NICHOLAS EPISODE SIX

MS AKOREDE’S RESIDENCE
ILORIN
3:35 PM
25 July, 2015

Saturdays were usually more boring in July because there was no football. The English Premier League ended in May and a new season was not starting until August. A replay of a match from the previous season was showing. Nicholas stared at the Television. He could not believe Arsenal lost the match. They had outplayed Tottenham but had lost to a late header.
He loved football but he could not help himself. His mind was not on the match and he missed most of it. His mind still could not process his new status.
His mind went back to the meeting. The daughters did not seem to mind the will, they just kept on texting or chatting or whatever it is they were doing. The wife fumed and cursed before storming out of the room. He was in shock. His Mom was too. They just stared at the lawyer.
He knew his father was very rich, he did not know he was also very crazy. You had to be crazy to give your biggest asset to a bastard son you did not care about. You had to be crazy to turn against your family. For the first time he felt like talking to his father. His mother had raised him to live without his Dad without hating him. And he had learnt. But now he could not help but imagine if he was wrong not to have pursued a relationship with his father.
He turned off the television and walked towards his room. The house was not large but it held a lot of fond memories for him. None of those memories involved his father. He had never spent an hour in the same room with him. He had tried to see him once. They had not talked for an hour before his mother had stopped the meeting.
He walked into his room. His room was big, relative to the house. He tried his best to keep it neat. His best was never enough. His bed was always made though; it was one thing his mother made sure he never forgot. He walked towards his bed but the big binder on his table caught his attention. It had been sitting there since the meeting with the lawyer. The lawyer had Insisted he go through. “It will help you understand who you have just become” he had said.
He picked up the binder. CyberCorp was printed on It. CyberCorp; he knew a little about the company. He knew it was big and was one of the few companies that had remained one-man businesses when others of its status went public. He also knew it had strong political ties.
He flipped open the first page. It was the company bio.
He read a few lines and closed the binder. He was not ready. He had no idea if he would ever be ready. Run a company? It was not on his bucket list.
He stretched out on his bed. His mother had made sure that he did not have a television in his room. It takes away family time, she had said. He brought out his phone. No texts, no mentions. It was long time since he had a notification on Facebook. He decided to google CyberCorp. It was the best place to read a company’s bio.
CyberCorp was obviously very popular. The search brought up a lot of results. He scrolled down the page. Most of the news covered the death of the company’s owner and CEO. A few talked about his burial. A lot of politicians and government officials had been at the burial so it had been a hot spot for the press. He moved down the page. A few talked about different deals the company had closed with some foreign countries. Then he saw his name. He sat up, it was not a newspaper, it was a blog, a political blog. Blogs held more power and had more readers than newspapers, mostly because they did not have editors and could write anything they wanted.
He clicked on the link. A picture of him with him Mother was on top of the page. It was his graduation picture. He looked good. He also looked young, younger than he expected. The title read “CyberCorp’s new CEO?” He had not expected any press attention, mostly because it was not supposed to be public information yet. Bloggers always had their sources. This blogger seemed to be new. He had just a couple of posts uploaded. It was probably why the news had not circulated faster. He scanned through the article. It had a lot of information about him; His educational background, his social adventures: there wasn’t much to talk about there and his total lack of experience in running a business or a corporation.
There were a couple of information about his mother and her business. The article ended with a quote from a board member of the company. His name was not mentioned but the blogger noted that he was an important board member. Nicholas shifted on the bed.
“The board is in dire straits after hearing that the late CEO has handed the future of this great organization into the hands of a kid. We will try our best to make sure a more suitable person takes over the reins of the company. We once again sympathize with the family…”
Nicholas stopped reading. He stood up from the bed, dropped his phone gently on his bedside lamp stand and picked up the company bio.
It was time he learnt who he had become.
CHIEF ADEYANJU’s RESISDENCE
ARANDUN
3:35 PM
25 July, 2015

Police work is not hard work. This was not common knowledge. Most people despised policemen, policemen despised policemen. He had not become a policeman by choice. But he had learnt to do his job. His job was always well defined. ‘Arrest John Doe’, ‘Join this squad and disperse that riot’. His job was always defined in simple terms. He had never had to use his brain to solve anything. That had changed with the case he was working now. He had to use his brain. There was no simple job description here.
He was on his way to talk to a chief in the village. He had invited him to his home. When he had first arrived in Arandun, he had expected to spend a few months, so he had stayed away from the people of the town. After spending a year, it became clear he was mistaken; he was in for the long haul. He began to frequent the town meetings. He tried his best when the community needed help and he grew to love most of the people of the town. Chief Adeyanju was an important member of the town. It had taken time to develop a relationship with him, but he had done it eventually after helping him a few times with things that were not his official duty.
The chief had a beautiful house, one of the best in the town. It was built with red brick. It was not fenced but it was surrounded with flowers. As he approached the house he saw one of the chief’s wives drawing water from a well close to the house. She kicked at a goat as it tried to drink water from her bucket. He greeted the wife as he moved towards the door. The chief was already waiting for him.
“Come in, Adam.” He led him through a corridor, it led them to an exit door. The door led to a garden. The chief seemed to be a florist or he had a wife who was a florist.
“You have a lovely house sir.” He meant the compliment.
“Oh, thank you.” He looked around with pride. ”It took many years to make it this way. It is one of the reasons I married my second wife. She has a way with plants.” He smiled. Apparently some polygamists were happy.
He beckoned to one of his daughters, she brought two plastic chairs and set them at the extreme of the garden where a tree provided shade from the afternoon sun. The chief was not a man for small talk. He had retired as a soldier before retiring as a business man. He now ran the town’s politics and was a very important member of the town’s council of elders.
“Adam, you know why you are here?” he nodded. “This town is a peaceful place. The highest crime we have had here in years is theft, mostly of goats or chickens. So as you can imagine we are very disturbed with the kidnap of our daughter.”
“Yes sir, I know that. But right now, the only lead I have is the Corper that was seen with her the night before she went missing. And I can’t understand why he would kidnap her and then he will still be here.”
He was truly confused. Nicholas looked good for the crime. He was obviously lying about something. And he was probably the last person to see her before she went missing. But his gut told him there was more to the kidnap.
“Sir, I would appreciate any help I can get from you.”
“You know she is a student of the Teacher’s College in Ilorin?”
“The College of Education? Yes, I know.” He had not connected the school with the kidnap.
“Yes, that school. I have a daughter who attends the school. She told me something that did not mean anything to me until now.” He called one of the girls who were talking not far from the garden. Another daughter. He asked for a cup of water and continued.
“She said she started to notice a man who came to visit Kemi a lot.” A boyfriend, so? “She said she assumed Kemi was dating the man, but she never looked comfortable talking with the man. The relationship did not look very romantic. But she did not think so much of it until the day they returned from school.” The girl brought the cup of water. He took his time to drink the water. He never wasted time but he also never seemed to be in a hurry.
“According to my daughter, they were already in the bus getting ready to leave when the man drove into the park. She said she could sense that what Kemi felt at that moment was not love. It was more of fear. The man signaled for her to come down from the bus. She said Kemi had reluctantly gone down from the bus. She could not hear them but it looked really serious. As Kemi returned to the bus, she had heard the man tell her ‘not to disappoint’.” He sighed. ”Adam, I don’t know what Kemi might have gotten herself into but this man might have something to do with her disappearance.”
It was a lot of information to process. It opened an entire new angle to the case. He should give his boss this new information but he felt like he needed more information before bothering his boss with any new development in the case.
The chief had insisted he had lunch at his house. He had and he was glad he did. He was on his way back to his office. Who is this mysterious man? There was still Nicholas. What role did he have in all this? Did he have any role? He had been told he was out of town. Why was he out of town?
He walked faster, there was a lot to do.

THE WHITE HOUSE
ILORIN
2.00 PM
25 JULY, 2015

He did not like egocentric people but he had to deal with them once every month. They were sitted in front of him. The room was a boardroom, a conference room, an office or even a guest room, depending on what he needed it to be. Every part of the house was painted white. It was called the ‘White House’. He had kept the decoration simple. Decorations were moved in and out depending on who was visiting the house. The house represented power. Decisions he made in the house had a lot of influence, more than most people could believe.
The people sitting in front of him all had something important to tell him. Or so they thought. He tried his best to keep a straight face while they told their stories. He considered himself an ‘okay’ boss, some would even say he was nice. But there was something he could not tolerate; people wasting his time. Something Honourable Badmus was doing with impunity.
“Badmus, I’ve heard enough of your problems. You have been talking about these problems for so long. I need solutions. You know that. Please sit down.”
There was only one reason he still held these monthly meetings; he needed information. That was the way he could maintain his status. And there was one person he wanted to hear from; Faruk. He was a new member of his team. But he had proved more useful than most of his older team members.
“Faruk, is there any news?” At least this was news he wanted to hear.
“Well, yes sir. The bastard son has been named as C.E.O.”
“What?!” He knew Engr. Babatunde was crazy. But there was a limit to which craziness drives a man. An inexperienced kid was crossing the line, even for a crazy person. He tried to maintain a straight face. He always tried not to look agitated in front of his men.
“It has not been announced to the press but we have somebody on the inside.” Of course he had somebody on the inside.
“So you are telling me, no member of the press knows about this?”
“Actually, I leaked the information to a blogger I just started using. He is a new guy who is desperate. I believe we can use him.”
He did not like bloggers. They had written so much about him. Any guy with a laptop and internet access could start a blog, but their audiences adored them so they could not be ignored. It was good to have one on their side. But leaking this information was not exactly a smart move.
“And you leaked the information, why?”
“When the right people get this information, we will be there to see their reaction.” He had a point. “When you told me to release him after we had kidnapped him, I had my doubts, now I see he can be more useful to us alive and out there.”
Kidnaping, killing, were dirty work. He did not like getting dirty. He had to, it was an occupational hazard. One he avoided when he could. And in the case of Nicholas he could.
“So boss, what do we do?”
He had been asked that question more times than he could remember. His answers had varied from ‘Kill him’ to ‘Give his widow a thousand dollars’. What do you do when a twenty four year old kid has just been handed the keys to more power than he could control?
“We wait.”

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