‘We’re in a new centre of operation,’ the long awaited message from Nicholas popped up on Rex’s phone.
He clicked on the reply button immediately. ‘Keep your device trackable,’ he typed and sent.
‘The device remains trackable but I think the location is secure,’ a reply popped up on Rex’s phone.
‘That’s expected, make sure you send me the address as soon you get it,’ Rex replied back.
James eyes searched around as he walked with his father, Ayo and two security officers behind to the car park. The security guys walked past them to the Prado Jeep. They opened the door for the Vice President to step in and James before closing it. One of the security officers sat in front with the driver.
‘James, I think I saw some officers around this place.’ Elvis Richards whispered to James after the driver started the car engine.
‘Yes father, there are officers around. I think they’ve been given directives to keep watch over this place.’
The Vice President chuckled. ‘Directives to watch this place or directives to keep watch on me?’ he mumbled and then sniffed in gently.
James sighed. He had noticed the men a long time ago but hoped the Vice President would not notice them so as not to make him feel unhappy.
There was silence between them until they drove out of the hospital compound into the road.
‘Son, thanks for standing by me and for all that you’ve done even though you are very aware I didn’t father you,’ Elvis Richards said in low tones with passion in his eyes.
‘I haven’t done anything father, and you’re getting it wrong, you did father me, you’re responsible for what I and my siblings are today,’ James replied, looking straight into the man’s eyes.
Elvis Richards smiled for a moment. After a while, he shook his head in self pity and let out a deep breath. ‘It doesn’t look like we are going to win this, everyone is against us now.’
‘It’s not too late father, the tables can still turn.’ James muttered.
‘I’m an old man James, I’ve seen more things and I have more experience than you have, I know when a process has gotten to a dead end.’ the man replied in a sad tone. He closed his eyes and breathed in and out softly. The picture of his godfather, Chief Afeez Abdulkadir appeared in his mind. He shook his head vigorously in a bid to shake off the picture from his mind but it was unsuccessful. In situations like this, the man would have been the first person he would have called to ask for a solution but their relationship had gone sour even though they haven’t had physical or verbal confrontations. He believed that the man already knew that he was responsible for the death of his three children and he was sure that the man would already be doing something about it.
‘Father, I think we still have to fight harder,’ James voice cut through his thoughts.
‘Fight harder?’ he looked at his son’s face in disbelief. ‘The battle is a lost one already. We don’t have a chance of winning. The President himself is already involved in the case and I’m sure he must have instructed the EFCC chairman to dig into my past dealings in the government.’
‘But…’ James tried to speak but the Vice President continued without giving him a chance.
‘They have the power and they also have the truth, there’s no way we are going to turn an obvious truth into a lie and I know more truths would soon be revealed.’
James squinted and turned his face away as he drew himself into deep thoughts. He remembered all the things he had watched in the video released by Samantha Osman that morning, all the distasteful things the Inspector General of Police had said about the Vice President’s involvement with the Boko Haram Insurgency. He had thought all that was made up and that Chief Elvis could not be as wicked and corrupt to that level, so it was quite shocking to hear the man talking about more dangerous truths being revealed.’
‘Dad, we’d continue this discussion privately when we get home.’
Elvis Richards shook his head slowly before resting back. They remained silent for a couple of minutes until he remembered something he needed to do.
‘Please can I get my device?’ he asked aloud, taking glances both at James and Ayo as he was sure the device would be with one of them. He noticed the look on James face and knew what it meant. ‘Hey! I need to make a post on social media based on the President instructions, I’m not doing anything else with the device.’ he explained.
James pulled out a bag from his side and took out the tablet device. He handed it over to the man.
‘Thank you,’ the man said as he rested his back. He unlocked the device and opened his twitter application. His twitter feeds loaded in a less than a minute but he ignored the tweets and clicked in the box to type a new tweet.
Today, I wish to declare my decision to resign as the Vice President and also put a pause to my presidential ambition…
He stopped typing and glanced at James who was staring at him. He felt that the boy deserved to know of his decision before he made it known to the rest of the world.
‘Here, I’m about to post this.’ He whispered to James and turned the tablet screen to him.
‘Oh no!’ James exclaimed with his eyes widely shone. ‘You can’t do this now,’ He gasped with his face still full of surprise. ‘The State Service has already sent an invitation for interogation to you, if you do this now, it would take away the immunity you enjoy as the Vice President and they may maltreat you during the investigation.’
Elvis Richards heaved a sigh and fell back on his chair. James was right, he was just about to make a very wrong move at a wrong time.
‘That’s true,’ he shrieked.
James locked the device and returned it into the bag.
*Twenty Minutes Later*
They had gotten back to the Vice President’s house and the man was now alone with James. James allowed him take a shower and change his clothes before he asked his question.
‘Dad, the Inspector General said a lot in today’s video, are they all true?’
The man who was staring at the wall before gave James a sharp look. He couldn’t give a response, he could see the disappointment and hurt already on the young man’s face and he wasn’t bold enough to confirm his fears.
James stared at the man’s face for a couple of seconds more, he had hoped the man would tell him that some of the things said in the video about him weren’t true but with the look on his face, James knew he was guilty of all that was said. He breathed out deeply and got up to his feet, without saying another word to the man , he proceeded straight to the door.
‘James,’ Elvis Richards called as James touched the knob of the door. He stopped and his shoulders dropped but did not turn back. ‘Are you also turning your back against me?’
The man’s word sank deeply into James’ heart. Could he also turn his back against the man he had called Father since the day he started speaking? He closed his eyes and stayed silent for close to a minute. He finally turned back and walked to his seat.
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‘Sir, his chances of surviving are very slim and he’s currently suffering from so much pain. As it is now, he feels so much hotness under every part of his skin and that’s why we have to keep him in the environment he is.’ the doctor explained to the Acting Inspector General.
AIG Abdulrafiu was seated in front of the doctor’s table comfortably, his left elbow resting on the left armrest of the chair and his chin resting on his palm. The man had a rigid stout figure when he stood, he had a baby face which made him look younger than his age, only the thick lenses which usually hung on his nose gives an observer the impression that he was advanced in age.
He sat up and continued to look the doctor straight in the eye. ‘The fact that he still has some chances of surviving is a good one, if he survives he would be useful to our investigation and may probably be able to name more bad guys we don’t know yet.’
‘I’ve explained that he may never be useful for your investigation,’ the doctor cut in.
‘And you have not explained why you are ruling out the possibility totally,’ the acting IG replied him.
‘Sir, this is because even if he survives and recovers fully, it might take a long time for him to be stable enough to speak or carry out normal activities but there’s a far higher possibility that even if he recovers he would be unable to do so many things especially using his senses.’
‘So that’s why you want us to give permission to end his life?’
‘I don’t want to end his life, I’m just trying to save him from the pain he’s going through. I tell you truthfully, he’s going through a lot of pains at the moment and I just thought there’s no point keeping him alive since the probability of him surviving the whole thing is less than two percent.’
The Acting Inspector General pondered on the doctor’s words for a while. He tried to imagine how severe the pain Inspector General RIkau was going through as the doctor tried to make him see but all he could successfully imagine was how severe the pains of the multitudes Chief Rikau and his cohorts had put into everlasting pains by destroying their families and destroying their lives. If the man had to go through severe pain to come back alive and name other culprits like him, then so be it. He deserved to go through the pains for a good reason.
‘How long will it take him to be stable enough if he recovers?’
‘It could take him a year or even two,’ the doctor replied.
‘That’s not bad,’ the man shrugged. ‘I’m sure he would still have something valid to bring in, keep him alive regardless of what decision his family makes. Is that clear?’
‘Yes sir,’ the doctor nodded in agreement.
‘Thank you,’ IG Abdulrafiu said as he got up from his seat. The doctor also got up in courtesy and received a handshake. The man’s android phone in his hand beeped as he proceeded to the door. He unlocked it to check what new message he had received. It was a text message from his subscription to the Youngicee and PobsOnline News Portal, he opened to read.
Samantha Osman releases today’s videos. Inspector General Rikau makes more shocking revelations, names five notable murders carried out on the Vice President Instructions.
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LOCATION: LAGOS STATE POLICE DIVISION C
Madam Henrietta sat quietly alone at the edge of the narrow bed, a covered plate of food was on a stool in front of her with a bottle of water and a glass cup. The spoon was in her right hand but she had been holding it without touching the food for close to an hour since she had been served. She couldn’t stop remembering the lies and pretense she had been forced by the Vice President to put up in the video, she had not been able to sleep well since then. She had never felt the way she was feeling now. She felt she had to see Samantha and apologize to her for telling false things against her.
She looked around the room for a second, it was no different from a police cell. The Vice President had deceived her, after promising that she would be allowed to travel back to the United States and continue with her life peacefully, he had left her with the abductors and she had stayed two nights in that room.
She remembered Stephanie and her mother again. She wondered if Samantha had let them go or if they were still with her. She shook her head and sniffed in as she thought about how dramatic her life had been for the past three months. The drama had all started the day Stephanie asked her about the pictures and documents.
‘Madam, you’ve not eaten your food yet.’ an officer interrupted her thoughts. He had entered into the room uninvited and she didn’t notice him until he spoke.
She replied him with a quick glance only.
‘I came to fetch the empty plates but I’ll be back in the next one hour,’ he said and turned and walked out.
She fell back in the bed tiredly after watching him walk out.
‘I just located Madam Henrietta,’ Henry announced as he walked into the new living room. Tarasha was sitting on a one-seater sofa with a stool in front of her and four pistols on it while Cole was sitting at the edge of the three-seater sofa adjacent to Tarasha’s seat. They were the only two present there before Henry’s entrance.
‘Where is she?’ Tarasha asked, looking at Henry’s face as he walked to a seat.
‘In the Police Division C,’ Henry replied as he took his seat opposite Tarasha. ‘I think I understand why they haven’t released any video with her since the first one, they tried to use it as a distraction for us but since they’ve confirmed that it won’t work, they did not bother to release a follow up video. They probably think we don’t care about her anymore and just dumped her in the Police Custody.’
There was silence for some seconds.
‘Do we still need her?’ He asked staring at Tara’s face. He rephrased his question to make it easier, ‘I mean would we need to help her out or not?’
‘I think she’s safe since she is in the police hands,’ Cole interjected.
‘No, we’d go for her. We all know she wasn’t abducted by the police, the reason we can’t release the video for anyone else in the world to see is because she was dressed in a disguise and we can’t prove she was the one taken at the filling station.’ Tarasha quickly put in.
Henry let out a sigh of relief now knowing that Tarasha was willing to help the woman out. He believed that her stay with the police was temporary and that they would soon return her to the hoodlums that abducted her.
‘But won’t it be unnecessary since we don’t need her for our mission?’
‘We need her, I need her…’ Tarasha insisted in a strong tone.
Cole remained silent but kept on wondering what was wrong with Tarasha. It was strange to see her so emotionally attached to the woman and to boldly say she was needed when they all knew for certain that there was nothing the woman could add to the success of their mission.
‘I was planning to move Stephanie and her mother today since we’ve completed the arrangements for them to leave but I think I have to visit the police headquarters instead,’ she said and then turned to Cole. ‘You would drop them off and give them all instructions this evening, make sure you sound a serious warning to them so they would think twice before disobeying our instructions like Madam Henrietta.’
‘Okay boss,’ Cole answered with a nod. Even though he didn’t understand the reason for Tarasha’s decisions, he still decided not to bother her with questions that would make her think he was doubting her leadership. ‘Can you give me an actual time you want me to drop them?’
‘No, wait! Tarasha raised her brows as she pondered for a while. She turned to Henry, ‘Have you thought of any way we could penetrate easily into the police division C?’
‘I haven’t thought about penetrating at all,’ Henry replied.
‘We could go through Stephanie,’ Tarasha and Cole said in unison. They glanced at each other’s faces.
‘Let’s come up with a plan,’ Tarasha quickly added, facing Cole now. She cleared the pistols on the stool and placed her device on it. She detached a flash drive connected to the device and stretched it to Henry. ‘Here, you can install our saved data into the new system.’
LOCATION: VICE PRESIDENT’S LOUNGE, ABUJA
Elvis Richards was on his way out when the call from James came in.
‘Hey James,’ he answered the call.
‘Dad, where are you now?’
‘I’m still at home, I’m about leaving for the State Service office, to honor their invitation for the interrogation.’
‘Okay Dad, like we agreed, please be calm and don’t give in to their intimidation, make sure you maintain your stance, don’t resign yet.’
‘Hey boy!’ Elvis Richards chuckled. ‘You’ve forgotten you’re talking to a well trained officer?’
‘I remember quite well father,’ James also replied with a chuckle. ‘Some times, when we are at the other side, we tend to be overcome by the tactics we invented ourselves.’
‘I understand you boy.’
‘Yea, I’m setting things in place already. In less than five days, you’d be walking as a new man, a free man.’ James replied in a confident tone. He was indeed confident, for he had a very good plan.
To be continued