To read the previous episode, click Bloody Valentine
Episode Title: Who Poisoned Senator Yusuf Ibrahim?******
I arrived the office on a Monday morning and throughout the day, there was nothing vital to attend to. The new detective had a case with his new partner Leroy. He tried to exchange some words with me but I was having none of that. I wanted to be alone and think of what next to do. I started becoming comfortable having Quincy around with me. The both of us had no case to investigate. Sometimes I could go to his office and talk about what was happening in the country. We talked about our likes and dislikes and I felt he was the brother I never had. We could talk for hours and forget about lunch.
Few days later, in the evening, on my way out of the office, as I got close to my vehicle, Oscar came to meet me.
“Are you going home now?” he asked.
“Have you thought of what I discussed with you?”
I knew what he was talking about and there was no need to pretend.
“I still need enough time to think if really we can be together as a couple. You have been my friend and colleague for a long time and I appreciate every moment we have spent together. I do not want to sabotage our relationship.”
“But you love my daughter, don’t you?”
“Of course I do and if ever I accept, it should be because of her.”
“Then what is stopping you from saying yes to me?” he asked and shrugged. “Or are you secretly having an affair with the director.”
“Of course not!! Have you forgotten he is my partner?”
“I noticed you two have become close. You were not friendly with him when he first introduced himself as our boss.”
“I changed my mind. It was pointless, my attitude towards him would not have changed anything. I do not have a choice rather than be close to him. It is essential to have a dynamic friendship with him.”
“How do I believe you that you have nothing intimate with him? I am in love with you Genevieve and I will do everything to make you happy for the rest of your life.”
I flashed an appreciative smile at him. “I know you have always showed me that you care and I am deeply grateful. Quincy Harvey is my friend and partner. That’s all he can ever be to me.”
“I will let you think for a while and please when you have made the right decision, let me know immediately. I believe I will get an optimistic answer.”
“I can’t promise you anything.”
“You don’t have to promise me anything,” he said. “When you conclude on what you want, please think about Yvonne, her happiness and how she will feel when I tell her you are going to be her new mother."
Those words he uttered pierced through my heart and I felt pity for him and his beautiful daughter. “I will do everything I can to make her happy, give me time.”
“I will.” He said and came close to me. Oscar kissed my cheeks and sauntered away. Before I entered my car, I riveted my stare to the window of Quincy office and I saw him staring at me. He closed his curtain immediately we made eye contact.
On a Thursday afternoon, detective Akin came to ask for my permission to sit opposite me in the office.
“Can I speak with you detective Genevieve Cole?” he asked.
“Sit down. You can call me detective Genevieve,” I said without a hint of a smile on my lips. “You don’t have to call me by my full names.”
He smiled, sat and adjusted the medicated glasses on his face. “I wanted to ask if I have done anything to upset you.”
I stared at him astonished. “Why would you ask me such?”
“I know you have been avoiding me. I did not employ myself and I cannot say no to a job.”
I understood what he was trying to say. I am not a pompous person but I appeared snobbish because I refused to acknowledge him. I knew it was unnecessary for my behavior; I had no other choice but to apologize.
“I am sorry for not giving you my attention. You don’t have to be my partner for me to work with you someday. We might work together when the accurate time arises. I should have welcomed you the day the director introduced you to me. I hope it is not too late to make things right?”
“Welcome to the family.” I said to him.
“Thank you and whenever you need anything, any information that I can help you get, I will.”
We shook hands and Akin uplifted and left.
After a week, on a warm Friday, alone in the office, Jasmine, Oscar, Akin and Leroy left me, they had important things to do in town. I was bored, not that I wanted someone to murder somebody before I could get busy with myself, I do not like being idle. At 12:23pm, I thought of filling my stomach with food, I rose up and heard a knock on the door.
“Come in.” I said and sat down back. A woman entered and I had no choice but to stand again and race to meet. I hugged her very tight.
She embraced me back and observed my face. “You look beautiful!”
“You look amazing.” I said to her.
“Thank you my darling.”
She was wearing a multi colored satin gown. She wore black sandals and carried a black handbag. We went towards my desk, I sat down and she did the same. We faced each other.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” I asked. “I should have prepared something delicious down for you.”
“You don’t have to stress yourself Genny. I know your job is stressful.”
“Stressful or not, I would have prepared anything you want.”
Aunty Bimbo did not say anything but surveyed the spacious office. She asked, “Where are Jasmine, Oscar and Leroy?”
“I know you will definitely ask after them. Anyways, they are not around and we are no longer four homicide detectives here, another one has joined the family.”
“Male or female?” she asked with one eyebrow raised.
“Male aunty Bimbo and I know what you are driving at. He is not my type.”
“When will you have a type Genny?” she asked in an annoyed tone. “You are not getting any younger.”
“Are you here to interrogate me about my personal life? Don’t forget you are in my place of work.”
“And don’t forget it’s just the two of us in the office. I will be fifty five years old this year and don’t you think I deserve a grandchild?”
I got up in angry mood. “This is unacceptable Aunty Bimbo. We have talked about this and I have advised you to let me be about marriage issue. I will give you grandchildren at the appropriate time.”
“I will never agree for you to have children outside wedlock. God forbid! You will never be a single mother. Do you think it is easy to cater for a child alone? I do not have a child of my own but I will never sit and fold my arms and allow you make a mistake. I regret not getting married but I am happy because I have you.”
“Don’t tell me you have forgotten about my past.”
She rose up and walked to my side. Her facial expression transformed into a sad one. “How can I forget? That is why I am advising you to get close to a man. Have an affair like a normal human being. When you do, your past becomes a forgotten story. I want you to be happy.”
I told her about Oscar.
“Oscar is a good man and you are both single. Say yes to him.”
I sighed and went back to relax my back on my chair. Aunty Bimbo remained standing.
I planned to change the subject. My aunty and my former boss had an affair before he died.
“Did Uncle Freddie discuss anything about him having a son?”
She did not look at me surprised. “I remember him telling me he had a child abroad. He never went into details but he informed me he was going to tell you about it. I am sorry death stopped him from doing that.”
“That means you don’t know him facially?” I asked.
“No…but anything the problem?”
I narrated everything about Quincy Harvey to her but I refused to reveal to her that Uncle Freddie was murdered.
“That is good news!” she said. “I will like to see him.”
“That is not going to happen for now. I still want to know more about him.”
“Why can’t you say yes to him?”
“Aunty Bimbo! I cannot say yes to a man I do not love.”
“If you can’t accept him, agree to Oscar proposal.”
“I never told you he gave me an engagement ring.”
“He will surely propose when you say yes.”
“Let’s go for lunch.”
Aunty Bimbo laughed aloud. “I know you are tired of me talking about marriage. I will allow your mouth to rest. Don’t worry about buying me lunch, give me the keys to your house. Before you come home, I will prepare dinner.”
“How long are you staying because I won’t accept two days visit. You are coming from a far place. Lagos to Delta state is close to six to seven hours.”
“I will be staying for some days. Some of my clothes are still in your house.”
I winked a smile at her and carried my bag to search inside for my keys. I grabbed the keys and gave them to her. “I won’t stay long.”
“My regards to Leroy, Oscar, Jasmine and the new guy.”
After a light lunch at the NIB canteen, I went back to my office and my coworkers were back. We chatted for some minutes before I told them I wanted to go home. I told them about the arrival of Aunty Bimbo. They planned to come to my house on Sunday to visit her and have dinner. Leroy begged me to wait for him, he was going to follow me home to see my Aunt. The phone line rang, Oscar answered. After receiving the call, he informed me the director needed my attention. I excused myself to meet my partner.
“We have a case.” That was the first thing he said to me as I strolled inside his office. He was tidying up the files on the table. I checked the time on my wristwatch.
“This is 3:30pm.”
Quincy raised his head and peered straight into my eyes. “Do you have a place you are going to now?”
I thought of my aunt, I never planned to go home late to meet her. I also miss her food but a case was more significant to me. “No.” I replied.
“I want you to give your car key to detective Akin to take it to your house. You will be driving inside my car.”
“No problem about that.” I quickly sent Aunty Bimbo a text, that I might come home late. I went back to my office to inform them I was leaving to investigate a case. I handed over my car key to Akin.
“Drive my car to my house safe and sound.” I said.
“I will detective Genevieve.”
As Quincy and I drove in his car, I asked, “What about the case?”
“Senator Yusuf Ibrahim is dead.”
My mouth opened wide. I was shocked to hear one of the richest senators in the country was dead.
“Cause of death?”
“When did this occur?”
“Yesterday.” Quincy replied. “The younger brother called me to ask for my help. Mr. Usman told me his brother complained of stomach pain before he died. I contacted doctor Ibinabo for an autopsy and truly, the senator was poisoned to death. She called me by 1pm to give me the update.”
“Tragedy! Who poisoned Senator Yusuf Ibrahim?”
“That is what we have to find out together. Everyone present yesterday, are in the house waiting for us. I am giving you the opportunity to question them yourself. The family is wealthy, educated and influential but you have to be fearless if you want to succeed in this case.”
“Was the brother present yesterday?”
“No but he was called when the senator was rushed to the hospital and the doctors who attended to him pronounced him dead. The body was transferred to doctor Ibinabo last night.”
“Anything else?” I queried.
“The doctor said she noticed some of his organs were decaying. The poisoned penetrated into his body and the senator was poisoned gradually.”
“A gradual process.” I said. “If he was poisoned bit by bit, it means the killer lives with him.”
“Maybe. Let’s go and find out!”
We arrived at the location of the late senator. A well-dressed security officer, led us into the magnificent two storey building. Quincy and I entered into a wonderfully decorated living room with spectacular furniture and lovely paintings adorned the walls. I had to stop admiring, and look at the faces I was going to ask questions.
A man with a depressed facial appearance came close to us. He wore a brown kaftan. My partner introduced me to him. He was the deceased younger brother. He introduced us to the family members present the previous day.
The late senator’s wife. Mrs. Aisha Ibrahim. An elderly woman, her eyes were sad and her skin pale.
The son. Mr. Mustapha Ibrahim. A tall and good-looking man in his mid-forties.
The daughter in law. Mrs. Natasha Ibrahim. A pretty and light-skinned woman despite having a protruding stomach. I guess she was seven months pregnant. She was looking very unhappy.
The housekeeper. Ngozi. A fat and short lady.
They sat down together on a long sofa except Ngozi. She stood by the side of the couch.
I informed them I was going to ask some questions and if any of the queries was directed to any of them, he or she should give an answer.
“What did the senator eat throughout yesterday?” I required.
“He did not any solid food,” Mrs. Aisha spoke. “My husband was always complaining about his weight before he died. He bought different kind of sliming tea and yesterday he drank some of them.”
“Who served him in the morning?”
“I was the one,” she replied. ”I served him tea.”
“What about in the afternoon?”
“He took a Chinese tea,” Natasha replied. “I served him in his bedroom.”
“Who served him dinner?”
“I am the one ma,” the housekeeper said in a scared tone. “I gave my boss some fruits and later served him coffee.”
What kind of fruit?”
“And all the cups he used are washed right?”
I sighed. It was going to be difficult to get the killer. Who would have killed him slowly? The person must have had a grudge against him.
I excused myself to talk to the deceased younger brother, Mr. Usman.
“Do you have any idea if your late brother had any misunderstanding with his wife or son?”
“I don’t really know detective,” he said. “I only know he was complaining of getting weak few weeks ago. I advised him to eat more fruits and neglect eating fatty foods. There is something he discussed with me on the phone four days ago.”
“What is it?” I asked quickly.
“He was planning to take another wife.”
“Did he tell his wife about it?”
“I don’t know because I never asked him. He said he wants to marry his mistress because she was having his baby and that could happen in two or three months’ time?”
“Are you saying his mistress will give birth to his child in two or three months’ time?”
“Do you know his mistress?”
I looked over at the senator’s daughter in law and back at Mr. Usman. “Thank you for your time.”
He stopped me from walking away. “My brother was having issues with his son four months ago.”
“What was it all about?”
“Mustapha asked for fifty million to start a business.”
“He refused to give him?” I asked.
“Yes and ever since then, they have not really been in good terms. Forget the fact that they stay together in the same house, their relationship has never been the same.”
“Thank you for telling me this.”
“I will do everything I can to help you find out who killed my brother. He was also my best friend.”
I left his side and went to meet Quincy to speak with him privately. I told him about the mistress and what I thought about the daughter in law. I suspected her.
“Maybe Mr. Mustapha found out about the secret affair.” I said.
“Maybe it’s a coincidence that his mistress and his son’s wife are pregnant at the same time. If he wants revenge for their betrayer, he will take down his father and wife.”
“You never can tell, his son could be the murderer.”
“We cannot conclude like that. We need evidence.”
“Let me call doctor Ibinabo to find out if she has something for us.”
I dialed her number and the moment she answered, I went a straight to the point. “What can you tell me about the kind of poison given to the victim?”
“I was about to send a report to your director’s email but now that you have called me, I will tell you. The poison found in the system of the victim can be slipped unnoticed into any powder substance. We found traces of powdered milk in his system. The pathologist said the poison was a mixture of the milk and the poison.”
“That means the person who poisoned the senator must have added the poison into the milk.”
“I do not have any idea if the killer added the poison into the tea anytime he or she makes tea for the victim but there is a possibility the poison was already mixed with the stored milk in the house.”
I ended the call and faced my partner to narrate what doctor Ibinabo said.
“The son cannot be a suspect,” Quincy alleged. “He never served his father tea yesterday.”
“That does not mean,” I said. “As long as the poison might be mixed inside the milk container, he does not have to make or serve any tea.”
“Maybe Mrs. Aisha found out that he was having an affair and killing him slowly was the ultimate revenge.”
“Let’s find evidence before we conclude. What are your plans to catch the culprit? No one will be ready to confess.”
I thought for some seconds. “I have a plan. Let me question them again.”
He agreed and we went to meet them. They were still at the position we left them in the living room. Mr. Mustapha held his wife’s right hand.
“Any update detective?” Mustapha asked.
I did not bother to answer him but face Mrs. Aisha. “Which of the tea does your husband need milk because you told me he bought different types of slimming tea. I don’t think it requires powered milk.”
“No it does not but he has powered milk that he uses to drink his coffee.”
Everyone gaze fell on the housekeeper. Ngozi noticed our eyes were on her and she fell on her knees.
“I did not kill my boss!!” She began to cry.
Mrs. Aisha rose up rapidly. “But you served my husband coffee!! That requires his powdered milk!!” she yelled.
“I am innocent!” she said as tears fell from her eyes.
I went to meet Ngozi and commanded her to stand up. I told her to take me to the kitchen. My plan was to boil some water and make the coffee with the milk. Ngozi gave me the container of the powered milk and remained with me. After few seconds of preparing the coffee, I went back with housekeeper to the living room with a cup of hot coffee.
I have prepared the coffee and whosoever poisoned the senator’s drink surely knows what will happen if all of them drink from it. I dropped the cup on a table and informed take a sip from it.
“But you said the poison does not kill instantly?” Mrs. Aisha Ibrahim asked.
“Well, I added a large quantity of the poison and it will surely cause harm to the body.”
No one stepped forward.
I noticed Ngozi was shaking. There was fear in her terrified eyes.
“Are you okay?” I had to ask her. “Did you kill the senator?”
“Then tell me what the problem is.”
“After I served my boss his coffee, I also made for myself.”
“Oh my God!” I uttered. We all stared at her stunned.
“How dare you?” Mrs. Aisha asked her in a furious manner. “Who gave you the permission to take from my husband’s milk?!”
“I am sorry ma.” she pleaded as she fell on her knees.
I wondered what kind of a woman she was. Instead of her to be worried about Ngozi’s health, she was asking irrelevant questions.
“You don’t have to panic,” Quincy spoke. “I am sure there is a cure for it.”
“Was yesterday your first time to take it?”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I will contact a doctor for a drug to suppress the poison.”
“Thank you sir.”
“Did you kill your husband Mrs. Aisha?” Quincy asked.
“I did not kill my husband!! I loved him with all my heart!”
“I want you to drink from the tea and if you are not the killer, maybe the actual murderer will talk.”
“Bu..but I did not kill my husband.”
“Step forward and drink from it.”
Mrs. Aisha looked at her son and stepped forward to grab the mug and as she took it close to her mouth, Mrs. Natasha screamed!
We stared at her. Her husband released his hand from her grip. “Did you poison my father?”
Hot tears fell from her eyes. “I did it because of you!”
Mustapha stood up and cringed out of shock. “You killed my father because of me?! Are you mad?!!!”
“He was going to cut you off from his will after I give birth.”
Mother and son gazed at her with their eyes widened. The senator’s brother put his hands on his head.
“How did you know about that?” I asked.
“Because he told me.” Her face flooded with raining tears.
“Why will my father discuss that with you?” Mustapha asked.
Natasha closed her misty eyes and more tears dripped down her face. “I was having an affair with your father.”
Her husband stood motionless. Her mother in law lost her balance, almost fell but Quincy caught her. She began to weep.
“You were sleeping with my father?” Mustapha asked.
“Look at me!!!” he screamed at her.
“Natasha opened her eyes and stared at him. “I knew you were not happy because he refused to give you the money you asked of, I pleaded on your behalf but he refused. A month ago he said he was going to cut you off and handed everything to my child.”
“Why did you have to kill my father when he planned to give everything to my child? Everything would have been mine!!”
She rose up and ran to hide at my back. “Your father is the biological father of my unborn baby!”
Quincy and I peered at each other in astonishment. We could not believe what was happening.
Mrs. Aisha began to place curses at her in Hausa language. Mustapha sunk himself inside a chair. He covered his face and cried uncontrollably.
“I am sorry,” Natasha begged. “Please forgive me!”
The senator brother who was crying silently spoke to her. “You will rot in hell! You are nothing but a cheap low class slut!”
My partner and I did not hesitate to arrest Natasha Ibrahim.
On our way back from the cell to my place, Quincy stopped at the front of my house at 7:30pm. As I got out from his vehicle, I turned to look at him. “My aunt is around and she made dinner. Will you like to join us?”
“Are you sure about that?”
“Of course. You are answering me with a question.”
Quincy dazzled a smile at me. “Yes, I will be delighted to join you and your aunt. But are you sure she will like me?”
I smiled back. “Of course she will, she likes all my close friends.”
“Have you considered me has a close friend?”
My partner got out of his vehicle to meet me and we walked side by side into my compound.
His father was my best friend, why can’t I call his son a close friend? I saw nothing wrong in it. Working with Quincy Harvey is a blessing in disguise. I was not wrong that Uncle Freddie was killed. I, Genevieve Cole will work with him to investigate murder cases and find out who murdered the man I called my father. There are still a lot I need to know about Quincy and I can’t wait to work with him for a very long time.
To be continued on Friday. 6pm.