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Adam slammed the brake and pulled the car to a stop. The engine was barely off when he jumped out of the car and ran into the house. He had arrived fast but still the press had beat him to the Senator’s house. He ignored their silly questions and flashing cameras, he needed to get into the house before everything was ruined.
He burst through the door. There were a few people in the room downstairs. More importantly, Kate was already there waiting for him. He was not sure what he would do without her.
“Talk to me Kate.” Adam said as soon as he sighted her.
“Come with me.” She said.
The walked through doors and rooms and up a flight of stairs. There were no people here, he had told Kate to make sure nobody came near the body. They entered the room and Adam saw the it. The body lay in a pool of blood. He had been shot thrice. Once in the stomach and twice in the chest.
A wave of anger, guilt and sadness overcame him.
He should have been there with the Senator like he said he would. He should have put the General in his place and come to Senator Dafe immediately.
“Who entered the room first?” Adam asked, kneeing beside the body.
“I did. They didn’t even know he had been killed.” Kate said.
Adam looked up at her. “They didn’t hear a gunshot? They didn’t see anything?”
Kate shrugged. There was a story there, he would check it later. Was this the work of a professional? It did not look like it. It was safe to assume he was killed by the same person who killed Senator Halima. So maybe this was political after all.
“Kate, keep this house under lock down. Nobody comes or leaves until I say so.”
“And kick out every single journalist here. And I mean that literally”
“Tell the first detective to arrive to go around the house and look for the point of entry.”
Whoever had killed Senator Dafe had entered somehow and he probably had help. He had to talk to the staff in the house.
Adam left the room and headed downstairs, two steps at a time. He was not leaving the house without charging somebody with something. He got into the room where most of the people were gathered. He looked around but was not sure who was what.
He climbed a stool and called out. “Listen up. I need to identify everyone in this room.” They all looked up at him. “If you work here, move to my right and if you don’t, move to the left.”
Everybody in the room moved to the right. He nodded and came down from the stool.
“Look to your right and your left everybody. Who was here in the morning and is no longer here? I want names now.”
They all looked around, mumbling and whispering among themselves.
“Names people, talk to me.” Adam said.
“Sir,” A man, probably in his sixties stepped forward. “We are all here. There is a roster that I can show you.”
“Good, I’ll see that roster later. In the meantime, I have some bad news for everyone of you; your boss is dead and one or more of you either did it or helped the person who did.”
The mumbling and whispering was louder this time.
“The killer entered somehow and the Senator knew something was wrong. He even said he heard a gunshot. And none of you heard any of that?”
They looked at each other but nobody said anything. Adam looked across the room, he could see it, they were hiding something. Maybe they knew who the killer was. Maybe he was one of them.
“I’m waiting.” Adam said. “And please remember that while you waste my time here, the body of your boss stiffens upstairs.”
The old man stepped forward again. “Sir, we don’t know who killed Oga or how they entered.”
“Really? And you speak for everybody?”
“Okay.” Adam said and turned around. “Call your wives and husbands and tell them you won’t be coming home tonight. Or the night after and the one after… well, you get the gist.”
“In fact, I don’t think any of you will go home for a week. No visitors, no bail. And I have to tell you, the food in our cells are terrible.”
“Sir, okay. We’ll tell you what happened.”
“Oh really? Fantastic. Let’s hear it.”
“Every afternoon between the hours of three and five whenever Oga is at home, he spends it alone in his room. We are not allowed to talk to him or disturb him for anything. He doesn’t disturb us either.” The old man said.
“Okay, but I don’t hear the name of the killer anywhere in that statement.”
“We don’t know who the killer is because we were all in the boys quarters behind the house.” The man said.
“All of you?” Adam asked, puzzled.
“Yes sir. You see, we have been having some troubles with Oga’s wife and she is coming back from America soon.”
“I don’t understand. What sort of trouble?”
“Oga, may God rest his soul comes to this house with a lot of women. Madam expects us to stop them from entering and she wants us to tell her about everyone that comes in.”
Adam paused and thought about what he just heard. If Senator Dafe slept around it was possible he was sleeping with Senator Halima. If he was supporting Senator Halima’s bill because they were lovers it would give Senator Bello a motive to come after him too.
But then how did the killer know to come at the time he did? He had someone on the inside.
“Okay, let’s say I buy your story. That does not explain how the killer knew when you were having this meeting. One of you worked with the killer.”
“Sir, I swear we don’t have anything to do with it.” The old man said.
“Wait, can’t others speak for themselves? This is not a jury, you are not a foreman. Unfortunately, I can’t speak to all of you one by one so you still have to go to jail.” Adam said and headed for the door.
They followed him with pleads of ‘we don’t know anything’. One of them knew something, it was just unfortunate they would all have to suffer with that person until he could be fished out.
“Wait.” He heard someone call out. He knew he had found his collaborator.
Adam stopped and turned to face the people. A lady stepped forward from among her surprised and dazzled co-workers.
“You have something to say lady?”
“Yes sir.” She said, trembling.
He listened to her ramble and stutter for ten minutes. When she was done, she was sobbing hard.
“You’re sure you didn’t know the man before he talked to you?” Adam asked.
“Yes, I swear I didn’t.” The woman mumbled.
Adam nodded and walked out of the room. He paused at the door and went back in.
“None of you should leave the building until I say so. If you do, I will have you arrested as accessory to this murder. And lady, you’ll have to come with us.”
Adam met Kate in the living room, her eyes were glued to the TV. Adam followed her eyes and saw Senator Bello on the TV.
He was saying. “Senator Dafe was a fine legislator of the Red Chambers until he joined affairs with a newcomer, someone who caused trouble on the house floor from day one.”
“Is he serious?” Adam looked at Kate puzzled, she shrugged.
Senator Bello continued. “It is sad to hear of his passing, he unlike recent departures from the senate will be missed.”
Senator Bello left and the reporter moved to another senator. Adam picked the remote and put off the TV.
“He did it.” Kate said. “I can bet my new Gucci bags on it, he killed them both.”
“One of the staff here gave the killer information that helped him get into the house. It doesn’t sound like the Senator. She said a guy picked her when she closed from work a few days ago. Young guy, nice guy, got her drunk and she told him a lot about her boss. His schedule, her schedule, the secret meeting they were planning to discuss about their philandering boss. Anything he asked, she blabbed.”
“Why would she do that? Wasn’t she suspicious?”
“She blames the alcohol. I just think she is stupid.”
“You think this mystery guy did it?”
“Maybe. Or he was just asking the questions for the real killer.”
“Senator Bello?” Kate asked.
“Yeah or the wife who I just learned knew about her husband’s cheating and was mad about it.”
“She’s not even in the country.” Kate said.
“The perfect Alibi.”
Kate sighed and said. “I liked this better when Senator Bello was our only suspect.”
“You and me both.” Adam looked at his watch. “You and me both.”
Adam arrived at the office before 7 am the next day. The press did not let the case rest for a minute the previous night, they were having a great time. He wasn’t. Senator Bello looked good for it except there was no evidence enough to arrest him. He had motive, but so did the wife. Hard as he tried, he could not ignore the way Senator Halima had been killed. It was not random, it was not stupid, it was not Senator Bello.
With two Senators killed, he knew it was only a matter of time before the IG would be calling for a meeting. It won’t be a surprise if he had meetings with people higher than the IG. When that time came, he would need to have something concrete to present. Right now, he had nothing.
But he would find something. He had people working for him and they would find something. They had to.
“Good morning soldiers.” He said to his pool of detectives. “I call you soldiers because I want you to be my soldiers today.”
He looked upon his seven best detectives, they were his hope to survive the day as head of the CIB.
He continued his speech. “We have had two senator murdered in quick succession; both of them close, sponsoring the same bill and possibly lovers. Keep that last part discreet please. We have suspects – three of them but we don’t have any strong evidence on any of them. Your job today is to find all you can on these three people.”
He rolled his whiteboard forward. It had the pictures of Senator Bello and Hameed Galadima.
“Senator Bello is a suspect for obvious reasons. He has relentlessly slandered Senator Halima, even in death. We have also come to find out she jilted him once. The only reason we haven’t arrested him is we don’t have any physical evidence against him.”
He was not sure that was enough reason not to arrest him anymore. But he knew how things worked. You don’t arrest a man who is backed by the IG if you don’t have a very good case against him.
“Our second suspect is of course Hameed Galadima. Fiance of the first victim and popularly known hothead.”
“What’s his motive for killing any of them sir?” One of the detectives asked.
“Well, isn’t it obvious? Jealousy of course. Killed his fiancee for sleeping around and Senator Dafe for sleeping with her.” Adam said.
“But these are all rumours, right? There’s no proof any of these sleeping around actually happened.”
“Men have killed over suspicions detective. Rumours are enough to make a man boil with jealous rage.” Adam attached a third picture to the board. “This is Mrs Dafe, the late senator’s wife.”
“Her motive is jealousy too?” A detective with a scrawny beard asked.
“Yeah, it is. Hell hath no fury, you know what they say.”
“Hasn’t she been out of the country?” Another detective asked.
“True. But you don’t have to be in the country to pay an assassin.”
“An assassin?” Scrawny beards scoffed. “Isn’t that reaching a little out there?”
“It’s a possibility, isn’t it?”
“And Senator Halima? That was an assassin too?”
“Detective, do you have a different theory? I will actually like to hear it.” Adam said and walked away from the board and took a seat.
Detective Thomas, the scrawny bearded detective stepped forward with all eyes on him.
“Here’s my theory. Senator Halima was killed by a lover, possibly one she had had for a while. Anything could be his motive, after all they were lovers.”
“Okay detective. What’s your theory about Senator Dafe?”
“Well, He was close to her so maybe he found out who the killer was and was killed for it.”
Adam jumped to his feet.
“Oh shoot! I forgot something so important. Sure Senator Dafe knew the killer, or at least he thought he did. He was going to tell me who it was. And then he made a statement. He said it was a matter of ‘if I can’t get the girl, nobody can.’ That sort of points to Senator Bello. Or some other mystery lover we are yet to know about.”
There are several reasons why it is not good to sleep around. Adam just discovered another; it makes it difficult to figure out who killed you.
“So what now?” Scrawny beard Thomas asked.
The door burst open before Adam had a chance to answer. It was Kate, she had a concerned look on her face.
“You need to see this.” She walked past Adam, picked up the TV remote and put it on.
Adam followed her and stopped stunned in front of the TV.
“What the heck.”
Adam grabbed his phone and dialed Nnamdi. His heart raced with anger. He had never been in such a hurry for a call to connect.
Nnamdi answered the call.
“Hello Detective.” Nnamdi said so casually it increased Adam’s anger.
“Nnamdi, what was that? What the fff…what did you just do?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play games with me Nnamdi. First, you tell me to back off and now you go behind my back to arrest Senator Bello? In front of cameras?!”
“Whose stupid idea was this?”
“The idea was the IG’s actually. And I’m not sure he will appreciate you calling his idea stupid.”
“You give the phone to him and I will tell him myself.” Adam shouted, spittle flying off his mouth.
“Okay.” Nnamdi said.
Adam paused, he had not meant that literally. Was Nnamdi actually going to give the phone to the IG? Maybe it was not a bad idea, maybe it was time he gave him a piece of his mind.
“Detective Ademola.” It was the Inspector General.
“Yes sir.” Adam said.
“I hear you are displeased we arrested the Senator.”
“Yes sir, I am displeased. And I’m sure you understand why sir. You specifically told me not to go after him but then you arrest him? You have completely undermined my investigations.”
“Come off it Ademola. It’s not like you obeyed my orders. I know you continued your investigations inspite of my orders. Unlike you, I don’t disobey my bosses. When my boss tells me to arrest a senator, I arrest the senator.”
So this came from someone above the IG? Why would the President give orders on who should be arrested? General Abubakar!
“Sir, does this have anything to do with General Abubakar? That will be grossly inappropriate. His son is one of our suspects for Pete’s sake.”
“To be honest, you probably know more than I do here. I wouldn’t be surprised if General Abubakar had something to do with the order, I hear he plays Squash with the President.”
Adam sighed. What was he supposed to do when he was been undercut by people wielding their power anytime and anywhere they wanted?
“So what now sir?” Adam asked.
“You wait for my next instructions. A lot will depend on what the President says to do with Senator Bello.”
“Sir, you don’t even have enough evidence to convict him.” Adam said, exasperated.
“You still don’t get it, do you? If the president says he is guilty, then we have enough evidence.”
“Sir, but…” Adam was not letting it go.
But the IG had had enough. “Goodbye detective. Wait for my call.”
He heard the dial tone. That was it. Now he was supposed to go back home to Ese. Be the good husband, forget about the case and wait till the IG calls. Something about that did not sit right with him.
“Sir?” It was Detective Thomas. They had all been waiting for him to tell them what to do.
“You know what detectives? You know the facts of the case, if you are inclined to investigate, go ahead. If you are not, go home to your families until I call for you.”
“Sir, we can…”
Adam cut him off. “That’s it. Good day gentlemen.”
The detectives dragging their feet walked out of the room and shut the door behind them.
“So that’s it?” Kate asked.
“Of course not.” Adam said. “But I need to think. If I’m going to defy the IG’s orders, I need to be sure about what I’m doing.”
“And what are you doing?”
Adam’s phone rang before he could reply. The number was not familiar.
He answered the call. “Hello.”
“Detective, this is General Galadima.”
Adam looked on, unimpressed. “Yes sir?”
“My good friend told me the police have arrested the man who killed my son’s fiancee. Is this true?”
Adam wanted to tell the general his mind but instead he said. “An arrest was made.”
“I assume the case is going to be closed now.”
“We are still looking at…”
The general wasn’t interested. “I spoke to the president and he assured me this was behind us. My son and my family will not be troubled by this anymore.”
Adam was not sure if he was supposed to respond to that, so he stayed silent.
The general continued. “Thank you for your help. I’m glad we were able to close the case very early. My wife and I will like to have dinner with you and your wife soon.”
“Hmhmm.” Adam mumbled.
“Thank you and goodbye.”
Adam ended the call and set his phone on the table.
“Who was that?” Kate asked.
“What did he want?”
“Same thing the IG wanted; close the case.”
“So, what are we going to do?”
Adam sat in his chair. “Give me everything we have on Hameed Galadima. He is our murderer.”