Forensics Department, State Security Service Office.
In a large lab-like room, the different forensic officers went about their duties noiselessly. Agent Godwin of the SSS could be seen at a corner of the room discussing something with a man putting on a white lab coat. Dave and Dan sat quietly at the sitting area where the office tables and chairs were. They had arrived into the State to meet the dead body of Eze Okafor instead of a living person to interrogate. The information that got to them earlier was that the man would be allowed to leave the hospital that morning and they had planned to visit him at his residence for the necessary interrogation. But it came as a big shock to them when the officer sent to get them from the airport hinted them about the man’s death.
‘There are still a lot of things we need to uncover,’ Dave began. He leaned forward in his seat and placed his elbows on his knees. ‘I’m still wondering why Samantha didn’t kill the man yesterday morning, why she had to return at midnight.’
‘But that shouldn’t be a question now,’ Dan flashed a look at him. ‘The Police officers said she ran away when they went after her.’
‘That’s a lie,’ Dave opposed in a confident tone. ‘Samantha Osman is more coordinated than that, she couldn’t have just taken the man without already making adequate plans to do everything she wanted to do with him. She wouldn’t have kidnapped and carried him to an uncompleted building where she would be easily located.’
‘I don’t understand you bro,’ Dan said with a frown.
‘You see; I’ve had closer experiences with Samantha Osman. She’s damn good and well coordinated, so I know she couldn’t have done a hurried job like the police suggests that she had to dump the man and flee. And even that number of police men that went after her couldn’t have stopped her from killing the man if she wanted to at that moment. The time she used in injecting him the benryl substance was enough to strangle him to death or even inject him a death poison.’
‘Hmm… That’s true, you’re making sense.’
‘Someone else killed the man. The real killer only used the opportunity.’
Both of them looked up as Agent Godwin approached them. They stared at the paper held in his right hand as he moved closer.
‘I think we’re good to go now,’ he said to them.
‘Is that the report?’ Dave asked, pointing to the paper in the agent’s hand.
‘Yes, the photocopy.’ Agent Godwin replied and handed it to Dave.
Dan joined Dave and they both looked into the report together.
‘So Eze Okafor wasn’t suffocated?’ Dave looked up at Agent Godwin’s face after a minute of scanning through the report.
‘Yea, as the report says. A different gas was forced through his nose.’ Agent Godwin replied.
‘Totally different,’ Dave mentioned in whispers.
‘Huh? What did you say?’ Dan questioned.
‘Nothing, I’m just surprised.’ Dave said and rose up to his feet. To him the way Eze Okafor was killed was totally different to the past methods being employed by Samantha Osman. ‘Let’s go now, to the hospital first and then to Eze Okafor’s family.’
The flight back to Abuja was for two pm. Tarasha sat quietly in the bed in the hotel room with her legs folded like a monk who was meditating. She was pondering on the report she just gotten from the news blog update, she was being accused of Eze Okafor’s death. That was not even her problem, but who the real killer and why he was killed was what bothered her. She wondered if the killing was connected to her, that would mean the Vice President was on her trail through Rex or someone else. She considered Agent Dave too but quickly removed him from the options, the Agent wouldn’t have killed an innocent soul if he was the one.
Her phone which laid beside her knee in the bed made a beep sound and vibrated at the same time. She stared at the screen but didn’t pick it immediately. She waited until the screen went off before picking the phone. She unlocked it and scanned through the browser page of the news article she read last which was still opened. She scrolled up and stopped at the picture used, it was the one of the pictures taken of her during the Crescent Moon Hotel gun battle.
She closed the browser and then swiped down the notification bar. She was surprised as she saw another message from firstname.lastname@example.org, it had the title ‘Treat This Urgently’. She clicked on it and waited few seconds for the message to load completely.
It was a short message with only two short paragraph. The first paragraph of the message was written in a Russian language and it contained the usual salutation and updates on the country’s activities. She scrolled to the remaining parts.
‘Killer Queen, I got this as a secret information while carrying out your assignment and I thought I should let you know. The Lords and zonal leaders have met thrice in two months to talk about your mission in Africa. I didn’t really get the full details of their discussion but I think they’re on your case because you’ve not been remitting the weekly dues to the clan like you should do. I think you should try and correct that as soon as possible before they take a further step.’
Tarasha paused for a while after reading the message. The mission had turned so personal to her that she didn’t bother to check if her weekly dues were being paid. She had thought Chief Gab would continue paying it like he did faithfully for weeks after her arrival. Chief Gab had the responsibility of paying the dues until her contract with him expired or was terminated. But the clan never holds the client responsible for not paying, the assasin involved receives the penalty or punishment instead.
She thought of calling Chief Gab immediately but decided to leave it until later. She closed the email application and navigated to the menu, she clicked on the “All Banks” application to check her account balance.
A call came in before the application could finish loading. Cole was the caller.
‘Any information yet?’ Tarasha said into the phone as she answered the call.
‘None yet boss, the killer is a pro. I’m thinking it would be none other than Rex.’
‘I think so too, but let’s watch what happens next, it will make it clearer.’
‘Boss, Vivian Elvis is scheduled to leave the country tomorrow.’
‘Is that Elvis Richards daughter?’
‘Yes, she is.’
‘How did you find out?’
‘I placed a transmitter in her car on Monday which I had forgotten about but the battery of the device went low earlier today and the low battery notification I got on the receiver here reminded me about the transmitter. I decided to play what was recorded and incidentally moved it to the point where she received a call in her car and was arguing with her father about traveling back. I found out she was supposed to travel yesterday but missed the flight because her Dad had not fully convinced her then. But she’s taking today’s flight.’
‘Do you know the time for her flight?’
‘No, but I can check the flight schedules on the airlines portal and get back to you.’
‘Do a quick check. If she’s gone with the flight already, you don’t have to bother, but if the flight time is still later, I want you to stop her from leaving and also make sure she knows who’s stopping her.’
‘Okay boss. Ermm, hope there’s no restriction to how I go about it?’
‘Don’t hurt her physically and only kill anybody else if you really have to.’
‘Okay boss, I would work on it right away.’
Cole got up from the chair and walked to the work table immediately. He opened up his laptop before sitting. The laptop had been on hibernation and so didn’t waste time to boot, he only had to put in the password and was granted access immediately. He opened his browser and the PobsOnline website loaded as the homepage as usual. He cleared the navigation bar and began to type a URL into the box.
The phone he left on the pillow made a beep sound and he glanced back. A message had entered and it was either from Patricia or from the network operators. The thoughts of Patricia filled his heart again as he navigated through the newly opened website with the laptop mouse. He was hopeful that they would be able to spend the night together that day as Tarasha would return by noon and there would be no need for any monitoring or keeping tabs on the NSCC footages that night.
He had missed her so much already. She had made an impact in his life just with the few days they’ve been together. For the first time in his life, he was wishing he wasn’t an assassin but an ordinary guy so that he could live a perfect love life with her.
Ajase Ipo Road, Ilorin
Flashback ~~ An Hour ago
Garuba’s men were seated at a table in the eating area of the restaurant with other guests around. The atmosphere was cool and calm and the sound from the music video playing on the television was low as usual. It was the usual break hour for workers and the place was busy. Almost all the tables were occupied by people in groups, fifty percent male and female pairs and trios.
Garuba’s men were one of the only two pairs who were male, most of the rest pairs were females and there was only one person seated at a table alone. His table was behind that of Garuba’s men, there was a bottle of soft drink on his table; he had arrived at almost the same time Garuba men arrived and ordered the same drink with them. His eyes could not be seen as he had dark goggles on, a black face cap was on his table. His demeanor was like that of someone waiting for another person.
‘Toheeb has always been a d*ckhead, very careless and useless boy, I knew he would one day bring trouble to his father.’ one of Garuba’s men said before gulping down the contents of the cup. He dropped it noisily and rested back in the chair. He was used to visiting beer parlours and taking alcohol instead and he didn’t like the way the atmosphere of the place they were in was calm. His eyes hovered around the place for a second and then settled on his partner who was also taking the same drink.
‘I was actually expecting him to cause something more than this, I was expecting him to bring disaster to the whole family.’ the other man joined in.
‘I think Mr Garuba accommodates his excesses too much,’ the first man added. ‘He’s the only child of the family who is not yet on his own.’
‘And he’s arrogant and careless with words, I don’t even think he observes the daily prayers like the rest of his family does.’
‘Observe what daily prayer? How can someone who is always partying and clubbing have time to pray?’
‘True, the boy is too lazy and annoying. I wish I had the opportunity of having a rich father like he does, I would be someone bigger than this today.’
‘It’s easier said than done bro, I think being the last born is one of the things that has affected Toheeb.’
‘Yea, true. But his recklessness is just incomprehensible.
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The men continued their women-like gossip without being aware that someone beside was listening to them. It was one of the days that they weren’t in public or somewhere with their boss and they had the opportunity to share a drink and discuss random things. Even at Garuba’s house, the men stayed at different quarters because of the strategic security positioning and only get to see each other when the man needs them.
Rex took a sip of his drink again and looked around for the imaginary person he was waiting for. He rested his back and crossed his legs. He took out his phone and began to scroll through to make himself appear busy. He had been listening to the men’s conversation since they got to the place, they had discussed several things which wasn’t of importance to him. He was getting more impatient. He had seen Garuba Ahmed enter into the eatery with his two men and a third one which they had picked at the A Division stop. But on entering the eatery, he only saw the two men that were seated at the front of the car. Garuba Ahmed and the third man was nowhere around.
He had been at the GRA in Ilorin since eight o’clock that morning. He stayed in his car parked beside the residence of the man. He patiently waited for more than three hours for the opportunity to get into the house. He was relieved when he saw Garuba Ahmed at the backseat of the car driving out of the house with the two men in front. He followed them from the GRA unable to act immediately because of the heavy presence of security officials in the area. The challenge road which led to the A Division was also a busy and tightly secured area and he didn’t bother to make an attempt to attack or capture the man there as it would be a very foolish move.
Something caught Rex’s attention as the men continued to discuss. He dropped his phone and placed his elbows on the table to pay closer attention.
‘Why do you think the senator is protecting the girl that attacked him at midnight?’ one of the men asked the other.
‘Well, I don’t think the senator’s hand is hundred percent clean too, I never trust politicians. I believe the documents she took from him is what he’s trying to protect. If he tells the police about the document, it’s possible he incriminates himself and that’s why he decided to single out this Inspector Kehinde for the information.’
‘The most baffling thing is that he didn’t call us. How can an ex security officer and a very trained one at that, give in to the threats of a girl?’
‘Hehe… I just know that there’s something fishy with that document she took away.’
Rex knew at once that Samantha was once again a step ahead of him. He tightened his fists and clenched his fists in anger as he thought about the whole situation. Wrong timing of the information given to him by his employers was making him walk like a fool and making her appear smarter.
He got up from his table and took three steps to theirs, he pulled out the third chair and sat on it surprising the two men with his intrusion.
‘What did your boss go to? I need to see him now,’ Rex said in a command tone.
The two men exchanged quick looks, wondering who the intruder was and surprised at his audacity.
‘Are you okay?’ one of the men asked. But he wasn’t lucky enough to get a vocal response. Rex landed him a blow on the face sending him to the ground heavily. The other man tried to attack but Rex grabbed his hand and sent him a blow in the chest.
Now, the attention of the other guests were all turned to them and the two security men at the door were alerted.
Rex stood up and took out his gun from his pocket at the right side, still holding the second man’s hand. He shot a bullet into the chest of the other man who was already trying to get up. The place was thrown into disorder at the sound of the gunshot, the other guests got up from their seats and scampered for safety.
‘Where did your boss go to?’ Rex asked again, still holding the man at the wrist and pointing a gun at his chest with the right hand.
The man tried to wriggle his hand free from Rex but to his surprise, Rex’s hand was far stronger than his.
‘He’s in one of the inner rooms, I can’t tell where exactly,’ he finally said in a shaky voice.
‘Who knows where they are?’ Rex barked.
The guy looked around for a while and then pointed towards the counter where the attendants were hiding.
Rex pushed him to the floor and began to walk towards the counter. He stopped halfway and turned back. The man had taken out his gun and was about to cock, Rex sent two quick shots to the man’s body and proceeded forward.
There was no reason to ask questions at the counter again as Rex saw for himself the entrance that led to the inner rooms. He dragged one of the men behind the counter and pushed him forward. ‘Take me to where Garuba Ahmed is.’
The short man led him shakily into passage leading to the inner rooms and the offices. ‘Its here,’ the man pointed at a door closeby.
A security man entered into the passage at that moment and tried to hit Rex with a rod from behind. Rex was quick to dodge the rod but the security man was also swift. He made more swipes at Rex, making him unable to use the gun.
He tried to strike Rex two more times before Rex was able to get a grip of him by the arm. Rex quickly pulled the other arm from behind and squeezed both of them at his back. He faced the man to the door of the room the attendant had pointed him to and slammed the man’s face against the door, then he stepped back and shot the man on the head. The security man fell lifelessly on the floor. Rex dragged his body away from the entrance and kicked the door open.
Inspector Kehinde raised his gun and fired a quick shot at the man who entered. Unluckily the shot went wide and the man quick pulled back and hid behind the wall outside.
The Inspector looked around to find a better hiding place for Senator Garuba but could not find any. Apart from the table at which they were seated, the other furniture in the room was a long sofa backing the wall which was opposite the television, and a small glass table at the center.
‘Just stay here sir,’ The Inspector rose and began to move towards the opened door, with his gun raised in readiness.
Rex could hear the sounds of slow footsteps approaching. He went down slowly and remained in a squatting position as he waited patiently. The footsteps sounded closer and Rex could estimate the distance of the person coming to the entrance. He took in a deep breath before turning into the room, still in his squatting position. He fired a quick shot at the man.
‘Arrggh…’ Inspector Kehinde screamed as the bullet hit his shoulder unexpectedly. The gun fell away from his hand.
Rex refocused his gun to the man’s chest and tried to shoot again but nothing came out of the gun, the bullets had finished in it. His eyes met with that of the Inspector. The Inspector could see that his bullets had been exhausted and used the opportunity to rush to the place his own fell. Rex had an extra gun but didn’t try to take it out yet, he knew the Inspector was likely to get his first, he went after the Inspector’s gun instead.
The Inspector got to the gun before Rex and bent to pick it up, but before he could rise up, Rex had sent him a kick in the face with his knee. The Inspector crashed to the floor and the gun flung away from his hand again. Rex drew closer to him and landed him two more blows on the face he hit his head with the butt of his empty gun and the Inspector became unconscious.
Rex rose up to see Garuba Ahmed rushing to take the gun which had fallen from the Inspector’s hand. He took out his extra gun and pointed it at the man.
‘I’ll shoot if you try to take it,’ he threatened as Garuba was about to bend and pick the gun.
Garuba rose back slowly with his hands in the air, looking at Rex with the side eye.
‘What do you want?’ Garuba Ahmed managed to ask.
‘I want the duplicates of the documents you gave to Samantha Osman this morning,’ Rex replied.
‘Duplicates? There are no duplicates anywhere,’ Garuba replied. He knew Rex was sure about what he was saying and didn’t bother to deny that he gave Samantha any document.
Rex knew there was no duplicate, the Vice President had told him that there was only one original copy of the sealed documents. In the days when it was signed and with the facilities they used, it couldn’t be duplicated and still retain his full qualities. And even if it had duplicates, the main aim of getting the documents was to stop Samantha Osman from getting it first but which had already happened.
‘Who is she taking the documents to?’ Rex asked again, he began to move closer to the man slowly.
‘I don’t know,’ Garuba replied again, looking at Rex with the side eye again.
Rex stopped close to the man and pulled the gun on the floor to his front with his feet, he carefully bent to pick it and rose quickly again.
‘Where did she go after she left you?’
‘I don’t know, she didn’t tell me anything’ Garuba Ahmed replied again, without fear in his voice. He didn’t need anyone to tell him before he knew that this man was Eze Okafor’s killer or connected to the killer. Even if he knew Samantha’s movement and he told this man, he was sure he wasn’t going to be spared still. Death was here for him, he had said few minutes ago and it was coming to play in his life already.
Rex suddenly stepped closer to the man and landed him a blow on the nose, sending the man falling back to the long sofa. He moved closer again and hit him more.
He needed the man as a hostage to ensure he leaves the place undisturbed, that was if the police met him there. But he needed to make the man weak first to reduce the resistance he might try to put on.
Answer to last question –
“She rented two vehicles for use from different rental services and escaped through a village which had no coverage of the Security cameras, she left the vehicle used to take the man in front of the building where she dropped him and left the second one in the village without driving into any popular route which had cameras.”
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
– What did Garuba Ahmed say few minutes ago that was coming to play?