THE HAUNTED ASSEMBLY 1

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Adam caught the look on his wife’s face again and looked away. She was trying to make him feel bad and it was working. He walked away from her and towards the wine. He was at the party for a reason; he could not leave, not yet. It was a party with a lot of political bigwigs and they did not seem to mind that their host – Senator Adeshina was nowhere to be found. But then, none of them had a pregnant wife to worry about, he did.

He picked two glasses and walked back to Ese. He stopped in front of her and smiled. He had married a beautiful woman, not even the eight months old foetus pushing her belly out of proportion could disguise that.

“You look beautiful tonight Ese.” He said as he set the glasses on the table in front of her.

“I don’t feel beautiful. I feel like a house on legs.” She said with a grunt. “And this house wants to go home.”

“We can’t leave yet Ese, we’ve not even seen the Senator.”

“It’s not our fault he is late to his own party, I’m tired Honey, I need to go home.”

Adam looked at his watch, it was past nine; she was right it was late.

“Babe, let’s wait for another fifteen minutes, if the senator isn’t here, we will leave, okay?”

“You’re not leaving, are you?” A voice said from behind them.

Adam turned around, it was the Senator. Finally, they could pay their respects and leave.

“The Mrs was getting a little tired, that’s all.” Adam said.

“It’s not me sir, it’s the baby.” Ese said.

“I’m sorry Adam, I apologise specially to you Ese. I was held up by a call from the Hungarian ambassador who for some reason I can’t fathom has become a dear friend.”

“We totally understand sir. We just wanted a chance to say a big thank you for your help sir.” Adam said.

“My help?”

“Our transfer to Abuja.” Ese said.

“You think I did you a favour by bringing you to Abuja? I hope you still think so in six months.” The senator said and laughed.

“I’m sure there are other people you need to say hello to.” Adam said, he could tell his wife was barely keeping the fake smile on her face.

“Oh sure, most of them I should introduce you to, Senator Halima especially. She’s been eager to meet you.”

He knew who Senator Halima Abubakar was. She was the youngest member of the senate, she was barely thirty five. It was obvious she was only in the Senate because of who her parents were. He wondered why she wanted to meet him.

“She is a big fan of the Church Street Killer case, she should be here already; she’s never late for

parties.” The senator said. He dug his hand into his pocket and brought out his phone.

Adam nodded and smiled, he hoped the senator would just go; he was almost as eager to leave as his wife was now.

“Excuse me please,” The senator said. “I need to take this call.”

Adam watched him leave. He whispered to Ese. “This is our chance.”

He helped Ese to her feet and they walked across the room. There were a lot of important people in the room, people who could make his stay in Abuja easier, people he had hoped the senator would introduce him to. He had learnt his lesson, he would not bring a heavily pregnant woman to a party next time.

“Adam?” He heard the voice call behind him and he stopped, it was the Senator. No!

He could hear Ese grumble. “Just tell him I’m not feeling well.” She said.

“I’m sorry sir, Ese isn’t…”

“Adam, you need to come with me.”

Adam shook his head. “Sir, I…”

“There’s been a murder.”

“What?” He gasped. “Where? When?”

“Just now, a few minutes from here.”

“That’s awful. I hope it has nothing to do with your party or your guests.” Ese said.

“Who was killed?” Adam asked.

“Senator Halima.”

“Oh my God.” Ese whispered.

“She was found in her car, not very far from here. You need to go with me now.” The senator said and walked towards the exit.

Adam looked at Ese, he could see the dread in her eyes. They had come to Abuja because they wanted to get away from the whole church street killer case. They had not even spent a whole month in Abuja.

“Babe, this is probably a case for some other agency. I’m just finding my feet, they won’t throw this at me, it’s too important. But I have to go and secure the scene before I hand it to whoever will take it over.”

“What am I supposed to do then Adam?”

“The driver will take you home. I promise I won’t be late.”

“If you won’t be late, I could wait up.”

“No sweetheart, don’t wait up. Get some rest; I have stressed you enough today.” He kissed her forehead. “I love you, you remember that, right?”

She smiled and punched him lightly on the chest. “Don’t try to be sweet. I’m waiting up for you so don’t be late.”

“Okay ma’am. Now, let’s get you and my baby home.”

He loved her, he really did but he could not wait to be at the crime scene. A crime scene! He stifled the smile spreading over his face; he was back in the game!

***

The car slowed to a stop and Adam stepped out. There were a few people gathered around a black Mercedes, he assumed it was Senator Halima’s car. Surprisingly none of them looked disturbed by the murder, they looked amused instead. The senator had not told him anything about the murder; he said he had to see for himself.

The men standing around the car stepped away from it as he approached. He needed them very far away, the last thing he needed was interference from overzealous but ignorant politicians. There were two uniformed policemen standing behind the car, away from the intimidating bigwigs. When they saw him, they approached.

“Officers,” He started before they could greet him. “The first thing I want from you is to disperse everybody who isn’t law enforcement. Go on and do that now, please.”

The policemen walked away reluctantly to perform their daunting task.

Now was the moment of truth. He put his hand on the door handle and paused. Memories of chasing after the church street killer rushed through his mind. Did he want to get back into that world? He shook his head; he would make that decision later. He pulled the door handle and held his breath.

He saw the body and took a staggered step back. Senator Halima – her naked body laid on its back on the backseat. Her left leg rested on the front seat where her clothes were laid and her head laid on the door opposite him. Her pale eyes stared at him and her mouth was curved in what looked like a smile. She looked very much alive except she was not breathing. There were no obvious bullet wounds or knife cuts. It would take an autopsy to determine what killed her. Had she died in the middle of sex or had the killer arranged her body that way to send a message? Was this the church street killer all over again? What was a senator doing having sex in her car, and totally naked? It was difficult to see much without getting deeper into the car. He looked behind, thepolicemen had succeeded in clearing the curious crowd and only Senator Adeshina was left standing around.

He closed the door and walked closer to the policemen.

“Who found the body?” Adam asked.

“We did sir,” One of the policemen – Tijani according to his name tag, said. “Or actually I did.”

“We were patrolling when we saw the car,” The second policeman said. “It was parked by the road, so we decided to see if it was empty. I waited in our car, he went up to check the parked car.”

“Did you touch the body? Did you move it at all?” Adam asked.

“No sir, we didn’t.”

“How did you find out about this, Senator?” Adam asked.

“Chief Korede called me, said he saw the…said he saw her on his way to my house.”

“Some of the guests at his party were driving past, maybe one of them recognized her car or something but they stopped and then saw everything.” Tijani added.

Adam nodded and asked. “Is there an ambulance on the way?

“Yes sir.”

He looked back at the car; the killer might have left something behind.

“We need to take pictures of the car and the body before we move it, and I want the car searched for anything the killer might have left behind. A used condom, a sock, footprint, anything.”

“I told you Adam.” Senator Adeshina said. “Abuja is not as quiet as you think. This case is going to be bigger than the church street killer case.”

“Yes, it will be. It’s a good thing I won’t be the one chasing down this pyscho.”

“Really? Why? You have experience with this kind of thing.”

“I have a pregnant wife who wants me by her side all the time, I’ll help when I can but I think I’ll pass on this one.”

Adam had considered his options. He could walk away from the case and make his wife happy or he could satisfy his curiousity and go after the killer. He wanted this case but it was not what he promised Ese. He would hand the case over, but first he had to make sure that he got everything he could from the scene.

He started towards the car when a car pulled up close beside the crime scene. He motioned one of the policemen to deal with whoever it was. The occupant of the car stepped out, it was a woman. He paused.

“Uncle Adam.” The woman called out.

It was Kate. He had not seen her since he came to Abuja.

“Kate, it’s good to see you. What are you doing here?”

“I called her.” Senator Adeshina said. “I needed her to get me some things from the house.”

“Sir, you don’t have to stay. You won’t be doing much here.” Adam said.

“Don’t worry Dad, I’ll stay and help him.” Kate said.

“No Kate. Thanks but this is a crime scene, I can’t have you here too.”

“You can go Dad.” Kate said and started to push Senator Adeshina towards his car. “I’ll wait around and call you if anything comes up.”

Adam returned to the Mercedes. There were several things he needed to find answers to. How did the car arrive there? Was the murder committed here or was the car driven here with the senator dead already? Was another car on the scene? He should check for tyre tracks. He needed light.

“Do you need a flashlight?” Kate asked.

He looked behind, at her. “Yeah, I was just thinking that.”

“You see, I can help you.”

She went to her car and returned with an industrial flashlight. He collected it and looked around the car. There were no extra tyre tracks so it was safe to assume the killer came to the scene in the same car. But how did the killer leave?

“What do you think happened here?” Kate asked.

“I don’t know. I have to look inside that car again.”

He looked at the policemen, who were keeping a safe distance from the car. He needed a lot of things. He motioned them over.

“Who would handle something like this normally?” Adam asked.

“Er..I don’t know but we have called the office and they said we should wait, they will send somebody.” Tijani said.

“We don’t have too much time. I don’t want that body getting stiff here.”

Adam put his hand on the car’s door handle, steadied him and opened it. The body was exactly the way it was earlier. He shone the light around the car – there was nothing. He looked through the clothes laid on the front seat, they were all the victim’s. The scent on the victim’s clothes filled the car. The killer had done a good job of leaving none of himself behind.

“How do you think she died?” Kate’s voice came from behind him and he jumped.

“Kate, you shouldn’t be here.”

“Was she cut?”

“No, there are no cuts.” Adam said. “Nothing looks out of place here.”

“Maybe she wasn’t murdered.” Kate said. “Maybe it was an accident. Maybe she died during sex and her lover ran because he was afraid.”

Adam opened his mouth to respond then he saw a car speeding towards them. The car swerved and stopped just a few metres from the crime scene. The occupant of the car came out and started running towards him. Adam hurried of the car and signaled the cops to stop the man.

“Let me go!” The man shouted and strugggled to break free from the cops. “You stupid imbecile, that is my wife there.”

Adam looked at the man and back at the car. Senator Halima was not married. Whoever this crazy guy was, it was probably a good idea to keep him away from the body.

“I’m sorry sir but what’s your name?” Adam asked.

“My name is Hameed and Halima is my wife.”

“Senator Halima was not married.” Adam said.

“I want to see her! Let me go. Do you know who I am?”

Adam shook his head. Everybody in Abuja believed they were somebody or knew somebody. It was not the first time he had heard somebody asking that question. This Hameed guy however was a nutcase. The only way to keep him out was to arrest him. Adam signalled to the cops and they dragged him to their car.

Kate moved closer to him.

“I know that guy.” She said.

“Yeah? Should I be afraid?” Adam asked with a smile.

“He is the son of a general. He is… well, he was engaged to Senator Halima. Their fathers are very close friends.”

“This is another reason why I won’t be on this case; too much political interest.”

“Really? You won’t take the case? I was hoping to work with you.”

“You didn’t learn from the last serial killer you came close to, right? Well, I did.” He looked at his watch and gasped. “It’s almost eleven. Ese will kill me!”

“I’m sure Ese will be eager to get on this case too.”

“Ese is heavily pregnant. The only thing she is eager to do is give birth.” Adam looked at his watch again. “I don’t think I want to do anything here again. Where are the police?”

In the distance, sirens began to blare, they got close very quickly.

“Well, looks like there is the calvary. I’ll hand this over to whoever leads them here and you can drop me where I can get a cab home.”

Kate nodded and they both stood, waiting for the approaching police cars. A few seconds later, three police cars, all of them with sirens blowing parked beside them. Two men came out of the car in the middle. The occupants of the other two cars remained seated.

“That’s not the IG or the C.O.P. right?” Kate leaned in and whispered to Adam. “Why does he have escorts?”

Adam shrugged.

The two men got to them and Adam stretched his hand.

“Hello, my name is Adam Ademola, Director, CIB. This is Kate Adeshina…”

“His personal assistant.” Kate added. Adam shot her a look but she ignored him.

“CIB huh? I hope you have not tampered with anything here. This is my case now.” One of the men said.

Adam and Kate looked at each other.

“Excuse me, who are you?” Adam asked.

“I’m Nnamdi Uba. This is Chuks Ezenwa, my personal assistant. Will you tell me what happened here please?” Nnamdi said and walked off.

Adam stood where he was. Nnamdi looked back and saw Adam did not move and he came back.

“Do we have a problem here?” Nnamdi asked.

“Do we?” Adam said.

“What do you mean?”

“You hope I did not tamper with anything? You want me to give you a report on what happened here?”

“Yes, and that is a problem because…?”

“Nnamdi, I don’t know who you are but if you need anything from me, I will be in my office by 9 am tomorrow. If you can’t wait, I suggest you conduct your own investigation.”

Adam tapped Kate and they walked away. Adam was not sure he had done the right thing. He had no idea who the Nnamdi guy was and he hoped he would not have to go and apologise to him later.

“I just googled the guy.” Kate said. “He’s not that important. Just an errand boy for the IG. That’s the problem with Abuja, everybody wants to take advantage of you.”

“Is that the idiot who will take this case? There’s no way the killer will get caught.”

“Yes Uncle. They need someone who is not deep into Abuja politics, someone who will be objective.They need you.”

Adam looked behind, Nnamdi was on the phone, probably calling his bosses to report the disrespectful new boy. He kind of wanted the case now. He needed to show Nnamdi and people like him he did not have to know everybody in Abuja to do well at his job.

They got to Kate’s car and entered.

“Please consider taking this case. You are probably the only one who can find this killer.”

“Maybe but if this jerk is the IG’s lap dog like you said…”

“I said errand boy, not lap dog.”

“Same thing. If he is the IG’s lap dog, then he’ll find a way to get the case.”

“We’ll see then.”

Kate started her car and shifted te gear into drive. Adam looked through the window and saw Nnamdi running towards them.

“Hold on Kate, the lap dog is coming .” Nnamdi arrived. “Got any more instructions to bark at me Mister Nnamdi?”

“It’s detective Nnamdi, not Mister. And I was just on the phone with the IG.”

“Of course you were.” Adam said with a sneer.

“I apologise for my earlier… Anyway, he said to tell you that with the high status of this murder and your experience, you will lead the investigation.”

“Really?” Adam could not hide the grin that spread over his face.

“You will of course coordinate with other law enforcement agencies but you have the lead on the case.”

“Okay detective Nnamdi, thank you for the information.” Adam said and turned to Kate. “We can go now.”

“Oh wait, there’s one more thing.” Nnamdi said. “You report to me throughout the case. You have the lead but you cannot do anything except I approve it.”

Adam looked at him with his mouth open. Report to him?

“Where is that smirk now?” Nnamdi said. “Welcome to Abuja Detective Adam Ademola.”

 

NB: If you want to download the story before this one DEMONS ON CHURCH STREET, click here

 

16 thoughts on “THE HAUNTED ASSEMBLY 1

  1. I just finished Demons on Church street on Okadabooks and I just discovered ur blog. I love your style of writing. This sequel is very interesting too… I left a review on Okadabooks

  2. im trying to find that exact words for both you and this story…..buts there’s none for now in the dictionary……i must say thank you Josh…….its beautiful and nigerian

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