Location: Vice President Quarters.
‘Have the videos implicated you already?’ Rex voice sounded through the phone’s speaker.
‘No, the stupid Inspector General only spoke on how we met in today’s video but the next video could implicate me. It was already mentioned in today’s video that he joined the Boko Haram Terrorist group and he may tell in the next video how I helped him escape punishment.’ Elvis Richards replied. He was sitting on a chair in his room, dressed in white shirt and black trousers, his shirt buttoned halfway and his belt loose.
‘Okay, I’ll get back to you later today.’
‘Please, don’t just get back to me, please take specific actions and let me see the results.’
The line went off after he finished speaking. He heaved a sigh and stared blankly at the wall for some seconds. He dropped the phone on the table before him and heaved a heavy sigh. He rose up and buckled his belt properly. He sat back on the chair and stretched to drag the shoes on the floor close to him. He took out the socks from the shoes and wore it slowly on both feet. As he pulled on the right leg shoe, his phone began to ring. He looked up and picked the phone on the table, President Emeka was the caller.
‘Good morning your excellency,’ he greeted with so much reverence sounding in his voice.
‘Good morning Chief Elvis, where are you?’
‘About to leave the house for the meeting with the NEC staffs,’ the Vice President replied.
‘Have you seen the latest video released by Samantha Osman?’
‘Ermmm, I haven’t had time to see the video but my PA told me about it few minutes ago.’ he lied.
‘That video is one of the most embarrassing videos I’ve ever seen, how would we explain to the world that a whole Inspector General of Police was a former member of a terrorist group? How did he get back into the force and how did he rise to that position?’
‘Sir, I can’t give answers to these questions. I don’t think the Inspector General knew what he was doing in that video, Samantha Osman is very dangerous, she could have done some things to him to make him lose his senses before recording the video.
‘I don’t think so Mr Elvis Richards, there was nothing wrong with Rikau in that video. He was perfectly well and it doesn’t look like he was under any influence,’ President Emeka argued.
‘Sir, I think we should just allow police make things clear with their investigation on the matter, I’m sure the truth will be revealed to us very soon.’
‘I hope the truth revealed proves the claim in the video false, else you would have a lot of questions to answer.’ The President threatened.
Chief Elvis Richards heaved another sigh after the call ended. He knew he would really have a lot of questions to answer as he was the one who recommended Chief Rikau for the position of the IGP and presented a clean record of the man to the President and his advisers.
Things were really getting messier for him and he seemed helpless, even Rex who he hoped will stop Tarasha did not seem like he was sure of what to do.
He let out another deep breath. He unlocked his phone and opened the contact list, he searched for the phone number of the Acting Inspector General of Police and dialled it.
‘Good morning, AIG. How are you doing?’
‘Good morning sir, I’m fine sir.’
‘Yeah, straight to business. I’m aware that you are directly in charge of investigating these videos being released by Samantha Osman.’
‘Yes…sir, I am…’ the reply sounded with some hesitation.
‘Okay, have you been able to question the Inspector General to verify if he really meant those things he said?’
‘No, the Doctors asked us to wait till evening before talking to him.’
‘Good!’ Elvis Richards sounded cheerful. ‘Ermm… I would like you to… Ermmm…’
‘Sir?’ the man from the other end spoke when Chief Elvis kept stammering without being able to put words together.
Elvis Richards who was trying to come up with a good offer for the man finally got an idea. ‘Ermmm… You know the way things are going now and I’m sure you know that Rikau can not survive that condition he is in, so it makes you the Inspector General after his demise and you can be retained once I win the election. I think it would be reasonable to give the Inspector General a clean record in his death, it would give us no reason to search deep into your own records.’
‘Sir… I don’t get your point yet.’
‘I mean regardless of what the result fo your investigation is, your report should be in favour of Rikau because those videos being released would not just affect him, it could affect a lot of other people including you and I who have had past deals with him.’
There was silence for a short while.
‘Are you still with me?’
‘Yes, I’m just thinking through.’
‘There’s nothing to think through, just do as I have said. You know you would be handsomely rewarded at due time.’
‘I’m sorry sir, I can’t do what you’re asking.’
Elvis Richards was surprised that his offer could be rejected.
‘The President called me some minutes ago and already gave his strict instructions on how I should go about this case. I have to follow his instructions.’
‘s***!’ Elvis Richards cursed under his breath, he never expected the President to have called before him, the man was faster than him this time around. ‘But do you know you could get yourself into trouble if you don’t do as I say?’
‘I don’t think so sir, I never carried out any secret deal with Chief Rikau so there’s nothing he can say about me.’ the man replied confidently.
‘Yes sir, I made no deal with him.’
Elvis Richards seemed surprised, then he remembered that Rikau had once told him about one of his deputies who had never worked closely with him. ‘So because you made no deal with him, the rest of us that made deals should suffer? Don’t you know it would affect me in the elections if my friend is painted as a bad person?’
‘I’ve not said that and I’m sorry about how it might affect you but I believe that anyone who does something against the law should be brought to justice no matter what position he or she holds.’
‘Well, you can go ahead to do whatever you want, but do not say I did not warn you when you start reaping the results.’
‘That’s a threat sir…’
‘Call it whatever you want, have a nice day.’ the Vice President concluded and cut the line angrily.
He put on the second leg of his shoe and got up to tuck in his shirt properly and fix his buttons. He picked his phone and walked to the mirror to check his reflection. A knock sounded at his door.
He turned and stared angrily at the door until the knock sounded the second time. ‘Come in,’ he shouted and turned back to face the mirror.
The door opened and Agent James walked in.
‘What do you want?’ the vice President asked without looking back.
‘It’s me Father,’ James said as he closed the door and stepped further inside.
‘Oh! James,’ Elvis Richards turned back and felt a bit relieved on seeing him. ‘Where are you coming from?’
‘I’m coming from the office,’ James answered. He stopped close to the table and his eyes lingered on the files on the table for a moment. He picked up the file and began to scan through even as he continued speaking. ‘My flight to Lagos is in fifteen minutes time, I have something important to do there.’
‘Okay, how far with Dakolo?’
‘We’re traveling to Lagos together,’ James replied and both of them exchanged a knowing look.
‘Okay, I’ll see you when you return.’
‘You, Patricia?’ Madam Christiana stared at the young lady with an awkward look. ‘Even if you are Patricia, what’s my business with you?’ she asked and tried to make way to leave.
‘I’m the one you’ve been waiting for,’ the young woman said in a confident tone. ‘I called you some minutes ago that I was already at the park.’
Madam Christiana gave her an awful look, everything sounded ridiculous to her.
‘I’m sorry for keeping you here for a long time, I had to make sure every where is safe before coming to meet you. Can we sit so that you can show me the text messages you were sent?’
Madam Christiana just kept staring at her with her mouth agape. She didn’t know what kind of game Patricia was playing but she wasn’t finding it funny. ‘Please, where is Patricia?’ she asked, looking around for signs of her.
The young lady looked around for a moment and pulled the woman by the arm. ‘Let’s forget about that now, are sure you no one followed you here?’ she asked in low tones.
‘What kind of question is that?’ the woman replied in a loud voice. ‘Just tell me where Patricia is.’
The young lady looked around carefully for a moment. She didn’t see anyone looking in their direction except for the men who were part of the NIS team.
‘Patricia sent me to you,’ she said softly as she held the old lady by her wrist and led her to the previous place she was sitting.
‘Where is she?’ Madam Christiana asked again.
‘Just sit please,’ the young lady urged her. ‘She’s around and we’ve been watching you since you got here but she can’t come out because we suspect that there are other people watching you from around.’
‘What other people are you talking about?’
‘Can I see the messages you were sent?’ the young lady asked, ignoring her question.
Madam Christiana unlocked her phone, opened the messages and handed it to the lady. After reading through the messages, the young lady took out her android phone, she opened her tracking app, typed in the sender’s number into the dialog box and clicked on search location.
The search ended a few seconds later and displayed ‘No Location Found’. She took out an earpiece and plugged it into her ears, the mouthpiece dangling below her chin. ‘Pat, the location is untraceable.’ she said into the mouthpiece in a very low voice.
‘Where’s she?’ Madam Christiana questioned again.
Even though Tarasha had a game running on the phone in her hands, she still paid close attention to the women. She could hear most of what Madam Christiana said but found it difficult to hear the other lady’s words because the low volume of her voice.
She looked around for a while, trying to see if she could locate some of their other men standing around. She had only located one close to the left side entrance. She took some seconds to think and came up with an idea on how to locate the other enemies standing around the garden.
She took out another earpiece of the same kind in the left and plugged it in the right ear, the mouthpiece was already attached to the collar of her shirt.
‘Henry,’ she spoke softly. ‘Get the vehicle close to the gate, I’ll be done soon.’
Tarasha picked up her handbag and got up from her seat, she took out a small leather packet from the bag and left it unzipped. She then proceeded to the left entrance of the garden. Some flowers were used to fence the garden and the entrance was just enough for about four people to walk through at the same time.
Her purse dropped and fell in front of a man who was standing in front of a flower close to the entrance.
‘Oh! Sorry,’ the man took a step back as she bent to pick the bag. But as she tried to lift it up, some of the contents scattered on the floor and some fell of the man’s shoes. The man took another step back to allow her pick the items. He saw her trying to touch his leg after picking all the items on the floor, he took another step back.
‘Please, there’s an earring hanging on your shoe.’ she said.
He looked down and saw that an earring was truly hanging at the top of his shoe. He allowed her reach his leg and try to pull it out. It was already stuck to his shoe, so it gave her some difficulty to pull out. He felt a slight piercing on his leg as she pulled it out forcefully.
‘Sorry,’ she apologized as she threw it into her bag.
‘It’s okay,’ the man shook his leg. It was just a little piercing, so he ignored and watched her walk away.
She hurried off and soon got to the sports center which was some distance away, but she could still see the garden clearly from there.
Three minutes after she left, he began to feel some pain in his stomach and he couldn’t understand, he had never felt such before. The pain grew worse and he started to look for somewhere to sit but as he took two steps forward, his vision became blurry he fell to the ground weak.
Tarasha hiding herself amongst the volley ball spectators kept her eyes towards the garden, she noticed immediately the man fell and she kept her eyes hovering around to see the people who would react to his fall.
As expected, so many people looked towards the fallen man’s direction and some even tried to help him but she could notice the differences amongst the people. She also noticed some sets of men at different angles who began to make phone calls at that moment.
…where are we going now?’ she heard Madam Christiana asked in a loud voice. She had not been paying attention to the conversation of the young lady and the madam until now that she spotted both of them rise to their feet from the garden.
…she just left the garden?’ she could hear the low voice of the other lady. She could also see her putting a finger on the earpiece in her left ear. ‘Madam, we’ve got to go now. I told you Samantha Osman is the one sending you those death threats and I was told she was in this garden few minutes ago.’
‘Every one, exit this place immediately, there’s a thief hiding somewhere here,’ she heard a male voice announce. Immediately, people began to get up from their seats and the ones standing began to move. The volley ball game stopped and the gamers began to search for their belongings. She located a pair of sneakers some metres away from her, nobody had come to pick it yet. She got up and began to take off her jacket as she joined the flow of the impatient crowd, she bent to drop her jacket and picked the sneakers.
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Rex stopped his riding to watch what was going on. People were hurrying about the place as the NIS men he already identified had now pulled out their guns and were looking for the lady whose bag dropped on the floor before one of their men. He had seen the lady when she walked out of the garden but did not pay much attention to her.
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‘I know she was here,’ Eric said as he zoomed the picture on the tablet.
‘Can we see her face?’ Carl asked. He already had his gun in his hand, ready to join in search.
Eric exited the current video where he took the screenshot from and switched back to the running surveillance camera application. He returned to the dashboard which showed the option of footages of the different camera positions, he selected another footage which he believed would show the front view. The first one that was selected only captured from the back and showed Tarasha’s behind only.
‘This shows her face,’ Eric said as he paused the video. He zoomed in and stared intently as he took a screenshot of the zoomed image. ‘She doesn’t look like the person I fought with.’
‘Could be another member of her team,’ Carl replied as he also stared at the face of the lady intently. The lady whose bag had fallen in front of their man was putting on a black attire all through, a black leather jacket with black inner top, black trousers and black boots.
‘I think she’s the same person, it’s the same body shape she has, she could be using a face mask disguise.’ Eric said as he exited the video.
‘She walked to the sports center from the garden,’ Lizzy said from behind them.
‘Oh! I think we can go after her now since you’ve been able to connect,’ Eric said and jumped up from his seat.
He picked his two guns, put one in his back pocket and held one in his right hand. He massaged his injured shoulder with his palm for a second to reassure himself that the wound would not stop him from performing well.
‘Yea, I’ll feed you with information.’ Lizzy replied. Victoria came to stand beside her and joined in watching the surveillance camera footages Lizzy was fetching from the source.
The two male assassins rushed out to join the other men in search of the lady putting on the black leather jacket.
The first lady Eric pulled by the arm screamed as he grabbed her, she was trying to run out of the sports center with a big nylon bag in her hand. As he turned her face to him, he hissed on seeing that it was another person entirely who only dressed like Samantha. He pushed her away and continued with his search. He rushed to the position beside the volleyball court where Lizzy had told him she was seen last but found no one there. He located the leather jacket which they were trying to trace her on the floor along the walkway and the black boots in front. He turned on his mouthpiece.
‘Lizzy, are you connected?’ he spoke into the mouthpiece. ‘Lizzy,’ he called again when she gave no reply.
‘Yes, I am connected. I was trying to locate her current position,’ Lizzy replied.
‘I just got to where she stood at the volleyball court and I found her jackets and shoes at the walkway, she seems to have changed into something else.’ Eric said. He looked around and could only see few people still around the court, most picking up the valuables which they had kept aside to participate in the game, the others had left the place when several men with guns in their hands began to surface.
‘I think that’s the reason I’m finding it difficult to locate her current location,’ Lizzy replied.
‘Don’t forget to tell me once you find her.’
‘Sure,’ Lizzy replied Eric. She turned off her mouthpiece.
She glanced at Victoria who was sitting beside and then at madam Christiana who was now inside the place with the young lady Lizzy sent to her. The young lady was standing close to the window while madam Christiana was sitting on the seat Eric previously sat on.
Lizzy turned back to the computer system in front of her and held the mouse again, she navigated back to the dashboard to see the previously saved footages of the past ten minutes. She selected the footage that showed Samantha’s previous position at the Sport’s center and played to see how she took off the jacket and shoe.
The video showed Samantha looking around and stopping to stare at something. Then it showed as she got up when the game stopped abruptly and people began to disperse. She got up and walked into a crowd of people rushing towards the walkway. It showed that she bent down and got back up without the black jacket.
‘She dropped her jacket on the floor,’ Victoria said.
‘Yea, but it didn’t show her taking off her shoes. Eric found her boots and the jacket on the ground along the walkway.’ Lizzy replied. She closed the footage and navigated to the current one to check the current view of the walkway. She choose a footage that showed the ground well. She saw the jacket on the floor, dirty as it had been stepped upon by many people and she saw the shoes some metres in front away from the jacket. ‘She took off the shoes there too,’ Lizzy said to Victoria who was also watching with her.
‘She was sitting very close to us, I saw her but she didn’t look like who we were expecting.’ the third young lady who had joined them to watch spoke.
‘Of course she wouldn’t look like her.’
There was silence for a couple of seconds while Lizzy kept on checking footages.
Victoria got up from the seat and shook her head as she let out a breath. ‘I’m not comfortable just sitting here.’
‘You want to join the men in search for her?’
‘That’s what I’m used to doing, sitting here and watching makes it dull.’
‘But that’s not our job here, except you’re sure the Chairman has transferred the case to you totally.’
‘No, he hasn’t. He’s just begun the process,’ Victoria said calmly and then walked back to her seat.
‘Let’s just hope they get her to…’
The door opened slowly and a lady stepped in. The four women in the room turned to stare at her. The third lady pulled out her gun and pointed at her immediately.
‘Please, I’m looking for the toilet here, I’m stooling and I can’t help myself anymore.’ the lady said in a frustrated voice. She looked distressed, even though she was dressed well. The attachment on her hair was of a golden colour. She had a white top on which was drenched in sweat and a black three quarter shorts with a mixed white and black coloured sneakers. She looked like one of those who had just finished with a sport activity.
‘Who the f*** told you that this place is a rest room?’ Victoria got up angrily and pointed a gun at her.
The lady knelt in fear and raised her hands up, vibrating all over as Victoria got closer to her. She dropped to her knees and put her face down as the gun touched her neck.
‘Let her go please,’ Lizzy’s voice sounded at the back. Lizzy felt suspicious about the lady but on a second, thought it was possible for her to be saying the truth.
Victoria flashed a look at her and then stared back angrily at the lady disgustingly. She didn’t plan to kill her before but was only irritated by her entrance. ‘Get up your f****** ass out of here now,’ she said and withdrew her gun. The lady looked up and slowly rose. Victoria turned to return to her seat but was surprised when strong hands grabbed her neck so tight that she was almost choking, she also felt something cold like the mouth of a metal touching the side of her head. She tried to raise her gun but she noticed it had already fallen from her hand when her neck was grabbed suddenly.
Lizzy got up from her seat immediately and also joined Viva to aim her gun at Samantha.
‘I’ve not come to fight with all of you here, I only want Patricia,’ Tarasha said with a crooked smile. She stared at the two women standing side by side and pointing their guns at her gun, both of them kept straight faces and Tarasha saw that they were confident. She recognized which of them was Patricia and realized that she wasn’t just a girl used to attract Cole sexually but was also a trained professional, probably an assassin from the Tiger Clan also.
Victoria clenched her teeth uncomfortably but she did not try to fight because of the gun touching her head.
‘Okay, will you put down your guns so we talk as women?’ Tarasha offered when she saw that they were unshaken. She took a quick look around and located the tables, chairs and other furnitures and items in the room. She also located a door at the end of the wall that led out of the room.
Tarasha kept moving close to them even though they gave her no response. She stopped and cocked her gun, Victoria widened her eyes in fear.
Lizzy was unshaken until she saw the look in Victoria’s eyes. Victoria was also staring at her. Lizzy communicated with a look at the other girl and both of them dropped their guns slowly and raised their hands.
‘Push your guns forward,’ Tarasha instructed and the two women pushed the guns towards the middle with their legs. Madam Christiana remained glued to her seat, too scared to make any movement or even open her mouth.
Tarasha released Victoria’s neck and hit her back head with the butt of her gun. She fell unconsciously to the ground.
‘Don’t move,’ she warned Lizzy who tried to move her hands.
‘What do you want?’ Lizzy said to her, unafraid.
‘I came for you, I know you were expecting me. Now, where is Rex and the other guys?’
Lizzy squinted at her, she didn’t know who Rex was.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ Lizzy replied.
‘Step forward,’ Tarasha said to her and made a hand gesture to direct her.
Lizzy moved closer with her hands raised up. She followed the direction until Tarasha was behind her with the gun. Tarasha fired a bullet into the other lady’s chest before turning to grab patricia by the shoulder. She touched her back head with the mouth of her gun.
‘So where is Rex? You’ve got to answer before I blow off your brain,’ Tarasha threatened.
‘Why did you kill her?’ Lizzy asked angrily and turned to face Tarasha, the gun now touching her forehead.
Tarasha could see the pain in Patricia’s eyes and the deep concern for the one she had just shot dead.
‘Don’t ask me stupid questions…’
‘You can shoot if you want to, I’m sure you are not leaving this place alive.’
‘Where the hell is Rex?’ Tarasha threatened with a blow to Lizzy’s face. Lizzy staggered back but managed to remain on her feet.
‘Here I am baby,’ a voice sounded from behind the opened door and a shadow could be seen formed on the ground. Rex walked in through the door, pointing a gun at her.
To be continued