Kogberegbe needed to find out the whole truth, not just too bring justice to all involved but also to be able to offer closure to Ronke’s parents; it is one thing to know who murdered their daughter, but another to know the reason why such was perpetrated. So he gave a pen and paper to Sangosina, standing close to him in case he intended to attempt anything with the pen.
Hands still cuffed but now in front of him, Sangosina started writing of how he knew Ronke as a child but saw her for the first time in skimpy clothing on a night she had a rendezvous with her boyfriend a little over a year before her death. He immediately developed an emotional attachment to the girl and though he felt he couldn’t get her, he was content with making her a fantasy that satisfied his awkward needs. He would deliberately wait outside the estate gates, knowing for sure that she would sneak out at a particular time of the night. She always wore bright flashy clothes that accentuated her curves; it was exactly what he wanted in a woman. He knew the places where Ronke hung out with her friends so he would lurk around and snap pictures of them with which he would later use to help himself reach the height of sexual satisfaction that never ceased to blow his mind.
Then came a night when a hooker walked up to him while he watched Ronke and her friends. She offered him cheap sex and he thought to himself that he had nothing to lose. The woman knew the hotels around the area and even though he could afford expensive hotels, he allowed her to take the lead role in everything; to him this further spiced things up. Little did he know that Ronke had been under close surveillance even before he knew about her escapades. They quickly latched on to him when he started following her about. These were politicians who wanted to find some dirty laundry with which to tarnish Dr. Okanlawon’s political image and hopefully that of his entire party so that as election period drew near, people would rethink where to cast their votes.
When Sangosina of yet another party entered the scenario, they felt things could not get better than this. Once they found something to blackmail Sangosina with, they knew he would do their bidding.
After the rampage with the whore, a man appeared from the bathroom which Sangosina didn’t bother to check, and without uttering a word dismantled some hidden gadgets with a demeaning recording of his just concluded sexual act as well as recordings of how he had been following Ronke over the past few weeks. They even managed to get pictures of him as he jerked himself off while watching the girl’s pictures. They had enough to incriminate and destroy him should they decide to go public with the evidence but they told him that that wouldn’t be the end of it, they would first make sure that he became a successful politician, then make the clips into xrated movie that was bound to go viral the very hour of its release, his wife and children would be forced to watch their husband and father in his distasteful act.
They would then proceed to arrange an attack for Ronke and plant evidences including the pictures of him stalking her. Whichever way he looked at it, he was doomed except he agreed to help them. He was however bewildered when he asked what they wanted and their response was that they wanted to make him successful in his political career. As much as he thought it was too good to be true, Sangosina felt it was a win win situation, and if he refused he had all to lose. First thing they did was to recruit Sangosina into their own party and then they started giving him so much publicity that he hadn’t dreamed of since he joined politics.
According to their plan however, the ultimate step would be for Sangosina to join Dr. Okanlawon’s party then break the scandal of him and Ronke to the press, which was bound to break the party. Sangosina didn’t like the plan but he had no choice, plus the men gave him enough money to lavish around so he felt he would be able to send his wife and children abroad in no time. Things however took a different shape when he was told what the beginning of the plan would be: he now had to live out his sexual desires with Ronke. They planned everything he would need to use as tools to get her and funny enough, it did. Sangosina has always wanted the girl so he felt he was “living the life”, getting the girl of his dream and getting paid for it, not to mention the career boost he was getting. It got to a point though where Sangosina wanted her exclusively, he was sure they had something special going on between them. He started to say more than he ought to, and he made her promises, they could run away together, far away from the grasps of the evil ones.
Sangosina didn’t know when Ronke started working at the club or why, but he followed her a couple of times and though he had the right kind of money to offer, he was expressly declined entry into the Gold members’ zone where he later learnt that Ronke used to perform. Unfortunately for Ronke as Sangosina would later discover, the power she went to the club to seek was the exact ones that ordered her execution. She thought he, Sangosina was the enemy but the people who blackmailed him were those she ran to; she confided in them and they financed her to fight back the person who assaulted her. Little did she know that the money only moved in circles, it never really left the caucus.
Ronke then decided to plant an evidence of their affair, the baby, but contrary to her expectations, Sangosina was elated by the news, he thought she would finally see reason for them to be together. However, his reaction greatly angered Ronke and she told him how she loathed him, and that she had only carried on with his needs because she was trying to protect her father from shame and public disgrace. That was when she warned him about the god-fathers she had found for herself. Sangosina tried to tell her that she was being manipulated and that the so called godfathers were the ones she needed to beware of but she didn’t believe him. As far as she was concerned, Sangosina was alone in the plot to use her to tarnish her father’s image. Unfortunately, she returned to tell the god-fathers everything that Sangosina said, which got them really angry and they gave him a taste of what they could do to him. They withdrew his financial plug for a month, organized an accident for his wife and leaked some proof about Sangosina’s sex life. This was damaging enough to his career and family, as his wife didn’t take to it lightly. She was sore with him for about a week though she stayed with him. Sangosina wouldn’t know if it was the men or Ronke who further informed his wife about the affair with Ronke, though the news about the pregnancy was withheld, for whatever reason. The whole story disgusted his wife, especially when she learnt that it was Ronke whom he was involved with; she moved out of their family house. Sangosina realized how much he had come to depend on these men, especially financially. He plotted a plan to lick their shoes for a few more months but this time, he would be wise with his spending so that he would be able to make his exit in just a few months.
Two days after he went back to them, the men decided that Ronke had become a loose end that needed to be tied up, she knew too much even though she did not realize it. The men were too smart to assume that she would remain ignorant for long. Sangosina begged not to be the one to do it but they said it was his mess and he had to clean it up and moreover, the girl lived so close to him, it would be easy for him to carry out the assignment. The men picked Sabo as the hit-man, judging by his physique and sharp mind. They felt he would be easy to train. They trained him specially for the assignment and gave him all the information he would need to look out for as he prepared for the hit.
Sangosina devised another plan; he didn’t want Ronke to die because he still cared for her, so he arranged with Sabo that he should just scare the girl, perhaps injure her a bit but not kill her. On the final day of the hit however, a man was planted in Sangosina’s compound who stuck by Sabo all day, not giving Sangosina the chance to remind Sabo that he should only incapacitate the girl, not kill her.
The following morning when Sangosina heard about the death, he wept alone in his big house but had to get himself together because the men warned him that nothing must be traced to him and that if he allowed emotion to get in the way, they would release tapes which would be enough to prosecute Sangosina without leaving any trace of doubt of his motive for killing Ronke. They further reminded him that they could snuff him out anytime; whichever way Sangosina looked at it therefore, he was doomed.
Learning from them however, Sangosina had earlier on braced himself to make recordings of some of the conversations he had with them, especially the order to hit. Sangosina knew he was being watched, and that that was the reason why Abu was part of the case, to monitor Sangosina’s moves around the estate since the other man that had been planted had to be removed because he would be easily picked up as a strange face around the estate which could raise suspicions. Sangosina felt that the smartest thing to do was to sneak the evidences into his wife’s belongings as she furiously packed. Sangosina finished his written statement by listing the names of these godfathers.
“I’m sure my days are now numbered as I have divulged all these information, but please promise to keep my family safe” Sangosina pleaded.
“You are in good hands Chief” Kogberegbe said
Sangosina smiled “You don’t know what you’re involved with. You know not what you seek. You can never get to the root of this matter. You’ll just rouse the dirt a little bit but eventually, it will settle and they will find another way to achieve their aims.”
“My assignment is to bring Ronke’s killer or killers as the case may be, to justice. Meanwhile” Kogberegbe said frowning “ That statement you made about what I seek, it rings a bell. Did you send a message to Ronke’s line yesterday?”
Sangosina looked confused “No I didn’t. why would I do such a callous thing as to text a dead girl?”
“So the statement you just made is a random coincidence?”
“I picked it from the party president. It’s a line he uses often. He mentioned it again while I was with him yesterday and it sort of stuck in my head” Sangosina explained
“Is that right?” Kogberegbe said “Did he happen to send an SMS while you were with him?”
“Oh, it was you who called his line?” Sangosina laughed “He knew straight away that you were a traitor. We never call him, only a handful of people have his original contact. But why did you mention Ronke’s phone? Why would he send an SMS to her phone?”
“Because I dialed his number from Ronke’s line. She received a few messages from him, it seemed like she was blackmailing him” Kogberegbe said and saw darkness envelop Sangosina’s facial expression as he stared into space.
“She believed me after all” Sangosina said softly
“I tried to convince her that they were the ones she needed to fear. I showed her some text messages and explained to her that the boss’ number only receives messages. She didn’t believe me – or so I thought. She must have lifted the number from my phone, or perhaps she already had the boss’ contact from the club she visited. However the case may be, she believed me and acted on the information I gave her. That’s the only thing she could have been blackmailing the boss with. However you view it, I signed her fate.”
“If that’s the case, why didn’t this so called boss tell you about this blackmail? It all originated from you after all, and considering this kind of set up I am sure there would be a kind of punishment system in place”
“What does it look to you like I’m doing right now?” Sangosina said.
Kogberegbe sighed, thinking he’d heard enough. He signaled for the boys to take him away. Kogberegbe filed away the signed statement after making his own copies of it because he was sure that sometime down the line, the document might grow wings and fly away. He also had his recorded tape as back up.
Kogberegbe was quite relieved that the case was finally solved. The location of the men on Sangosina’s list wouldn’t be a difficulty as they were extremely popular men in the society. However, Kogberegbe wasn’t prepared to delve into that realm, so he would leave the picking up to the police. He called Dr. Okanlawon with the details on his way back home, promising to get the typed report across to him as soon as possible. Kogberegbe’s back was stiff from stress so he decided to skip office for the day and get a good bath and a well deserved sleep instead. He increased the volume of his radio, tuned to his favourite station which always pleased him with songs that tickled his fancy. He was a bit annoyed when a call came through, forcing him to lower the volume of the song he was enjoying so much.
“Kogberegbe on the line” he said, clicking the button on his earpiece.
“I thought the name was a joke” The caller said slowly then sighed “Anyway, this is Kilanko speaking; of Kilanko investment limited.” The caller introduced himself even though Kogberegbe thought he need not add the latter part. Any Nigerian who didn’t know Kilanko definitely would be in Diaspora. Kogberegbe was beginning to enjoy the top notch clients that were coming his way.
“How may I be of help sir?”
“One of my workers is missing. I can’t sit back and allow any harm come his way. In the light of recent events, I think you’re the best man to handle this case. You come highly recommended, plus I have monitored you for the past few days” Kilanko said and Kogberegbe thought to himself that this statement was becoming popular.
Aloud, he said “Thank you sir, I am however just rounding up a case so I won’t be available toda…”
“I know all about it detective. Get some rest and get back to me as soon as possible. This is my direct line I’m calling you with.”
“I’m a homicide detective sir…”
I know that too but I also know you have a determination I haven’t seen in any of the other men I’ve checked out. You can find my staff if you put your mind to it. Just please think about it and get back to me.”
“Thank you sir” Kogberegbe said as he gently maneuvered the car into his garage. As at that moment, he hadn’t fully comprehended the information the caller gave him, he needn’t. he would first take a good nap before considering it; he had never worked a kidnap case before and didn’t even know how to proceed.
Eyes heavy, Kogberegbe opened his door, stretching. He locked the door behind him and immediately dumped all thoughts of having his bath because all the bones in his body ached, so he made straight for the bedroom. His bed was neatly laid which made him frown only for a second because he knew he never laid his bed. But he was too tired to ponder, and the neatness of the bed was too enticing in his current state so he continued toward the bed.
“Hey stranger” he heard Lucy’s soft voice
“Hey!” Kogberegbe responded, surprised.
“I knew you were working your head out and that you wouldn’t have time to look after yourself so I decided to stop by, clean up after you and make you some decent meal” she smiled but Kogberegbe just stared at her, making her uncomfortable so she added “well then, I’ll just be on my way. I didn’t even know you would get back so early” She turned to leave but paused and looked back “I also wanted to say I’m sorry for causing you such embarrassment this week. I wasn’t thinking straight”
“That guy’s a douchebag!” Kogberegbe finally found his voice, making a contorted expression when he added “Ehw!”
Lucy laughed “I know, right?”
“Marry me” Kogberegbe said out of the blues, his expression suddenly serious.
“What?” Lucy asked, her laughter gradually changing to a confused grin.
“Mary me, Lucy. I know I’m not holding a ring and I’ve not rehearsed this well but I know without a doubt that I want to spend my forever with you”
Lucy’s brows arched “that’s a touchy speech Steve, but I’m sure you’ll wake up in a few hours wondering if you really did deliver such”
Kogberegbe rubbed his temple “Hmmm. If you stick around then, I’ll make the exact speech, word for word” he gave her a long stare “then you’ll say yes to me, right?”
“Very funny. We’ve had issues Steve; getting married won’t solve them. We have to work things out and hope for the best to come out of our relationship” She gave that brilliant smile again.
“Fair enough” He said, smiling back
“But we could start with that holiday you’ve always talked about” She said, walking towards him.
Kogberegbe tapped his fingers in midair “right!”
Lucy paused, assessing him “right?”
“Yea, we’re taking the holiday. We leave tomorrow; I just have to make a quick call when I wake up, remind me ok?” he said, falling straight backed across the bed. “You’re gonna hang around won’t you?” he asked, eyes drowsy.
“I’m not going anywhere” she said, the smile still plastered on her face.
@obasatemitope is grateful to you all.