NIS UNDERGROUND FACILITY
Dan and Dave walked side by side along the corridor in the facility. They greeted some agents in opened offices and some others on the way as they proceeded. Their drive from the airport had taken longer than expected. A trailer had fallen on the road and caused heavy traffic through the road networks.
They got into the office where the Chairman was waiting for them. The man was seated in a swivel and using his computer. The computer desktop had a large screen which covered his face totally from being seen from the door and from behind the computer.
‘Good morning sir,’ Dave and Dan chorused as they moved closer. They stopped behind the table and waited for his response.
‘Good morning, you may be seated.’ the Chairman replied.
They both settled on the seats behind the man’s table and remained mute until the man finished what he was doing on the computer. He moved the desktop to the side of the table and rested his back in his swivel.
‘So you guys came back with nothing?’ the Chairman began, folding his arm across his chest and moving playfully side to side in the swivel. Dan and Dave remained silent. ‘I’m not about to start asking how it went, I read all the reports you sent already and I am highly disappointed. I expected that the both of you should have gotten a headway after being away for two days.’
There was a pause. The man stared at their faces for a while and then shook his head in disappointment. He pulled a paper file on the table to his front and opened it. He pulled a paper and placed it on top after closing the file.
‘I’m going to give to you, you’ll make photocopies for both of you and bring my copy back to me. But before I give them to you, Dave, I want to see your personal case file. I’ll be glad if you can get it for me right away.’
Dave stared at the document in the man’s hand for a second, he wondered what it was and if it was important. He felt the urge to ask the man but decided to be patient until it was given to him.
‘I’ll get it from my office right away sir,’ he said as he got up to his feet. He bowed slightly before proceeding out of the office.
‘Dan,’ the Chairman began as soon as Dave closed the door. ‘Are you sure you’ve been following this boy closely?’
‘Yes sir, he’s not been able to do anything without me.’ Dan replied.
‘And you don’t think he is hiding anything?’
‘I don’t think so,’ Dan replied.
‘Does that mean you guys were always together?’
‘The only few times we weren’t together were the times he spent at the brothel and the time he spent at Catholic Church confessing of his deeds at the brothel.’
The Chairman gave a faint smile. ‘Are you sure he wasn’t doing something else at the brothels?’
‘I’m sure, it’s even obvious to anyone else that works closely with the way he carries his pack of condoms everywhere.’
‘Okay, good work then.’ the chairman rested his back. ‘I hope he also did not suspect anything.’
‘No suspicion at all, my physical communication with the officers are less often.’
‘And have you been keeping in touch with the Chief?’
‘Yes, he even asked me to call him when we return to Abuja.’
‘Good, I want you to keep in mind the reason why you are working so close with Dave. He appears to be stubborn, so we want you to make sure he doesn’t have full control in the investigation. We’re keeping him in the case just because we think he’s still the best man, and he’s been doing good. The other agents who are fit for these kind of jobs aren’t young men anymore and their age would make some things difficult for them to do. So keep an eye on Dave and monitor his every move.’
Dave finally pulled out the file from his locker. He took a brief look at it before he closed back the locker. He picked his phone which he had dropped on the table and began to proceed towards the door. His phone rang just as he placed his hand on the knob. He stared at the caller’s ID for a moment, it was the man who had been giving him updates on Jumoke’s health.
‘Good morning sir,’ he answered the call.
‘Good morning Mr Dave, I hope you are doing good.’
‘Yes, I am. Hope you’re fine too.’
‘Yes, we give God the glory.’
Dave chuckled at the man’s response, he hadn’t heard such a cliche from anyone recently. ‘So what about Jumoke?’
‘She’s the reason I’m calling. We paid all the bills already and she’s doing very fine,’ the man replied.
‘Wow! That’s good,’ Dave heaved a sigh of relief. He felt good that his money was not wasted.
‘But there’s a problem…’
Dave frowned. ‘What problem?’
‘She lost her memory, every bit of it. She can’t remember anything or anyone at all,’ the man replied.
‘Oops!’ Dave let out a deep breath.
He felt somehow relieved and happy because her memory loss would make her forget totally about him and all they had together, and it would save him the stress of having to put her away himself but his happiness was not complete knowing that she would have to start her life all over again and it may be difficult for her to get help to stand.
‘That’s not too nice,’ Dave said into the phone. ‘What did the doctors say? Is there any possibility of her regaining her memory?’
‘I’m not sure there is. The doctor in charge explained that her memory loss appears to be self induced, he says it might not be caused by the fall like we think.’
‘Self induced? How?’
‘He says it’s likely she took something that caused it.’
‘But that’s not possible, how could she have taken something to wipe off her own memory?’
‘We don’t really understand yet, but the doctor may go further to make some tests. He’s sure it isn’t the fall that caused the memory loss, he says the impact of the fall on her head and other parts of the body wasn’t enough to cause her to lose her memory.’
‘But… Why would she have taken something to hurt herself?’
‘We can’t tell.’
Dave sighed again. ‘Well, I’ll call you back. You have to give me sometime to digest this information.’
‘Alright, have a nice day.’
Dave ended the call and took some seconds to think. He realized it was the perfect time to cut off contact with Jumoke totally since he would not be needing her around him anymore. It was time to take out the sim card from his phone and destroy it. He considered it for a while and decided to leave it for few more days.
He opened the office door and stepped out. Just as he looked up, he saw Lizzy smiling and walking towards him.
‘Lizzy,’ he smiled back at her.
‘Agent Dave,’ she flashed her teeth as she stood in front of him.
He stretched out his hand to her for a handshake and she received it warmly, both looking into each other’s eyes. Dave would have preferred an embrace but couldn’t offer her anything more affectionate than a hug. Even though they joked and played a lot, their relationship was still official and they were nothing more than colleagues to each other who were now becoming friends as a result of their closeness and working together.
‘We have a lot of things to talk about,’ Lizzy said, still looking into his eyes.
‘Yes, we do.’ Dave nodded. ‘But… Ermm… Are you leaving the office very soon?’
‘Nothing, just that we can’t see now.’ Dave said with a smile. ‘I’m having a meeting with the chairman, he actually sent me to come get this.’ he added, showing her the file in his hand.
‘No problem, you can call me on phone when you’re done and I’ll meet you at the usual place if I’m free.’
‘Okay, thanks.’ Dave patted her on the shoulder before walking away.
Lizzy watched him go. She hated to admit it but he was handsome. Sometimes she wished she could have him as her boyfriend but she saw it as impossible. Most male NIS agents believed that the ladies especially those whose job had to do with secret investigation sleeps with a lot of other men to do their jobs. So any NIS female official planning to get married someday had to hope that someone who did not know the kind of job she did will fall in love with her.
She remembered all she did with Victor again and was terribly disgusted at the thought of it. She had had to endure the criminal’s body on hers just to extract details from him. She rarely ever gets to the extent of sleeping with a man. Most times, she stops at the point of early bed romance before getting the information she needed.
She wished her body was being subjected to Dave’s body instead, it would have been a memorable experience instead of an annoying one. She couldn’t wait to see Victor rot in prison, and she was confident that the day was not too far.
‘Why did it take you so long?’ the chairman asked as Dave walked back into the office.
‘It took me sometime to search for the file,’ Dave replied, apologizing with a bow and a light smile.
The Chairman waited for Dave to sit before stretching forth his hand to collect the file. He took about a minute to go through the file before returning it. Then he handed over the document he promised to give them.
Dan collected the document and looked into it with Dave. It contained a summary of the past criminal cases the two last victims of Samantha Osman had been associated with. The late Senator who was an ex police official had more than two-third of the whole document about him.
‘I think it should help you greatly. I expect you to work on it and bring results as soon as possible.’ the chairman urged.
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- Sixteen minutes later.
‘I found over five hundred messages in the conversation,’ Lizzy said to Dave, showing him the saved chats on her Apple device. Dave was seated on a high stool while she sat on a low plastic chair.
‘This should be close to a thousand or even more than,’ he collected the device and began to scroll through alone. ‘You extracted this from his messages while he was asleep?’
‘Wow! I knew you could do it, I…’ Dave voice faded away as he saw something in the messages. He read through silently for a while and began to make screenshots. ‘I’m beginning to understand now what that drugs list was for.’
‘What was it for?’ Lizzy asked, rising slowly to look into the part of the messages that caught his attention.
‘If you listened to the news this morning, you must have heard them say briefly how a thief visited the late Senator’s house the midnight before he was killed.’
‘Well… Desert Reporters actually said it was Samantha Osman who sent a spy ahead,’ Lizzy said.
‘Oh! I didn’t listen, so I don’t have the accurate report.’ Dave said and sniffed in gently. ‘My point is that none other than Samantha Osman herself visited the man that midnight. Now, I want you to think about this properly. She was reported to have abducted Eze Okafor earlier before returning to kill him at midnight and now she also visited the Senator at midnight first before returning to kill him in the afternoon. Does it make sense?’
Lizzy’s brows gathered together, ‘But they didn’t report that she went to the senator’s house herself, they reported that she sent a spy to his house.’
‘And I’m telling you that’s a lie, she visited the man’s house that midnight.’
‘But that doesn’t make sense, she couldn’t have been in Kwara State and Anambra at the same time.’
‘Yes, but that’s not the only thing. It doesn’t make sense that she visited them and left them alive, only to return later to kill them. I think if she really intended to kill them, she would have done that at the first visit.’
‘Hmm… Okay,’ Lizzy said with a confused look on her face. ‘So what do you really think happened?’
‘Samantha Osman did not kill those men, she visited them and left them alive. Someone else who is tailing her killed them.’
Lizzy squinted, ‘And who is tailing her?’
‘I’m not sure but I believe it’s the assasin group that clashed with her in Lagos.’
‘Its more than just Nanl Gang, I’ve gone through the past case files of the Nanl Gang with some of our agents and the ones with the police, the Nanl Gang doesn’t have the capacity to follow after Samantha.’
‘But do you remember that Don Dan died in the clash some months ago?’
‘Yes, I do. I believe he was working for someone higher than himself who was employed by the Vice President.’
‘Why the Vice President?’ Lizzy asked with a squint
‘Oh! The man’s hands are not clean. Have I told you what I discovered about that list of drugs?’
‘No, you were about to tell me.’
‘I learnt from our trip that the Vice President was involved in importation of fake drugs some years ago, all those low quality drugs you saw in the list, the man brought them into the country.’ Dave said.
‘Huh? That’s a serious allegation.’
‘Yes, it is. But I’m sure of it’s authenticity. I got it from the only man Senator Garuba confided in before his death.’
‘But what happened then, wasn’t the case investigated?’
‘Yes, it was but the man had enough backup to rescue himself. The document proving his involvement is what Samantha Osman went to get from Senator Garuba Ahmed that midnight.’
‘But what does she need the document for?’
‘I can’t say, my best guess is that she wants it to dig up the case again or probably release the documents to the public to shame or destabilize the man.’
‘That’s serious,’ Lizzy gasped. She took sometime to ponder on the information before she spoke again. ‘But I don’t still get it, how is all these connected? What about Eze Okafor, what was his input?’
Dave chuckled. ‘They’re all connected,’ he said and turned his face towards Lizzy who had just returned to her seating position. ‘Eze Okafor was the minister of health who signed the importation of drugs then while senator Garuba Ahmed was the Police Inspector in charge of investigating the case. I believe it was from her visit to Eze Okafor that she learnt about the location of the document she needed which led her to Senator Garuba Ahmed. Then the assasin tailing her got to Eze Okafor late and killed him in the hospital after getting her direction, he followed her to ilorin where he killed senator Garuba Ahmed. Unfortunately for him, she had already gotten the document before he got there.’
‘Strange! I could have never imagined this kind of situation.’
‘I never imagined it too but that’s the way it is right now.’
‘Did the person also tell you where Samantha Osman went after she left the senator?’
‘No, he had no idea.’
‘So that leaves us without clues again?’
‘No, with so much clues. I know for sure that Samantha is planning to do something with the information she has. I think it’s better to do something of such before her, it will slow her down and make her try to trace us.’
‘Hmm, are you sure?’
The Inspector General opened his eyes in the dark room to see his hands and legs fastened with strong ropes to the burglary proof of the back exit. He winced in pain as he tried to move his injured leg but couldn’t. He felts pains all over his body.
The door at the other side flung open just in time. Tarasha entered into the place with Cole following behind. They proceeded towards the man and stopped in front of him. Cole opened some of the window curtains for more light.
‘Good Afternoon Inspector General, nobody seems to have noticed your absence in the world yet. Does that mean you’re not as important as you think?’ Tarasha said mockingly.
Chief Rikau closed his eyes briefly and drew in a breath. He felt tempted to talk but remained shut to conserve his energy.
‘And so will you talk to me now? I need to ask you some questions about your country,’ Tarasha said again.
She waited for about two minutes and he was still silent and staring at her.
‘He doesn’t want to speak Cole, take off the ropes and give him the first dose.’ she said as she glanced at Cole. He nodded in response and moved closer to the Inspector General, he pulled took off the ropes from the hands first and then the legs. The man fell weakly and sprawled on the floor. Cole turned him over, making him lay on his belly with his back facing up. Then Cole took out a whip from the bag which he carried with him.
Tarasha turned back and proceeded out of the room as soon as Cole began to administer the whip on the man’s back. She met Henry outside the room as she stepped out, she closed the door. The man’s cry and the sound of the whip could be heard from outside the room.
Henry’s face was full of pity. He could feel every landing of the whip he heard.
‘Tara, that man is an old man.’
Tara stared at his face for a while and shook her head. ‘He is not old, he’s less than sixty and that’s not too old for torture,’ Tara replied.
‘But what if he dies while he’s been beaten?’
‘He would not die but live to take as much beatings as he can take,’ she replied with a smile.
‘Why don’t you just use the drug on him and let him speak at once since you already believe he’s not going to get broken by torture?’
‘He still needs to be beaten before the drug works,’ Tara replied. Henry remained silent for a moment. ‘Lets move away from here, leave Cole alone to do his job,’ she said and placed a hand on his shoulder to make him turn.
His shoulders dropped and he stopped her from moving by holding her hand. ‘I can’t move from here, I feel weak hearing him cry.’
Tara two some steps back to stare at his face. She looked angry as she raised her brows at him.
‘Don’t you feel bad too? I can’t really stand it,’ Henry asked, wondering why she was staring at his face like that.
Her anger was kindled and it showed in her facial expression. ‘I’m trying to be professional because I still need him to answer some questions but do you want to know how I really feel?’ she squinted at his face.
Henry was silent. He didn’t understand her mood and why the hand on his shoulder was now vibrating, he still had his left hand there holding her by the wrist.
She took her hand off her shoulder and turned back. She entered into the room and slammed the door shut. She charged towards Cole.
Henry opened the door and peeped in, wondering what was going on. Tara got to where Cole was and stopped him. She collected the whip from Cole and spoke some few words to him. Cole picked up his bag and proceeded towards the door. Tara continued the beating in a more ferocious manner. The man’s cry became louder.
Henry felt afraid and confused. He couldn’t understand how what he said that made her so angry.
‘What happened? Why did she stop you from beating him?’ Henry asked in a shaky voice as Cole got to the door.
Cole took a quick glance back and shrugged, ‘I don’t know, maybe she felt I wasn’t doing it well enough.’
‘And she asked you to leave?’
‘No, she asked me to get Tomi.’
Henry gave way for him to pass and continued watching with his mouth left agape.
The beating ended less than one minute later, after the man’s voice could no longer be heard. Henry was afraid that the man was dead but he didn’t dare to step further inside the room. Tara dropped the whip and began to proceed back to the door. Cole returned to the place with Tomi at that same moment. Henry stepped out into the corridor giving room for them to see Tara.
‘Tomi, he’s unconscious, make sure he doesn’t die.’
‘Okay,’ Tomi replied. She waited for Tara to step out first before she rushed back into the room to check the man.
Tara stepped out of the room and walked away without taking a look at Henry who stood behind. Henry stood still and watched her leave, still wondering what the cause of her sudden rage was.
Tomi soon rushed out too and hurried off to get her first aid equipments. Cole showed up after, walking slowly. He stopped at the entrance and rested his back against the door frame with his arms folded across his chest.
‘Is he dead?’ Henry asked.
‘No, he’s only unconscious.’ Cole replied.
Henry felt a bit relieved but the tension in his heart was still much. He heaved a sigh and began to walk away with the purpose of finding Tara. Cole followed behind and both walked slowly.
Tomi returned with her first aid bag and met them in the passage. She only took a cursory glance at both of them and stopped after passing Cole slightly.
‘I’ll need someone’s help to move the man from here,’ she said.
Cole stopped and waited a few seconds before turning back.
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Henry searched around the house for Tara. He finally found her where he least expected her to be at that moment – in the study. The door was left ajar, so he could see her from outside. Her back was turned against him. Her previously neatly packed hair was now scattered, several books were scattered all over the floor and a wooden chair was broken on the floor. He stopped behind the wall beside the door and continued to watch her. After sometime, she turned sideway and sat on the floor, with her knee raised. She placed her elbows on the knees and bowed her head, running her fingers in through her hair.
Henry could now see the side of her face, only that the hand placed on her knee was covering his view. He desperately wanted to see her facial expression. He bent down and watched for a while, he then noticed a drop of tears falling from her face to the floor.
It made him remember the first time he saw her cry. It was then he realized what he had caused. She was right when she said she had been acting professional until he talked about how she was feeling.
He regretted ever going to the room to see the torture. Now he had kindled something that he may not be able to control – her anger for the man who raped her at the age of eight and killed her parents.
Tears filled his eyes too and he found his bum on the floor. He remained there for close to an hour watching Tara who also remained in the same position.
He raised his head and looked sideway as he heard the sound of someone footsteps, he found Tomi approaching.
‘Can I see the boss?’ Tomi asked in low tones.
‘What do you want?’
‘The intravenous fluid is finished and the man still needs more, I also need to get some more medicines for him.’
‘I thought you had a credit card with you.’
‘Yes, I do.’
‘You can go, you’ll sort it out with her later.’
‘Thank you,’ Tomi bowed slightly and turned back. She quickly rushed back to get the credit card from her room.
She stopped in the corridor on hearing Cole talking to someone on phone. His room door was slightly opened.
‘I really would love to spend time with you but it’s a busy weekend for me and there’s no way I can make out space.’
Tomi hid behind the wall to listen, anger against Cole boiling in her heart.
‘Patricia, I love you and there’s nothing that can change that. You just have to understand my schedule. Okay.’
Tomi heaved a sigh of frustration after sensing that the call had ended. She wondered in her heart how she would get to that Patricia that was stopping Cole from paying attention to her. She heaved another sigh before walking away.
She picked the credit card and her phone and hurried out of the room. Her phone began to ring before she got out of the place, the caller ID displayed was ‘Bi**tch’.
To be continued
We’d take a pause for now
Answer To the Last Question
John Bisong is the commissioner of Police for Cross Rivers State.