We apologize for not posting this episode last week… we were once again faced with unavoidable technical issues but by God’s grace here we are with another exciting episode… please do leave your comments and spread the word… JAH BLESS.
Funke was quite quick on her feet for a young lady causing me to practically chase her as we entered the building.
“Office of the public relations officer or the managing director better still.” I asked the receptionist who was clad in a beautiful white shirt and her clean spotless black suit with a touch of red. A flat screen TV hung above her on the wall behind her.
“Do you have an appointment?”
I returned the smile she sent at me. “I guess I don’t need to.” I replied dropping my badge on the table behind which she sat.
“I’ll just give her a call.”
Funke stared at me causing me to shoot her a smile.
“This way please.” She said moving ahead of us.
The studios were not as I had expected but I guess it was due to my illiteracy in broadcasting after all I studied molecular biology not mass communication.
Three rooms till the end of the hallway that had bright lights adorning its walls even during the day was the office of the managing director of the LBC.
“Welcome detective Martins and officer Funke.” The managing director greeted as we made our way into her office.
“Detective Funke.” Funke corrected with a smile.
From the door of the office to the inner most, awards and honors received by the LBC was all over. It was more or less like an exhibition of awards.
“Pardon my ignorance… the commissioner already informed me of your coming…”
“We I guess we should begin our questioning with these who worked closely with her especially last night.” I smiled cutting all the preambles she was about getting to.
“You really do like to get down to it detective… I’ll get them ready in a bit.” She said grabbing the telephone on the table. After a while she turned to us again. “The young men would be available at the conference room… if you don’t mind.” She was pointing at the door as she rose to her feet. We hesitated a little allowing her get to the door first as she led the way to the conference room.
The men were five in number.
“This is Mr George Alabi; director of the daily news hour.” She began as she introduced us to the bald headed fair skinned man that was seated to the extreme left of the conference room table. “Mr Peter Sofowora and Akpan are the cameramen, lighting is on Chuks… Yasir is our gateman… he was on duty yesterday.” She concluded. I shot her a smile in appreciation of her introduction.
“I’ll have to leave now if you don’t mind.”
“No problem… we’ll make the best of them.” I replied once again smiling… it was almost like we were trained to smile at every time when we were on official duty except when the need to show another facial expression arises.
I stared at the 5 men and then at Funke who was brewing with questions.
“You go first.”
She just couldn’t be as patient as returning the favour as she burst out in questions.
“Mr yasir, what happened outside the gate yesterday? Did you notice any car or cars unusually parked or people lurking around unusually?”
“I swear… Me know nothing… Madam e comot here with leg go carry car for park wey dey after Union bank.” He replied quite jittery.
“Mr George, You made the call to inform the police right?” I cut in ending Funke’s unproductive line of questioning.
He nodded in agreement.
“How did you know?”
“She left sad yesterday and later, I got a text from her that she’s in trouble..”
“Can I see the text message.” I asked.
He nodded in approval retrieving his phone from his pocket. I scrolled through the message. It didn’t say anything about her being abducted and that raised a bit of suspicion in me… could he have been behind it? Or why would a husband who was called and told his wife was dead know the scene of the crime when he wasn’t told the location of the scene?
“ How did you know she was abducted.”
“After the message, I tried calling her but it was some guy who answered on different occasions… they said to tell her husband to do the job or else she stays with them and might die.”
“Why didn’t you just call her husband?” Funke questioned.
“He disappeared about a week ago and has not reached her since then… that’s why she was sad.
I smiled at George making him quite uncomfortable even though he seemed to have his game plan right.
“Please share any information with us so that we can help to at least get her back in good condition.” I concluded rising to leave the room.
As soon as we came out the door, it was the managing director that stood right in front of us.
“How did it go?”
“We’ve got a few leads… We’ll need her details, home address, husband’s phone number, anything you have on her at all.” I reported.
“I’ll get it ready.” She replied turning away from us. What could it have been that could have kept her husband away from her as well as calling her simultaneously? Not just keeping him away from her but now she’s involved in it… no one ever is as it seems on TV. No one could tell she was unhappy over the last 7 days we had been watching the news hour and seeing her smile on TV. That was the least of my worries though, the MD returned with a file soon enough.
“This is her file, all the information we have concerning her is here?”
“Thanks a lot.” I replied moving away from her.
“We’ll need to check her house.” Vivian announced. We just arrived back at the lab about thirty minutes earlier and had briefed them of our findings.
“I suggest we call her number and get into a discussion with the abductors to know what they want at least how much.” Peter suggested.
“Are you insane?” Anne shot at him
“Didn’t you hear Martins? He said that they are using her to goad her husband into doing a job.”
“What job?” Dominic asked.
“That’s what we don’t know… the more reason we need to establish a connection with her house.” I replied. If only we could interact with the abductors maybe we could get hints into what the job is about but the house held more clues obviously.
“Peter and I will go.” Anne said dragging Peter from his seat. Dominic just couldn’t get his eyes off their interdigitated hands as they left the lab as his mouth widened to form a smile.
“Let’s give the number a call.” I shot at Dominic.
“Alright… on it.”
“Hello!” A ladies voice came through after a while.
“Is this Angel Daniels?” I asked taking glances at everyone in the lab.]
“Where are you right now?”
“S… Somewhere in… in… nowhere.” You could hear the fear all over her voice.
“I need help… tell my husband to do the job quick please.”
“Are you ok?” Dominic shouted. He was busy trying to track the call and find us a location.
“Tell that idiot trying to locate the call to stop or else I kill her.” A male voice came through.
“Are you insane?” I shouted at Dominic who retreated.
“Good! Now you tell Mr Daniels to save his pretty little wife’s ass by doing the fucking job… clear?”
“Wait!” I shouted halting any attempt to hang the call. “could we discuss?… in private?”
“I do not discuss with the living… I speak only to the dead.”
“50 billion.” I offered. The line went cold for about thirty seconds
“What are you doing?” Vivian whispered. I kept a straight face. Dominic looked quite confused, Funke smiled. Only she knew the tactic I was playing. She had solved a theft case as such… using the most weird way to solve a crime. Sometimes to catch a thief or a criminal at all you need to take the most extreme of measures even if it means you become like one as the Yoruba saying that says that whoever will catch a monkey will have to be like a monkey.
“How about 75.”
“You need to be fair here… 50 is the possible best and that’s our first offer.”
“You forget that life isn’t fair… I think you need to understand that I’m putting my life and that of the boys at risk by not following the boss’ order to the fullest so its 75 or nothing.”
Vivian quickly jotted something and gave a wry smile. She also had begun to understand what it was that I was doing.
“How do you get the money?”
“Call the number back when you’re ready.” The line went dead afterwards
Vivian gave a stern stare. “Where on earth are we going to get 75 billion?”
“The commissioner wanted her back and them; caught at all cost… 75 billion is still a cost.”
“We have their location.” Dominic stated. I didn’t know whether to smile or get angry. It was insane of him to have gone on with trying to get their location.
“I advise we stick with the 75 billion.” Funke suggested. Vivian gave a nod in agreement. The nod meant so much that it got her excited. Vivian had been a pain in the neck for the young detective and to finally get the senior detective on her side? It must have been so fulfilling.”
“I’ll go talk to the commissioner.”
Angel Daniels’ home was quite big for someone who worked as a journalist and had no kids… at least what is known about journalists is that they do not receive as much as to buy a 15 million naira mansion. Dominic had sent some of the details of the house as well as its blue print to Peter and Anne who were at the house.
“Someone’s home.” Peter observed as they parked the somewhere close.
“We gotta be careful… extremely careful at that.”
Anne had her pistol hanging in her grip in front of her as she made for the door of the house.
“Open door…” Peter observed as he tip-toed to the door. He hesitated a little before moving in. they could clearly hear foot steps and after a while, there was silence. Peter glanced at Anne suddenly bullets rained from the stairway forcing both of them to dock behind the beautiful sofas that adorned the brightly lit Spanish style living room. The gunshots continued for a while and then subsided. Peter slowly raised his hand with his pistol hanging on his finger stuck in the trigger space. Anne followed slowly as their assailant stood in front of them… he had his gun pointing towards them, he was clicking the trigger but no gunfire.
Anne took a glance at Peter and he returned the favor. Luckily no one was hurt. Peter’s eyes caught a large picture just behind their assailant; he was cuddling Angel Daniels which could only translated to one thing that confused them… he was her husband.