Elvis Richards felt his blood rush through his veins as he confirmed the story through the headline on the news section of the PobsOnline website. The headline was short but it captured the whole message he needed without having to read the full news. It read: ‘Hoodlums Attack Special Care Center And Escapes With A Patient’.
He stared for some seconds at the face of his assistant who was still standing in front of him, after that he returned his focus back to the tablet device on his laps, his finger hovered around the link for a while before he finally decided to click on it and read the full story.
It took less than ten seconds for the new web page to load. Elvis Richards quickly scanned through it and according to the article, a woman was taken from the Special Care Center after some hoodlums attacked and injured some of the security officers. It was also reported that the only registered family member of the kidnapped sick woman had called few hours before the accident requesting for the management of the care center to discharge the woman with immediate effect and telling them she was coming to pick her. The sick woman’s name was Atinuke George.
Out of frustration, the Vice President dropped the tablet device in his hands on the stool and took out his phone. He opened the call records and dialed Rex’s number again. It rang for several minutes without being answered. The same way it had been since he had been calling the number the last night.
Elvis Richards heaved a sigh of frustration. He should have allowed his assistant hand over the job to someone else, maybe it would have been successful and easier but he had asked the assistant to contact Rex instead,’ Chief Elvis thought. He stared at his assistant’s face for a while again with so many thoughts running through his mind.
‘Do you think they won’t trace the incident to us?’ Chief Elvis asked his assistant. ‘I hope you didn’t leave any trace behind at the Care Center when you went to make the investigations.’
‘Sir, we didn’t leave a single trace. No one can connect it to us except the guys that were sent to carry out the job are caught and they open up.’
‘And that’s why I’m bothered now, I don’t know what happened exactly. Rex called me yesterday to complain that you didn’t send him the accurate information.’
‘We gave him the accurate information,’ the assistant responded.
‘Maybe he was successful with the job then,’ Chief Elvis said. He stopped to think for a while and then a frown appeared on his face, ‘But he told me he was going to go in alone, the news reports that they were more than one.’
‘Maybe something went wrong and he had to involve more of his men,’ he assistant said.
Chief Elvis shook his head and heaved a sigh. He wondered what could have happened. Now, he had to make sure that the media doesn’t investigate the kidnap of the sick woman further to find out who she was. That was the reason he wanted the death of the woman to be as silent as possible.
Troubling him more was the news of Madam Henrietta’s death which hadn’t been announced. He had read on the news the last night that four dead bodies were found in the woman’s house while the woman and her daughter who were in the house that evening were nowhere to be found. It gave him serious headache as he couldn’t reach Stainless also, but it was evident from the news report that some men attacked Henrietta.
‘Are you back with the answer from the Housing Ministry?’ Inspector Dakolo said to his junior partner who stood beside him.
Inspector Dakolo was squatting on the field at the right side of the house. It was the second time he was coming there. Dead bodies had been found around the house at evening the day before and the neighbours and passersby had quickly informed the police. Inspector Dakolo led his team there that evening.
The house was in an unfenced compound and had some little grasses at the left side. Neighbours who rarely passed through or visit the compound had noticed the last evening that there was an unusual gathering of animals and flies in the compound.
When Dakolo and his men came there the day before, they first moved the dead bodies outside and inside the house carefully into the vehicles meant for carrying the dead. Then, they gathered evidences and pointers that could help them in their investigation of what happened. They also asked the neighbours about the inhabitants of the house and the most useful answer they got was that two ladies were seen there the day the incident happened, one was older and the other was a young woman.
‘Yes sir,’ the junior replied Dakolo, holding a flat file with him
Dakolo rose from his squatting position and looked around the house for some seconds. ‘Thomas,’ he called out loud to his team mate who was in the building, making his investigation.
‘What’s the name of the house’s owner and its history?’ Dakolo asked the junior while waiting for Thomas.
‘The present owner’s name is Henrietta Williams, it was initially built by Elvis Richards but ownership was transferred to Henrietta Williams ten years ago. Then, it was renovated four years ago.’
‘Okay, have you traced which Henrietta Williams it is?’
‘We’re doing that already sir,’ the junior replied.
‘Inspector, I’m here.’ Thomas announced as he joined them at the side yard of the house through the kitchen door.
‘We now know that the house is owned by a certain Henrietta Williams,’ Inspector Dakolo said to Thomas. ‘I was also called from the office few minutes ago that some of the dead bodies have been identified and two family members have showed up. With that, we can make some progress on this case.’
‘Please, I beg you. Allow them take my mother to a hospital to save her life, please.’ Stephanie pleaded, kneeling before Tarasha.
‘Get up on your feet,’ Tarasha said in an unmoved voice. Tarasha was in the room Stephanie and Madam Henrietta were given to use in the house. She was standing beside the door and resting against the wall with her arms folded. Stephanie had a knee on the ground and her hands curled around Tarasha’s legs. Madam Henrietta sat at corner edge of the bed, watching quietly.
‘It’s a pity your mother is unconscious but I can’t do what you and the doctor are asking for, the best I can do is to bring the equipments they need here.’ Tarasha added in a cold voice. She was just talking to make Stephanie calm. She knew it was impossible to get the equipment the doctor needs to the house, the doctor had explained that it wasn’t something that could not be gotten easily or even stolen from a hospital.
‘When will you bring the equipment?’ Stephanie asked, still holding her legs.
Tarasha shook her head and sighed. ‘Stephanie, you’re wearing me out, get up.’ She said in a harsh tone.
Stephanie was forced to stand up, she stood in front of Tarasha and folded her arms.
‘I’ll get it as soon as I can, soon enough to save your mother. I need her alive too,’ Tarasha said.
‘Okay,’ Stephanie sighed. She remembered that Samantha had come into the place to speak to her before she changed the topic to her mother. ‘You wanted to tell me something else.’
‘Yes, I came in here to tell you that the work against the Vice President has continued. I just posted an article on my blog and I’m going to be uploading some shots of the documents you have with you soon. There’s just one thing I need for you to do to make sure our plans do not fail,’ she said and paused to look at Madam Henrietta. ‘And you too.’
Stephanie flashed a glance at the woman behind and then looked back at Tarasha’s face, ‘What do you need us to do.’
‘It’s simple,’ Tarasha replied. She took a pause and drew in a short breath, she then narrowed her gaze at Stephanie’s face. ‘I want you to cut off all communication with anybody outside, you should not call or receive calls from anyone, send messages or receive from anyone or try to meet anyone outside this place.’
Stephanie paused to think for a while, she wondered if she could do as she was told to do. Her school had just resumed and she needed to be in contact with her course mates to be kept abreast of what was happening in school. She also needed to communicate to members of her SWAD team and give them directions on how to go about the new semester’s meetings.
‘We don’t have the time for you to start considering all you would miss,’ Tarasha said, as if she could read her thoughts. ‘You have to make a quick decision.’
‘How long will this have to be?’ Stephanie asked.
‘Until it becomes safe for the both of you to make contact with others,’ Tarasha replied.
‘But can I make a call or send a message right now?’ Stephanie asked.
‘No, you cannot.’
Stephanie sighed. ‘Okay,’ she said and shrugged. ‘That means we have to turn off our phones?’
‘No, it means you have to hand over your phones to me and every communication device with you. I would return them when the right time comes.’
‘Wow!’ Stephanie opened her mouth in surprise.
‘We would provide other devices for you with which you can communicate with me and others who you are allowed to talk with. You can also surf the internet, but would not be able to use some sites, especially social networks.’
Stephanie heaved a sigh of relief. She turned back and walked straight to where her bag was to take out her phone. She collected Madam Henrietta’s phone also and submitted the both of them to Tarasha.
‘Thank you,’ Tarasha said before turning to walk out of the room.
‘Please don’t forget the equipment my mother needs,’ Stephanie said as Tarasha was about to step out through the door.
Tarasha nodded her head but gave no verbal response before walking out of the room.
She got back into the medical room and didn’t find Dr Ekwueme there. She proceeded to the bed where Mrs. Atinuke was laying. She stopped beside the woman and stared at the gentle face for a while until she got distracted by the sound of the door opening.
She turned and saw Dr Ekwueme coming towards. She noticed that the doctor had just shaved his beards and was looking younger than his age. She smiled as he approached her.
‘Doc, you’re looking younger and more handsome,’ she complimented.
‘Oh! Thanks,’ the doctor smiled back. It was his first time of hearing her make a compliment of someone and also his first time of hearing someone compliment him after a long time.
The smile on Tarasha’s face faded away quickly. ‘I’ve been thinking about the lack of the equipment needed to treat this woman, but an idea just came to my mind as I was looking at her.’
‘What’s the idea?’
‘First, I need to know how long you will need the equipment for.’
‘I can’t really tell, but not less than twenty four hours.’
The doctor raised a brow.
‘What if we make arrangements with a hospital, a private hospital?’ she asked.
‘There are very few private hospitals that have or know how to use this equipment and not even all government hospitals in the country has.’
‘You should be able to help us locate a private hospital that would have,’ Tarasha suggested.
‘That would be difficult, the doctors in charge of the few ones I know would not allow us, it would only work if we force them to.’
Tarasha closed her eyes for a minute to think, she knew it wasn’t advisable for them to apply force, especially because they needed to use the equipment for more than twenty four hours. Compelling them would only work for few hours.
She opened her eyes. ‘What about your hospital? Don’t you have it?’
Dr Ekwueme was quiet for a while. ‘Yes, I do but I’m the only doctor who handles it there.’
Tarasha shrugged. ‘That should be no problem, you’d handle it.’
‘But they’ve been searching for me for a long time, what happens when they see me?’
‘We would make sure nothing happens when they see you,’ Tarasha replied confidently.
‘I hope we can do that,’ the doctor said with a doubtful tone.
‘We would,’ Tarasha reassured. She glanced again at the face of Mrs. Atinuke as it was time to leave the place. ‘Now, I have to go check the reactions to my new blog post. I’ll need this woman conscious as soon as possible, I need to hear more secrets from her.’
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Elvis Richards was trying to get some sleep in his room after taking the drugs that was supposed to be taken at 12pm but all his attempts were futile as he kept turning around restlessly in the bed. After ten minutes of restlessness, he reached for his phone and opened the call records. He was about to dial Rex’s number again when he heard a knock at the door. He locked the phone and kept it aside.
He sat up and stared at the door, waiting for the knock to sound again before responding.
There was no other knock, instead he heard the voice of his assistant, ‘Hello sir, are you sleeping already?’
He heaved a sigh. He wondered what the assistant had to tell him, but he was sure it was something important as he trusted his assistant not to call him for trivial matters.
‘Come in,’ he said on top of his voice.
The door opened gently and the assistant walked in. He was sweating, his shirt was soaked with sweat at the chest region.
‘Sir, we have a new problem.’ He said in a trembling voice.
‘What new problem?’
‘I just finished listening to the news at 12, I heard that Samantha Osman has released a new article about u… about you,’ the assistant answered, stammering as he got to the end.
‘What did she say?’ Chief Elvis Richards asked, really anxious to find out what new thing Samantha Osman had written about him.
‘Sir, I think it’s best you read it. I can’t explain it,’ he replied.
‘Get me my tab,’ Chief Elvis Richards said, pointing him to a table where the tablet device was.
The assistant hurried to the place to get the device, he handed it to the man and stood aside.
Chief Elvis unlocked the tab, he opened the browser and placed the cursor on the navigation bar. ‘What’s her website URL again?’
He typed it into the navigation bar and clicked send. It loaded in fifteen seconds. The first thing he saw was the featured blog post, the title read; ‘Nigeria’s Vice President kidnaps sick woman from Special Care Centre and kidnaps her family.’
Elvis Richards immediately began to sweat. His hands began to tremble but he managed to keep the tab in his hands. He clicked on the link and the page loaded.
‘A Special Centre for sick and old women in Ikoyi was reported to have been attacked last night by unknown hoodlums who injured four men and killed one security man and then left the place with a sick woman named Atinuke George.
The Samantha Osman team have made enough research and discovered that the Hoodlums are not unknown, in truth, the gang leader of the hoodlums is none other than Vice President Elvis Richards. Elvis Richards sent his men to take the woman from the place as she holds some of his very dirty secrets that he wants to hide.
Before kidnapping the woman, Elvis Richards first made sure that the only surviving family member of the sick woman, who is her daughter and popular SWAD National Leader Stephanie George and her guardian were first kidnapped from their residence in Abuja. He killed some men around the area to cover up the kidnap as a murder case. More details to prove this accusations would be released soon, subscribe to this blog.’
He heaved a sigh of frustration after reading, Samantha Osman was now playing his own games against him. Everything just seemed to be going wrong with him. He dropped the tab beside him and buried his face in his palms for some minutes.
‘I need to go on social media to refute these claims right now,’ he said as he raised up his head and picked the tab again.
‘Sir, why don’t you wait to hear from one of the advisers?’ his assistant suggested.
‘No, this has to be done quickly.’ Elvis Richards replied.
He logged on to his twitter account and typed in a tweet;
‘My attention was brought to a recent post made by Samantha Osman on her blog. It amazes me how low some enemies can go just to demean and spoil the name of others.
I know that this can only be the job of those who do not want the progress of Nigeria. They are trying by all means to make sure I do not get to the top and take the country forward.
I urge you all to be calm and disregard the post and other false messages that may be in circulation. They hold no water because they cannot be proven to be true. Please, avoid sharing these messages as they are false and ridiculous.’
He posted on twitter first in a series of tweets and then copied all together to post on Facebook and also on the PobsOnline social platform. He dropped his device after making all the posts and buried his face in his palms again. He felt his head ache, he could also feel his skin hot. The news seemed to have returned the sickness to his body. He managed to look up and reach for his phone. He flashed a glance at his assistant who was still standing before him.
‘Please leave me alone,’ he said, partially in anger and frustration.
‘Are you okay sir?’ the assistant asked, noticing his weak movements.
‘Just leave me, I would call you when I need you.’
The assistant bowed slightly and took his leave.
Chief Elvis opened his call register and dialed Rex’s number again.
It began to ring and shockingly this time, it was answered.
‘Rex, where are you and what is happening?’ he asked in a shaky voice.
The receiver of the call replied with a chuckle before speaking. ‘Hello Elvis Richards.’
He took the phone off his ears to see if he had dialed the wrong number, it was a lady’s voice he heard. He placed the phone close to his ears again after confirming that he didn’t dial the wrong number.
‘Who am I speaking with? I want to speak with Rex.’
‘You are speaking with Samantha Osman,’ the voice replied. ‘I have Rex with me, he’s been captured and he is undergoing torture.’
Her words hit Elvis Richards like a big hammer on the head. His heart began to beat abnormally fast and his bladder suddenly got full.
‘Arrange your home man, you have a few days to live. You’d die after the whole world knows your dirty secrets.’
He slowly and shakily took down the phone from his ears. His hands and lips continued to vibrate. He felt hot and weak all over. His fever seemed to have suddenly increased. He felt his eyes closing, he struggled to keep them open but he could not. His body felt too weak to remain sitting. He tried to open his mouth to call out for help but collapsed to the ground.
‘How many times has he called before?’ Tarasha asked one of the new assassins who had been given Rex’s phone to monitor.
‘He’s called about fourteen times today alone,’ the guy replied her.
Tarasha chuckled and handed the phone back to him. ‘He’s not going to call again, at least not so soon.’
She and Cole had returned to the other facility where Rex and their other prisoners were kept. Rex and Tobi were still tied and left without food in the white room while Stainless was still sleeping from the effect of the drug he was administered.
‘Boss,’ Cole called as he entered into the room Tarasha was in with the third man. Tarasha stared at his face. ‘Stainless isn’t awake yet, should we wake him up?’
‘No, let’s wait until he wakes up.’
‘Okay boss,’ Cole replied.
‘I read some minutes ago that Elvis Richards has denied the allegations.’
‘Yes boss, I read it too.’
‘I want you to download the NSCC footages which show that his assistant and some of his guards visited the Care Center few days ago.’
‘I’ll do that right away boss,’ Cole replied and turned to leave immediately.
To be continued