“I do not care who he is.” Adam shouted into the phone. “Listen up Nnamdi, I understand here in Abuja you can get away with anything once you are a politician but I don’t care about that. He is a suspect and I am investigating him.”
Adam ended the call and threw the phone on the table.
“What was that?” Kate asked.
“That was Nnamdi the lap dog trying to bully me into dropping the senator as a suspect.” Adam said.
“That guy is a joker.”
“You got that right. All we have to do now is find evidence to confirm he killed Senator Halima.”
Adam’s phone rang and he looked at it.
“It’s Nnamdi calling again. I would have blocked his line if I was sure he won’t one day have an important information from the IG.”
“That day may be today, so answer it.”
Adam picked the call. “Nnamdi, what is… oh.”
After listening for almost a minute, he removed the phone from his ear and dropped it on his table.
“You look…different.” Kate said.
“That was the Inspector General.”
“He just told me to drop Senator Bello. He said he can vouch for him, he wants a list of other suspects on his table by noon today.”
Adam knew perfectly what was going on. Everyone was out to show him they ruled the city and he was just a pawn who had no choice but to serve the officers.
“What are you going to do?” Kate asked.
“Same thing we would have done if that call had not come in; investigate.”
“Okay. And the list of suspects?”
“I’ll give them one when I have one.”
“I think we need one now. It’s bad enough that we’ll keep investigating Senator Bello but refusing to give them a list is just plain looking for trouble.”
Adam stayed quiet for a few seconds. Maybe she had a point. He wanted top brass off his back, he had to give them something to keep them busy.
“Kate, get all the top level detectives in here now.”
Kate nodded and left the room. Adam leaned back in his chair and sighed. Senator Bello had laughed him out of his house with such confidence it annoyed him. Now he knew why he was so confident, not many criminals had the number one cop behind them. The case had just started and he already felt like he was running into walls everywhere he turned.
And then there was Ese. He dialled her number and put it on speaker. She answered the call almost immediately it rang.
“Sweetheart, I’m sorry for…” Adam started to say.
“Adam, were you shot?”
Adam looked at the phone with a raised eyebrow. “No.”
“Were you stabbed?”
“No, I wasn’t.”
“Was your car blown up?”
“Ese, come on.”
“I told you not to call me except you were dying. What part of that didn’t you get?”
“I’m sorry dear. I promise…” He was interrupted by the door opening. The detectives he sent for had arrived. “I’m sorry dear, I have to go. I’ll call you later.”
“The case is calling you, right? You can’t even complete an apology. Good bye.”
The call ended and Adam pushed the phone away.
“Gentlemen…” Adam started and saw a lady. “And lady. The Senator’s case is dragging, I need suspects. Usually I’m perfectly capable of getting my own suspects but I’m on a deadline here. I need a list of suspects on my table in one hour.”
“Sir,” One of the detectives raised his hand. “One hour is short sir. Some of us are not caught up on the case.”
“That’s great Detective.” Adam said. “I will come see you in the office later to tell you all you need to know. For now you can leave my office and go play with the secretaries.”
“I’m sorry sir.” The detective said.
“No, I mean it. Go and play with them and maybe I can come explain the case to all of you when it is convenient for you.”
“I’m sorry sir.”
“Get out of my office.” Adam shouted.
The detective walked out quietly out of the door. Adam followed him to the door and held it.
“In fact, I want all of you out. Give me my list of suspects in one hour or don’t bother coming back to work here.”
They filed out and Adam slammed the door behind them. Adam caught Kate looking at him but he avoided her gaze.
Finally she said. “They didn’t deserve that.”
“Maybe they didn’t. I don’t deserve what Ese is doing either. What does she want me to do? Quit my job and become a newspaper vendor?”
“Newspaper vendors are busier than you think.”
“What is the point of being head of CIB when I can’t head CIB?”
“You have to give her time, she’ll come around.”
“I don’t think so. She wants me to give her time and then be the one to do the coming around also.”
“Maybe you should delegate more so you can spend more time with her.”
Adam wanted to reply her but there was no point. He was not going to delegate a case so important to his survival in Abuja. If he screwed this one up he could as well say goodbye to his chances of remaining head of the CiB here.
“Let’s discuss something more relevant please.” Adam said. “What are the chances that Senator Bello didn’t do it?”
“He had motive.” Kate said.
“But why now? It’s been years since she humiliated him. Why didn’t he do anything since?”
“Maybe he was planning it.”
“Does he look like someone who can plan something like that? Even though we can’t be sure she had sex with her murderer because we didn’t have an autopsy, I strongly believe she was intimate with her killer.”
Kate scoffed. “It’s definitely not the Senator then.”
“I can’t believe we are actually trying to prove he is innocent.”
“Well, he’s a jerk but that is not punishable by law. At least not yet.”
“Hameed is the only suspect we have left.” Adam said.
A knock sounded on the door. It opened and the detective Adam had sent out entered.
“I’m not taking an apology from you.” Adam said immediately the detective entered.
“I’m not here to apologise, you already insulted me.”
Adam paused and stared at the detective. “So are you here to get an apology from me?”
“I wouldn’t mind one but that’s not why I’m here.”
Adam looked at Kate, she shrugged and Adam looked back at the detective.
“What’s your name detective?”
“Samson sir. Samson Adefila.”
“You are appropriately named Detective Samson. You are right though, you shouldn’t be apologising to me. I apologise to you, I shouldn’t have talked to you like that.”
“I appreciate that sir.”
“Good. Except you are waiting for a hug I suggest you state your business.”
“Something I read about Senator Halima’s murder caught my attention.” Detective Samson said. “It was familiar, I have seen this before.”
“You have seen this before? Seen what?”
“The report said Senator Halima was found naked in her car.”
“Yes she was. You’re saying you know someone else killed and left naked in their car?” Adam asked, his heart thumping. Was this a serial killer?
“Oh.” Adam said, somewhat disappointed. “Go straight to the point detective.”
“The report said she was found with a smile on her face. That’s what caught my attention.”
“The smile on her face? You know about that? I thought you weren’t caught up.”
“What I meant by caught up was…”
“I don’t care Samson. Tell me where else you saw this smile.”
“I worked a case a little over a year ago. The victim was a prostitute. She was found in a park in her birthday suit and a smile on her face.”
“A smile on her face, huh?” Adam asked.
“Yes sir. I didn’t write this in my official report but I can clearly remember that smile. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen.”
“Are you saying we have a serial killer here?” Kate asked.
“I doubt it because the killer from the last murder is still in jail.” Detective Samson said.
“Jail? So it couldn’t have been the same killer then.” Adam said. ”Thank you but…”
“Sir, we could have had the wrong guy then. I told the prosecuting lawyers we didn’t have enough to convict him but the guy did not have a good lawyer and he was convicted without much evidence.”
Adam looked at the detective, he looked really convinced about what he was saying. Was it possible the two women were killed by the same person? Was it possible the killing of the senator was not personal?
“Don’t you think a serial killer will be stupid to target a senator?” Adam asked.
“Yeah, it will only draw attention to him.” Kate said.
“Maybe the killer thought we will not find the connection sir. It’s been over a year.”
Finding a killer was demanding. Finding a serial one was going to take all of him.
Adam stood and headed for the door.
“Let’s go to your office Detective, I want to know all about your smiling prostitute.”
Adam looked at the list his detectives had given him and set it on the table. Some of the names on it were completely stupid, some made sense but it was not his concern. Nnamdi and his boss wanted a list, they could have one.
“Thank you people. There is something else I want from you though.” Adam said.
Kate passed a printed document around.
“I could have sent this to your mails, but I don’t want any excuses so you have them in hard copy. It is a case file, read it carefully and find any cases that happened in the past ten years that looks similar.” Adam said.
“Do you think Senator Halima’s murder could be part of a series of murders?” One of the detectives asked.
“You are a very smart man.” Adam said. “Yes, we are trying to make sure it is not.”
“We found another victim who died under the same circumstances, we are trying to be sure we don’t have others .” Detective Samson said.
“You heard the man, let’s get to work.” Adam said.
The detectives filed out of the room. A part of him hoped the killer was not a serial one, that would probably mean more deaths. But more deaths meant a better chance of understanding him and maybe catching him.
“Detective Samson, you have to speak to the man convicted of your smiling prostitute’s murder. Listen to him this time, find out if he did it. I don’t want to take any chances here.” Adam said.
The detective nodded and left the room.
“Uncle, you should call Aunty Ese.” Kate said.
“I will but you know I haven’t exactly been playing around here.”
“I know. The sooner you call her the better though.”
Adam picked the list of suspects and handed it to Kate. “I want you to go drop this list at the IG’s office.”
“All of them? Even the bogus ones?”
“They wanted a list, this is a list. It’s nothing more than a power play, they won’t use the list for anything.”
“Okay, I will.” Kate headed for the door, then turned back. “Call your wife, as soon as you can.”
Adam nodded and she left the room. He leaned back into his chair. He knew there was no way he could be at home as much as Ese wanted. He always had something to do. Wait, you have nothing doing now. It was true, he had people handling his business at the moment, he could spend sometime with Ese.
He dialled her number and waited. She did not answer the call. He dialled again. He knew Ese, if he could get her to sit down and talk about how she felt she would forgive more easily. She still did not answer. Maybe he should just go home and hope she is indoors and in a good mood.
He stood from his chair and started to pack his files. He was almost done when his phone rang. Ese? He looked at the phone, it was not Ese. He did not know the number.
“Hello, Detective Ademola here.” Adam said.
“You’re the one on Senator Halima’s case, right?” The man on the line asked.
“Are you a reporter?”
“I am Senator Dafe, you know me, right?”
Adam smiled. These politicians and their obsessive need to be known by everyone. “No Senator, I don’t know you.”
“I imagined I was one of your suspects, I guess I was wrong.”
“Why will you be a…” Senator Dafe? Halima’s co-sponsor? ”Oh my, Senator, good afternoon.”
“Sounds like you know who I am now. And you’re sure I’m not one of your suspects?”
Adam paused. Maybe the man was right, maybe he should be a suspect. But no real killer will call to volunteer himself as a suspect.
“What can I do for you Senator?” Adam asked.
“I might be able to close your case for you, I know who killed Halima.”
“You do?” Adam rolled his eyes.
“Yes I do.”
“Alright Senator, who killed Senator Halima?”
“I can’t tell you over the phone. If I tell you without any evidence, will you believe me?”
“Not really.” Adam said.
“Good, so come over and I’ll tell you who.”
The senator sounded confident. “Are you sure about this sir?”
“It’s all a matter of ‘I can’t get the girl, nobody gets the girl’.”
“Text me your address and I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Adam said.
“Don’t hurry, I’m in no hurry either. The killer doesn’t even know I know it’s him.”
“I’ll be with you in twenty minutes.”
Adam looked at his gathered files. He was supposed to be going home to Ese but if he could close the case tonight she won’t mind the few hours of waiting. He hurried out of the office, he could not wait to close the case.
Adam came out of the car and slammed the door. He banged the gate and gave the guard a snarl when he asked who he was. He entered the house and went up the stairs, he entered the living room and started to pace. He looked around the room and saw all the proudly displayed pictures. He thought of storming out of the room but he knew he would be back before the end of the day, there was no point.
“Detective, I am not happy with you.”
Adam turned around to face General Galadima. ‘I am very angry with you’ he wanted to say but he just stared at the general.
“I thought we had an agreement detective.” The General continued.
“You said I should come to you if I need anything, I don’t need anything yet.” Adam said. “And there was nothing in the agreement that said you will send soldiers to forcefully bring me to your house when you wanted.”
“I’m sorry about that detective but I called you and you were not answering your phone.”
“I didn’t answer because I was on my way to…” Adam stopped. It was better if the General did not know where he was going. “What do you want General? Why am I here?”
“Do you have suspects you are looking at Detective?”
“Well, we do. No concrete suspects yet though.”
“So you don’t have a compiled list of suspects?”
“No, we don’t have…” Oh, this is about the bogus list sent to the IG? “Sir, if you are talking about the list sent to the IG, I promise you it’s not too important.”
“The IG? I’m talking about the list all over the news that has Hameed’s name on it.”
“Why will you send a list that has my son’s name on it to the press without letting us know about it? Why will you even send it to the press?”
“I don’t know because I didn’t send it.” Damn you Nnamdi!
“It doesn’t matter if you did. There’s a list and it has my son’s name on it.”
“I’m sorry about that General but like I said, I didn’t do this. I have to go now though, I have so much to do.”
“I understand Detective. But we have to do something about the bad press this could bring to this family.”
“Bad press?” Adam asked. “We are talking about finding the person who killed your son’s fiancee; your friend’s daughter.”
“Yes and we will find the killer. Right now, I have set up a press conference for you where you declare the list as fake and clear my son’s name.”
Adam looked at the general and laughed. He had heard a lot of ridiculous things in the past few days but what the general was suggesting was fighting for the most ridiculous of all.
“I’m sorry sir but…” He started to say but he was cut off by his phone.
He removed the phone from his pocket, it was Senator Dafe.
“Hello Senator, I’m sorry I’ll be with you very soon.’” Adam said.
“Detective, hurry up. I think there’s someone in my compound.” He sounded really apprehensive.
“Sir, you have a lot of security men…”
“Since when has that stopped killers.”
“Don’t worry sir, you will be fine.”
“No no, I won’t be. I just heard a gunshot. Hurry up detective!”
Adam turned to the General, nodded and headed for the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” The general asked.
“Detective, there’s someone in the room next to mine. What do I do?” Senator Dafe asked over the phone.
“Tell me who killed Senator Halima. I’ll be right over but tell me who it is.”
There was no response. Adam looked at the phone, the call was still on.
“Senator?” There was no answer. He shouted. “Senator Dafe.”
There was a ruffle on the line, and a voice spoke. “Hello.”
“Senator Dafe, are you okay?” Adam asked.
The voice chuckled. “I’m sorry, Senator Dafe cannot come to the phone right now, he has been upgraded. He is now a senator of the intergalatic assembly.”
Adam swallowed. “Where is the senator?”
“Didn’t you get it? He is dead.”