INSPECTOR GENERAL’S RESIDENCE.
The Inspector General sat quietly in his living room, waiting for the network news by 10pm to begin. He had missed the one by 8pm. As the hour hand moved close to twelve, the phone by his side rang. He picked up his phone to check the caller and then reduced the TV volume with the remote control.
‘Rex,’ he said into the phone, clearing his throat. ‘I’ve been busy all day but consciously expecting a report from you.’
‘The man just got into his house with his entourage, I’ve been following them for more than five hours and nothing is happening.’
‘Ermm… John Bisong says she asked to meet him between five to six pm in the evening.’
‘I’ve been following before then, there are no signs of her or anyone else around. But I can see from the man’s body language that he is also alert and ready for her,’ Rex replied.
‘Okay, give me some minutes to reach the Vice President. I’ll get back to you.’
He picked his remote control to increase the TV volume a bit before dialing the Vice President’s number.
‘Good evening your excellency,’ Chief Rikau greeted.
‘Good evening IG, have you heard anything from Rex yet?’ Chief Elvis replied from the other end.
‘I spoke to him just now and…’
‘Has he come in contact with Samantha Osman there?’ Chief Elvis cut in.
‘No, he hasn’t even seen any trace or sign of her. But has John Bisong called you?’
‘He called me first about two hours ago and then thirty minutes ago, he hasn’t seen signs of her too,’ the Vice President replied.
‘Does that mean she isn’t going to show up anymore?’
‘I don’t think that’s what it means, she might just have changed her schedule. John Bisong is the police commissioner of his State, it will never be easy for her to get to him.’
‘I know, but I’m wondering why she decided to tell him she was coming. Did she tell the Garuba Ahmed and Eze Okafor too?’
‘I’m not the one to answer that question, you’re the Inspector General of Police, you should know if she did send them messages before visiting them.’
‘There are no records suggesting that, but it is very possible she did it in the case of Garuba Ahmed.’
‘And he didn’t report to the police in his state?’
‘The officers in Ilorin have no record of any such report. And the content of the message she might have sent him might be totally different from this pattern.’
‘I understand you, Rex should still stick around and watch. She might show up unexpectedly.’
‘Yes, I’ll call him back now. He should stay and be more vigilant.’
May 3, 2031.
The atmosphere was moisty that morning. Droplets of water from the sky touched the ground occasionally. The Inspector General sat alone at the backseat of his car, his driver and one other escort at the front seats. The light from his tablet device which he held in his hand reflected on his face, his fingers worked gently on the device and his eyes were focused on the screen.
He was already tired of the weekly routine but had no choice as the doctor had threatened that it was important to follow the routine until his injured leg was perfectly healed except he doesn’t want to walk with his legs anymore.
Five minutes left for them to get to the hospital, they noticed a car driving speedily from behind with the headlights shining brightly. Chief Rikau’s driver moved to the slow lane to allow passage of the coming car. It wasn’t unusual to them, a lot of cars using the road at that time of the day moves on high speeds as there’ll be only very few cars on the road.
It came as a surprise when the vehicle overtook them and swerved to their front. The driver and other escort of the Inspector General were proactive. The driver took off his seatbelt and they both took out their guns. But before they could do anything, a man was already out of the attacking vehicle and bullets from his gun pierced through the front glass.
‘Sir!’ the guard at the passengers’ front seat shouted in concern for his boss as he bent his head to dodge the bullets. He opened the door carefully and rolled out of the car to the ground. The driver had also rolled out of the car in the same manner, trying to engage the shooter while his colleague took care of their boss.
‘Please, step out sir,’ the guard said to the Inspector General as he opened the backdoor.
With his head bowed, the Inspector General dragged himself to the door and rolled out.
‘Shh…’ the shooter already appeared at their front before he could complete his statement. The driver had been killed already. The guard tried to lift his gun but a bullet ran into his head at that moment and he fell to the ground lifelessly.
‘Inspector General,’ the shooter hailed in a mocking voice, flashing his teeth at the man.
The street lights were bright enough to make Chief Rikau recognized his face immediately, it was the same guy that came to rescue Samantha Osman about two months before. He placed his knees on the ground and put his hands in the air to surrender.
‘Get up,’ Cole said, motioning him to rise with the gun in his hand.
The Inspector General rose slowly, still with his hands raised in the air.
‘This way,’ Cole directed him towards the car parked in front.
The Inspector General remained still for a while wondering how he would make the movement to the car with his bad leg.
‘Come on, start moving,’ Cole was getting impatient.
‘My leg is bad, If I have to move, I have to support myself with the car.’ the Inspector General replied, lowering his hands slowly.
‘Be fast about it then,’ Cole ordered.
Chief Rikau placed his elbows on the top of the car to support himself and walked forward. Cole followed him with the gun, watching him closely to ensure he doesn’t make any tricky move. The Inspector General managed until he passed the bonnet of the car where he could no longer support himself by leaning against the car. He dragged his injured leg slowly until he got to the car in front. Cole opened the back door and allowed him to get in.
Chief Rikau noticed a lady at the driver’s side of the car as he struggled to settle at the backseat in pains. She turned her face to him when he had finally settled and Cole had closed the door. His heart was gripped with fear. He recognized her face at once, and his lips trembled as he tried to speak but found no word to utter.
Cole got into the car through the other side. He took out something from his pocket and moved closer to the man. The man’s eyes closed slowly and he fell sideways unconsciously.
‘Let’s go boss,’ Cole said to Tarasha.
Tarasha remained still for a while, looking thoughtful. Then she turned to Cole at the back. ‘Let’s get those dead bodies into the car and move the car away from here.’
Cole stared at her thinly for a while, wondering what the reason was for the new instruction. He took in a deep breath and reluctantly opened the door to carry out the instruction.
She stepped out of the vehicle to join him. Together, they moved the body of the first man and the second one into the boot. Tarasha stopped for some seconds to stare at the blood stains at the place they carried the second body from. She then turned back to Cole. ‘I think we neglected some aspects of planning…’ she paused for a moment. ‘We never considered this aspect actually.’
‘What are you talking about Boss?’ Cole asked with a raised eyebrow. ‘Are you talking about doing it with no trace?’
‘No, they can’t trace us right now.’ She sighed and checked her phone for the time. ‘We’re wasting a lot of time already, just drive to somewhere the car won’t be discovered easily and abandon it there.’
‘Boss…’ Cole frowned. ‘That may get me into trouble, the day is getting brighter.’
‘It doesn’t have to be somewhere far, just anywhere to keep their bodies undiscovered for few hours.’
‘Okay,’ Cole drew in a breath. He closed the boot of the car and proceeded to the driver’s side. He entered into the car and took a few seconds to look around, he picked out some of the devices in the vehicle and handed them over to Tarasha. ‘I’ll see you at the base in one hour time,’ he said after closing the door.
‘Good,’ Tarasha smiled at him and returned to their vehicle.
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‘Here,’ Tara handed a phone ringing with a loud tone to Henry. They both sat on wooden chairs directly facing each other
Henry collected the phone and glanced at the screen to see the caller’s ID. He glanced at Tara’s face one more time before he answered the call. He placed it on loud speakers.
‘Good morning Doc,’ he said in reply to the caller’s greeting.
‘Good morning, ermm… What about the Inspector General? We haven’t seen him yet and we’d like to remind him of the check up at the hospital this morning.’
‘Yea, the IG is pretty occupied with state matters this morning. He’d be coming to the hospital as soon as he can.’
‘Okay, please encourage him not to miss today’s treatment. He needs to be consistent to ensure perfect healing for his legs,’ the doctor said.
‘Yea, he’d surely be there later today.’ Henry said before ending the call. ‘Hope I did it well,’ he said as he handed back the phone to Tara.
‘Excellent, now we’ve got to proceed to other things immediately.’ She got up from the seat and proceeded towards the door. Henry got up and followed her.
Cole almost collided with Tara at the door. He apologized and stepped back for her to come out of the room, Henry followed after.
‘Did you find a good place to dump the car?’ she asked Cole and began to walk down the corridor after taking only a glance at him.
‘Yes, I did. No one should be able to discover the car until evening time.’
‘Great work,’ she said and continued walking until they got to the door of a room. She stopped after placing her hand on the knob, ‘Can someone get us a bucket of water.’
‘Okay, I’ll do that right away.’ Henry said and walked off immediately.
Tara opened the door and stepped into another room. The room was large and dark. There were only two chairs in it, both at different opposite corners.
‘Please bring the chairs closer for an interrogation,’ Tara said to Cole.
She walked to the centre of the room where Chief Rikau was laid flat on the tiled floor. She placed two fingers on his neck and observed for some seconds. The man was putting on a yellow track suit. The shirt under the polo had been rolled up while he was laid and his belly was visible.
Henry returned with the bucket of water while Cole was still arranging the chairs. He placed the bucket close to the spot where the Inspector General was laid. Tarasha dipped her hand into the water and sprinkled some of it on the man’s face. There was no visible response. After one minute, she repeated the process again but the man still did not respond. Then she got up and carried the bucket by the handle, she then poured the whole of the water from his face to his legs. The man opened his eyes and began to stretch.
Everything was blurry to him at first. He felt so strange and awkward, with his whole body drenched with water. A heavy wind blew in at that moment from the windows signifying the coming of rain.
Someone pointed a torch light to his face and he quickly shielded his eyes with his hand. The light was taken away and he looked up. He could see the reflection of three people standing around him, he noticed that two of them were males and one female. His brain worked fast and his memory came alive, he remembered how he was taken some hours ago. A headache set in at that moment.
Someone pulled him up and helped him to sit on a nearby chair. He breathed heavily as he was balanced on the seat, his extremely wet clothes on his body making him feel so dirty. He could now see properly, he recognized those in the room with him. He expected to see Cole and Samantha Osman but he was extremely surprised to see Henry E.G in their midst. He never thought the well respected hacker and seasoned developer could get so involved with the assassins.
‘Inspector General,’ Tara called in mockery before sitting in front of him. They stared at each other’s faces in silence for a while. The man closed his eyes and bowed his head. One couldn’t tell whether he did in shame or if he was simply making up his mind not to be broken easily. ‘Look up man,’ Tara said to him.
It took him sometime before he looked up and stared at her face. He had never thought that this day would ever come, at least not this soon. And the fact that she was even supposed to be at Cross River’s state baffled him more. He didn’t know what to expect, questions or torture. But the only thing he was sure of was that the end result of all would be his death except there was a divine intervention.
He closed his eyes briefly mumbled some words of prayer in Arabic, asking God to forgive his sins and accept him into heaven whenever Samantha finally decides to kill him.
‘Inspector General, do you have a family?’ Tara asked.
The expression on the man’s face changed at that moment. He didn’t expect that kind of question. He stared at her face without replying, wondering what her reason for asking the question was. He didn’t want to answer. He decided not to. He didn’t want to corrupt the prayer be had just made by his words. He went further to decide in his mind to keep shut without answering any of the questions she or any other person would ask him. He would keep mute until death.
‘Speak up, Inspector General, I don’t want to make you go through any torture.’ she urged. She knew the answer to the question already but wanted to hear from him, she had a different aim.
He remained mute and unwavering. He knew that there was no way he was going to escape torture but his mind was made up, never to give in to her. He hoped he could keep up his decision.
Tara got up from the seat and stood behind it. She stared at the man’s face for some more seconds. She could sense his determination not to make things easy for them and she determined in her mind to make him suffer too.
A phone began to ring in Tara’s pocket and it got the man’s attention. It was his phone. She took it out and glanced at the screen. The caller ID was displayed bodily ‘REX’.
‘Rex is calling,’ she said with a chuckle as she turned the screen to him. The man groaned uncomfortably on his seat. Tara turned to Henry as she dipped a hand into her pocket. ‘Check his text messaging pattern,’ she said to Henry before turning back to the Inspector General. She walked closer to him and stopped right in front. They stared at each other for a moment. She then took her hand out of her pocket and placed it on his shoulders. The man fell sideways as he went unconscious. She stopped him from falling to the ground and laid him gently on the floor.
‘Tie him to the burglar proof, he would be tortured when he is awake.’ she said to Cole and began to walk to the door. Henry followed her and they got into the corridor.
‘These things you use frequently, don’t they have adverse effects on the victims later?’ Henry asked as they walked down the corridor together.
‘What are you talking about?’
‘I mean the drugs you use, for example, the tranquilizer you used on the man just now?’
‘The effects are minimal and can be washed away easily if he goes on a medical checkup, they only become dangerous when there’s a continued use.’ she explained. Henry nodded, he seemed comfortable with the answer. ‘So, have you checked his messaging pattern?’
‘Yes, they’re brief and straight to the point, no short forms of words used.’
‘Okay, check if he has any previous message with Rex before we send one.’
‘Yes, he does. I read through all of them. You want us to send Rex a message?’
‘Yea, let’s make him think the Inspector General is busy.’
‘Okay,’ Henry replied. They both walked into the room they were seated before and got settled on the chairs.
Henry composed the message immediately. ‘I’m in a meeting, can you send a text message?’ he clicked send and the message got delivered immediately. ‘Message sent,’ he said and looked up at Tara’s face. ‘So, what plan do you have for the Inspector General? Are we sticking to the previous plan?’
‘He’s not speaking up and I don’t think he’s gonna get broken with torture, he looks determined to keep mute.’
‘Is there anyone who doesn’t break with torture?’ Henry asked.
Tara chuckled. ‘Yes, not everybody breaks with torture, some have learnt to keep their body under subjection and it doesn’t matter what you do to their bodies, they will never do your will.’
‘So you mean we can’t get any information from him if he decides to remain mute?’
‘We can still get a lot of information but we can’t get all we need. We can infuse some drugs into his body which would make him answer our questions but it would weaken him, and may destroy his mental faculties, he would be unfit to make the videos we planned to make.’
Henry let out a deep breath. ‘I thought we already had a perfect plan.’
‘It is still a perfect plan. I may be wrong about him not breaking with torture. We’d torture him first and see the results before considering the options of using drugs. Any way we do it, it’s a win win situation for us.’
To be continued