashed a quick look at him, her face still dim in confusion.
‘I left my phone outside, can you make a call with your phone to your driver outside to come help us with this door?’ Veniyx asked.
Vivy turned back to search for her phone which she was reading her lyrics from before the stranger entered. She picked it from where it was hung and handedit to Veniyx to make the call.
‘I don’t know your driver’s number,’ Veniyx complained.
‘Search for Toba,’ she said with a quick glance at him and then stared blankly at the wall again. She opened the file again and checked the date on the first letter for a second time, she compared the date on the second letter.
Aguda House, Aso Rock.
The Vice President stepped out of the house, flanged by the minister of housing and the minister of works. His Security officials followed behind at a slower pace as the government officials all turned towards the car park.
‘If they are not responding as they should, why don’t we assign the project to indigenous engineers?’ the Vice President asked the Minister of works who was at his left side as they continued on their way to the car park.
‘Sir, we won’t get as much as we want if we award the contract to indigenous guys, they could be easily monitored by the law enforcement agencies in charge.’ the Minister replied.
‘Uhmn… Even though we should consider that,’ the Vice President stopped to think but couldn’t find words to continue. The phone in his pocket began to ring, he balanced a hand on his walking stick and took out the phone with the other. His injured leg was getting better and the walking stick was becoming more for fashion.
‘Good morning, my campaign manager.’ The Vice President answered the call and hailed his caller in a cheerful tone.
‘Good morning sir,’ the caller replied in the same cheerful tone. ‘The first set of slides for the campaign are up already, I ensured that they were raised at the same time across the thirty six States.’
‘Good work, I…’
‘Dad!’ A very loud voice interrupted the Vice President’s phone call. The three men standing close to the flowers and the Vice President’s assistants at the back all turned to the speaker. ‘Dad, you have to explain this right away.’ Vivy charged angrily towards them. She stopped in front of the Vice President and stretched the office file to him. She dragged her long braided hair which was falling to the front backwards and then placed the hand on her waist, chewing the gum in her mouth so fast and noisily.
‘Please, let me call back later.’ Chief Elvis said before ending the call. He looked at her in silence from head to toe. She was dressed in an armless top which was almost showing everything on her chest and a tight shorts which stopped middle of her thighs, not too different from a bumshort. She also had a long necklace hanging from her neck.
‘Vivy, is anything the matter?’ the Vice President asked her, surprised at her attitude and disrespect shown to his guests.
‘Dad, take this and explain!’ she said still pushing the file to him and chewing the gum.
The Vice President took a look at the office file and then glanced briefly at his guests. He took in a breath and folded his lips in.
‘Vivian, you are disrespecting me in front of my guests.’ he scolded her without taking the file.
For a second, Vivy glanced at the faces of the men beside her father like she was just seeing them. Then she placed her gaze back on her father’s face. ‘Dad, I need an explanation for this.’ she insisted.
‘I’m sorry gentlemen,’ the Vice President stepped forward and apologized to his guests. ‘I’ll be back in a moment,’ he said and pulled Vivy by the arm with him.
‘Vivian, what is wrong with you?’ the Vice President asked after they got up to the balcony of the house, out of earshot of the guests. ‘Why did you chose to embarrass me in the presence of my guests that way? What has come over you?’ the man shouted angrily.
‘You Dad! You are the problem,’ Vivy shouted back. ‘I never knew you were involved in shipping and Importing of illegal and fake drugs into the country.’
The man was taken aback. His mouth was left agape at her accusation, a confused look appeared on his face.
‘I’ve been going everywhere representing NGOs and acting as an ambassador for organizations that discourage the use of fake drugs not knowing that my father is one of those who import these bad products into the country in large quantities.’
‘Shut up Vivian! Shut up!’ the man shouted at her. ‘What are you talking about and who’s feeding you with these stupid lies.’
‘Dad, stop lying to me, you know these aren’t lies.’
‘I said shut up young lady! How can you come here and make such demeaning accusations against your father?’
‘Here Dad, have it,’ she said, stretching forth the file to him again. ‘Please explain what this document means.’
The man collected the file from her reluctantly and opened it. He wanted to rush through the first page but couldn’t as something there looked familiar. The expression on his face deepened as he read down.
‘Vivy, we have to talk about this inside.’ he said after seeing the contents of the first page. He looked around briefly to see if anyone was close and listening to them before he tried to hold her hand.
‘No, leave me Dad. I want the explanation right here and now,’ she refused.
‘Come in with me Vivian, these things you brought are sensitive issues but they are all false.’ The Vice President tried to convince her.
‘Dad, you’ve only read the first page and you say everything is false. How did you know what is contained in the other fifteen pages?’ Vivy asked and folded her arms across her chest.
‘Look here Vivian, I know that this is fake. It’s the plot of my enemies and I know how desperate they can go to pull me down.’ the man replied. ‘Come, let’s go in.’ He tried to pull her in again.
‘No Dad, you’re going to make whatever explanations you have to make here.’ Vivy remained adamant.
‘Vivian, what the hell is wrong with you? Why have you made yourself so gullible? And you chose to believe another person’s report against mine,’ the man shouted in an angry tone. ‘The elections are drawing near and since I declared my interest to contest, my enemies have been out to do everything to make sure I fail. How can you allow yourself to be deceived by the tricks and tactics?’
Vivy remained silent, staring blankly away from his face but still unconvinced of her father’s innocence.
‘Let’s go in,’ he pulled her by the hand again and she didn’t resist this time.
She followed him to the living room where the man sat and took some minutes to go through the file.
‘These are all lies and fake, someone is trying to frame me up. Their purpose is to give me a bad name before the election,’ he said after closing the file. Vivy who remained standing in front of him only took a glance at his face and looked away again, still unconvinced. ‘Where did you find this?’
Vivy glanced at his face again and they looked away. ‘Someone brought it to me while I was recording in the studio this morning,’ she answered.
‘Who is the person who brought it to you?’
‘A guy, he said he was from Samantha Osman.’
Fear surged through the man’s veins at the mention of Samantha’s name. His, teeth vibrated in his mouth and his whole body trembled for some seconds.
‘No,’ he said and got up to his feet, trying to put himself under control. ‘It is evident that the opposition is at work,’ he said facing the wall behind as he rested his weight on the walking stick. ‘I always knew that Samantha Osman wasn’t just an assassin, she was sent by enemies of the state, a group of people who do not want the best for this country.’ the man said, still facing the wall. He stood well and hit his walking stick on the floor three times before he turned to his daughter. ‘Vivian, doesn’t it all make sense to you now? The attempt on my life by Samantha Osman was orchestrated by my enemies and when they found it impossible to kill me, they’ve decided to levy false accusations against me.’
Vivy stood still with her gaze on her father’s face, now she was getting confused by her father’s defence.
‘Dad, how can you explain your signatures, passports and even finger prints on some of these documents?’ she asked.
‘Look Vivy, all those things are false. They forged everything, you know who your father is, it’s easy to get my picture or passport anywhere. I was the commissioner of Police for four years in Lagos and the Deputy Governor for eight years. How can I now be involved in something I was brutally fighting against?’
Vivy became more confused and her body weak. She closed her eyes and took in a breath. Here was her father denying the allegation and giving sensible reasons why he couldn’t have been a part of the illegal business while the file spoke opposite about him. The file seemed to contain every proof that the man was definitely involved. Even the writing tone of some of the letters there was that of her father’s.
‘But Vivian, I must say that I’m very disappointed in you. How could you have ever considered this to be true? I expected that you should have stood up for me wherever this kind of allegation comes up and not join the enemies point accusing fingers.’
Now, Vivy was feeling guilty for not hearing her father out before believing the whole thing. She had put her own ambitions first. If her Dad was ever found to be guilty of the allegations, then her endorsement deal with the World Health Agency would be totally terminated and it cause a big blow to her music career.
‘I’m sorry sir, but this looks too real. This signature is yours, the writing tone is like yours and your passport photographs are even there. Even the names of your close friends, most of them who are late now are also included.’ Vivy apologized.
‘Look here Vivian, there’s nothing the enemy cannot do to harm me right and that is why they’ve decided to come through you first. They know that once they can cause distrust between my family, then they can successfully convince the world of these things I didn’t do.’ the man said and opened the file again. ‘You’ll have to do me a favour,’ he said, looking up at her face again. ‘Don’t mention a word to anyone about this yet and you also have to be careful henceforth, I suggest that you finish up with whatever you’re doing here as soon as possible and return to the States.’
‘Okay Dad, but what are we going to do about this? They may give out these false document to the public,’ Vivy said, now concerned for her father.
‘I’ll keep this with me,’ he said, closing the file. ‘I’ll get it to the Inspector General once I return from my outing with the ministers outside. You be careful’
Song Lyrics extracted from Anny Ft BOUQUI – Your Love
…To be continued
Last Week’s Question:
According to what the SSS men told the owner of the Chevrolet Camaro, what is the occupation of the person who drove in her car?
Answer – Medical Doctor
This Week’s Question
According to the parts posted this week, what couldn’t Cole fix into the documents he sent to Tarasha?
He couldn’t fix in the signatures
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