Nnewi, Anambra State.
Late Eze Okafor’s Residence
Dave and Dan sat quietly in the car waiting patiently for the return of Agent Godwin. The car was parked at the garage in the compound of the late man’s residence where his bereaved family were and sympathisers had come to pay condolences. Agent Godwin had walked into the place with two junior SSS officers and investigators to sympathize with the family and also use the opportunity to ask some key questions to help their investigation.
Dave and Dan couldn’t go with them for the interrogation, their jobs as secret agents did not permit them to make direct interrogations, they always had to get the report from a non secret agent.
Pretending as journalists, they had visited the hospital where Eze Okafor died in with Agent Godwin and took their time to properly scrutinize the crime scene. The ward had been locked by the police after the discovery of the murder and they tried their best to ensure there was no change in the position of things there. The ropes which had been tied to the late man’s hands and legs still had their pieces attached to the bed in the ward. The windows and curtains were also left open as they were when the murder was discovered. All these were what the agents scrutinized.
Agent Godwin had also requested for the footages from the security cameras installed in and around the building of the hospital. They had watched the footages over and over again and couldn’t deduce anything from it. Agent Godwin had to copy some of the files into a device for more observation at another time.
They spotted Agent Godwin returning to the car after forty minutes of going into the house with the two other SSS officers who had come in another car. Dan who was seated at the driver’s side opened the backdoor ready for the Agent to enter the car but the Agent stopped at the front instead. He knocked beside the tinted glass softly for Dan to wind down, looking around to see if anyone was looking towards their direction. The tinted glasses had helped to hide Dan and Dave inside the car, even the other SSS men had thought agent Godwin was in the car with his driver only.
Dan rolled the glass down a bit and stared at the agent.
‘I’m done with those two security guys that went out with the man but I’m still thinking of interrogating the woman now.’ Agent Godwin said to them.
‘The deceased’s wife?’ Dan asked.
‘Yes, what do you think?’
Dan shook his head. ‘Please come into the car and let’s talk.’
Agent Godwin sighed, reluctant to enter. Dan rolled the window glass up and he had no choice than to enter.
‘Sir, do you think the woman would be emotional ready to answer your questions?’ Dave asked after the man had gotten in.
‘With the way I see her, I think she’d be able to answer one or two questions that’ll be useful to us.’ Agent Godwin replied.
‘Are you the one directly in charge of the interrogation or your men?’ Dave questioned.
‘I’m in charge of this for now, but my men would take it up from tomorrow. I don’t do interrogations except it’s totally necessary and I’m only here because of the peculiarity of the case and your status as secret Agents.’
Dave nodded. He understood the man perfectly well. The man was the head of the Security team in Anambra state and had more of a managerial and overseeing responsibility except if the case had to do with the Governor of the State directly.
‘What did you get from those men sir?’ Dan questioned after a brief moment of silence.
‘They don’t know anything, the only thing they remember is the man calling on them that morning to get ready for the conference. I think benryl has washed it from their memories but with the way it is now, the police would still have to invite those men for more questioning.’
‘I think he has to question the deceased’s wife,’ Dan turned to speak to Dave. ‘I believe we would get something important from her.’
‘Okay, if you say so.’ Dave answered with a shrug like he wasn’t too sure about the decision but he was, the thought of having Dan get the full information as himself was what bothered him. ‘But sir,’ Dave turned to the man at the backseat. ‘You have to get me those footages before you go, so I can go through them again.’
Agent Godwin brought out a tablet device and handed it to Dave before stepping out of the car again. Dave plugged his earphone into the device and began to go through the footages again while Dan rested his head and closed his eyes.
Dave went through each clips in the collection thoroughly, playing some repeatedly. He had seen something suspicious while watching with Dan and Godwin earlier but decided not to mention it to the other two. He located the suspicious part after twenty five minutes of viewing and replayed the clip again. In all the video clips, the killer had tried his best to stay in shadows and hide from the camera views but in the current clip which Dave had located, there was a visible shadow moving beside the walls. He paused the video and zoomed in , he noticed it was a man’s shadow which confirmed his notion that Samantha Osman wasn’t the one who carried out the murder. He took out his own device and quickly transferred the video clip to it, after which he deleted it from Agent Godwin’s device.
Agent Godwin returned after an hour. Dan had already fallen asleep and Dave was through with going through the footages. Dan opened his eyes when Dave tapped him to release the back door for Agent Godwin to enter.
‘Sorry for taking so much time guys,’ Agent Godwin apologized after slamming the door shut.
‘No problem sir, but do you have anything for us?’ Dan replied with a sleepy voice and yawned afterwards.
‘Nothing really from the interrogation, but something else is up already,’ Agent Godwin replied. The two in front turned their faces to him. ‘Mrs Okafor could not point to anyone she thinks can be responsible for her husband’s murder, she said he had no clash or argument with anyone recently.’
‘Okay, what else did you say has happened again?’
Agent Godwin stared at them quietly for a while, causing them to be more eager to hear him.
‘Samantha killed another person in Kwara State this afternoon, the police Agent in charge called to confirm some information minutes ago,’ he said.
Airport Road, Kuje-Amuwo, Abuja
‘Is there any radio station reporting the news at three pm?’ Tarasha asked Cole as they drove down the road. Tarasha was seated at the back using her laptop while Cole drove.
‘Several stations would report only the headlines, details are usually done by six in the evening and nine pm. But I can tune it to the twenty four hours news station if you want to get current happenings.’ Cole offered.
‘No, we would miss some past headlines that way, just tune it to a channel airing by three pm.’
Cole tuned the car radio to a station and put the volume to a medium level. Tarasha checked her time again, it was just two minute to three. All she needed to hear in the news was an update on the death of Eze Okafor and if any of the top police officials had said anything about it. She refreshed the news blog page on her browser again while she waited for the news to begin. The page reloaded and she realized the blog had just been updated. The news on radio also began as she began to scroll down the page, the headlines of news at the top of the updates were of no interest to her. She finally got to the middle of the page and found a newly updated post with her work name in the title. Just then, the name was also mentioned by the newscaster on radio too. The headlines were the same.
‘SAMANTHA OSMAN ATTACKS AND KILLS SENATOR GARUBA AHMED IN KWARA STATE.’
‘Senator Garuba Ahmed, that’s sad.’ Dave heaved a sigh as they drove down the road. Agent Godwin was still seated at the back and he was folding his arms and staring in a thoughtful manner, the same manner as Dave.
Dave’s heart was greatly grieved. Not because he had a personal relationship with the senator or because he had met the man before but he was tired of the killings happening and his seeming inability to stop them. But one thing he was sure again in this newly reported murder was that the real story had been thoroughly distorted before being let out by the media.
‘You said it was a man who kidnapped Garuba Ahmed. Why then is it Samantha Osman being named as the killer?’
‘According to the report I got, the man’s dead body was found in a car. He was also tied on his hands and feet and had no signs of injury on his body just like Dr Eze Okafor was murdered, the only difference is the location of the murder.’
‘We are yet to confirm that Samantha Osman killed Dr Eze Okafor,’ Dave said in his mind. He didn’t want to voice out his doubt of Samantha being Dr Eze’s murderer, so that Dan could at least believe that they were on the same page; that way, he would be able to keep more secrets from Dan.
‘Only the security men at the gate claimed that they saw Samantha Osman entering into the hospital yesterday and they never saw her coming out. The footages do not even prove their claims yet,’ Dave spoke out.
‘Well, do you think they could be telling us something else?’ Agent Godwin asked.
‘No, why would they? Besides, it’s not the first time of Samantha Osman being invisible to the cameras.’ Dave answered.
‘That’s true, I suspect that she entered into the security room to delete the footages.’ Godwin hinted.
‘No, she has other ways, I don’t think she went into the security room.’ Dave disagreed. ‘But are you sure the Security men you spoke to were the ones on duty that night?’
‘Yes, of course. How could I have spoken to other ones?’
‘Don’t be offended sir, I only wanted to find out how the security guys there work. If they have three shifts, it’s possible that Samantha got in earlier before the guys on night shift arrived, so it could have been another lady they saw.’
‘No, they have only two shifts. Some work from morning to evening and the other sets evening to morning. The ones on the evening duty were the one who confirmed her entrance and they said she entered at night.’
The ringing sound of Godwin’s phone interrupted and he excused himself before answering the call. He spoke to his caller for almost two minutes, uttering no other words except ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.
‘That’s the SSS director in Kwara State,’ Godwin said after the call ended. ‘Apart from passersby witnesses that a woman parked the car which carried the senator’s dead body, he just told me of something else which proves that it was Samantha that killed him the new victim.’
Dave still had doubts in his mind even though Agent Godwin was sounding very sure. He knew there would always be something amiss in the Police’s report.
‘There are several other proofs already,’ Dan inputted. ‘If it’s the same pattern Dr Eze Okafor and the senator was killed, then it means it’s the same killer.’
‘But we have a more sure proof now,’ Agent Godwin said confidently, getting the full attention of the other two. ‘They found multiple identity cards and debit cards of Samantha Osman in the car, the ID cards with the same face that we all know.’
Dave chuckled after taking a moment to ponder on what the Agent said. ‘I think she’s been under so much pressure lately and that’s why her murders have been traceable.’
‘We can’t tell. In my opinion, I’ll say it’s because these recent murders happened in other states. She may kill without leaving traces in Abuja or Lagos, I believe she has most of her men there and would get the necessary support.’ Godwin said.
‘That’s another valid point we need to look into,’ Dan supported.
‘Where’s the nearest Catholic Church around?’ Dave suddenly changed the topic, the other points they were making were of no importance to him.
‘Catholic Church? You didn’t ask at the right time, we passed one of their big cathedrals already but there are other smaller ones we can find on the way.’
‘No, I’ll like the big one.’ Dave said.
‘Then you have to stop here, and take a cab to St Cletus Catholic Church.’
‘Okay, thank you. I have to do that immediately.’
‘What are you going to do in a Catholic Church?’ Dan questioned with a raised eyebrow, staring at Dave through the rearview mirror.
‘I need to see a priest,’ Dave replied.
‘Are you sure you are not gay, sleeping with em priests?’
‘You’re crazy bro, who told you the priests are gays?’ Dave replied with a brief laugh.
‘Boys say nonsense at times and I’m wondering if it’s true because you always visit Catholic churches most times to see the priest.’
‘Yea, I just want to see the priest and pour out my heart.’
‘You wanna confess your sins?’
‘Well, you can say that’s part of it.’
‘Don’t tell me you’ve been shagging girls without inviting me recently,’ Dan shot a look at him with mocking eyes.
‘You need to take your pills bro,’ Dave laughed. ‘Just find somewhere good to stop for me’
Dan and Agent Godwin drove away after dropping Dave by the roadside. Dave took out his phone from his pocket and confirmed the address of the hospital. He exited and then turned on his GPS and opened the map application. He crossed to the other side of the road and waited to get a cab.
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CONTROL ROOM, BASE B
Henry sat in front of the control room, scrolling and explaining some things to Cole and Tarasha who sat at either sides.
‘The Inspector General would be going for routine check up at the hospital on 3rd of May, that’s next tomorrow. He doesn’t go heavily guarded and no one gets to know he’s in the car because of the time. He only goes with two supporting officers at the front. Here’s the hospital, and he takes this route,’ Henry paused to show illustrate with the map on the system and made sure they understood before he proceeded. ‘We have two options now, it’s either we take kidnap the man and break him till he confesses or go with the other plan, submit his own file to him and take him to court like we’re doing to the Vice President.’
Henry stopped and turned to face Tarasha, waiting for her to talk.
She stared blankly at the wall for a while, pondering on which of the options would be the best. Henry had done a great job with his research and monitoring of the Inspector General, more than she had expected.
She liked the first option ; kidnapping the man, although she preferred to kill him immediately instead. The second option which was their first and only option would take a longer time.
‘What’s the exact time he goes to the hospital?’ she asked Henry.
‘5am, that’s why he doesn’t go heavily guarded.’ Henry replied.
‘Cole,’ she called and looked at him in the eye. ‘Which option do we take?’
‘The first is quicker,’ Cole replied. ‘But we have to set up structures to make sure the man doesn’t get away or isn’t rescued.’
‘We have enough structures to keep him already, what we only need to do is execute a good job in taking him. No one would trace him to us unless we are careless.’
‘Then we should go for the first option, it would produce faster results.’ Cole said.
Tarasha faced Henry to hear what he had to say too.
‘The first is cool for me too.’ Henry said.
‘Then we’d prepare everything necessary from tomorrow morning, I need to take a good rest now.’ She got up from her seat and shook her head in an exercising manner.
‘Boss, I have to go out now. Vivian Elvis’ flight is by 6pm,’ Cole reminded Tarasha.
Tarasha checked the time on her phone, it was past 4 o’clock. She felt tempted to ask Cole what his plan was but decided not to intrude. She believed he could handle the job and she wanted him to feel her confidence in him. ‘Do all you need to do but be back and ready by morning tomorrow.’
‘Okay, thank you.’ Cole replied. He understood perfectly well that she was giving permission for him to spend the night out too, he had hinted while driving her home from the airport that he would love to club that night.
Tarasha was the first to leave the control room, followed by Cole. He whistled under his breath with happiness in his heart as he walked towards his room, he was excited at the thought of having Patricia with him all night. It was the opportunity he had been waiting for.
He almost collided with Tomi as he got into the passage leading to his room. She shifted back and their eyes met. Her face was filled with anger like one who had just been hurt by someone else, her lips were trembling and hands vibrating.
‘Is anything the matter?’ Cole asked out of concern. He had never seen her that way and didn’t like to, even though they’ve not been on talking terms.
She stared at him coldly and eyed him, she then hissed and pushed him aside as she walked past. Cole stayed on the same spot and watched until she sank into one of the chairs in the living room. She looked like something was really bothering her. He turned to go and ask what the problem was but then stopped on remembering that he had a task at hand, he glanced at his wristwatch before hurrying off to his room.
Tomi took in a deep breath as she sank into the sofa, she closed her eyes and tears rolled down from the corner. She was coming from Cole’s room where she had been for the past fifty minutes, going through his phone. Cole who was busy with Tarasha and Henry in the control room had left one of his phones in his room, the phone which he reserved for communication with Patricia. It wasn’t secured with a lock anymore, so she had access to the contents. She had gone through his messages both on WhatsApp and the local messaging app and read through his conversation with Patricia. It was the cause for her brokenheartedness.
Cole unbuttoned his shirt as he walked into the room. His eyes hovered to and fro for a moment until he located his phone on the table. He flung his shirt to the bed and walked to the wardrobe to select another set of clothes. He noticed the position had changed but felt that he had left it there himself and forgotten.
He finished dressing up and walked out of the room in less than ten minutes with his two phones and his backpack which contained the necessary tools for his task. He stopped in the living room to check for Tomi but she was nowhere to be found. He proceeded out of the house and got into his car.
Tomi watched from the left side of the building as he drove out of the house. She released a breath and took out her phone from the pocket of her mini jean skirt. She opened the contacts app and clicked on the contact she stored as “B*TCH”, that was Patricia’s number.
To be continue