Episode 4 Title: The Contractor's Mission.
The partners arrived at the agency to meet the servers. The secretary led them to meet the manager. A woman dressed in a fitted grey suit welcomed them into her clean and arranged office. When they introduced themselves as detectives, she was stunned and demanded if everything was all right.
“You should be aware that one of your clients was poisoned to death.” Genevieve said.
“I heard about it.” The manager said with concern on her face. “It’s quiet unfortunate but why do you really want to speak with the servers because I know they had nothing to do with it. We are professionals and we do not have a personal relationship with our clients and I see no reason why one of them should kill her, it makes no sense. It was actually the first time we worked with her.”
“We understand but we need to questions the girls that served the drinks. We know they are three of them.”
“Only two of them served Mrs. Susie Ike some wine.”
“Can we talk to them now?” Tiwa asked her. She was getting impatient.
She stood up and gave a slight frown. “Give me few seconds.
Immediately she left, Tiwa looked at Genevieve and spoke, “What is wrong with her? She is wasting our time!”
“She’s only trying to protect the employees here. I am sure they would try to keep the death of their client away from the new ones because if they hear about it, it’s bad for business. She wants to protect the agency.”
“As long as they are clean, I don’t see why people won’t work with them.”
“Everybody is not the same.”
The door opened and the manager and two young girls walked inside. The servers clothed in white and black outfits stood beside the table and Genevieve and Tiwa adjusted their chairs to face them.
“Are we in trouble ma?” The thinner one asked. She had big eyeballs and small lips.
Genevieve smiled at her. “No.” She informed the reason they wanted to see them. “Can you tell me if there was anyone that approached you when you wanted to serve Mrs. Ike?”
Genevieve and Tiwa swung their gaze on the fatter one. She had a beautiful face. When she noticed their eyes on her, she answered. “No one approached me.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure ma.”
“My partner and I want to believe both of you had nothing to do with death of Mrs. Ike.” Tiwa said in a serious tone. Her eyes were hard. “If there is anything you want to tell us that can help us catch the killer, tell us. You are in safe hands.”
“Did you notice if anyone was trying to serve Mrs. Ike a drink?” Genevieve asked.
They shook their heads.
“Are you certain no one opened the bottle of wine you served her?”
They shook their heads again.
“Did her daughter help any of you to serve her mom?”
Their answer was no.
“So you did not see any time Mrs. Ike’s daughter gave or shared a glass of wine with her mom?” Tiwa questioned.
“No ma.” the thinner one said while the fatter one shook her head.
Tiwa and Genevieve stared at each other frustrated and they agreed to leave. They stood up.
Tiwa brought out her card and placed it on the table. She said, “Please, if there is anything you remember that can help us, call me.”
“I was the first person that served her that day,” the beautiful server said. “The only thing I can remember is that she seem quite unhappy and slightly drunk.”
“You mean she drank alcohol before you arrived?”
“Yes, that was what I noticed and the wine we brought was sealed.”
“So where did she get the drink from?”
“Probably from her bar, I really do not know.”
“Thank you.” Genevieve said eagerly. She took Tiwa by the hand and they came out and started walking out of the building.
“Is it possible Sandra served her mother before the party started?” Tiwa asked.
“It’s possible but we are not just going to conclude on that. We have to contact the examiner that examined Mrs. Ike’s body.”
Genevieve called the Inspector of police to ask for the contact of the examiner. He sent her his phone number and address of the hospital.
“One more thing sir.”
“What is it detective Genevieve?”
“I want you to help us get a house warrant to search the home of the victim.”
“Why?” He asked.
“We don’t have evidence that the daughter is the killer but in case we do, we need the warrant ready.”
“I will get it done.”
“Thank you sir.” she said with a smile. She called the doctor’s phone but there was no answer. As they entered into the vehicle, she received a call from Modupe’s brother. She told him she would call him back. She faced Tiwa. “Mr. Femi has arrived. Should we see him now or go to the hospital.”
“If he demands to see us now, we should. We will definitely see the examiner after we talk to him.”
Genevieve agreed and called Mr. Femi back. He directed her to his office. Genevieve called Quincy to find out how Freddie was doing. When they got there, Tiwa gave Kelvin some money to buy lunch. It was 1:35pm.
Mr. Femi welcomed them and offered them seats.
“My younger brother told me what happened.” He said to them.
Tiwa and Genevieve looked at each other and peered back at him.
He continued talking, “I know Modupe and I don’t agree on many things but I love her and will never do anything to hurt her. I am not heartless.”
“We believe the person that wants her dead is very close to her. She told only her family about travelling back home.” Genevieve said. “Are you aware about the list?”
“Yes but I don’t have anything to do with it. I never contacted someone to kill my sister. I gain nothing from it.”
“Are you sure you never told anyone about her travelling?”
“Only my family knew about it. I am sorry I can’t help you but I will be grateful if the sick person is found. I do not want anything bad to happen to Modupe. I know she can be stubborn, rude and a pain in the ass but she is fun to be with.”
“What about her husband Jude Lawson?” Tiwa asked.
“I heard about his mental illness but I have never seen him. It’s been years I heard from him and there is no way he would have heard about my sister’s arrival.”
“But if there is anything you rememmber that can help us stop the murder of your sister, let me know.”
They rose on their feet, Femi did the same and he shook their hands.
Genevieve said. “Thank you for your time.”
On their way leaving, Tiwa phone rang. She glanced at it. It was an unfamiliar number.
She picked the call. “Hello.”
“I can’t believe you are incompetent!” A furious male voice barked.
“Excuse me?” She asked in a startled tone.
“I have been expecting you and your partner,” he said. “Is it when I die you would come and see me?”
“I don’t know who this is. Can you tell me your name or I will hang up on you.”
“This is Ayodele Okoya.”
“Oh!!” Tiwa exclaimed and gazed at Genevieve. “We are sorry for not coming to see you. We have been very busy investigating the case. I and my partner would definitely see you.”
“When because there is no time! I was given three weeks and now I have like a week remaining. I need to see you now!”
“We should be on our way now. Your home address is with us.” Genevieve gave a surprised facial expression and waited to hear the reason after she drop the call.
“Better.” He ended the call.
“Where are we going?” Genevieve requested.
Tiwa explained and Kelvin had to divert into another direction.
Tiwa and Genevieve entered into one of the most beautiful houses they have ever seen. The size, design and color alone was breathtaking. One of the maids of Socialite Ayodele Okoya met them at the doorstep and she took the investigators to where he was in his beautiful bar. When they saw him, he reminded Tiwa of Adebiyi. Although he was far older and despite he was in his sixties, he dressed elegantly with gold accessories on his neck, wrists and left ear. She thought Adebiyi would still look gorgeous when be turned very old.
Ayodele didn’t appear angry when he saw them, in fact, he offered them food, wine and cigarettes. They politely refused.
“Sir,” Tiwa spoke. “Is there anyone you suspect that wants you dead?”
He smiled and dipped his hand into his shirt pocket. He brought out a folded sheet of paper. He unfolded it and glanced at it. “The day I received this mail, I nearly had a heart attack. It was written I offended someone and I have thought of so many people and there is no one I can think of that wants me dead. I help people. I love it. I don’t think I have ever said no to anyone that wants my help. God blessed me abundantly and I pay back by giving those who need assistance."
Tiwa thought of Adebiyi again. She was determined to help him and stop his murder.
He added, “I was thinking of running away to a far place but I cannot abandon my family and I am not a coward. I just want both of you to help me.”
“And we will do that sir.”
“Can you swim?” Genevieve questioned him.
“No and I have been wondering how did the person know I can’t swim.” He pointed at his name on the sheet and showed it to them. “As you can see I am supposed to die by drowning but how?"“How many people know you can’t swim?”
“My family and close friends but….” He paused. “Never mind!”
“You don’t have to withhold any information that you think it might not be important.” Tiwa said. “What did you want to say?”
Ayodele sighed heavily. “When I was young, I visited my best friend and we were in the swimming pool section with his baby sister. He wanted to go buy me food and asked if I could look after his sister, I said yes. He left and his sister started crying. I had to give her my phone to play with and I was foolish to sleep off. I woke up to find her in the pool battling for her life. I didn’t know how to swim, I ran out to find help, I saw my friend coming and before we got there and he brought her out, she was dead.”
The place was silent. Tiwa and Genevieve were totally shocked.
Tiwa cleared her throat to break off the silence. She said. “What happened next?”
“My rich father gave my friend’s family a fat check but I couldn’t forgive myself. I blamed myself every day. ”
“And you are still friends with him?” Genevieve asked.
“Yes. As we grew older, he told me he forgave me. And there is nothing he asks that I don’t give him.”
“And you think he doesn’t want to pay you back for what you did?”
“It was not intentional and like I said before I was foolish to fall asleep.”
“Do you have female children?” Tiwa questioned.
“Yes, two. One is married and the other is my last-born. She is in the university.”
“If your friend wants to pay you back don’t you think he would go after one of your female children?”
“I don’t know and I don’t think he is the one that wants me dead.”
“Don’t trust people.” Tiwa said. She moved closer to Genevieve and whispered. Genevieve nodded in agreement. She stared at Ayodele. “We will need to contact your friend and your daughters. We will start from there.”
Tiwa smiled at him. “Let’s do our job sir.”
Ayodele obliged and gave them what they wanted.
Kelvin drove them to the hospital and they arrived there at 2:30pm. When they came out from the car, Tiwa phone beeped.
“I have to take the call.” She told Genevieve. “You can see the examiner and brief me.”
“I hope all is well?”
“Yes, it’s an important call.”
“Okay.” She said and started to walk to the direction of the entrance.
Tiwa’s mobile handset stopped ringing, she waited and the phone rang again. “Hello dad!”
“You came back and you couldn’t call!” Mr. Bankole said angrily.
“I am sorry! You should know I am investigating a case. Why didn’t you tell me before I was summoned?”
“I knew you wouldn’t go. I am also sorry for not telling you. I hope all is going well with you and detective Genevieve?”
"How's the detective?"
"How's the detective?"
“She is good.”
“That’s my girl. So when are you coming home?”
She scoffed and rolled her eyes. “I don’t know yet and the case might take a while.”
“I am not in support of you staying in a man’s house. I like Adebiyi Gold but it is not proper when he has not wedded you.”
“And that is my fault.”
“Don’t blame yourself honey,” Bankole said. “You thought you were doing the right thing and if he truly loves you he would ask again.”
“I hope so.”
“If you know the case will take a while, why can’t you stay in a hotel?”
Tiwa frowned and he sensed it. He shook his head without saying anything.
“I am a grown woman and I am capable of handling myself. I love him.”
“And you think I don’t know.” he sighed. “I just want you to take good care of yourself. Be careful.”
“I will. What about the agency?”
“It’s doing well but I think I need a vacation. We miss you and we can’t wait to have you back.”
Tiwa pressed her lips against each other and heaved out a long sigh. “I can’t wait to see you. Take care dad.” She pressed the red button and swallowed. Part of her, perhaps all of her wanted to stay back. She believed her home was with Adebiyi. Whenever she was with him, she felt safe, alive and happy.
Genevieve was with the medical examiner who excused himself to search for the result of the poison. He gave it to her to read. She thought of doctor Ibinabo. She would have explained in detail. She glanced through and looked at him.
“I don’t understand any of this. Just explain the kind of poison.”
“It’s a slow poison. The type is rare and it eats up the lungs after few hours and that is when the effect takes place.”
“Are you saying it’s possible to still be alive for hours after taking it?”
“Yes.” He replied. “You won’t feel a thing except you might not have appetite to eat.”
“Oh I see. Thank you doc!”
Genevieve left and went to meet Tiwa and she narrated what the doc told her.
“That explains everything.” Tiwa said. “That’s why she was unable to eat on her birthday. You should call the inspector to see if the warrant is ready. I only hope she there is something in the house that we can use as evidence.”
“I hope so! Let’s go!”
The warrant was ready, they went there and one police officer followed them. The boyfriend of Sandra opened the door when they arrived. They sauntered in and asked of her. He went in and came back with her. She had changed into a red and short gown.
“Is there a problem?” She asked in a surprised tone.
“We are here to search your house.” Genevieve said.
She chuckled. “For what!”
“We believe you are the one that killed your mother.”
Her boyfriend laughed and looked at her. “What are these people saying?”
“I don’t even know.” She said and looked at them angrily. “I want you to leave or I will sue.”
“I’m sorry honey,” Tiwa said and Genevieve raised a paper. “We have a search warrant.”
Sandra widened her eyes and quickly hopped on her feet. She ran off to her room, Tiwa and Genevieve ran after her. She entered into her room and tried to close the door but the partners were more powerful to stop her. Sandra moved into one of her drawers and took out a small bottle, raced to the window and Tiwa caught her hand as she tried to throw it away.
“Too late!” Tiwa said to her and she took the bottle from her grip.
“You are under arrest for death of Mrs. Susie Ike your mother." Genevieve said. "Anything you say, will be used against you in the court of law!”
The officer gestured towards her and slammed handcuffs around her wrist. She was taken away. They took her to the interrogation room at the station. She was seated. Tiwa and Genevieve sat opposite her.
“Why did you kill your mother?” Genevieve asked.
She said nothing.
She asked again and nothing came out from her mouth.
Tiwa crossed her hands and placed them under her jaw. She spoke in a calm tone. “When I lost my mother, I felt alone. I felt alone because we were very close and she was my best friend. I would do anything to have her back if it’s possible and there is nothing my mother would have done to make me hate and want to kill her. God used her to give you life and you didn’t have the right to take hers. You’re selfish, You wanted to take everything your father left for you and your mother!”
“That’s a lie!” Sandra uttered and burst into tears. “I didn’t kill her because of money!”
“I don’t believe you.”
“She was having an affair with my boyfriend!” Tears rushed out and she covered her face. “I saw a text message she sent to him. She was going to offer him an amount of money to call off our affair!”
Genevieve and Tiwa exchanged shocked glances. Tiwa dropped her hands and rose.
“There is a recorder with us. Your boyfriend has been listening to you,” Genevieve told her. “I am sure he is disappointed. You should have confronted him about it instead of killing your mother.”
Sandra sniffed her nose and laughed. “He should continue his love affair when he sees her.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“After you left I offered him a drink.”
“Oh my God! But his name is not on the list!”
“I had excess of the poison.”
Tiwa said to Genevieve. “Call the doctor and asked if there is an antidote for the poison. He needs to be taken there before it is too late!” She ran outside to meet the boyfriend who was already fidgeting. After the call, Genevieve informed them the doctor had an antidote to subdue the poison. She went back to question Sandra. Inspector Danjuma ordered his driver to take him to the hospital.
"When did you give your mother the poisoned drink?"
"Before the party."
"When did you give your mother the poisoned drink?"
"Before the party."
Tiwa came back and met Genevieve questioning Sandra. “Who is the contractor?”
“I have told you I don’t know!”
“Lives are at stake. Do you want innocent people to die?"
“Maybe they deserve to die like my mother!”
“We will check your laptop and see if we can find anything.”
She laughed mockingly. “You will find nothing!”
“What does that mean?” Tiwa asked puzzled. “The contractor is not a ghost.”
“I will tell you want I know but you have to promise me I will get a light sentence for cooperating.”
“Consider it done!” Genevieve hastily said.
Tiwa stared at her and said nothing.
“What I know is,” Sandra said. “I received a mail in my spam seven or eight months ago. He wrote he was coming to Nigeria on a mission to end someone’s life and he asked if I was interested to kill my enemy and he would grant me my wish.”
“And what happened?” Tiwa asked.
“I replied I was going to think about it. I already knew about my mother's affair with my boyfriend. I wrote back and he asked what my mother loved which I told him, drinking. He suggested poison and we concluded it was going to happen on her birthday.”
“Wasn’t he the one to poison your mom?”
“Yes but I wanted to do it by myself. It’s cheaper.”
“You paid him?”
“How much and what’s the name of the account?”
“I paid in cash. One million.”
“You met him?”
“You met him?”
“No. He gave me a location of a public garden to place the money and he gave me the location of where to get the poison.”
"You didnt communicate through phone?"
"No only through mails."
"You didnt communicate through phone?"
"No only through mails."
“So you have no idea what he looks like.”
“You saw the mail in your spam,” Genevieve said. “Then it must have been sent to several people.”
“Yes and I am sure the people that responded are the ones that sent him the names of people that offended them.”
“They are eight names.”
“Yes and the last one is his mission. He said it’s going to be bloody.”
“No wonder that person is going to die by a bomb. We have no idea who that person is. Do you?”
“He didn’t tell me.”
Tiwa and Genevieve grunted frustratingly.
“We have people on that list that we don’t have their names.” Genevieve said. “How do we save them?”
“This is unbelievable. We have to try to hack into his email address. Have you contacted the person that might be able to it?”
“No. Let me call him now.” Genevieve called Akin on the phone who was excited to hear from her. She told him what she needed.
“It will be difficult but I can try.” Akin said. “It will take some time.”
“I understand. I will send you the address.”
She ended the call and opened the door. She called the officer to take Sandra away.
“What about my light sentence?" Sandra asked her. “I hope you will keep your promise.”
“I never promised you anything.”
“What!!” She bellowed in shock.
“Take her away!” Genevieve yelled and hissed. Sandra was dragged out of the room.
“Let’s see the inspector,” Tiwa said. “I have an idea on what to do.”
They met Danjuma in his office.
“We have to make an announcement.” She told them. “We have to inform the public about what is going on.”
“Don’t you think he might see the news, get angry and provoke him to kill his targets now?”
“I doubt that. The news of us knowing will be intriguing to him and he might actually find this interesting. Because of his ego, his mission has to be completed. We are women and he would think we are weak and that will not stop him to do what he wants. All I want from him to do is make a mistake.”
Danjuma looked at Genevieve. “Do you agree?”
She sighed and nodded. “Of course.”
“I will make a call. Excuse me.” He left and came back fifteen minutes later. “Some reporters should be here soon. You are going live in thirty minutes.”
“Thank you.” Tiwa said with a smile on her lips. She persuaded Genevieve to find something to eat. Genevieve wasn’t hungry and was eager to let the public know about the contractor. The doctor called to inform her that Sandra's boyfriend was responding to treatment.
6:pm (Live) Breaking news.
Genevieve, Tiwa, inspector, police officers, journalists and reporters stood in front of cameras from different TV stations. Tiwa was given the microphone.
“My name is agent Tiwa Bankole. It has come to our knowledge that a killer is on the loose. He calls himself the contractor and he has a list of eight people he wants to eliminate. For now we have only five names and we are using this medium to appeal to anyone that has seen his or her name on the list to come forward and report. My partner detective Genevieve Cole Arinze and I will do everything we can to stop the deaths from happening. We are sorry to announce that the first target was killed and the person that connived with the contractor has been arrested. if you receive any mail from an email address firstname.lastname@example.org please do not click on it. Delete it immediately and don’t be tempted to end a loved one or a friend’s life because of a grugde or the past. Let's move forward and have hope. We should live in peace and harmony. If you have information or you are number 6, 7, or 8 on the list, do not hesitate to call the numbers on the screen. They are mine, my partner and the inspector general of police. God bless you all.”
He was in his room. He had finished watching the news that made him uncomfortable. He held the sheet of paper in his hands and read it again.
He was number six. A heartbreaker to die by a setup. (seven weeks)
He clenched his teeth and bit his lower lip. He was unafraid and thought nothing would stop him from leaving the house and having fun. He crushed the paper in his hands, threw it on the floor before switching off the television, and walked out.
The housekeeper was cleaning the room. She saw the paper and thought it was important. She went downstairs and gave it to the pretty woman in the living room. She took it from him and froze when she read it.
Her husband had gone on a business trip. She and her five years old son came to spend the weekend with her husband’s brother. Her eyes were on the 6th number.
She remembered the news of the contractor and the beat of her heart increased. She was scared and she tried to hide it when her son looked at her face. Her brother in law’s life was at stake and he had gone out. She thought of what to do next and who to call first.
She took a deep breath and grabbed her phone. Mrs. Lucky Akande looked at the name again on number 6. It was Sebastian Kehinde Akande.
*********To be continued…..