‘What part of the hospital do you have the equipment set up?’ Tarasha asked Dr Ekwueme who was already dozing off inside the ambulance.‘Doc!’
Mrs. Atinuke was laying on the bed still unconscious. The Doctor was sitting at the corner of the ambulance with his head resting against the wall of the vehicle. He jerked awake on hearing Tarasha call on him.
‘Are we ready?’ He asked as he rubbed his eyes and stretched.
‘Yes, we are,’ Tarasha replied.
The Doctor staggered up to his feet, supporting himself with the walls. ‘Let’s tell the driver to take us there now,’ he said in his sleepy voice as he managed to stand up.
‘Relax Doc, I think you should take your seat.’ Tarasha said and moved closer to him. She rested her bum against the bed the patient was lying in. ‘We need to plan before going in,’ she said and waited for the doctor to be seated before she continued. ‘How many of your security officials work overnight?’
‘We usually have up to six security guards on duty at night,’ the doctor answered.
‘How many exits and entrances do you have?’
‘Only three main entrances are allowed for most people and staffs but there are more than five exits.’
‘Secret or emergency exits?’
‘We have three main emergency exits,’ the doctor replied.
‘Which of the exits would be easy for you to lead us through?’ Tarasha asked.
The doctor pondered for a minute, ‘Well,’ he began in an unsure tone. ‘Maybe the first one,’ he paused again and heaved a sigh. ‘I’m not sure this is going to be easy.’
‘Whether it is or not, we still have to do it anyway,’ Tarasha said. She got up and returned to her former position, she picked her bag and walked back to the doctor’s front with the bag.
She dropped the bag on the floor and picked out her makeup kits bag. ‘We need to change your look before getting in,’ she said as she arranged the brush and tools to use. ‘It won’t be a difficult task if you cooperate with me, Dr Brian is expecting us already .’
Dr Ekwueme frowned. He stared at Tarasha’s face with a questioning look, wondering how she knew Dr Brian who was the head of operations in his hospital. ‘How did you reach Doctor Brian and what did you tell him?’
‘He’s expecting a certain Dr Harry from LandMine Hospital in Lagos and that’s why I’m about to turn you into Dr Harry,’ Tarasha replied.
Doctor Ekwueme was more confused. She raised a tool to start applying on his face but he stopped her, ‘I don’t understand what is going on yet.’
‘Allow me work Doc, I’ll explain as I work.’ Tarasha said staring deeply into his eyes.
He released her hand and she began to explain as she continued cleaning his face. ‘I called your hospital immediately we decided to embark on this trip and I was able to connect to the head of operations, I introduced myself as Veronica calling from Land Mine Hospital on behalf of Dr Harry, I explained the condition of our patient and told them we’re on the way.’
‘But didn’t they ask for any certificate of proof from you?’ Dr Ekwueme cut in, getting more confused and his heart filled with more questions.
‘They did, and I already sent it to them,’ she said and continued with the making up. ‘I do think your questions are not necessary, the only important thing is achieving our goal here and if you’d allow me talk without interrupting, I’ll explain how we would go about it.’
The Doctor sighed and shrugged.
‘Good morning Dr Brian,’ Dr Harry greeted, extending his hand for a shake.
‘Morning sir,’ Dr Brian replied and took his handshake. ‘I stayed back because of you.’
‘Yea, I know. Thanks, I do appreciate.’
‘So, what’s the situation of your patient?’
‘It’s crucial now and she needs to go under the machine immediately,’ Dr Harry replied.
‘Has the patient been moved to the theatre?’
‘Yes, I handed her over to your matron.’
‘Okay, but…’Dr Brian paused and looked into Dr Harry’s face. ‘I need to see the documents where the patient’s family members have signed for the operation to be carried out.’
‘That’s no trouble at all, Nurse Veronica that came with me has all of them with her, I’ll call her to join us right away,’ Dr Harry said as he took out his phone.
Dr Brian waited for Dr Harry to finish with the phone call before he continued, ‘Well, I’ve been slightly confused, I don’t understand why you choose to bring her this late.’ He stopped to check his time, ‘This is almost two o’clock.’
Dr Harry smiled. He had been explained to that Dr Brian was made to believe that the ambulance was coming from Enugu State.
‘We had to stay back and allow the traffic reduce, we couldn’t subject the patient to the bad traffic condition.’
‘Oh! I see…’ Dr Brian shrugged. The landline on his table rang and he excused himself to answer the call. ‘Ermm…Okay, let her come in.’ he said and dropped the call. ‘Your nurse is here.’
The flight had just taken off and Dave was restless in the seat where he was. It was after he booked the flight to Anambra the day before that he read the new articles released by Samantha Osman. Since then, he had not been able to take his mind off Stephanie. He wondered if she was kidnapped because she had tried to go ahead with probing the Vice President all by herself. He had warned her before that it would be dangerous to do it without him and the protection he could offer.
Before he slept the last night, he tried all he could to connect all the details he had but couldn’t. He confirmed the ill health of the Vice President but wasn’t able to confirm whether Stephanie had tried to report him to the police or not. He then decided to cool off his mind and continue with his trip to Anambra, carrying all the documents he had stolen from Stephanie to hide them safely and hoping to release them on his own news blog once the need arises; which he believed was when the Vice President tried to deny the allegations Samantha Osman made against him (the vice president).
As he pondered on the whole situation, he decided in his mind that he was going to release a new article that night with pictures of the documents he stole uploaded, so as to get everybody’s eyes on the Vice President and also to draw the attention of international bodies. That way, the Vice President would make sure that Stephanie doesn’t die because if she die, the nation and international bodies’ wraths would be directed to him.
‘Good morning sir,’ Dr Brian greeted as he walked into the room assigned to Dr Harry and Dr Brian to rest in while monitoring their patient at the ward from time to time.
‘Dr Brian,’ Dr Harry yawned as he managed to stand up from his seat. He was previously seated behind a table where he placed his forehead on and slept off. The nurse was also seated behind another table and had her head resting on it, she seemed to be unaware of the conversation between the two doctors.
‘I checked your patient few minutes ago, I can see she’s coming up already,’ Dr Brian said.
‘Yes, she is , slowly though.’
‘Well, I believe that she would regain fully by the end of the therapy.’
‘I hope so too.’
‘I was told that you’ve made the full payment already, thanks for that.’ Dr Brian said with a smile.
‘You’re welcome Dr Brian,’ Dr Harry replied.
Dr Brian paused for a moment and stared deeply into Dr Harry’s eyes with a frown on his face.
‘Dr Brian,’ Dr Harry called, waving his hand at the other Doctor’s face. ‘Is there any problem?’
‘No…’ Dr Brian stammered, shaking his head. ‘There’s no problem, there’s just this striking resemblance about you and Dr Ekwueme, I noticed it earlier but it just seems stronger now.’
‘Hehe…’ Dr Harry let out a forced smile. He could feel Samantha’s eyes piercing through his body from the back. He had slept off and forgotten her instructions on how to speak in such a way that his voice wouldn’t be easily recognized. ‘I’ve heard of Doctor Ekwueme very well, he’s as old as me, if not older,’ Dr Harry said with a smile. ‘And you know old people talk almost the same way.’
‘Well,’ Dr Brian shrugged. He wasn’t convinced by the man’s explanation but he was confused about hearing Dr Ekwueme’s voice from a totally different person. He had to conclude in his mind that the voice he heard was only in his head and not real. ‘I’m about to leave now and I decided to check on you first.’
‘Oh! Thanks,’ Dr Harry smiled, stretching out his hand to take the younger doctor’s hand.
‘You’re welcome sir,’ Dr Brian replied, shaking the man’s hand respectfully.
Just as Dr Brian turned to leave, someone knocked on the door. He stopped and glanced back at Dr Harry, Dr Harry raised his head slowly.
‘Don’t worry sir, let me check who it is.’ Dr Brian said and continued towards the door.
He opened the door to meet one of the nurses standing there.
‘Nurse, what do you want?’ he asked.
‘Sir, I’ve checked in your office for you. There’s a man outside who wants to see you, he claims that he could know the whereabouts of Dr Ekwueme.’ The nurse replied.
‘Oh! I’m coming with you right away,’ Dr Brian said and stepped out of the room immediately, he closed the door and followed the nurse.
Tarasha sprang up to her feet immediately Dr Brian closed the door. Dr Harry also looked in her direction. ‘Did you tell anybody you were coming here?’
‘No, how could I have? I didn’t,’ Dr Harry replied.
She proceeded straight to the door and turned the knob, ‘Just remain here, I’ll be back.’
She opened the door and stepped out. She looked at both sides of the corridor and took the left direction after contemplating for some seconds.
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‘Sweetheart, I am in Abuja now,’ Cole said happily into the phone as he climbed up the stairs.
‘Oh! Are you serious?’ Patricia replied, almost screaming in excitement.
‘Yes dear, I arrived some few minutes ago but I have some few things to do first, I’ll call you once I’m through.’
‘Oh! I can’t wait to see you, please call me fast.’
‘I will, as soon as I finish.’
Cole ended the call and returned the phone into his pocket.
‘You know, you’ve not told me about this girl yet.’ Henry teased as he joined him in the balcony.
‘Have you ever asked?’ Cole replied and headed for the door.
‘Several times man, several times.’ Henry replied as he joined him inside the house. He shut the door and walked to the sitting area.
‘That means I’ll tell you at the appropriate time,’ Cole replied, hoping to end the conversation with that. ‘Now, let’s go to business,’ he said as he positioned himself on the chair.
‘What’s the plan?’ Henry asked and also settled in the seat close to Cole.
‘We bring him here first,’ Cole replied. ‘After that, we make arrangements and ask the boss if we’re to take him along with us to Lagos.’
‘Bring him?’ Henry stared at Cole with a serious look on his face. ‘Omotara didn’t say anything like taking the man, he only asked that we make sure he misses his flight and remains in the country.’
‘Come on Henry, she doesn’t have to say it before we know it’s the right thing to do,’ Cole chided him. ‘She left us alone and trusted us to come up with a plan to execute the job ourselves, let’s show her that we can do better than she thinks.’
Henry heaved a sigh, he wasn’t too comfortable with the idea, ‘I hope we won’t hurt or kill anyone.’
‘Stop talking like a sissy bro, how long are you going to remain at this level? You are an assassin, assassins kill and hurt people,’ Cole said with a look of disgust on his face.
‘I’m not an assassin!’ Henry corrected in a strong tone.
‘Oh!’ Cole raised his brows and stared at him. ‘If you’re not one, you work with one and you are in love with her.’
‘Omotara is not an assassin,’ Henry argued.
Cole’s mouth was left slightly agape. He stared at Henry for some seconds with a disbelieving look and shook his head. ‘You’re living in self denial, I’ll leave you to enjoy it while it lasts. We don’t have time to argue now, let’s go back to business.’ Cole said. ‘We don’t plan to kill anyone, but we may have no option when it comes to hurting them.’
Henry let out a breath. ‘But, what do we plan to do with him after bringing him here?’
‘We tell the boss, she’s the one who has something to do to him.’
‘And don’t you think we’re abducting so many people? I know you guys have some of Elvis Richards’ assassins.’
‘We’ve taken care of them already and our newly recruited guys are watching over them, Rex himself has been given a high dose of drugs, it’ll wear his body out for a long time.’
‘Okay… Why do we really trust those new guys that much? And why didn’t you allow the guy that came with us to Abuja join in this conversation?’
‘I think you’ve answered your questions already. We don’t trust them, that’s why for example, I excluded Basit from this meeting of ours, I’ll only tell him the role he ought when the time comes. He and all the other guys are being closely monitored,’ Cole replied. He stopped to check his time. ‘Oops!’ he exclaimed. ‘Time is far spent already, we need to move faster.’
‘How do we abduct the Inspector General, would it be that easy?’
‘Yes, it would be easy.’ Cole said in an assuring tone. ‘According to the information you gave us, the Inspector General is travelling secretly. That means he won’t be going with so many of his people around him. He would be going to the airport with only one or two persons, which gives us the advantage to get him easily. All we need to do is take down the men around him. The news wouldn’t even go round quickly because he would be dressed differently; no one would know it’s the Inspector General that was taken.’
‘And do we bring him here straight?’
‘No, we would need to change our car, that’s where you come in, you make sure the NSCC records for that duration is cleared while I and Basit would make sure no one knows we’re moving the Inspector General.’
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‘Hello Gentleman,’ Dr Brian greeted as he approached Dave who was seated at the reception.
‘Good morning sir,’ Dave stood up to reply the greeting.
‘Good morning, I heard you wanted to see me and you know something about where Dr Ekwueme is,’ Dr Brian said.
‘That’s correct, I do need to see you.’
‘Ermm…’ the doctor looked around quickly, trying to think about the right thing to do. ‘His eldest son is still in town, I think I need to call him to join us.’
‘No, don’t, not now.’ Dave warned. ‘This has to be between us first, I need to ask some questions from you before I can affirm that what I have is authentic.’
The doctor looked around again, he seemed to be trembling as he thought of what to do.
Tarasha was staring at them from afar, hiding behind a wall at the corridor by the left side of the hospital which led to the reception. She strained her ears but could only hear few of the words they were saying but was not able to make sense out of any. However, she was able to read Dave’s lips who was facing towards her direction and from the doctor’s body movement, she expected he would invite Dave to his office. She turned back and quickly made her way to his office. She almost bumped into a nurse coming from behind but she smiled and apologized quickly and continued on her way. The nurse stopped and stared at her behind as she walked, wondering what she was peeping at from behind the wall.
‘Okay, should we inform the police?’ Dr Brian asked.
‘Not yet, I need to talk to you first. We would know whether to call the police or not,’ Dave replied.
‘Ermm… Okay, can we go to my office? It’s not far away from here.’
‘Samantha, who is the person and what’s happening?’ Dr Ekwueme asked as he saw Tarasha walk back in, hoping that they had not been busted.
‘That guy is Dave James, a dangerous guy.’ She replied him.
‘Does he know we are here?’
‘I don’t have an idea,’ she replied.
‘Hope he isn’t going to get us into trouble?’
‘I can’t tell, I wanted to put a recorder in Dr Brian’s office to listen to their conversation but I couldn’t go in. There’s so much activity and so many people around the place.’
‘Yes, it’s not easy to go into anyone’s office like that at this time of the day.’ Dr Ekwueme confirmed. ‘What are we going to do now?’
She stared blankly for a moment and let out a deep breath, then she took out her phone and quickly opened the dialer. She searched for the number of the guy who drove them in the ambulance to Anambra and dialed it. It rang and wasn’t answered. She dialed a second time and it wasn’t still answered. After dialing the third time and getting no answer, she decided to call Stephanie’s number. Stephanie answered at the first ring.
‘Hello how is my mum?’ Stephanie voice rang in through the phone’s speaker.
‘Your mum is doing fine, she’d be awake very soon.’ Tarasha replied.
‘Can I come and see her?’
‘No, you can’t come here. Someone may recognize you,’ Tarasha said. She could hear Stephanie let out a sigh of disappointment. Nevertheless, she proceeded to her reason for calling. ‘Are you in your hotel room?’
‘Yes, I am there.’
‘Did you guys book the rooms according to my instructions?’
‘That’s means he took the room directly opposite or beside you?’
‘I want you to check him in his room and ask him to call me back right now.’
‘Okay, I’ll do that right away.’
Stephanie put on her slippers and proceeded out of the hotel room at once. She stopped in front of the man’s room and knocked the door. She waited for some seconds but continued to knock when she got no response. She then turned the knob and the door opened. She pushed the door in slowly and peeped before entering.
‘Sir…’ she called as she moved closer to the bed. At first, her mind was gripped with fear with what she saw. The man was sprawled on the floor beside the bed and he looked like a dead person. As she drew nearer, she realized he was only drunk. He had several bottles of alcohol on the floor. She didn’t know it would get that bad when he told her he wanted to join the club in the hotel premises when they arrived that midnight. She only knew he returned around five o’clock that morning with two girls from the club and several bottles of drinks, and she only knew that because he drunkenly came to her room first thinking it was his and knocked until she opened the door and had to point his to him.
She began to hear sounds of a phone ringing and she quickly located it where it was. She picked it up and checked the screen, Samantha Osman was the caller. She answered the call.
‘Stephanie, where is he?’
‘He’s drunk and deeply asleep,’ Stephanie answered.
‘Oops!’ Tarasha gasped from the other end. After some seconds she spoke again, I need the vehicle urgently, can you drive?’
‘Yes, I can.’
‘Please, drive now to the hospital and tell me when you get in.’
‘Damn it! The f****** boy needs discipline,’ Tarasha cursed as she ended the call.
‘What do we need to do?’
‘We have to relax first, you’re safe, if anyone discovers you, they won’t hurt you, they’ll only want to come for me.’
‘That means you are not safe.’
‘I can escape this place easily, you told me all the exits and entry points already and I’ve asked Stephanie to bring the vehicle in in case I need a vehicle to escape.’ She replied. ‘The disadvantage I have now is that people discovering you here would jeopardize all my other plans and it would also mean that all of guys at Lagos are not safe too.’
The doctor heaved a sigh of frustration.
‘I’m going to kill Dave James today once I get the opportunity,’ Tarasha voiced out angrily.