17 Awosika : Episode 4
Hi, welcome back, if you’re here for the first time, I’ll suggest you read the previous episodes.
Bernard Ejiofor moved out of the arrival terminal with just a small portable carry-on luggage dressed in corporate attire without a tie, in a dark grey suit with pointed black shoes and a light blue David August Designer shirt. He made his way to the road to get a cab; however the Abuja 10AM sun wasn’t for kids, so he reached for his Ray Ban dark shades from his jacket.
He moved over to an empty cab and told the driver his destination, the middle-aged Igbo cab driver opened pulled a lever just beneath the seat to open the boot of the car, Bernard moved back and placed his luggage there, closed the boot, unbuttoned his jacket and sat at the back of the car, the cab was fairly new, the driver increased the radio volume a bit , switched the A.C on and eased on to the FCT roads, the cab driver was making little conversation but Benard’s wasn’t up for it.
Everything was going on fine today for Kemi, but the thought of the text message she got early today wasn’t helping her think straight, she couldn’t go to the Police, the Nigerian Police would never know how to handle this, moreover this menace has people everywhere, she knew who the menace was, it was Ken, one of her customers, she met him few years earlier when the bank sent them out to bring in money, the target Kemi got was so impossible, she looked for people everywhere until a strange number called her one hot Tuesday afternoon.
Ken had a sweet calm but firm voice; he spoke with so much confidence,
She picked up and said hello,
Ken: “Hello, am I speaking with Kemi?”
Kemi replied “Yes, this is Kemi”
Ken replied “How are you, hope your day has been very good?”
Kemi replied “Well, my day is good, please who am I speaking with?”
Ken replied “My name is Ken, and I was hoping we could do business together”
Kemi replied “Ok Ken, what kind of business do you have in mind?”
Ken replied “I understand you’re a marketer with a bank, I want to open an account and hope to run the account frequently”
Kemi replied “Okay, where is your office, so I can come over to discuss this with you and how much are we talking about”
Ken replied “No use coming to my office, lets meet at a neutral location, most of my business is abroad, so I don’t have a registered business address here”
Kemi replied “You still haven’t told me how much we’re looking at”
Ken smiled and replied “Well, since you’re so adamant, am looking at N50m for a start and then monthly or bimonthly installments of lesser or higher amount”
Kemi was ecstatic on the phone but kept her calm and responded “Ok, I’m sure we can arrange something for you sir, but if you don’t mind me asking, who gave you my number?”
Ken broke a small laugh and told her “The person who gave me your number wants to remain anonymous, let’s meet at the Palms, food court, tomorrow after work by 7pm”
Kemi replied “I would still want to know who gave you my contact still, but I don’t think I can meet 7pm, can’t we make it earlier like 4pm”
Ken cuts in “Okay, will try to make it for 4pm then, have a good day, I need to end this call now.”
Kemi replied “very well then, tomorrow is a date, I will call you tomorrow to confirm”
Ken replied “Ok then, bye”
Kemi was so happy that she screamed out that all colleagues in her office looked at her cubicle, she covered her mouth and apologized as she went back into her seat, Lola, her close office colleague went to her and asked what it was, she explained to Lola and they both laughed and hugged, at last Kemi was going to make her target for the year.
That was almost 2 years ago, now Ken had her laundering his dirty money around the country and abroad, although he gives her tips, he has made sure she keeps her mouth shut by threatening to kill her mother in Ijebu, Ken had put a couple of local mercenaries in O.O.U to tail her, and luckily for Ken, one of the boys lived in her mother’s house, Ken had told her that if anything should happen or even as much as get unwanted attention from the Police, her mother dies.
This new money is to be put into different accounts and moved into a Singaporean account for some oil trade transaction, she had done her part of the job, all she could tell was that she was part of a bigger and broader conspiracy.
Umar knocked on BK’s door,
BK screamed “Who is there”, Bk wasn’t in the mood to receive any visitor right now, moreover, none of his friends nor that sexy girl from 2 houses away had called to say they were on their way, so he was wondering who was at the door.
Umar answered, “Oga BK, it’s me Umar”
BK answered “Umar, the door is locked, what do you want?”
Umar continued to plead “Oga, please open the door, I want to talk to you”
BK murmured as he dragged himself off the couch, paused his movie, he unlocked the door and resumed back to his couch potato mode.
Umar moved to the front of the couch blocking BK’s direct path to the TV.
BK replied sarcastically “Umar, you’re not transparent, you know”
Umar looked confused.
BK replied his look with “Umar, you’re blocking my line of sight, I can’t see the TV, so move elsewhere”
Umar smiled and replied “Sorry, Oga B.K, I no quick understand”
BK replied “So, what do you want? You do know there isn’t any house-girl here right?”
Umar knelt and started pleading “Oga B.K, I come because of that day wey you see me and enoh for my room”
BK replied “Ok, what about that day?”
Umar replied “Oga, please I wan ask you say make you no tell Oga Nnamdi or Aunty Vivian”
BK replied “Well, Umar, i don’t know if I can help you here, if enoh gets pregnant, they will send her away”
Umar replied “Oga, i know but body no be firewood, my wife dey village”
BK laughed and replied “You go soon hear am if you give am belle, how long una don dey screw each other?”
Umar replied “Oga, na over 6 months now”
BK screamed “Umar!!!!!!! So when we leave the house, you just drag her out of the house and bang the living daylight out of her in your room”
Umar smiled sheepishly “Oga, no be every time na, we no dey do am when she dey her period”
BK laughed hard and replied sarcastically “Ehen, you for fuck am when she dey her period na”
BK continued “How the thing take start sef?”
Umar was hesitated, but when BK threatened to tell Nnamdi
Umar forced himself into divulging the information “Oga, na long time ago, nobody dey house, na him Enoh come call me from my room say the tap no gree lock say water dey waste.
Oga, she no wear bra that morning o, but me I no get mind for there,
I come follow am enter inside house, wen we reach inside the kitchen, the water don the waste, so i come help am lock am from under the zinc, the water come stop”
BK getting impatient said “So, Umar, wetin come happen”
Umar continued “So, as I wan start to dey go, she come hold my hand, put am for her chest, her breast soft well well ”
BK getting impatient “So…”
Umar continued “She come put her hand inside my jeans, come touch my something, my something sef come dey hard, she come use my thing drag me enter her room”
BK stopped him “Ok, that’s it, i don’t wanna hear any more of it but let me tell you this, next time, lock the door! ”
Umar interjected “Oga, i dey always lock am but i no no wetin happen dat day”
BK replied “Maybe una don miss each other”, BK was already cracking up in laughter
BK continued “Maybe you should try something invented a while back, it’s called CONDOM!!!!”
Umar interjects “Oga, Enoh no like am, she say she no dey enjoy am with condom”
BK replied “Well, she’s a calabar woman, it’s in her blood”
Umar added more details “Oga, Enoh no be small pikin for that thing o”
BK screamed jokingly at Umar “Umar, comot for my house jo, i don tell you say I no wan hear about your sex stories with Enoh, comot jo”
BK added “Person dey gate jo, carry that your ‘baby-hand’ dick comot for hia”
Umar was laughing as he left BK’s flat and moved back to his room, he heard another knock on the gate and moved to the foot entry part of the gate, he opened it and saw Vivian’s mother at the gate, she was getting impatient.
Umar greeted “Good afternoon ma”
She answered “Do you know how long I have been at this gate, where have you been?”
Umar responded “Am sorry mama, I no hear am, I dey BQ”
Vivian’s mother was a warm looking elderly woman, she had little wrinkles on her face, she was fat but not too fat, but short unlike her daughter, Vivian must have gotten her height from her late father. Vivian’s father was a good-looking Igbo trader who started his work life in Nnewi after the civil war, before moving to Lagos for a few years but moved back to Nnewi after about 3 months of working in Lagos, he complained about the speed of Lagos, he said he couldn’t live with the craziness of Lagos, he died a few years after moving back to Nnewi, he died before he could give out his daughter to Nnamdi in marriage.
Vivian’s mother was the main reason why they dated for so long because she dint like Nnamdi, she always told Vivian that there was something shady about him that she dint know, she still didin’t like him.
Umar helped her with her bags from the white haggard looking Santana taxi, she brought all sort of things for her daughter, from banana to yam, oranges, plantain chips and vegetables she bought during her bus trip to Lagos.
Umar lifted the bag and found out, it was heavier than he had estimated but he still lifted it and placed on his head.
Vivian’s mother screamed “Umar! take it easy with that bag o”
Vivian’s mother made her way upstairs and knocked, Enoh asked who was at the door, she replied ” open the door Enoh”
Enoh quickly unlocked the door and greeted her, she didn’t think much of Enoh, so she responded to her greetings sheepishly and moved over to the couch.
Vivian’s mother wasn’t in the mood for small talk especially since Umar refused to come open the gate leaving her stranded outside for more than 30 minutes.
She asked “Enoh, where is Vivian? Bring me some cold water”
Enoh replied “Aunty is in the bathroom” she then went into the kitchen to get a jug of water for her.
As she drank her second cup of water, Vivian came into the living room and shouted “Mama, welcome, how are you”
She replied “Am fine, but na wa for you and your husband o”
“You should sack Umar” Mama added
Vivian replied “Mama, what did we do? And what is Umar’s part in this conversation”
She replied “I call you people most times, once you send me money, you feel you’ve fulfilled all your obligations ehn and that your mai-guard left me out for more than 30 minutes, I was banging on that gate, even you people in the house dint hear it, sheesh!!!! ”
Vivian replied “Mama, it’s not like that, Nnamdi and I have been very busy, it isn’t easy working and raising 2 kids mama, I will deal with Umar myself”
She replied “I know that’s what you will say, didn’t I try you and your brothers and sisters, dont even give me that excuse”
Vivian smiled and replied Mama, are you here to fight me or visit my family”
She replied in a strong voice “Both”
They both laughed and hugged closely.
Vivian replied “Mama, go and freshen up, let me prepare you something to eat”
As she moved towards the visitor’s room, she screamed at Enoh “I want Garri and white soup o”
Bernard was sitting opposite Morris on the glass table.
Morris started the conversation by saying “Hello Bernard, how are you, I heard you’re married with kids now”
Benard replied “Yes sir, am fine and its true, but that isn’t the reason why am here, is it?”
Morris replied “Of course, that’s not why, I brought you here as a direct order from the Vice President”
Morris continued “S.O.D has been re-activated”
Benard replied “S.O.D wasn’t just disbanded; we were sent back to our regular lives after all the training we’ve had in different military bases across the world”
Morris replied in a stern voice “It wasn’t my fault, we got shut down, the ex-President didn’t see the need to have another Special division, moreover they weren’t terrorist threats then, they were only after financial crimes”
Benard interjected “So, this new case cannot be executed by EFCC, ICPC or even the other security bodies?”
Morris replied in a calm voice “Am afraid so”
Benard replied “Well, am sorry to say sir, I cannot help you, I already left that line of work”
Morris replied with a stern look “Ben, you cannot refuse this, do you know how much the government spent on your training, this division and facility”
Benard was getting angry “Sir, with all due respect, my life has moved on, I know the government has invested a lot in us but I just can’t do this, I now work behind a desk”, his temper was boiling, does Morris think he can just call him out of the blues to come and start pursuing bad guys around town? What will happen to his regular life that he has just adjusted to?
Morris replied firmly with a deadly stare “Ben, you don’t have a choice, this is the government, we will hunt you down, your face will be in the pages of all the newspapers, you will be a federal fugitive, remember we know your real name and your alias. We created your alias. For the sake of your family, think again”.
Bernard stood up, ready to leave, Morris called out to him in a cool and pleading voice “Ben, your training has made you something else, you can disappear and we won’t be able to find you, what about your family, don’t make this harder than it is”
Bernard moved back into the seat and his appearance became calm, nothing melts a man’s heart more than his family’s safety, Bernard dint want anything to happen to his family, so he succumbed to Morris’ request.
Bernard replied “Ok, I’m all ears”
Morris replied “Thank you. There has been a kidnap”
Bernard replied “Well, that’s the new trend in Nigeria now, people pay their ransom money and their loved ones are returned”
Morris replied “Yes, I know, but this one has got a different angle to it”
Bernard replied “What’s the angle to this?”
Morris replied “it’s very political, we need this resolved ASAP”
Bernard replied “Are you gonna tell me who got kidnapped?”
Morris replied “The Vice President’s first son”
Bernard stood up, agitated “How did this happen? Where was his security details? When did this happen?”
Morris replied “We have a little bit of sketchy information right now, but all we know is that he’s been held in Lagos. It took place in a nightclub in Lagos, our S.S.S guys were killed in the process, it was nicely organized.”
Bernard replied “Have they gotten across to the Vice-President yet”
Morris replied “Yes and they aren’t just asking for money, they’re asking for a prisoner to be released as well”
Bernard replied “What!!!! When last did they make contact with the VP?”
Morris replied “They’ve made contacts twice, all scrambled lines, untraceable more like satellite phones”
Bernard replied “Wow, this people are advanced. Well, like you said, we’re dealing with some very organized sect here. So what’s our game plan now?”
Morris replied “Communications and Tacticals are been set up in Oregun area as we speak, they should be done with everything in 4 hours time”
Bernard replied “I need my team sir”
Morris replied “I have already made the calls, all you need to do now is co-ordinate them, we’ll start with back tracking because I think these are guys started with little kidnaps and now they’re playing in the big league.”
Bernard replied “Back-tracking?”
Morris replied “Yes, i don’t think they’re new comers, we’re getting access to EFCC and ICPC data, the money they collect from these kidnappings are laundered into our system first before they are moved to offshore accounts, thats all the sketchy intel we have right now”
Bernard replied “This is good, we can start with that, we’ll have our analysts cross-reference with any transactions that looks out-of-place, thank God for the new cash transaction limits, we will cross reference with the CBN , EFCC and the Banks”
Morris replied “We should be able to get whatever little information we have and also talk to a few informants you have, you’re going back to Lagos with the next flight”
Bernard replied “Yes sir”
Morris replied “A car will be available to pick up at the airport and take you to the command center ”
Bernard replied “Ok sir, how about my work and family”
Morris replied “I have spoken with your boss and told him, your presence is needed at the villa for some international consulting, so that’s settled”
Bernard interjected “How about my family?”
Morris replied “Don’t worry about them, they’re fine, we got an S.S.S detail on them, disguised, they’re been monitored 24/7”
Bernard replied “Ok sir”
Morris replied “Your cover can never be blown, okay? Moreover, I want you to be the commanding officer, let Lanre lead the field team, stay back and coordinate with Chika, she will be the lead analyst on this ! Okay?”
Bernard replied “Affirmative sir”
Morris checked his wristwatch and realized, it was almost time for the flight.
Morris prompted Bernard, “Its time, your flight leaves in 30 minutes, get there early, clear your head, the next few days will be very crucial to this nation, this is a larger conspiracy.”
Bernard stood up and exited the building, and he was smiling, finally he had been activated and said to himself; “This should be fun”
Chidi woke up with a nagging headache, he tried to move his hands up to his head to feel the liquid there if it was blood or something else, but his hands were tied, so also were his feet. He wanted to scream but he couldn’t, he couldn’t even make a sound,his throat was sore.
it was so dark here, even with him opening his eyes, the darkness was still heavy on him, he tried to move sit up but he couldn’t, he was beyond tired, he was seriously gasping for air.
Suddenly, there was a creaking sound, it was a door not properly fitted, its dragging against the floor as the door was being opened, it was still dark but the light from the lobby illuminated the room a little bit and he can see a tall huge man, almost 6’5 in height, dark looking, wearing a light blue ankara attire.
Chidi spoke, not audible enough managing to produce each word with so much stress “Wheeeeeere am I?”
The tall man introduced himself “Hello Chidi, my name is SJ, you’ve been here since Friday night, you’ve been asleep for over a day, you will be here with us for a while”
Chidi managed another line “Wheeeeeere are my friends, we wereeee in the club”
SJ replied, “Well, about that, you’ve been kidnapped but don’t worry, we will take care of you as soon as your father gives us what we want?”
Chidi managed another line; with agonizing pain “What do you want?”
SJ replied “I can’t talk right now, chidi, am going to church but my people will take care of you, when I come back, we will talk”
SJ stepped out of the room and locked the door, and locked another door outside again.
SJ proceeded to his car where his wife and 2 kids were waiting for him and zoomed off to church.