Location: Inspector Dakolo’s Residence, Abuja.
Dakolo and James sat on two different short chairs facing each other directly with a space of about half a metre between them. Dakolo had a paper in his hand from which he explained some things to James. After two minutes of both looking into the paper, they sat up.
‘I understand perfectly well and I’ve asked the Vice President but he denied having anything to do with the woman’s dissapearance,’ James said.
‘And you think he’s saying the truth?’ Dakolo asked.
‘Yes, it’s true. i believe he has nothing to do with her disappearance.’
Dakolo stared at James’ face silently for a moment, he let out a breath and rested his back.
‘I think we should go about this privately, once we let our colleagues know or submit a progress report, the outcome we would get could be influenced.’ James suggested.
‘I was considering that too,’ Dakolo supported. ‘How do you think we should go about it?’
‘I still don’t know what to do to her,’ Cole said into the communication device. He was driving in a black Range Rover. The mouthpiece of the device was attached to his collar while a wireless earpiece was in his left ear.
A blue coloured Camry sports car was following right behind the Range Rover and in it was Tarasha and Nicholas, Tarasha sitting at the back seat and Nicholas driving at the front.
Cole adjusted his rear view mirror to check if he could see Tarasha in the vehicle behind, not being sure that she heard his statement after some minutes of speaking to her and repeating the question three times without getting a reply.
‘Do nothing to her except she tries to hurt you,’ Tarasha finally replied at that moment, as if she observed he was tired of waiting for her reply. ‘All you need to do is to locate the points she has men in the facility.’
‘Okay boss,’ Cole replied.
The journey continued silently for some minutes. Another car which took a turn from the opposite direction road side had been allowed to come in between the cars but Nicholas maintained his speed in following.
Tarasha at the backseat took was viewing Patricia’s pictures which Cole had sent to her tablet device again. After viewing the face and observing all it’s features carefully, she was sure she would recognize Patricia once she sees her except a very good makeup disguise was used.
They gradually approached an intersection on the road where a traffic warden stood and directed the flow of traffic. Some road safety officials vehicles were parked neatly at a side off the road. The warden signalled a halt to vehicles coming from their direction and all the vehicles had to slow down. After two minutes of allowing people coming from the right pass and another one and a half minute of allowing those from the left pass, the warden signalled to those in their direction to continue moving.
The two vehicles in front of the Range Rover sped pass quickly but the Rover screeched to a halt just beside the warden causing other cars coming from behind to also halt involuntarily.
The traffic warder took a sharp turn back to see the vehicle which was causing a disruption to the flow of vehicle. He noticed a man in the range Rover, the man raised a phone to his ear and flashed the light. It appeared to the warder as if the man was answering a call, he raised his rod and began to step closer but the Rover suddenly fired on again.
‘Stop there!’ the traffic warder shouted to the driver but the driver sped on. He quickly turned to his colleagues seated under the booth who had been watching and made some signals to them. Three of the colleagues jumped on their power bikes immediately and began to chase the disobedient road user.
‘Cole, what was that for?’ Tarasha said into her mouthpiece on seeing Cole stop the car at the middle of the intersection.
‘Boss, I know that man,’ Cole had replied confidently before con.
‘Which of the men?’ Tarasha asked.
‘The warder directing traffic currently, I met him once.’ Cole replied.
Tarasha remained silent for a moment, wondering why Cole had to stop because he kenw the warder. She had questions for him to answer but it wasn’t the right time to ask. ‘You are just a few minutes away from the ICM, what do you plan to do with the new company you have?’ she asked the most important question at that moment.
‘Boss, that man is Patricia’s father.’ Cole replied, not minding the question she asked him. ‘Ermm… I mean the man she introduced to me as her father when I visited her parent’s home.’
Tarasha could now understand why Cole could not control himself but stop at the middle of the road. She turned her head back to look towards the intersection again, the man was still there doing his work.
For a moment, Tarasha had no idea on what instruction to give Cole who had now increased his speed because of the bikers chasing him. They were less than a kilometre now to the ICM and it would be impossible for Cole not to be disturbed by the law enforcers chasing him, and that would disrupt their plans.
She picked up her phone and called dialed Henry’s number, luckily Henry answered at the first ring.
‘Hey Henry, we need you right away.’ she said into the mouthpiece.
‘How do I come in?’ Henry replied from the other end, his voice showing readiness to help.
Tarasha continued to speak, conscious that Cole could hear her instructions to Henry. ‘Log on the NSCC portal and get the picture of the traffic warder at the intersection close to ICM when coming from Gravl Avenue. We need you and Tomi to get the man, alive.’
‘Ermm… You mean kidnap him?’
‘Hmm,’ Henry’s deep breath could be heard from the other end. The task seemed to be a big one for him. He had been once involved in kidnapping the Inspector General but this time, he was going to be spearheading it with only Tomi working with him.
Tarasha sensed his fear. ‘It’s an easy job, start with getting his picture from the security cameras first and call me once you’re ready to leave the base.’
‘Okay boss,’ Henry replied, his voice not sounding too enthusiastic like it was when he answered the call.
‘Boss, what do I do? I’m close to ICM,’ Cole’s voice sounded in Tarasha’s earpiece immediately she dropped Henry’s call.
She sniffed in gently, she needed to teach Cole a lesson for not knowing what to do after getting into trouble.
‘Drive towards the ICM and don’t bother about them catching up with you, claim that you don’t not know you were being pursued.’
Cole heaved a sigh at Tarasha’s response. He had thought she would ask him to keep driving until the men lost track of him but she was asking him to slow down at the ICM gate and allow the men arrest him which would disrupt their plans. He wondered what she was trying to achieve with the instruction.
He reluctantly slowed down and turned on the indicator. He looked at the side mirrors and saw two of the power bikes already behind his vehicle, then he saw some sense in Tarasha’s instruction. There was no way he could have kept the men chasing him for long, they would have still caught up with him because they had better chances of maneuvering the space on the road with their power bikes than he who was driving a vehicle.
The security men at the ICM gate raised a flag for him to stop as they normally did to check all vehicles going in, but there was no check on his vehicle as the officers chasing him on the power bikes stepped down and pointed their guns at him to step out of the vehicle. The security men at the gate directed him to move his vehicle to the side of the fence as he was obstructing a part of the entrance.
He obeyed and moved the vehicle off the entrance to the big gate and parked on the grass beside. He checked his pocket to ensure there was no gun in it before he stepped down from the car with his phone and car keys, he put his hands in the air.
‘Get down on your knees,’ one of the officers pointing a gun at him said. He obeyed and went on his knees. An officer standing beside moved closer to him and pulled his hands to the back and handcuffed him.
‘Hey, you’re not telling me why are you taking me?’ he protested as the officer in front directed him to get up.
The officers stared at him in silence. They decided not to answer his stupid question because they were sure he knew his crime.
‘My car brakes went bad,’ he continued to talk when no one gave him an answer. The officer behind him held him by the shoulder and turned him towards his car.
‘Get into the backseat,’ the officer ordered.
‘Please officers, let’s settle this here. I don’t need to get to your office,’ Cole pleaded as he walked to the back with the officer pushing him behind. He looked left and saw the Camry sports car being checked by the security at the gate, Tarasha glanced towards him. She had an expressionless look and acted just like she didn’t have an idea who he is. The security guards at the gate gave them a pass and they drove in.
‘Get into the car,’ the officer pushing Cole said in a command tone. He tried to open the door to the backseat but it was locked.
‘Only the driver’s side is unlocked, I have to unlock all other doors from the control.’ Cole said to him.
The officer turned him back and directed him towards the driver’s side. Cole laughed inside him. He knew the officers would have no choice than to take off the manacles, there was no way any of them could drive the car or open any other door because of the way it was set.
‘You turn back once you drop me in here and go after Cole,’ Tarasha began to give Nicholas orders as they drove towards the car park. ‘Ensure that the officers don’t go with him, and get back to me once he’s free.’
‘Okay boss,’ Nicholas answered with a nod.
They soon parked the car and Tarasha put on her sun shades before stepping out of the car with her hand bag.
She was dressed on a milk coloured armless gown which stopped slightly above her knees. Her black high heeled shoes gave her a lady like look just like the ladies at the place who had come to catch fun. She walked some steps away from the car and looked towards the eatery where Cole had agreed to meet with Patricia. She checked her wristwatch as she began to walk towards the eatery. She flashed another look at Nicholas who was trying to drive out of the park and reminded him to give her updates on the task she gave to him.
Right at the same car park, Eric was seated at the driver’s side of a black Zenvo with Lizzy seated at his right. Lizzy was dressed sexily in a cleavage baring orange mini gown. Her makeup was light and her well styled hair all packed to the back. She looked impatient and anxious.
Eric on the other hand was dressed simply in a black T-shirt and black Jean trouser. He had a relaxed and calm look on his face even though he also couldn’t wait to get out of the place with Victor.
‘It’s ten minutes left, he should be close.’ Eric broke the long existing silence.
‘He arrives on time every time we have an outing, so I don’t know why he is not here already.’ Lizzy replied.
‘Have you seen anything yet? Like any sign that he’s arrived?’
‘No, none yet.’ Lizzy replied. ‘It’s strange, he always comes early.
‘Our guys are all around the place and I’m sure they’ll tell us once they see him.’
Lizzy let out a breath.
Eric placed his gaze on her face. ‘You’ve got to relax girl, you look too anxious, are you scared of meeting him?’
‘Then stop acting weird, don’t mess things up.’
Lizzy took in another breath. She couldn’t explain her feeling but she knew it wasn’t fear. They already had a good plan in place and she was sure there was no way Cole could hurt her with the several eyes watching.
Eric’s phone began to ring. He picked it and checked the screen, Carl was the caller.
‘Hey Carl,’ he said as he answered the call.
‘He’s here already but he was followed to the gate by officers and he’s being arrested for disobeying traffic rules.’
‘Have they taken him already?’ Eric asked.
‘He’s still arguing with them and he’s denying them from using his car but some other officers just brought another vehicle.’
‘So, that means we can get him from the officers?’
‘Yeah, but there’s a problem.’
‘He came alone, there was no one else in his car.’
Eric was silent for a while. ‘They could be around, we’d watch out as the officers take him.’
‘You can’t drive the car, it’s customized for me alone. It’ll give you problems at every point on the road.’ Cole repeated to the officer.
‘No problem, just wait till our vehicle comes.’ the obstinate officer replied.
Cole was still handcuffed behind. The officer who cuffed his hands had tried to uncuff him when the one who seemed to be the leader of the group noticed the settings of the vehicle at the driver’s side and stopped it.
‘But Oga, I told you I have an appointment and I’m running late already. Let’s settle this here instead of getting to your office, I can pay the fines right now if you want me to.’ Cole replied the man. He looked towards the gate at that moment and noticed the Camry sports coming out again, only Nicholas was in it now.
‘I told you already that we are not authorized to collect any money from you, if you were in such a hurry, you would have agreed to drive us in your car to the station where we can do all the settlement.’
‘Oh! Here,’ the man interrupted him as he sighted the Hyundai Van coming.
Cole heaved a sigh of frustration. Things were getting messier than he expected, he couldn’t imagine how the boss would react if the operation was unsuccessful because of him and how worse it could even get if the officers were successful in getting him to their station.
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Tarasha’s eyes continued to move to and fro behind her shades. She walked as slow as she could but fast enough not to cause anyone to suspect her. Her phone was in her hand and she occasionally raised it up and played around with the keyboard to make it look like she was chatting as she walked. She had spotted two suspicious men around the restaurant already, both of them at different positions but keeping watch at the entrance of the eatery Cole was supposed to meet with Patricia in.
She got to the eatery and stepped in slowly, immediately she noticed three people looking firmly in her direction with expectation in their eyes. She took a cursory look around the eatery as she proceeded towards the counter. Even as she looked in different directions, she tried to minimize her head movement as best as she could and the shades covering her eyes helped to make the movement of the eyes not obvious.
She walked to the counter and requested a list of snacks and prices, one of the attendants handed her the menu and pointed the section where the snacks were listed. She looked around from the counter again, she had noticed two more people, a man and a woman.
‘Two meat pies,’ she said to the attendant. She looked again and made an observation. One of the first men she saw just finished answering a call and another just answered a new call. The first man got up from his seat and made a face signal to another seated elsewhere. She continued to watch them as they began to get up one after the other. She watched as they tried to go out without causing suspicions that they were together.
The lady she noticed with them also got up and a thought struck Tarasha’s mind at that moment.
‘Here ma,’ the attendant said to Tarasha with the snacks packaged separately but placed in a nylon bag.
‘How much is it?’ Tarasha asked absentmindedly, forgetting for a second the price she just checked in the list. ‘One thousand naira,’ she said with a smile before the attendant could answer.
‘Yes, one thousand naira.’
Tarasha dipped her hand in the bag and brought out a purse, she took out a thousand naira note from the purse and handed it to the attendant before hurrying off with the nylon of snacks. She took out a tiny device from her purse before returning it into the handbag.
20 Minutes Later
Cole was feeling angry with himself as the vehicle moved. He was seated in the van with two officers, his hand cuffed behind rendering him partially useless and unable to make any escaping move. He was desperate to be free. Getting him to their office with them will mean more troubles for him and for the team as any officer could possibly recongize him as a wanted criminal.
They were twenty minutes into the drive to the road safety office when Cole noticed that the camry sports car had been following them. The last time he had seen the car was when it was driven out of the ICM and then he only saw Nicholas. He felt some joy in him, even though he wasn’t sure Tarasha was now in the vehicle with Nicholas, he was sure that he and Nicholas could take care of the officers in the vehicle.
Nicholas could see the vehicle in front, he continued following at a safe distance according to Tarasha’s instruction. She had told him just to follow and carry out no action until she says so. The Road Safety Office was still some distance away and it would take close to forty minutes on road to get there. Nicholas believed that Tarasha was trying to block them from the front or join him in the vehicle before they stopped the vehicle and help Cole from the officers.
‘Nicholas, are you on?’ Tarasha’s voice sounded in his earpiece.
‘Yes boss,’ he replied, eagerly expecting her next instruction.
‘Stop following them,’ she said.
‘Huh?’ Nicholas widened his eyes, he thought he had heard her wrongly.
‘Stop following, stop and change your direction towards Egbeda.’
‘Ermm… Okay,’ Nicholas replied. He felt like asking her why she gave such instruction but he decided not to question her authority but obey the command as it was given. He was however still relucatant to change his direction. The new direction was a totally opposite one from the direction of the office the officers were taking Cole to and Nicholas wondered if Tarasha wanted to leave Cole without help. Her new order seemed to totally contradict the initial command she gave to him.
‘You located the Camry sports?’ Carl asked, speaking into the mouthpiece of his phone. He was now with Eric in the same vehicle Eric was in with Lizzy. Eric was still driving while Lizzy had stopped followng them with the excuse that she had other assignments to carry out for the NIS that day. They had to let her go as they already noticed her nervousness.
‘Yes, it’s been trailing the road safety van for more than twenty minutes.’ the voice at the other end of the call replied.
‘It must be one of Samantha Osman’s man sent to help Victor,’ Carl said. ‘I’m sure he’s gonna try attack the van, you would take care of him while we get Victor from the Van.’
Tarasha was seated at the backseat of a cab, busy with the device in her hand and at the same time listening to two different things. There were now two earpieces in her ears, both receiving sound from different devices. The one in the left receiving from the talkon communicator and the other receiving from the tracker she had placed on the body of one of the guys she had seen in the restuarant.
She had asked Nicholas to stop trailing the road safety officers’ vehicle and meet her at Egbeda where she was also headed to, even though it was a different direction from the road safety office. Her tracking had giving her information about the direction of Patricia’s men and she was going after them, that was why she needed Nicholas to be with her.
Her phone began to ring and she took it out of the bag, Henry was calling.
‘Hey Henry,’ she said into the phone.
‘Tara, the man is off duty now.’ Henry said.
‘Okay, that makes it easier for you. You can follow him and take him at when you get to a suitable place.’
‘That’s my plan,’ Henry replied.
‘Be careful, don’t get caught.’ Tarasha warned.
30 minutes later
Cole was getting anxious now. He had not seen the camry sports car for the more than thirty minutes and that was a sign that Nicholas had stopped following. He wondered if Nicholas had missed them or if something else had gone wrong. He knew he was in trouble if something wasn’t done to set him free. He looked at the officers seated with him, they had their guns with them and had their hands free, they could shoot him dead if he tried to attack them. Also the vehicle was still moving and there was no way he would get down safely even if he attacked those two men and got rid of them. The best option he could think of was waiting till they get him to the station and hoping they would release him after making him pay the penalty as stipulated in the law.
The vehicle suddenly came to a halt and some strange voices could be heard in front. One of the officers seated with Cole behind got up to check what was wrong but got more than he bargained for as a bullet hit him and he fell down instantly.
Cole was scared at first but then he relaxed his mind. Nicholas must have taken a shorter route and got to cross them at the front or maybe he was now with Tarasha, Cole thought. He heard sounds of two more gunshots, the other officer seated with him jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the bush for safety.
That was when Cole looked around and observed that something was amiss. He noticed that they were now in a residential area with untarred roads and so many houses. Then he looked forward and saw a vehicle coming towards them.
The vehicle stopped some distance behind and four strange men and a woman came out, all armed with pistols.
Someone appeared into sight from behind. Cole stared at his face closely, he noticed he wasn’t a Nigerian. Cole was sure he was in trouble.
‘Get down Victor, we are taking you to Pat your sweetheart.’ Carl said with a mischievous smile.
Is Tarasha aware of Carl’s plan or she miscalculated? And what is she doing at a different location? Find out in the next episode.
To be continued