THE HAUNTED ASSEMBLY 8

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Adam paced around the house. He could hear Kate’s voice through the bedroom door as she talked with Ese. He had a decision to make, one he had to make very fast. Telling the doctor he would take some days off to take care of his wife sounded like a chivalrous thing to do at the time, now it just sounded stupid. There was a dead body he should be attending to.

What was he doing anyway? It wasn’t like he could take care of a pregnant woman. His panic at the false labour was enough proof of that.

The bedroom door opened and he turned around to see Kate.

“How is she?” Adam asked.

She ignored his question. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know yet. How is she?”

“I can’t answer that question until I know what you’re going to do.”

Adam held her hand and drew her away from the door.

“What do you expect me to do? I can’t tell my wife I’m leaving her but I can’t leave the case right now. They just found another body.”

“I know, I know, but still you have to make up your mind. The sooner the better.”

“You don’t seem to…”

His phone rang, it was Detective Samson.

“Detective?”

“Sir, we are waiting for you. We may not be able to hold off the press for much longer.”

“I’ll be with you soon.” He ended the call.

“So you’re going then?” Kate asked.

“Just for now. I will check the body, tell them what to do and come back home.”

Kate smiled. “Good luck explaining that to your wife.”

She was right. He knew better than anyone that there was no way a detective will see a dead body and turn around. What was he supposed to do?

His phone rang again.

“Samson, I said you should wait!”

“You still scream at your subordinates, I see you have not changed at all.” It was not Samson.

Adam looked at his phone – Tola!

“Mrs Dosumu, how nice of you to call.”

“Do I sense sarcasm?”

“If you had come with me to Abuja I won’t be in the mess I’m in.”

She chuckled. “Are you serious? I should leave my husband and a chance to head the CIB in Kwara state to come with you?”

“Yes, is that too much to ask? You were my partner.”

“Adam, this isn’t even funny. I was just calling to tell you I am in Abuja with my husband.”

“Really? Why are you telling me. It’s not like this is the first time you are visiting.”

“I’m calling this time because I am here for a week. I was thinking of visiting you.”

Adam’s eyes widened. She was in Abuja for a week. Ese had a week to go till she had her baby. Miracle!

“My sweet sweet Tola. That is great!” Adam said.

“Oh no!” Tola said. “You just found a way to use me, didn’t you?”

“Use you? Nah. I just need to ask you a favour.”

“A favour?”

“Yes, and it’s not for me, it’s for your sister; Ese.”

“She’s my sister now?

“Oh yeah, she is.” Adam could not believe his luck.

“What do you want Adam?”

***

“Show me the body.” Adam said, running into the parking garage.

Detective Samson looked displeased but Adam could not care less. He was glad to have broken away from Ese with Tola’s promise to come stay with her. Ese did not seem to care that he was leaving; Tola was going to be enough for her.

“Here it is.” Detective Samson showed him the car.

It was a BMW, an expensive one, he was sure. It was parked in a public underground parking lot. It was not the perfect place to commit a murder or hide a body. Neither was the roadside. Cars came in and went out all the time.

He looked around, there were no surveillance cameras. Maybe it was not such a bad place after all.

He looked at the body. She was a beautiful lady, probably rich too. Looked like the killer had a type. Just like Senator Halima, she had a smile on her face and there was no obvious sign of how she was killed.

He looked around the car, there was nothing noticeable except her clothes on the driver’s seat.

“Do you know who she is?” Adam asked.

“Abigail Chisom.”

“Chisom? Do I know that name?”

“She’s the daughter of the former minister of Information.”

“He definitely has a type. The parents?”

“We wanted you to see the body before informing them.”

“Okay.”

“Are you done?”

Adam looked back at the body. There had to be something more to this car. He had to find something. He opened all enclosed compartments, there was nothing. He opened the glove-box. There were brushes, lipsticks, cosmetic stuff. She wasn’t a very tidy person apparently. He was about closing the box when he noticed a white card hidden below the mess. He dug through the mess to pick it. It was a business card, her business card. He looked behind the card and saw a phone number.

“Samson, come see this.” Detective Samson collected the card. “Dial it.”

He called the number, there was no answer. Adam collected the card. Could it be the killer’s number? Would he be as careless as to leave something that tied him to the victim? Maybe he did not know she had a card with his phone number written on it in her car.

“Get the body to the coroner. Hopefully we can perform an autopsy before her parents come wielding their almighty power.”

“Okay sir.”

Adam closed the door of the car.

“Sir did you hear that?” Detective Samson asked.

“Hear what?” Adam listened.

Then he heard it. Music was coming from the car. He opened the door and the music got louder, it was definitely coming from inside the car. He looked around, there was no phone. Was it coming from inside her? The music stopped.

“Was that a phone?” Detective Samson asked.

“Yeah but I can’t find it and it’s stopped ringing.”

The music started again. It was coming from her. He moved closer to her. It was weird getting so close to a strange naked woman – a dead one. He pushed the body slightly and light flashed from under the body. She was laying on the phone. He pushed the body harder and grabbed the phone. He answered the call and kept quiet.

“Aby?”

Adam did not say anything. He knew that voice.

“Aby?” The voice said, followed by a pause and the dial tone.

Adam looked at the phone number that had called.

“Samson, let me see that card.” Adam said.

He collected the card, the number on it was the same as the one that had called. He had to find this person, whoever it was. This murder made almost everything he thought he knew obsolete. He doubted that General Galadima was the one who killed this girl. If Senator Halima was loose enough to sleep with him, he was not sure Abigail Chisom would do the same. Senator Bello was dead so that left him out. Only Hameed was left. But what would be his motive for this murder? If he killed Halima and Dafe for revenge, why would he kill Abigail Chisom?

“Find out who that number belongs to and let me know.”

He had almost already accumulated the number of bodies he had throughout the church street murder case. That case was his break, it sealed him as a detective. Maybe this one would end him as a detective.

***

“No autopsy?” Adam asked his mouth open.

“They said if we allowed Senator Halima go without any autopsy, they had to have the same.” Detective Samson said.

“I don’t understand these people. Don’t they want to find the person who killed their daughter?”

“They’re just being emotional sir. They are not thinking about finding the killer as much as sorrowing over their dead daughter.”

Adam hissed. “What else do you have? The phone number?”

“Yes sir. I found the person who owns that number.”

Adam sat up. “Who was it?”

“Hameed Galadima.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes sir.”

Things were getting so silly and confusing now.

“Find out where Hameed was last night and all the previous nights before.”

“Okay sir.” Detective Samson made to go.

“How about you check his father too.”

“Okay sir.” Detective Samson said and walked out.

The door was barely closed when there was a knock on the door. It opened and a detective entered. He remembered him this time.

“Detective Bawa, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“What can I do for you?”

“I’ve come to complete my story sir.”

“I thought you said it was not important.”

The detective had a grave face on. “It is now.”

“Okay, tell me about it.” Adam said. He relaxed on his chair and looked at the man.

“Like I said earlier sir, I grew up in Bida.”

Adam raised his right hand and Detective Bawa stopped.

“I know that part, just tell me the part that will interest me.“

“When I was in secondary school, we once found a dead body. A naked smiling dead girl.”

Adam’s eyes widened. “We have a serial killer loose in the city?”

“We might sir, that’s why I came to tell you sir.”

This news was not good. It was way easier solving a singular murder. He had suspects who had emotional connections to the murder. This complicated things more. Could Hameed or his father be serial killers?

“Did you ever find the killer?”

“Yes sir. Somebody was charged. Unfortunately he could not make it to the court, he was lynched by thugs.”

So like the first prostitute case, they could not be sure that the real killer was found. What if part of the MO of the killer was to see someone else suffer for his sins?

“Before you go detective, I have a question for you.”

“Okay sir.”

“Did General Galadima and his family ever live in Bida?”

Detective Dafe paused and said. “Yes sir, they did.”

***

Adam knew what he had to do now. And there was one person he could go to for help – the Inspector General. He had to fully investigate General Galadima. He needed to reopen the case from Bida. He needed to question the general. Things he could not do with the case sealed by the Inspector General himself.

He looked at his watch, he had been waiting for forty minutes. What was the wait for? He picked his phone and called Nnamdi. He picked the call on the first ring.

“Nnamdi, I am still waiting.” Adam said.

“I know.” Nnamdi replied.

“You know, that’s all you will say? You know?”

“Yeah Detective, I know.”

“You realise I just found another dead body, people are dying and you’re joking around?”

“That’s not my problem, Mr detective.”

Adam could not believe what he was hearing.

“Sir?”

He looked up and saw the secretary was calling him.

“You can go in now.” She said.

“He will not be seeing you for the next one hour. He is in a phone meeting with one the state commissioners right now.” Nnamdi was saying.

Adam looked at the phone puzzled. “He just asked me to come in. Are you even here?”

“How about you enter and find out.”

Adam ended the call and entered the office.

The IG was at this desk looking up at Adam as he entered. Nnamdi was not in the office. Idiot.

“I heard you found another body.” He said.

“Yes sir, we did.”

“Is this linked in anyway with the death of the senators?”

“Yes sir. The girl was killed exactly the same way Senator Halima was killed. And she happens to be the daughter of another influential person.”

“It could be a copycat. You can’t be sure it’s the same killer.”

Adam paused, he knew what the IG was doing. He knew why he had come and was trying to stall.

“Sir, I’m going for General Galadima and I came here to notify you.” Adam said.

The IG chuckled. “Notify me? You’re not even here to get permission?”

“It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.” Adam said.

“That’s just a quote, it’s so far from the truth. Permission may be difficult to get but forgiveness is impossible to get around here.”

Adam stood. “I have notified you sir.”

“Sit down Ademola.” The IG said. “Sit down.”

Adam sat.

“Senator Bello was my friend, you think I’m happy he is dead? No, I am not. But what can I do?”

“You are one of the most powerful men in this nation.”

“So was Senator Bello.” He said and paused. “Look, you don’t mess with the President’s people. I know that and you should too. I won’t be able to protect you if anything happens.”

“I’m not here to ask for protection.”

The IG laughed. “But you are. You are Ademola. Why did you come here then? You came so when it all goes to hell you can say I was aware you were going to do what you did.”

Adam stayed quiet. Maybe he was right. What he was going to do was dangerous and he needed help.

“So what now sir? I can’t do this?”

“I’m not saying you can’t.”

“So what are you saying?”

“I’m saying I don’t have any hand in it. You don’t have to put yourself in so much trouble for this people. Isn’t your wife pregnant?”

“Don’t bring my family into this.”

“I am not. I am asking you to do the same.”

***

Adam entered his car and wound down the windows. He knew he was driven by an obsession to put an end to General Galadima and it was making him do things even he knew were dangerous. It was his job, it was his obsession. It wasn’t Ese’s.

He dialed Tola’s number.

She answered. “Adam?”

“How’s everything over there?” Adam asked.

“You mean, here with your wife, the place where you are supposed to be?”

“Come on Tola, you know how it is. Is Ese fine?”

“Ese is fine. The question is how long am I supposed to do this for?”

“Just a couple more days.”

“What! A couple more days? I’m not a baby sitter Adam. This is not fair, I’m supposed to be here to chill while my husband attends his conference.”

“I’m sorry Tola, I’ll make it up to you. I have something more important to ask you though.”

“Great, more favours.”

“Are you carrying?”

She paused. “Carrying?”

“Yeah, are you carrying? Your gun, is it with you?”

“Why will I have my gun? What’s going on?”

“Please Tola get it if it’s in Abuja. I need someone to be able to protect my wife in case…”

“What are you talking about? What is going on Adam?”

“Don’t worry about it. Just don’t leave Ese alone for any minute.”

“Adam?”

He ended the call before she could carry on her querying. Now he was ready to do what he had to do.

He dialed the number and waited.

“Hello Detective.”

“Hello General, are you at home?”

“Yes I am.”

“How about that dinner you offered but without the wives?”

“Right now?”

“Right now.”

“Okay, I will be waiting at the dinning table.”

***

Adam took a sip of the orange juice and set the glass cup on the table. He wiped his mouth with the table napkin and dropped it beside the cup. He looked up at the General, he was also done eating.

“Dinner is over, so can we talk about what you are really doing here?” The General asked.

“Yes sir.”

“Get to it then.”

Adam was not sure how to start. In fact now that he was seated opposite the general, he was not sure about anything. Maybe he was really just stupid after all. The general was staring at him, he could not show weakness.

“The last time we talked you threatened me.” Adam started. “What was that about?”

The general laughed. “I threatened you? I don’t threaten detective. If I wanted to harm you, I will just go on and do it.”

“Like you did to Senator Bello?” Adam asked in-spite of his pounding heart.

General Galadima paused and took a sip of water. Adam watched his every movement. If the man made any sudden movements, he was ready to dive for the floor and reach for his gun at the same time.

“General? Senator Bello? Did you just go on and harm him?”

“There is something I admire about you detective, it is bravery. Your father must be very proud of you. I know I would be.”

Adam looked at him, unflinching. He knew what the man was trying to do and it was not going to work.

“I wish my son was just as brave. Maybe he would have been. But he lost his mother at an early age. It was a disaster, we were all troubled but Hameed more than any other person.”

Adam wondered why he was telling him this. It had nothing to do with his question. Or did it?

“Now, Hameed is just a wuss running around with women below his class. He could not even get that slut to marry him.”

Adam was tired of the monologue. “General, did you or did you not have anything to do with the suicide of Senator Bello? Or the murder of Senator Halima or Senator Dafe for that matter?”

General Galadima paused again, then said. “What exactly do you hope to achieve here? Scare me into a confession?”

Adam shifted in his chair. That was his plan. He knew he could not scare the general but maybe he could he make him cocky enough to confess. His recording device was already on between his belt and his trousers. It was probably a stupid plan. It was definitely a stupid plan. How was he going to get the recording device out of the house even if the very experienced and smart general were to confess? There was no hope, there was nothing he could do. The IG was right, there was no winning this.

But he would tell the general his mind before he left the house.

“Look here General, I know I’m nothing to you but you won’t always get away with all this evil. A girl was found last night, killed the same way Senator Halima was killed. And I have come to learn that this is not the first time. Way back in Bida, this same thing happened.”

“What?” A voice said from across the room.

Adam turned in the direction of the voice. It was Hameed, staring at Adam. Adam had not seen him enter the room.

“Just keep your mouth shut Hameed.” The general said.

“Hameed…” Adam started.

Hameed looked from his father to Adam. He grabbed a bunch of keys lying on the table and ran out of the room. Adam heard a big door slam some seconds later. That sound was followed by the sound of a car engine revving below.

Adam ran to the window and looked downstairs, Hameed was speeding out of the compound in a black SUV. Adam looked back and saw General Galadima on his feet.

“See? He won’t even stay and face the consequences of his own actions. Coward.”

 

NB: Just in case you don’t know who Tola is, you need to read DEMONS ON CHURCH STREET. Download it here: http://goo.gl/zInS1E

2 thoughts on “THE HAUNTED ASSEMBLY 8

  1. Interesting and Intriguing.something seems fishing.i can smell a rat.Hameed and his father are hiding something it might not be related to the crime but their hands are not clean.nice one lordjosh.

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