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Episode 5 Title: Complex scenario
As they waited for the message tone, the receptionist, Joey knocked, entered the office and informed them that Adebiyi needed to see them immediately. They walked to his office and met a woman with a sweetly smile on her lips and medicated glasses on her face. She appeared to be in her early late twenties. She seemed enthusiastic to see them and before Adebiyi could introduce her, she had gotten up on her feet and collected Tiwa’s right hand.
“I have heard a lot about you and I am thrilled to finally meet you. I am so happy!” Tiwa responded with a grin and peered at Adebiyi who looked another way with an ironic expression on his face. “I am Miss Idara Effiong, a computer specialist and a hacker. You will not regret working with me.” All these while, she did not let go of Tiwa’s hand. Genevieve did all her best not to burst out laughing. “I read how you captured a serial killer, you are amazing!”
“Thank you.” Tiwa managed to say.
Idara finally released Tiwa’s hand and took Genevieve own. “It is a great honor to finally meet you. I applaud you for capturing those who killed your former boss. Is it true you married his son?”
Adebiyi cleared his throat and moved closer to them. “I don’t think there is need for introduction anymore. You have met the detectives and I will take you to your desk.”
“But I haven’t told them about what I have found about Abraham!”
“You have?” Genevieve quickly asked and dragged her hand away.
“What did you find out about him?” Tiwa questioned.
“Well, luckily for both of you, I happened to know the principal of the school. I didn’t need a long process to find out about him. I lied I was carrying out a new research on computer programming and I needed secondary school students who could volunteer to work with me. I told him learning more about it could benefit…”
“Cut the long story short, please.”
“Oh, okay.” She smiled widely. “I asked for the list of names of all his students in SS3 and…”
“What is his full name Miss Effiong?”
“You can call me Idara.” She said with a grin.
Tiwa sighed and Genevieve stared at her. She noticed the pissed off look.
Genevieve looked at Idara. “Can you tell us his full name now?”
“Abraham Okafor Johnbull.”
Tiwa and Genevieve stared at each other stunned and back at her. They spoke at the same time. “He is the pastor’s son!”
“How did you know? When I saw it, the name Okafor Johnbull sounded familiar to me. All I did was go to goggle and type out his name. He is the founder and general overseer of Christ Forever Ministry.”
“I and my partner know about him.” Genevieve said.
“We met him at the victim’s house.”
“Oh, I see.”
“But didn’t you tell me Abraham was there too?” Adebiyi looked over at Tiwa.
“Yes I did.” She replied him.
“Then why didn’t he say he is the father so you could question his son right in front of him.”
“I have no idea.”
Genevieve pointed at her. “Remember when we went to the house, I questioned why I couldn’t find his name on the list of Sade’s friends. Her dad told me to leave the boy out of the case and when they came here, he said Abraham does not know anything about his daughter’s murder. How will he know if we don’t interrogate him?”
“That is what they don’t want.” Adebiyi said. “They are protecting him.”
“He is their pastor’s son.”
“That’s true.” Tiwa said. “They owe everything to Pastor Okafor Johnbull . He rescued that family from suicide and poverty. If we name Abraham a suspect, it will be a scandal in the church. The man of God is popular. A pastor’s son in a murder investigation will make his worshipers talk. The Akanju’s is only trying to avoid that. But now that we know his father, all we need to do is pay him a visit and ask for his permission.”
“And you think he would grant us his permission to speak with his son?” Genevieve asked.
“We won’t call his son a suspect. We will tell him we only want to ask Abraham questions about Sade’s personal life.”
“The pastor is a busy man, how do we reach him?”
“Let’s wait for the list. If we don’t find Abraham’s name there, then I don’t think he knows anything.” Tiwa walked to the door and opened it. “I left my phone in the office. Nice to meet you Miss Effiong!”
Genevieve turned to her. “Nice to meet you too. If we need anything Miss Effiong, we will let you know.”
“Nice to meet you too! Just call me Idara!”
Genevieve had already shut the door and walked with Tiwa to her office. “I think she and doctor Omoni will love each other. They could turn out to be best friends.”
“I agree. I can’t wait to introduce them, they deserve each other.”
Both of them chuckled and sauntered into the office. Tiwa checked her phone and they glanced through the names.
Pastor Simon Okafor Johnbull, Pastor Roger Olarenwaju, Mrs. Mirabel Kosoko, Mr. Jordan Nze, Mr. Mezie, Mercy, Mr. and Mrs. Nze, Abraham, Timi, Harold, Susan Osi, Gabriel Buchi.
“Abraham is on the list. We have to question him.”
“He must have followed his father there.” Genevieve said. “We have to know where he was during the period Sade was killed.”
“We should have collected the phone if only we knew this would happen.”
She looked at the names again. “Wait a minute, Jordan Nze went there too.”
“That’s true! Why would Jordan go there after we questioned him? It looks suspicious.”
“We need to talk to him one more time!” She said in an angered tone.
“I think it’s best I question him alone.” Tiwa said.
“You think I would bring up the rape case?”
“it’s not about that. I don’t think he will be happy to see you. He might ask for a lawyer if he sees you again. I will check up on him on my way home, for now, let’s see Dr. Omoni and ask if her assistant is through with the tiles stuff.”
“Whatever you want detective,” She said stepping towards the door.
Tiwa sighed and moved in front of her. “Genevieve, I don’t want you…”
“It’s okay, I understand.” She opened the door and met Idara waiting.
“Detectives!” She said with a grin. “I should have knocked but I decided to wait for both of you to come out. I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation.”
Tiwa closed the door behind her. “What do you want?”
“I wanted to ask if the names have been sent to your phone.”
“Is Abraham’s name there?”
She suddenly wore a serious face. “Well, you mentioned how two of you were going to see the pastor. I was thinking you and detective Genevieve could worship in the church on Sunday.”
“That is next tomorrow.” Genevieve said.
“You want us to worship there.” Tiwa said.
“Yes ma. New members are privileged to see the pastor in some churches.”
“What if this particular church does not give that kind of privilege?”
“The pastor and his son would recognize you and they already know what you do for a living. I can bet both of you would be invited into his office because coming to his church would mean something.”
Tiwa and Genevieve smiled at her.
“Nice,” Tiwa said to her. “We will do that.”
“Thanks.” Genevieve said. “We have to go now.”
“To where? I could follow you if you need any help.”
“For now we don’t.”
“Take care, Miss Effiong.”
“I would prefer you call me Idara.” She said in a softened tone.
Genevieve and Tiwa turned their backs and headed to the lab. Kevin and Omoni were talking when they went in.
“I was about to tell Kevin to call you.” Omoni said. “Kevin has been able to analyze the kind of tiles and he will tell you what you need to know.”
A tap on the door and the doc gave permission for the person to enter. The partners were surprised to see Idara.
“What are you doing here?” Tiwa asked and strolled to stand beside the desk.
“Mr. Gold said I should come here and introduce myself to the people working at the lab.”
“I see.” She looked at Omoni and Kevin. “This is our new employee Miss Idara Effiong. She’s our computer specialist.” She pointed at the examiner. “This is Dr. Omoni and one of her assistants, Kevin.”
Omoni shook hands with her. “Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too.” She said excitedly. “I am also a hacker too.”
“That’s cool!” Kevin said and smiled at her.
After the introduction, Omoni gave permission to Kevin to speak with Tiwa and Genevieve.
Kevin faced them with a geeky look on his fine face. “I have managed to evaluate them. One company with different outlets makes these types of tiles in this country. It’s called Customtiles Limited. They customize the kind of tiles you want. Colors, shapes, and the design you want on them. You can find their tiles in mansions, hotels and cinemas. The people that can afford it are the rich and famous. Like senators, dignitaries, celebrities and even drug dealers.”
Tiwa rested her elbow on the table and placed her hand under her jaw. “What about a pastor?”
“It depends. How rich is this pastor?”
Genevieve faced Tiwa. “What about the parents of Justine. Did they look rich to you?”
“Very rich considering the clothes and shoes they wore. The mother wore a necklace with a diamond pendant.”
“But Jordan mentioned he was in his place and I don’t think he has that kind of tiles in the house we met him or he could lying he was in his place instead of his parent’s house.”
“How do we even know these particular tiles that are so expensive and rare?”
“As long as it’s for both of you, I can follow you to the pastor’s house and anywhere you want me to go.”
Omoni rolled her eyes over to Tiwa, Genevieve, and back at her assistant.
“Why can’t we locate the outlets here in Abuja and find a way to ask them for the names of the people that have patronized them.” Idara suggested.
She smiled sheepishly. “Thank you ma.”
“But it will take time and besides we don’t have the right for their names.”
The smile flew away from Idara’s lips.
“How many offices do they have here in Abuja?” Genevieve questioned Kevin.
“I can find their addresses and give them to you.” Idara said.
“Good. We will see the pastor and his son on Sunday before we will visit the offices.”
“I agree,” Tiwa said. “We don’t even need to ask for all the names. We will ask if the pastor and Justine’s father have patronized them before but we must have evidence to do that. It is unethical for them to give out their customers’ names. Thank you Kevin and Miss Effiong.” She glanced at her wristwatch. “It’s getting late, I will leave now.”
As Tiwa and Genevieve moved a step closer to the entrance, Omoni asked them, “Are we not having lunch this weekend?”
They turned to her and Genevieve answered. “We will be very busy, maybe next weekend.”
“What if both of you are busy next weekend?”
“Can I make a suggestion?” Idara asked with a bright smile.
Genevieve and Tiwa looked at each other and said nothing.
“I don’t think they will be busy when they finish investigating the case. We could always have lunch together after the murder investigation is over.”
“That is a good idea! What do you think detective Genevieve and detective Tiwa!”
Genevieve gave a laugh. Tiwa knew it was not from her heart. “I think it’s a wonderful idea.”
Idara clapped her hands excitedly. “Your husband could come too and even Mr. Gold…” She sealed her lips when she made eyes contact with Tiwa’s stern eyeballs.
“We will talk about it Dr. Omoni, we have to go now.” Genevieve said.
“Okay. See you on Monday.”
“I can’t believe she is worse than Dr. Omoni.” Tiwa said to Genevieve as they came out from the lab. “She talks too much.”
“I concur but she is useful. She made nice suggestions apart from the last one.”
Tiwa chuckled. “If she thinks behaving like that would make me like her, she is wrong.”
“You don’t like her?” Genevieve asked.
“I do but she is trying so hard to feel among. She doesn’t have to behave this way.”
“Then tell her. You are her boss and I believe if you do, she would understand.”
Tiwa sighed. “Adebiyi should do that, he brought her here. I was thinking about the assistant pastor. Do you think he is genuine? He was at their house before he came here.”
“And you think he might be the one that collected the phone?”
“I have no idea. Let’s go to the church first. I will pick you up at your place on Sunday morning. Who will look after Freddie?”
“Quincy will do that for me, don’t worry.”
“Let me check up on Ade before I leave.”
“Do we need to have this conversation while I am eating dinner?” Leroy asked his wife as he ate on the dining table.
“Yes!” She was standing on her feet beside him.
He put down his fork on the plate. “There is pressure on me to find a missing boy and all you care about is yourself?”
“I can’t give you what you want, at least for now.”
“I am tired of staying at home. Jasmine is no longer a baby and I have the right to get a job. I am sick of doing nothing!”
“And I am not complaining. I provide for you.”
“I want to provide for my daughter too.”
“What do you mean by that?” Leroy asked her. “Your love and attention is more than enough for Jasmine and I know when she grows up to be a woman, she would appreciate everything you have done for her. I think it’s time we start thinking about having another child.”
Chisom shook her head. “No way! I want a job!”
“A job is more important than having another baby?”
“I didn’t say so. I love you and I want to have another child but I need a job first. I don’t have friends here. Genevieve and you are always busy.”
“Then make new friends.”
“Where? How? If you don’t want to help me get a job, I will do it myself!”
“I will talk to Genevieve about it.” Chisom replied. “Her partner could even help me talk to her fiancé.”
“Don’t you dare!” Leroy rose up. “You will do no sure thing! Leave them out of this. I will think about it and give you a feedback after I finish my investigation.”
“But it could take months!”
“I simply don’t care!” Leroy yelled and started to walk away.
“What about your food, Leroy?”
He gazed at her. “I have lost my appetite!”
Genevieve and Quincy arrived home. Before he picked her up from the office, he bought some lingerie’s, perfumes and a lovely bag for Genevieve. He placed the items on the dining table when she was about to dish the food in the kitchen. Freddie was awake in the living room placing with his toys.
She brought the food over and saw them. She set the dishes on the table an admired the gifts.
“I hope you like them.” Quincy said and strolled over to her side.
She kissed his cheek. “I love them but this isn’t my birthday!”
“It isn’t my birthday yet you gave me an expensive wine.”
Her face changed. “What wine?”
“Don’t give me that look,” Quincy said with a smile. “You think I won’t know it was you that sent me that wine and the card.”
“What card? Quincy I don’t know what you are talking about!”
Calling his name and using that harsh tone made him know she was serious.
“I thought it was you! There was no name.”
“And what did the card say?” She put her right hand on her waist.
Quincy scratched his head. “Must I say it?”
He told her.
“What! You have a secret admirer?”
“I don’t think so. Maybe it’s a mistake.”
“Your smile brightens my day every day is a mistake?”
“What do you want me to say? I will ask my secretary not to collect anything from any delivery man if he comes again.”
“But we have to find out who sent the wine and card to you.” Genevieve uttered.
“I will tell Akin to find out for me.” Quincy said.
“And when he does that, he must report to me!”
“Yes your honor.” He dragged her very close to him and he pecked her lips.
Genevieve’s face beamed. “You should have known I wasn’t the one who sent the wine to you. If I wanted to deliver a gift to your office, it wouldn’t be that.”
“What would you send?” Quincy asked.
“You have no idea.” Her passionate eyes stared into his charming face.
Tiwa returned home looking exhausted. She wasn’t in the mood to eat but rather she needed enough sleep. She had her bath, wore her pajamas and joined Adebiyi on the bed.
“Did you see Jordan at home?”
“Yes I did. I have called Genevieve to narrate our conversation. He allowed me into his house this time but I found nothing to suspect him. The tiles I saw in his living room are very common.”
“Why did he go to the Akanju’s house?”
“To pay his condolences,” she answered.
“After you and detective Genevieve questioned him.”
“He said it is not a crime and it’s true. He has every right to visit his church members.”
“You believe him?”
“I don’t even know what to believe anymore, I just want the killer of Sade found and persecuted. Let’s talk about something else, talking about this case makes me upset.”
“I am sorry.” He took her left hand and rubbed it gently.
“Thanks my love.”
“How did it go with Miss Effiong?”
“She seems okay to me but you have to talk to her.”
Tiwa told him everything that happened in the lab.
“She’s just trying to belong.”
“But she doesn’t have to. She is useful and that is what matters. She did not come to the GT Bureau to make friends or have lunch after we solve a case. She is nosey and I don’t like it.”
“Do you like her?” Adebiyi asked.
“Yes I do. I have no reason to hate her and besides, Popoola likes her.”
“You and detective Genevieve should talk to her. She really likes both of you. Please, give her a chance to show you who she really is.”
“I know she wants to help.”
“And that should cover up for her interfering behavior, please.”
“You don’t need to beg me my love. I will tolerate her.”
“Thanks.” He raised her hand to his lips and kissed it. “I spoke with your dad and a wedding planner today. I also want your permission for me to tell the planner to go ahead with the plan.”
She looked at him surprised, “What did my dad say?”
“I told him I will be coming to pay your dowry. We have to fix a date. I want us to get married as soon as possible. I was having some financial trouble but I have managed to come out of it.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Tiwa asked in a concerned tone. She gestured very close and put her hand on his chest. “This is so unfair.”
“I should have but I knew I was going to sort out myself and I have. I want to get married to you, Tiwa. I am tired of waiting.” He raised himself higher and put a quick peck on her lips. “Are you not eager to become Mrs. Gold?”
She chuckled. “Of course. You have my permission to do whatever you want my commander.”
On Sunday, at the end of the church service, the assistant pastor walked to the pulpit, took the microphone to broadcast if there were new members at the church, Genevieve, Tiwa waited for other newcomers to stand, and they did afterwards. In the midst of the massive gathering, he announced to them to move forward to the pulpit so that the senior pastor would pray for them and an usher would take them to an office for them to fill out a form.
All of them walked forward. Abraham seated on the second roll did a double look just to be sure of what he was seeing. Pastor Roger had a questionable look on his face. Pastor Simon Okafor Johnbull almost did not recognize them if not that he noticed Tiwa and Genevieve’s eyes on him.
He welcomed the new worshippers and prayed for them. An usher took them to an office upstairs and gave out the forms. Genevieve and Tiwa quickly filled out the forms with false information. The partners declined the Snacks they shared and walked out of the place and met Abraham waiting at the doorpost. He appeared nervous and moved closer to them.
“What are both of you doing here?” He whispered.
“Why are you whispering?” Genevieve asked him in loud voice. “Are you hiding anything?”
“I am not hiding anything and you need to keep your voice down. People are passing and they have ears. They would begin to poke nose if they know you and your partner are detectives.”
“Please, my father sent me to you. What do you want?”
“We want to see him with you present?”
“Don’t ask us questions, Abraham.” Tiwa said in a low tone. “We are the one here to do that. Where is your dad or do you want me to increase the volume of my voice?”
Abraham swallowed hard. “No. He is in a meeting.”
“We will wait!”
“Do you know who killed Sade?”
“If we knew we won’t be here to talk but arrest the killer.”
He heaved a sigh. “Okay.”
Genevieve surveyed his face. “Are you relieved we haven’t caught the killer and rapist?”
He looked startled. “No! No way.”
“Can you do me a favor while we wait for your father’s meeting to be over?” She asked Abraham.
“I want to see a boy named Zach.”
Tiwa raised her left eyebrow. She wasn’t sure why she asked but she would remain silent and allow Genevieve do whatever she wanted.
“Which Zach?” Abraham questioned.
“The one in the choir,” Genevieve responded.
“Believe me it has nothing to do with the murder case!”
“Please lower your voice, people are watching.”
“I no longer care.”
“Hold on.” he went away.
“Is this about the rape case?” Tiwa asked.
“You can question Zach but I want us to talk to the pastor and his son together.”
“No problem.” Abraham came forward and told Genevieve to follow him but she sent him back to Zach. “Tell him to wait behind. I will see him after I talk to your dad.”
“Whatever.” He dipped his hands into the pocket of his trousers and walked away. When he returned he took them to the elaborate office of Pastor Simon. The large office had exquisite furniture’s and unique design. There were awards plaques on his large shelves and several books.
“Detectives,” Pastor Simon said with a weak smile. He remained seated and he gestured his hand towards the chairs opposite him. “I am sure there is a reason you are worshipping with us today, please sit down.”
They sat down.
“Thank you sir.” Tiwa said.
“You are welcome.” He glanced at Abraham. “You can leave us now.”
“He should stay,” She quickly said. “He is the reason we are both here.”
A curious and concerned expression covered his entire face. “I hope Abraham is not in any trouble?”
“Not at all, we only want to ask him few questions about Sade’s personal life. We believe whatever he knew about her, it could help us catch her killer.”
“Oh, I see.” He cleared his throat and ordered Abraham to bring another chair to place it at his right side. He obliged and sat. “You have my permission, you can question him now.”
“We are aware you saw Sade in school the day she died. Is that correct?”
“How was her mood when you saw her?”
He shrugged and sniffed his nose. “She was okay.”
Tiwa and Genevieve stared at each other and returned their eyes back on him.
“What do you mean she was okay?” Genevieve questioned.
“She was fine.”
“She didn’t tell you if she was going through something awful or someone was threatening her.”
“Threatening her?” He seemed unsteady on his seat and looked at his father.
Pastor Simon rested his hand on his left shoulder. “If you are not comfortable with any of their questions, let me know.” he removed his hand.
Abraham gazed at the partners. “She didn’t tell me anything like that. I don’t want to waste your time, I don’t know anything about Sade that can help. I told you the last time in my school…”
“Wait.. School?” His dad asked surprised. “You never told me.”
“I handled it, dad. There is nothing to worry about.” He looked at Genevieve. “I don’t think you like me but you should know I had nothing to do with the murder of Sade. I loved her like a sister, everyone knew. If not that she died, she is supposed to spend the weekend at my place because my mom travelled. I would never hurt Sade.”
“Then I am sure you have no problem to tell us where you were after you left school the day Sade was killed.”
“Excuse me.” Pastor Simon.
“Dad, it’s okay.” he took a deep breathe. “I remember I went home that day. I was supposed to visit Pastor Roger at his place. I told my dad when I got home. He drove me there and left. I got inside and his brother informed me he wasn’t around. I went back home.”
“At what time?” Genevieve asked.
“I can’t recall but I think by 4 or 5. I boarded a taxi home.”
“Who was with you at home?”
“Why all these questions?” pastor Simon asked. “I thought you are here because of Sade?”
“I was with my dad.” Abraham said.
“You went back home, sir?” Tiwa asked.
“And what is that supposed to mean?”
“Just a clarification to find out If Abraham really went home.”
He rose up in anger and pointed at her. “This is inappropriate! How can you barge into my office and ask us questions as if he is a suspect in the murder investigation. Sade was like a daughter to me and I am close to her family! My son would never hurt her.”
Tiwa and Genevieve stood.
Tiwa said. “We know.”
“Were both of you at home from 5 to 7pm.” Genevieve asked.
“Abraham already told you he came back home and met me there.”
“We are aware you and your son were at the residence of the Akanju’s on Friday?”
“Is that a crime?”
“Did any of you take Sade’s phone from the table in her room on Friday?”
“What!” Pastor Simon exclaimed.
“I never took Sade’s phone.” Abraham said calmly on the chair. “Why would I take it?”
“Please leave us. We are still grieving Sade’s death.”
As they walked to the door, Tiwa stopped and turned to them. “We can’t leave without an explanation.” She gazed at Abraham as Genevieve watched. “I will investigate about you if you don’t tell me what caused the quarrel between you and Sade before she was killed.”
“You and Sade quarreled?” The pastor asked.
He widened his eyes and focused them on Tiwa. “Who told you?”
“That is not an answer.” She said. “Why was she angry at you?”
“I refuse to answer.” Abraham looked directly into his father’s eyes without blinking. His eyes were obviously red. “Dad, I think it’s time you get me a lawyer.”
***To be continued... Wednesday