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First stop: the Yellow House.
Adam flashed his ID more than ten times before he got to the cell where Senator Bello had been held. He had wanted to go immediately he saw the news but Ese had forbidden him from leaving the house. He kind of wished he had defied her because now he barely had anything. The body had been taken down and he was sure he was already buried. But he had to check, there was a chance he could find something yet.
He entered the cell and looked around. It was not a regular cell, it was way cleaner and more comfortable than any cell he had ever entered. Apparently, a senator still had some privileges even in detention. There was a mattress but the bedsheet was gone. He looked at the ceiling, there was a hook where a fan used to hang. It was stupid to leave something like that in a cell but then it was not very often that VIP prisoners took their own lives.
Why did he do it? The question had eaten at him since he heard about the suicide. If Senator Bello was innocent as he believed he was, why would he take his own life? Was there foul play? Did somebody kill him and make it look like a suicide.
He looked outside the cell, a guard stood watching him.
“Hey.” Adam called him.
He looked at Adam but did not move.
“Were you here when they found the body?”
“Yes sir.” He said and looked away.
Adam came out of the cell and walked to the guard. The guard shifted uneasily, he did not meet Adam’s gaze. Adam was sure he would not have answered any of his questions if he knew he could get away with not answering.
“When did you start working here?” Adam asked.
“Two years ago sir.”
“How many people have used this cell?” Adam pointed to the cell that had housed Senator Bello.
“I’m not sure. Maybe one or two.”
Adam nodded. “Tell me what happened yesterday before the body was found.”
The guard shifted from foot to foot. He did not want to talk, it made Adam want to hear what he had to say even more. He considered how to get what he wanted. He could threaten him like everybody in Abuja did. Or he could try another method.
“What’s your name?” Adam asked.
“Okay Sadiq, you know who I am. I can offer you a job at the CIB and I assure you we pay better and you won’t spend all your days in this depressing place.”
It did not look like Sadiq was completely convinced but the offer had an effect on him.
“Just tell me what happened here yesterday Sadiq.”
“I love my job here,” He leaned closer to Adam. “If I lose it somehow, I’m holding you to that offer. But I’m not telling you this because of the job.”
“Sure, just help me understand what happened here.”
“The Senator was quite cheerful from the day he was brought here, he kept telling us he would be out in a matter of hours. He was innocent, he kept saying.”
“Did he talk to anybody? A lawyer? Family?”
“Not while I was here. Not even a lawyer, that was surprising. I don’t think he had any visitor. Well, until yesterday.”
Adam’s heart beat faster. Was he about to find the killer he had been looking for?
“Who came yesterday?” Adam asked.
That damned General! Was he the killer? He had always imagined he was protecting his son, maybe he was wrong and he was protecting himself.
“Do you know if he entered the cell?”
Sadiq paused and looked at Adam then he understood what Adam was insunuating. He shook his head.
“No no, the General did not kill Senator Bello.”
“That’s not my question.”
“No sir, he did not enter the cell. They met at the visitor’s lounge.”
Adam nodded, disappointed. But there had to be something. “Did you notice anything? Anything could be important.”
Sadiq hesistated. “When Senator Bello returned from the meeting, he was not in his usual cheerful mood. Something was wrong with him.”
Adam nodded. He needed to hear what the Senator had said to him. “Can I see the footage of that visit.”
“I’m sorry you can’t. The General had us turn off the cameras.”
Adam smiled and shook his head. General Galadima had just made himself the number one suspect. He could not imagine Senator Halima sleeping with him though. But from what he had learnt about the senator in the past few days, it wasn’t impossible. The thought made him want to puke.
“Is there any other thing you want to tell me?”
“You cannot tell anybody I told you all of these. I hope you know how powerful General Galadima is.”
“Believe me Sadiq, I know.”
General Galadima, let’s see how much power you can weild once you are behind bars.
“General Galadima?”Kate asked.
“Yes.” Adam replied.
She looked at him like he was going insane. Maybe he was. They stood for a few minutes and watched people go in and out of Senator Bello’s house. It was weird that these people did not seem to care when he was in jail, but they all wore their best sad faces after he died.
“Why are we here?” Adam asked.
She ignored his question. “First, it was Senator Bello, then you were sure it was Hameed. Now it’s his father?”
“I know it sounds crazy but you can’t blame me after all he has been doing.”
“I thought he’s been doing it for his son. That makes much more sense.”
“Why can’t he have done it?”
“Because he is old and gross and Senator Halima would not have slept with him.”
Adam had no response to that. “Why are we here?”
“You’ll see in a few minutes.” She said.
Adam watched the people who entered. Three seats were suddenly available in the Senate, some of them were secretly celebrating the misfortune that was hitting the Senate. Was this completely political? It could be, but he still could not get past the way Senator Halima was killed.
“See who’s here.” Kate nudged Adam.
Adam looked in the direction of her gaze. About entering Senator Bello’s gate were General Abubakar and Galadima.
“What?” Adam couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “Are they crazy?”
“I know, right?”
“The man was accused of killing his daughter. Why is he here?”
As the generals walked past, General Abubakar looked at Adam and nodded at him.
“Did you see that?”
“The nod? I saw it.” Adam said. “I think he doesn’t believe Bello killed his daughter. But still what is he doing here? The press will have a field day today.”
“I kind of pity Senator Bello, especially if he didn’t do it. Suicide?”
“That’s if it’s a suicide.”
“You don’t think it’s a suicide?” A voice said behind them.
Adam spun around immediately. He did not know the man who asked the question.
“Who are you?” Adam asked, moving closer to the man.
The man dug his hand in his pocket and flashed his ID.
“I’m a journalist. So Detective Ademola, you don’t think it was a suicide?”
“I don’t know what you think you heard but you have to go now.” Kate said, pushing Adam away from the man.
Adam took two steps away then stopped. He remembered the discussion he had with Ese. Maybe he should talk to the journalist.
“I can’t give you the answer to that question but I can tell you something else.” Adam said.
Kate leaned closer to him and whispered “What are you doing?”
“Everything I say is off the record of course and you can’t quote me.” Adam said.
“Sure.” The journalist could not believe his luck.
“Senator Bello was quite confident he was innocent and would be found so.” Adam said.
“Really? Why kill himself then?” The journalist asked. “Oh wait, he was murdered?”
Adam continued like he didn’t hear him. “He had a visitor and a few minutes later he committed suicide.”
‘”Who was the visitor?”
“What are you going to do with this information?” Adam asked.
“I’m a journalist, I’m going to press with it immediately.”
“So who was it?”
Kate nudged him. She could not believe he was talking to the press.
“General Galadima.” Adam said.
The journalist opened his mouth. “Isn’t he the father of…?”
“Yeah, you figure out the rest.”
“Can we go now?” Kate asked, she could not wait to be away from the journalist.
“If you quote me on this…” Adam started.
“I don’t need to. Thank you Detective, you just made my day.”
The journalist scurried away.
“Why did you do that?”
“You wanted somebody more powerful than the president? That little guy is.”
“Wait and see what happens now. You’ll see even powerful generals hate bad publicity.”
Adam was approaching the CIB building when his phone rang. He looked at the phone, it was Nnamdi, probably with the IG. That was not the first call he was expecting.
He answered the call. “Nnamdi, what do you want?”
“It’s Detective Nnamdi!”
“Do you want something Nnamdi?”
He paused. “I just saw on TV that General Galadima visited Senator Bello before he killed himself.”
“I don’t need or want to know what you watch on TV Nnamdi. Is this a trend that will continue?”
“I know what you’re doing Detective. You are trying to instigate the press against General Galadima.”
Adam laughed. “Instigate? Isn’t that word too big for you Nnamdi? Unfortunately I don’t know what you’re talking about, neither do you.”
“What you did is a direct violation of an order from the IG. You will regret this.”
“Wow Nnamdi, we are threatening each other now? Look, I’m trying to catch a killer. The question you should ask yourself is; what are you doing?”
Adam ended the call before Nnamdi could respond.
“Mumu.” Adam said.
He looked to his right, at Kate who was staring at him.
“What is it young lady? You realize I am married, you can’t just stare at me for free.” Adam said.
“I’m not laughing. What you did is dangerous. What if the General takes it personal?”
“I might not be a soldier but I’m pretty sure I can still beat that old man.”
“If he’s a killer like you said, then he can…”
“Kill me?” Adam laughed. “I don’t think so Kate, I can handle myself.”
“What of Aunty Ese?”
Adam’s smile vanished. He did not like the way that had sounded. Nobody could touch Ese, nobody will touch Ese.
His phone rang. It was General Galadima. He stared at the phone for a few seconds. Suddenly he was not as sure about what he did. But he could not give in to fear like these people wanted him to.
“Hello General.” Adam said.
“I just saw the news.”
“Okay sir.” Adam said and waited for whatever was coming.
“That was you, wasn’t it?”
“Was what me? Is there a problem General?”
“So you won’t accept what you did? Okay then. You did what you had to do, I’ll just do what I have to do too.”
Adam’s heart skipped. What did that mean?
“General…” Adam started but he heard the dial tone.
Adam slammed the break and pulled to the side of the road. He looked in his side mirror, the road was clear. He pulled back into the road and did a u-turn.
“What’s the problem?” Kate asked.
“I’m going home.”
“Why? What did the General say?”
“I just need to…” He started to say but his phone cut him off.
He looked at his phone, it was Ese. Oh my God! What have I done? He clicked the answer button.
“Where are you?” Her voice was low. Was she groaning?
“Ese? Are you okay? What’s the problem?” His voice trembled and his palm was getting sweaty.
“Adam,” Ese’s weak voice came over the phone. “Come.”
“Ese, stay with me.” He shouted into the phone.
He noticed he had closed in on a car in front of him. He swerved to avoid it and his phone slid off his hand.
“Get that phone for me.” He shouted at Kate.
He kept one eye on the road and the other on Kate as she picked up the phone. She looked at the screen.
“The call has ended.” She said.
“Redial her now!”
Kate made the call and waited.
“What is it?” Adam asked.
“It has not connected yet.”
“I’m not the one…. oh, the number is switched off.” She said.
Adam felt a shiver go down his body. “Dial again. It cannot be switched off.”
Kate dialed again. “Same thing, still switched off.”
Adam shook off the sweat flowing down to his eyes. Ese is okay. Ese is fine. Ese is okay.
“Dial the office. I want every single detective with a gun headed to my house now!”
“Every one? Don’t you…”
“Do it now!” Adam shouted and slammed the dashboard with his palm.
God please keep my wife safe. God please.
Adam slammed the break in front of his gate and slid the gear into park. He jumped out of the car and rammed his body into the gate. He ran through the compound and into the house. He stopped when he entered. Maybe someone was inside with Ese. Maybe he should wait for backup.
He heard a groan come from the bedroom and he dashed for the stairs, taking them two at a time. He got to the bedroom and rushed in.
Ese was on the floor, her hands on her stomach. Adam swallowed. What had happened to her?
“Ese, are you the only one in the room?” He asked, rushing to her.
She did not answer, she just groaned.
“What happened Ese? Did they touch you? Did they do anything to you?”
“The baby… the baby” Ese mumbled.
“What did they do to the baby Ese? Oh God please. Ese what is wrong with the baby.” He noticed his vision had gotten blurred. He blinked the tears away.
The bedroom door opened and he drew his gun. He pointed the gun at the door, it was just Kate.
“Is she okay?” Kate asked. “Aunty, are you okay?”
“The baby.” Ese mumbled again.
“What did they do?” Adam asked again.
Kate looked at Adam and pushed him aside. She leaned closer to Ese and whispered something into her ears. Adam watched them wondering what was happening.
“Kate, what is going on?”
“Aunty is in labour.” Kate said.
“Labour? I thought…”
“She is in labour!”
Adam looked around, what was he supposed to do? Labour? He was not ready.
“She can’t be in labour. She’s not due yet.”
“We need to get her downstairs now.” Kate said.
“How are we supposed to do that?”
“You’ll carry her of course.” Kate said and collected his gun. “You won’t need that.”
“Okay.” Adam said.
Adam felt stupid, he had no idea what he was doing. It would have been better if he had found armed men in the room. He would have shot them, that was easy. What was he supposed to do with a woman in labour?
“Uncle Adam?” Kate called.
“Do you want you wife to have her baby safely?”
“Yes of course.” Adam said.
“Okay, do exactly what I say and she will have a chance.”
“Okay ma.” Adam said.
Adam mopped his brow with his sleeve. He had never been more scared in his life.
Adam paced up and down the corridors of the hospital wondering how he got there. He had never felt more stupid or useless in his life. Everything Kate asked him to do was simple but he could barely do any of them without fidgetting. No one could blame him, his wife was having his baby. His wife. His baby. His. A smile stole across his face. He was finally going to be a father. Another Adam was about to be born. Or maybe it was another Ese. He realised he still did not know the gender of the baby. It did not matter. An Ademola was entering the world.
His phone rang. It was Detective Samson. He rejected the call, he was not ready to talk to anybody in the office at the moment.
What would he call his child? Those were the things Ese would have wanted to discuss with him. But he was too busy chasing a killer and making enemies. He had to take some time off. His son or daughter would need him.
Detective Samson called again. He rejected it. Whatever he wanted to tell him could wait. The only person that deserved his undivided attention was here in the hospital with him.
“Uncle.” He heard Kate’s voice and ran towards it.
“Kate, what’s going on? Is she fine?”
“Yes, she is. The doctor wants to see you.”
Adam frowned. “Why? Is everything okay?”
“Yes, everything is okay.”
“Is she having the baby? Do they need to operate? Is the baby fine?”
Kate stopped in front of the doctor’s office and held his hands. “Calm down. Everything is okay.”
Adam let out the breath he was holding and pushed the door open.
“Hello Doctor.” Adam said, his face burning with tension.
“Welcome Detective. It’s nice to meet you. I am a fan of the church street killer case, you did a great job.”
“Yeah yeah. My wife, how is she?”
“Your wife, of course. She went into false labour, that’s all. So she’s fine.”
Adam felt a mixture of relief and disappointment.
“Thank you Doctor.”
“She will need somebody to be with her regularly though. We can’t have a repeat of what happened today.”
“Of course doctor. I will be taking some time off work to be with her till she puts to bed.” Adam said.
Kate shot him a look but he ignored her. He was not sure if what he was doing was right but he could not let his wife stay at home alone anymore. She needed him and he would be there for her.
“Can I see her please?” Adam asked.
“Of course, come this way.”
Adam followed the doctor. Ese’s due date was barely a week away, he could take that much time away from the case. It wasn’t like any of his suspects were going anywhere.
His phone rang. He had a text. It was Detective Samson again. What was so urgent he could not wait for him to call back.
He opened the text.
We found another body. A ‘smiling naked’girl. Call me!
“Here’s your wife.” The doctor said, holding a door open for him.
Adam looked at the doctor and back at his phone. HIs life just got a whole lot more complicated.
NB: If you have not read the prequel to this story, DEMONS ON CHURCH STREET, you can download it here
You can also download the #30DaysOfNovember eBook here also