Chike was on his way out of the hospital where he had gone to treat the wounds Lanre inflicted on him earlier. He couldn’t but believe Lanre’s earlier comments about him being sluggish, he was quite sure that he would have beaten Lanre up if they had the fight a few months ago.
The new case he’d been working hadn’t given him the chance to be involved in combat.
A lot was going through his mind, Chuks’ death, Karim’s death, Lanre entering the picture just made many more things complex and also gave answers to who was killing people secretly. He still couldn’t figure out who Lanre was working for, it had to be the guy who gave him the anonymous tip about Mohammed. That was the only logical reason or explanation he could muster for the involvement of Lanre with all of this.
The time was past 11PM and he was about to get into his car, his phone started ringing which he brought out, the screen, broken.
He picked the call and answered.
“Hello Chike”, Colonel Weyinmi said.
Chike was able to recognize the General’s deep voice and he replied,
“Colonel, we went to the Dolphin Estate address we got from Mohammed’s container”. Chike said
“Ok, so did you find him there?” Colonel asked.
“Alhaji Hassim wasn’t there, the house was empty but Lanre intercepted us there” Chike replied.
“Lanre??? Which Lanre?” Colonel asked.
“Same Lanre Jimoh”, Chike replied.
“What has Lanre got to do with this, I know he probably has a score to settle with you”, Colonel replied.
“He has more than a score to settle, he is the assassin killing people in this investigation, am positive he’s the one that killed Karim & Mohammed”, Chike continued.
“Can you find out who he’s working for? ” Colonel asked.
“Am on it, sir” Chike replied.
“I have a new address for you, I think you should get your team and visit the place, take more people this time around, This rabbit hole is deeper than we thought”, Colonel replied.
“Sir, we have lost Chuks, Lanre killed him during our raid at Dolphin Estate”, Chike said.
“Good Lord!!! We need to find out what Lanre’s intentations are with this whole operation, you will receive a message on the address very soon.” Colonel replied.
The phone line went dead, few seconds later the new address came into Chike’s phone…..
Jibola sat in his comfy chair in his garden trying to decipher the recent happenings around him.
First, he was talking to Karim, then all of a sudden, Karim was blown to pieces in his own car. Secondly, he was speaking to Mohammed, he was also killed in his car.
Jibola was sure there was something amiss somewhere, he had three leads that were arguably his best choice, two of the leads were dead, leaving him with one more. He has 2 options left, one which was to continue on his quest with the last lead he had but that one was too dangerous and wasn’t as sure as the two killed earlier.
His other option was to forget the whole revenge mission and invest the family money into some other business that could fortify the wealth of the already existing hidden dynasty. Jibola told himself quitting this would only mean Nikky got to walk away free from the assassination attempt on his life and also he would be betraying the confidence his wife had in him to bring Alhaji Hassim to book on the annihilation of their family that happened several years ago.
Jibola thought to himself, he had no choice but to proceed with his revenge quest. He picked up his phone and dialed the phone number written on a piece of paper for him. Jibola spoke immediately the call was picked on the other end.
“Good day, Honourable Minister”…
Nikky was getting impatient with what seemed like she was alone and in the dark, with the text messages and phone calls not coming in. Her info had stopped streaming and all she knew was that she was supposed to meet with the Alhaji himself the day before. She had called Lana but he didn’t show up and had since refused to get back to her.
She had planned to go over for a visit in his house but she’d been having the hunch not to. She knew something was definitely wrong but she didn’t know how to find out or who exactly to meet or call to inquire about the investigation. Unknown to Nikky, Mohammed had been killed, hence the break in information flow. Mohammed had recruited Nikky into his deep cover with Alhaji Hassim and the operation had been successful so far.
Staring vaguely outside the window of her 7th floor room at the Oriental Hotel, she sought to find inner peace and how to resolve her current predicament.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a phone call. She picked up the phone, she couldn’t recognize the phone number.
Although, ideally she wouldn’t pick unknown numbers but all the rules were out of the window at that point.
“Hello”, she said.
“Am I speaking with Nike Osho, handle name Nikky?” The caller asked.
“Yes. You may proceed”. She replied.
“This is Major General Collins Akpo, I am the commanding officer for the Nigerian Army Intelligence which you’re undercover for. Due to the nature of your assignment, we have decided to reduce the amount of people in our department that you can contact. Mohammed, your handler was your contact with us but he has been murdered.
Mohammed was a contractor with us, the name of the Nigerian Army has been slandered so many times in the unmasking of the anonymous Alhaji Hassim. We recruited you because of the confidence we have in your work, also because of your father’s position.”
Nikky was shocked as to how her father got into the conversation, she cut in. “Sorry, did you just mention my father?”
The Major General paused and asked Nikky if he asked her to speak,
she responded No and he continued.
“As I was saying, as of now we do not have leads on this case anymore, Mohammed had all the information we’ve been working on for over a decade and all his properties have been confiscated by JTF & S.S.S.
We can move in and repossess the data he got for us when he contracted for us but we do not want things to get out of hand because, very soon people will start asking questions and by then we would already be in the media.
We would be suspected as the sponsor of the Alhaji Hassim’s operations for the umpteenth time. The reason I’m calling is to inform you that, I will be the new handler for this operation. From now on, your data stream comes from me, I will text you what you require to proceed with the rest of the operation. JTF’s Chike Onihevo is the lead man on this operation, we will be secretly stealing information from him, this assignment is extremely covert.
We have an intel that they already hit one of Alhaji Hassim’s hideout and they will be hitting another. I’m also working on how to get you into his area since he has never met you and I’m sure you can blend into other situation. Do you understand me? Do you still have the asset intact as well?”
“Yes sir, he’s still with me “ Nikky replied.
“I will contact you with more details as they unfold” The Major General said and the line went dead.
WOW!!!! Nikky said when the conversation ended, she laughed to herself as the Major General ran through the whole conversation as if he had rehearsed it like a speech. She felt a lot better now that she had been kept in the loop.
” This Chike Onihevo name seems to ring a bell. Since all this is clear now, maybe I can return to the luxury of my own home”. She thought to herself.
Chike had put together a 6 man tactical unit to visit the new address which was somewhere along Bourdillon drive.
His body had been stitched and he wasn’t 100% fit but in these situations he knew he still had to push forward. The memory of Lanre diving into him with a head-butt still stayed on his mind.
How could he have lost his guard as easily as that?
This detective work had lessened his combat awareness skill.
They arrived Bourdillon street, the house was an architectural masterpiece, Chike rung the bell at the gate and a voice came on the speaker;
“Who is that?” The voice was that of an elderly man.
Chike answered “We’re here to speak with the owner of this house, we’re from the Joint Task Force”.
The speaker went silent and a few seconds later, the automatic door opened.
The JTF cars moved in, a saloon car and another Toyota Hilux.
Chike approached the gateman and asked for the occupants of the house. The gateman was an elderly but vibrant man who smiled a lot, he tried to convince Chike that the owner of the house were good people but Chike moved past him to the front of the house. A few knocks on the door and the maid came up to the door, opened it and allowed them in.
The gateman was still standing with Chike as they entered the house while the five other assault team members were standing in the compound. The gateman kept throwing himself infront of Chike but by this time, the owner of the house and his wife came downstairs to ascertain why so much noise was emanating from their living room. Chike could hear his voice inquiring what the problem was.
The owner of the house was young, probably in his mid 40s’, looked wealthy, several pictures of him and his family on the wall. His wife looked so exotic that there was no way she could’ve been Nigerian. She certainly looked Asian.
As he descended from the stairs, Chike’s mind was racing fast as he was close to uncovering the identity of Alhaji Hassim. When he got to the living room, he called the gateman and his maid to the other part of the living room and went in Chike’s direction.
Introducing himself, he started.
“Hi, you’re …” Inquiring who Chike was.
“My name is Major Chike Onihevo, I’m with the JTF” Chike responded.
“Hi Chike, my name is Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Okechukwu”.
Emmanuel spoke in the clearest and distinctive of all accents.
“What is this about, it’s 6AM in the morning” Emmanuel continued. “
I am here under the direct orders from the Presidency to bring you into our office for questioning” Chike said.
“Orders???? What is this about? ” Emmanuel asked.
“Its about Oil bunkery and that’s all I’m allowed to tell you” Chike answered.
“What in God’s name is this? I am a successful Architect, I studied in the United Kingdom, I have done different jobs for several international companies in four different continents of the World.Why will I be into Oil bunkering?
My father is one of the major shareholders in Nigeria Breweries, which tells you that even if I’m broke, there is family wealth to support me. There must be a mixup somewhere”. Emmanuel tried to defend himself.
“I’m sure you’re right but we can discuss this at length when we get to our office”. Chike replied
The gateman jumped into the conversation again, pointing to his boss as he spoke “My Oga dey innocent, he’s a nice man, he no dey do bad thing. Leave am alone”
Chike wasn’t inclined to answer the gateman but he noticed the gateman was wearing a limited edition Rolex wristwatch. He wanted to question it but seeing the way the gateman was attesting for his boss, he judged it as a gift given to him by his boss.
Emmanuel’s wife as a lawyer was quoting international law but she didn’t have the license to practice law in Nigeria.
Chike replied her “Madam, this is Nigeria, your law quotes will not work here, my advice is for you to get his lawyers to meet us up at our office.”
Emmanuel finally agreed to go with them, he got into the sedan car and they zoomed off. The wife got busy on the phone, she called everyone they knew and were close to in Nigeria, South Africa, London and the United States.
Lurking 3 blocks away from Emmanuel’s house was Lanre quietly monitoring the proceedings from his car through his binocular, he noticed one more person inside car meaning the Alhaji Hassim suspect was in the car with them. He saw as the gateman and maid following the car out of the compound, running after it as they left.
His first impulse was to act like a troubled neighbor and go into the house which he did and what he found surprised him.
Lanre moved closer to the house. He could hear the gateman packing his bag, the man who acted kind of feeble became a lot more agile. He thought that the man had stolen some money from the house to elope but then the automatic gates opened so he dived behind a garden and saw as the gateman left the house in the new LR4.
Lanre thought to himself, something must be up, he called his immobile sponsor and said.
“ The Alhaji Hassim has been picked up, however his gateman is leaving the house in a car which is kind of unusual” Lanre’s sponsor answered
“Describe the suspect to me.” Lanre responded
“He’s middle aged, light in complexion and about 6 ft, I didn’t get a good look at him.”
His sponsor replied “That’s not Alhaji Hassim, describe the gateman to me.”
Lanre answered, “He’s elderly, grey hair in his front patch, bald and grey moustache, looks like he’s in his early 60s”
His sponsor getting tensed up asked “Did you get to see his hand, Alhaji Hassim has a fetish for wristwatches.”
Lanre replied “I was lurking in a small garden but I think I saw his hand as he was driving off, he seems to be wearing a Rolex wristwatch.”
His sponsor’s voice heightened “Lanre!! Where is he now?”
Lanre replied “Am currently trailing him”.
His sponsor replied “Never lose sight of him because my friend, you’re tailing Alhaji Hassim”.