THE PRECINCT NEWS EPISODE 1

WEEKLYOnly on rare occasions does the city of Lagos get as cold as it was. Obviously it was in December. The harmattan season that accompanied the Christmas and new year period in Nigeria’s commercial capital had not overwhelmed the high spirit of the citizens of one of the most developed cities in the country.

Like an annual ritual, the city was flooded with people dressed and adorned in the best attires they could afford. Cars were all over and the airport? Oh my oh my, filled to capacity with people who one could say were quite desperate to get out of the country to the beautiful places around the world to enjoy the period of the celebrations with their families.

Only wierdos would decide to take a trip somewhere in Nigeria and have a great sightseeing. Many offices were closing down for the year giving their employees a few weeks off but some firms like those in the healthcare sector, security and broadcasting sectors never close to mention but a few.

“And cut!” the director announced.

Angel Daniels one of the foremost newscasters in the country sat at the news desk with her resounding smile that had become a custom not only to those in the news room but to the viewers of her regular news hour.

“Great smile as usual.”

“Just doing my job.” Angel replied as she received her phone from George. “Any calls?”

George nodded the negative. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright… it’s just that he’s not called in 5 days.”

George moved closer to her and wrapped his arm around her. “Maybe you should give him a call.”

“No I’m fine.” She tried forcing out a smile at him as she grabbed her bag and walked away.

Angel watched as the last car left the park. She had parked her Honda CR-V 2013 model a few blocks away from the broadcasting station’s building and the mist clouded its wonderful sky-blue colour from afar. She walked slowly towards her car in the well lit park clutching her bag to her chest not only because of the cold but because of the fear that had always eaten her up ever since her husband picked up the job. She had begged him to quit on several occasions but all fell on deaf ears. He had remained adamant and she had to console herself with the fact that it paid more than her journalist job. She silently prayed under her breath that he was fine this time. This was not the first time he would be out for days for his job but it was the first time he wouldn’t call and that got her worried. She dipped the key into the key hole and unlocked the door quite easily. She opened the door, dumped her bag on the passenger’s seat next to the driver’s seat, removed the key and sank into the driver’s seat. She picked up her phone and scanned through it for any message or missed call or even an email from him but she was disappointed. Tears rolled down her cheeks and gave such a weird cold feeling and that was all she needed to get going. She wiped off the tears and turned on the ignition and then moved out of the park.

Angel drove slowly across the streets. It was night time but for Lagosians, 3am is as good as 8pm and it was even just 11pm during Christmas period for that matter. The Lagos populace was outside their homes at least a majority… the noise was as loud as ever. Fireworks exploding here and there, mild explosives popularly called bangers exploding all round. Finally she made the last bend away from the noisy jumbo of the prominent Lagos towns. Suddenly, 3 cars popped up from nowhere. One sped to her front, another her side and the last stayed behind her stopping her from moving. She looked around quite confused at the situation. A couple of masked guys highlighted from the car beside her. She quickly pushed the auto lock button. She looked around the car confused. Her phone- she quickly picked it up and texted George.

The precinct was so unusual on days like that; people were in so high a spirit that almost everyone had a gift for someone. In our case, it was everyone. Vivian had come to work with a gift not for me even though I had one for her but for Dominic that showed his seasonal love for Funke. Funke actually remembered me and Peter and Anne exchanged their gifts.

“Vivian is just a hater; a pure one at that.” I announced picking up a piece of OK POP from her table.

“Thief!”

“See this one o. Who is a thief? The mother that steals from her children’s lunch box or the partner that steals from her?”

“Both of them.” Peter chuckled.

The door swung open, all eyes flew in the direction of the door as the commissioner came in. “I see you guys are in the spirit of the season.”

“We just can’t help it sir, 2 years and we’ve got all this.” I stated reminding him that we not only were celebrating the season but that day as well as it marked 2 years since we became detectives; at least everyone other than Funke although she also had something to celebrate – she joined the police academy on that day a few years before.

“That’s cool, congratulations to you all. The celebrations however would have to end here and now.” He started getting quite serious. “Angel Daniels has been kidnapped.”

I was shocked, stunned, startled any adjective that could describe what I felt would be appreciated. I still saw her the night before with her smile ever resounding.

“Sorry what Angel Daniels?” I feigned.

“Angel Daniels of the LBC. The one that presents the daily news hour.”

I looked around at the countenance of the members of the team. Vivian was sitting with her head buried between her thighs and her hand clasped over her head. Funke had her mouth wide open, it was as though Peter had lost his sense of sight as he prowled the room with his eyes. Anne was calm and Dominic? He had a tear dropping from his left eye.

“I need you guys to help us get them right away.”

“We will sir.” I replied escorting him to the door.

“Oh No!” Anne whimped

“Are you kidding me?” Peter sighed.

“No time for soliloquy… what can be done? What do we know about her Dominic?” I cut in halting the series of shock expressions.

Dominic fumbled with the keyboard for a while and nodded the negative. “Nothing here.”

I sighed. “Then we need to build something from somewhere.”

“What could warrant a kidnap?” Vivian questioned. Anne looked her straight in the eye. “Jealousy. Like the DOMLAT case… someone might want what she has… might even be a close pal.”

“If a daughter could kill her father, a friend can do anything.” Funke added.

I had to agree, after all no idea was popping into my head. “We’ll check the office to see what we can find.” I grabbed a gun and my badge. “Funke… let’s get going.”

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