Dave couldn’t get the voice of the lady off his head for the whole day. He struggled with himself to figure out the owner of the voice. He was sure he had heard the voice before, there was no way anyone he didn’t know could get to him through the number.
He took out his phone and car keys from his pocket as he entered into his room. He proceeded towards the bed and dropped the items there. Then he closed his eyes and took in a deep breath before falling face flat in the bed. The bullet wound at his back wasn’t completely healed yet so he was always careful how he laid on his back. The phone on the bed began to ring. He quickly sat up and picked the phone. He checked the screen, it was the call he had been waiting for
‘Good evening sir,’ he said into the phone.
‘Good evening Mr David,’ the caller replied. ‘I just finished what you asked me to do.’
‘Oh! I’ve been waiting for your response, hope it’s positive.’ Dave readjusted his sitting position, hoping to get good news from the caller as all of his day has been uneventful and with no goal achieved. The caller was a staff in the ministry of health. Dave had called him earlier that day and sent the names of the drugs in the picture Lizzy had sent to him, asking the man to find out the peculiarity of those drugs and also the correlation between them.
‘Yes, I believe what I have for you is positive. Those drugs you sent were banned years ago by the World Health Agency.’
‘Okay…’ Dave already knew that, he needed something he didn’t know before.
‘They were not the only drugs banned within those years but those sixteen were smuggled into Nigeria and caused a lot of deaths. Some pharmaceutical industries and distributors were shut down because of it and some people prosecuted but they never really sorted anything out or found anyone guilty.’
‘Hmm… Interesting sir, thank you for the good work.’ Dave paused to clear his throat. ‘Sir, can you send these details and maybe more to my email? I’d love for the name of the pharmaceutical companies and individuals well documented there and every other detail too.’
‘Okay, that’s not a problem. But if I may ask, what do you really want to do with this information? Are you planning to release a news article on them?’
‘Kind of, even though not right now. We just need to clear some dark things that happened in those years.’
‘Okay, Ermm…I do not want my name to be mentioned anywhere please.’
‘Yes, it won’t be. I already promised you that,’ Dave reassured him.
‘Okay then, I should be able to send you the details you need tonight.’
‘Thank you sir.’
Dave drew in a deep breath after the call ended. He began to think about what he could do with the new information. Many ideas ran through his mind and he considered them one after the other. He would have to go deeper and fetch more information about the prosecution of the pharmaceutical companies and individuals.
He remembered someone as he was about to sleep off, Jumoke. He picked his phone again and dialed the number of the neighbour who had been reporting her health status to him.
‘Good evening sir,’ he greeted immediately the call was answered.
‘Bros, Good evening, your girlfriend is still at the hospital and you haven’t showed up yet.’
Dave sighed. ‘I’ve not been permitted to come from work but I’ll try my best to come as soon as I can. I called to find out how she’s doing now.’
‘Well… She’s still unconscious, the doctor says they need seven hundred thousand urgently and I’m not sure her parents even know where to get it from.’
‘Wow!’ Dave eyes shone as he let out a gasp. ‘What exactly happened to her?’
‘I’m not certain yet but we broke into her apartment that morning when a church member of hers kept on knocking the door and she didn’t answer. From the look of things that morning, it’s like she fell the night before and hit her head against the television. Some other neighbours heard the sound that night but they said she told them everything was alright when they knocked at her door. So we can’t really tell the exact time she passed out and how long she was unconscious before she was discovered.’
‘Seven hundred thousand! Hmmm,’ Dave exclaimed again and let out a sigh. ‘Well, I’ll see what I can do and call you back.’
Dave buried his face in the pillow, thinking about what he could do to help Jumoke. He wondered what could have made her fall and hit her head in a way that she’d be unconscious. But the neighbours said she still spoke after they heard the noise, could it mean something else happened after the fall? Or was it due to the lack of quick first aid treatment? Maybe Jumoke had tried to treat herself instead of calling for external help, he thought to himself. Anyhow it was, he had to find a way of helping. Even though he felt no special thing for her, she had been good to him and deserved his help. Maybe it was the only thing he could give his in place of his love which she required of him.
He would have to empty his bank accounts to raise the money for her.
April 30, 2031
Chief Rikau murmured under his breath as he searched for his ringing phone. He checked the screen to see the caller, it was Rex. He hissed before answering the call. He had waited up till 1:30am expecting calls from Rex in case he had questions to ask and had gotten none.
‘Inspector, the database I can find here is dated from 2020.’ Rex voice came through.
‘Have you been able to access the database?’
‘No, I checked from the server and there are no records for the years before 2020.’
‘That’s impossible, are you sure you’re doing the right thing?’ the IG asked.
‘I’m checking directly from the server, the years before 2020 are not present. However, there’s a space here created a day ago, it could mean that it was only removed yesterday.’
‘Can you check the duration of years that space caters for?’
‘You know I can’t check that but it’s logical to say that the removed ones are the ones for 2005 to 2019 because the datas are group in fifteen years..’
‘But how is it possible that someone removed it?’
‘It’s just twenty five hours after the creation of the space, I’m quite sure it was done by Samantha or the spy who is a staff here that has been supplying her data.’
‘If it happened twenty five hours ago, how was it possible for her to get it easily?’
‘We can’t tell how long she has been working on this. She outsmarted you guys here already and it’s better you don’t let it happen again. Stop giving me information late.’
Tarasha sat in her car silently, still keeping watch over the house and expecting the man to come out of the house soon. The time for the conference to begin was 8am and she was surprised that the guest speaker was still at home when the venue of the event was nothing less than forty minutes drive from the man’s residence. She had been up waiting for close to two hours.
The man had built his house in an area off the main road even though not too far from it. The place was quiet and peaceful even though it had so many houses in it.
Tarasha could have gone into the house since the last night she arrived into the state but she discovered from her survey of the place that the compound was being protected by four huge dogs and decided to wait for the man to come out before reaching him.
At exactly 7:42am, the gate opened and a car drove out of the compound. Tarasha could see from where she watched that only three people were in the car; two at the front seats and one behind. Even though she couldn’t see their faces properly, she knew that the man at the back was none other than Eze Okafor. She started her car engine immediately after the gate was closed and followed the car, she had to get to them before they entered into the main road.
‘What’s the matter with that person?’ Eze Okafor asked his boys after taking a glance back from where he was seated comfortably at the back seat. He had seen the car driving towards them at an unusual speed.
‘Some people just get drunk at any time of the day, I’m sure the person is drunk and he thinks he’s on the expressway.’ the man seated at the Passengers’ side in front answered.
‘You guys should just stay on this lane and allow him drive off with his craziness,’ Eze Okafor said, looking back again through the back glass.
The crazy driver got to them and instead of driving past like they expected, swerved to their front almost causing a clash between the cars.
‘Who is this crazy person?’ the driver shouted in exasperation after successfully avoiding the accident by stepping hard on the brakes.
‘I just hope it’s not what I’m thinking,’ Eze Okafor at the back said breathlessly. His fear could be heard in his voice as he struggled for breath.
‘It’s a stupid girl,’ the man at the passengers’ side shouted as he opened the door and stepped out.
Tarasha also stepped out at the same time with her gun and shot directly at the man who stepped out first before shooting the one of the driver’s side. She walked forward and opened the door to the backseat, ordering the man out. He stepped out raising his hands in the air and staring intently at her face.
‘Get into my car,’ she said to him and he moved towards the direction immediately.
She opened the passenger’s side at the front for him to enter and he did. Then she took out a pin from her front jacket and inserted into his neck before she closed the door. Then she turned to the driver’s side and picked another gun, she shot twice in the air to scare away onlookers before entering the car.
Twenty minutes later, she drove to an uncompleted building and dragged his body inside. She took off the pin from his neck and flung it away, then she took out a syringe and an ampoule which contained the liquid that would neutralize the effect of the tranquilizer she just removed from his neck.
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Rex glanced at the wristwatch for the fifth time in twenty minutes. He stared around again before he focused his gaze on the gate of the conference hall. Everything was still going normally and nothing seemed to be amiss. He took his tablet device and unlocked it, he stared at the picture of his target, Eze Okafor for some seconds again. He already had the man’s image formed in his mind and there was no way he could miss him when they see.
His gaze moved to the gate again where he saw three men in black suits rushing out to enter a car and then a police car following. He observed from his car until the cars were driven away, they drove like they were going to attend to an emergency.
Rex was tired of waiting in his car, he stepped out with his camera and proceeded to the events centre, he needed to find out why the event had not continued yet, for it had kicked off only for them to pause activities after five minutes. More importantly he needed to find out if the Chief guest speaker had arrived.
He met a couple of security officers and police men at the entrance as expected, he only glanced at them briefly and proceeded to the access control area. He displayed his press ID card and the conference invite to the access control team and was allowed to go in. He stopped for a moment and looked around. The hall was more than half full but no activity was up on the stage, only a mid rock inspirational song was being played through the speakers.
‘What’s happening? Hasn’t the meeting started yet?’ Rex located another camera man and asked.
The camera man stared at him and noticed the camera hung around his neck and badge on him. From his accent he could tell that this man stayed outside the country for a long time.
‘Who employed your recording services?’ the camera man asked, he was aware of all the cameramen employed by the organizers of the events themselves.
‘The Chief Guest speaker himself,’ Rex replied boldly.
‘Ehen…’the man stared at his face for a while. He looked at the badge again, Rex was also displaying his ID card now. ‘We started already but the delay is due to the news we got some minutes ago that Dr Eze Okafor was attacked on his way here. However, the meeting would soon continue with or without him,’ the man said and ended by glancing at his wristwatch.
‘Who attacked him?’ Rex squinted at the man’s face.
‘Some unknown bandits, I heard they killed his men and went away with him.’
‘Meaning he was kidnapped?’
‘I can’t say for certain,’ the cameraman replied. He looked towards the left side where someone was beckoning on him. ‘Please excuse me, I have to go,’ he said to Rex.
‘Thank you,’ Rex replied and turned back towards the door immediately. He proceeded out of the place and got back into his car, he closed the door and wind up the glasses. He fixed the eartips of his earphone into his ears and plugged it into his Android phone, then he dialed the Inspector General’s number.
‘Inspector, I think someone has gotten here before us. The target has been attacked on his way to the conference.’ he said as the man answered.
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘The man was attacked, I believe it should be Samantha.’
‘How do you know?’
‘I got the information from someone in the hall, the conference has been delayed for the man’s sake.’
‘Ermm…’ the man sounded hesitant for a while. ‘Ermm… I’ll call you back, let me get out of this place.’ he said before ending the call.
Rex picked up his tablet device and unlocked it, he maximized the NSCC software to see if his login had been successful. A dashboard showing several footages of his current location displayed immediately, it meant the login was successful. He minimized and opened the note application, there he copied the address of the man’s house which he had typed and saved. He maximized back the NSCC software and pasted the copied location into a dialog box he opened, the processing began.
He pulled on his seatbelt and pushed the start button, the engine roared to life. He took another look at the device on his laps before he turned on the trafficator.
‘That’s the car!’
The police hilux screeched to a halt just behind the entry empty Rover in front of the uncompleted building. The officers behind jumped down from the van and began to surround the building. Two officers checked the rover and discovered that it was empty. The one who seemed to be the leader of the group of nine signalled to the officers and directed those who were to go to the left and those to the right of the building. He signalled for the remaining two to follow him into the place.
They walked into the building tactfully and carefully with the leader directing them. They did not have to go too far before they found the man. He was laid on a plank in the passage just after the place meant to be the living room. He was deeply asleep and unconscious of his environment. His black suit jacket which had been taken off his body was on floor by his side and covered with dust. His shirt was halfway unbuttoned and his tie loose, only his belt and trousers were firm.
‘He’s still breathing,’ the leader said to the other two after placing two fingers on the man’s neck to observe. ‘Go into the other rooms and see if she’s still around.’
The men returned to the same spot a minute later without finding anything. Their leader had gone to get other officers to move the unconscious man.
‘What do you mean you found nothing around? She couldn’t have gone far,’ the man said as he cocked his gun and moved further into the uncompleted building in the direction the other men had just returned from. He got to the exit of the building leading to the backyard and looked out from there. The place was full of bushes but there was a path at the left side leading away from the place. Two of the men he had directed to go the left were returning from there.
‘What did you find?’ he barked at the men.
‘Sir, it leads to the village.’ one of them replied him.
‘She couldn’t have gone far, I’m sure she left when she heard us coming. Her car is still at the front,’ the man said, vibrating on a spot. He turned back swiftly and proceeded to the spot where Eze Okafor was laying previously. The man had been carried away before they got there but two officers were still standing there. ‘Let them take him to the hospital right now for quick treatment,’ he said, facing one of the two men. ‘You should reach the office and get another vehicle ready for the rest of us. We have to comb the bushes and the village too.’
Rex halted his car just beside the bush. He could see the wide roadway created in between the bushes, tarred although with so many potholes already. He clicked on his tablet’s screen again, the backlight came on. He scrolled through the selection of footages on the dashboard, he selected the last one he had watched. Samantha’s car had entered through that roadway and that had been the end of the video coverage. The path and the village it led to had no security cameras installed.
Rex thought for a moment on the next step to take, whether to go in through the path and start trying to locate the car since he knew Samantha drove in a rover or for him to just turn back since she was already ahead of him.
He took in a deep breath and took off his seatbelt. He opened the car and stepped out, he stopped to stare around the area before he closed the door. Every other motorist and passers-by were minding their businesses, so he journeyed into the roadway on foot.
He placed his gaze on the floor as he walked and tried to observe on the tarred road the signs of the vehicle tyres that passed recently, the road didn’t appear like one that was being plied by vehicles frequently.
Just as he took few steps in, he noticed a vehicle coming towards him, it was a police vehicle. He continued walking in and this time faced up as he knew turning back at that moment would call for suspicions from the policemen. He never knew that the police had gotten to the place before him, he had met some at the scene of the kidnap and thought that it was the only place they were. He also had not been viewing the live stream from the NSCC cameras, instead he had focused his streaming on the past minutes which recorded Samantha’s movement and drive to the place.
The police vehicle passed by his side and Rex made sure he took a very good look. He saw the man he had come for lying unconscious at the back seat. He had recognized him by the trouser and the dirty suit jacket hung in the van behind, he had seen the man putting on the clothes in the footages. He knew it could only mean two things; either Samantha was done with the man or the police had stopped her.
He made sure the police hilux was gone before he turned back. He took out his phone, the Inspector General was already calling.
…to be continued