COIN…..there are two sides to every story by @obasatemitope

 

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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

“Excuse me?”

“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.

 

 

THE END

 

@obasatemitope is grateful to you all.

 

Thank You

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COIN…..there are two sides to every story by @obasatemitope (Episode XVI)

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As they drove back to the station, Kogberegbe pondered his next line of action, knowing the only way to further break the case would be illegal; and as much as he despised it, he knew that both Sangosina and Abu weren’t going to tell him all they knew just by interrogating them. Kogberegbe also decided that he was going to spend the night at the station, personally watching over the two culprits until he could find a trustworthy officer to keep watch over them pending their transfer to a proper prison as soon as they could find enough evidence to put them behind bars. Since he wasn’t sure if they still had moles within their branch, he wouldn’t would rather sacrifice his own comfort than risk another dead end…literally speaking. If he was to believe Sangosina, there were other people involved in the homicide; Kogberegbe intended to bring to the open all the information concerning them and bring them to justice or at least give the police all the evidence they would need to make the arrests.

At the station, he confirmed that Abu was still alive, though still unrepentant; then he locked up Sangosina in a cell in the opposite wing from Abu so as to bar any kind of communication between the two.

“We both know I won’t be in here for long” Sangosina said quietly to Kogberegbe

“We’ll see” He responded

“You don’t want to play this game” Sangosina said

“The earlier you wipe that smug look off your face and start telling me the names of those involved in this, the better for you.” Kogberegbe said angrily

“Won’t happen” Sangosina responded with a devilish smile

“Ronke was pregnant as at the time of her death…but you know that already don’t you? My hunch is that the baby is yours; what you probably do not know is that the paternity of the foetus can still be determined, and I’m arranging for your DNA sample to be taken as soon as possible. That at least ties you to the victim; and the already established fact that the murder was carried out by your security guard ties you tightly to the murder. You have a perfect motive to have wanted the child dead, especially since she was the daughter of an opposition politician. It would have been too scandalous and a killer to your career if the story had broken to the media. Well, here’s news for you…the information will still get out that you had illicit affairs with a minor. It will kill your political ambitions and tarnish the image of your party” Kogberegbe said through clenched teeth, not pausing for breath and when he was done, he noticed the smug look gradually disappearing from Sangosina’s face “Plus your guard made some incriminating confessions against you” Kogberegbe lied

“He could have been working on his own” Sangosina said “moreover, he won’t be there to corroborate your story will he?”

“I won’t even bother to ask how you knew about his death, but thanks for reminding me that attempted murder and accomplice to actual murder can be added to your case file while your boy Abu will go down for murder…oh, did I mention that I am going to make sure the court doesn’t hear your case for a looooong time? You won’t be eligible for bail, I will use the fact that you almost took off today against you; and in that period you’re waiting for your case to be heard, I’m going to make sure you’re locked up in a real prison where we’ll check to affirm that you have loyalists. You are going down for a really long time, that I can assure you” Kogberegbe finished and went to take a seat at a temporary desk arranged for him where he could monitor the hallway leading to both Sangosina and Abu’s cells.

He made arrangement for Sangosina’s DNA sample to be taken in the morning as soon as it can be arranged. He apologized for having to stress Dana so much, he knew there were other staff in the lab that can be used but there was no time for Kogberegbe to sift through them all to know which ones could be trusted or otherwise. Kogberegbe also confiscated the food that Sangosina brought for Sabo earlier in the night, it would also be tested for poison. Kogberegbe wanted to make sure that even if he couldn’t find enough evidence to nail him for Ronke’s murder, he would have a lot of other incriminating evidences that would give him maximum sentence. Kogberegbe stared at the phone, wondering if he should call Dr Okanlawon or not, he needed the connection that Doctor could offer, and he needed it quickly, so he decided to try his luck. Doctor picked his call on the first ring as if he’d been standing by for it. Kogberegbe moved away from the hallway.

“I’ve been expecting your call” Dr Okanlawon said, affirming Kogberegbe’s thought.

“Sorry it’s coming late sir” he said

“Was he really trying to run away when you got there?” Dr asked.

Not bothering to ask how he got the information, knowing all the players in the situation have eyes and ears all around, Kogberegbe simply said “Yes sir”

“Tell me everything detective, every single detail”
The time was already 2.A.M but Kogberegbe obliged, Dr was his client and he had every right to details.

When he was through, Dr said “He sounds guilty to me Detective. I want maximum sentence, what are you doing to make sure this happens? Should I call my lawyers?”

“Please calm down sir. That’s not the whole story sir; Sangosina is the prime suspect in the case but I have reasons to believe that there are other people involved sir”

“Others, you say?”

“Yes sir. But I am not yet privy to the information. I need to find means of breaking Sangosina, but I’m certain it’s not a thing your lawyers can do sir. He can also access god lawyers, and that is one thing I do not want him to do right now. He needs to see the insides of a real prison and he needs to be threatened, but to threaten him, we need to find his weak point, only then can he give us the information we need sir.”

“I’m well connected detective. I couldn’t  use my power to protect my daughter, I can at least use it to avenge her”

“I was hoping you’d say that sir” Kogberegbe responded

“I’ll call in favours with the Ministry of Interior and Civil Defence Board. You mentioned maximum security prison right?

Kogberegbe knew he didn’t mention maximum security prison but he wished not to argue so he said “Yes sir”

“It will be arranged. Prepare him for transport tomorrow”

“Yes sir”

“I thought he was a friend, detective…” Dr Okanlawon said, his voice trailing

“Yes sir” was all Kogberegbe could say for he couldn’t put himself in Doctor’s shoes. Losing a child is a grief comparable to none.

“We were neighbours” Doctor continued, getting himself back together “Trust me, I know one or two ways to threaten the man”

“That should come in handy sir”

Good job, detective. I am not disappointed”

“Thank you sir” Kogberegbe responded.

The first call Kogberegbe received the following morning was at 6:30 am from Dr. Okanlawon.

“Has there been any uproar there?” He asked straight up

“How do you mean sir?”

“Less is more, detective; you should know that. Anyway, I want to assume that some drama will unfold at the station. If my instincts are right, and knowing you, you’ll want to keep it under control; but allow it detective.”

“Sir…” Kogberegbe was about to argue but Dr Okanlawon was already off the phone.

At exactly seven a.m., a car recklessly entered the police station, stopping as abruptly as it had swerved in, such that the two uniformed men who were lurking around had to jump out of harm’s way. Without offering an apology, a derailed looking woman got out of the car, closely followed by another who seemed to be in charge of calming her down. Neither of them bothered to shut the car doors.

“Is Sangosina here?” she asked at the counter, obviously trying to calm herself, her left hand holding her wrapper from falling down though she made no attempt to tie it. Her “buba” was a different one from the wrapper even though her looks and carriage suggested high class. Kogberegbe was certain that something not too good must have befallen her to be reacting the way she did.

“ma’am, no one is…”

“Ha!” The woman screamed at the top of her voice, simultaneously stamping her right foot and bending her head in one direction “Ogbeni, you will feel the sting of a cobra if you don’t tell me at once where the bastard is! I have been to three stations this morning, searching for him before being directed here. Do I look like I’m here to play protocol?”

Kogberegbe suspected that this was Sangosina’s wife and that this scenario was what Doctor had called him about earlier on, so he motioned for the constable to allow them in. The constable barely finished –pointing in the direction of the holding cell when the woman stormed in without further wasting words. The hallway was dark as there was no electricity and since the DPO wasn’t around, no one saw reason why fuel should be wasted on electrifying the station.

“Kemisola, is that you?” Sangosina called out meekly and Kemi who was originally headed in the opposite direction, towards Abu’s cell, turned back towards the voice immediately.

“Ha! O o de ni s’orire iwo omokunrin yi. Ko ni daa fun e, ko de ni ye e kale…” she started raining curses on Sangosina.

“E ni suuru mummy Ewa” The second lady tried to placate her.

“Suuru bi ti bawo?” she asked, hissed and turned back towards Sangosina “Wo, Sangowande Sangosina, except I am not Kemisola, Kofoworola’s daughter in this land, I will make you regret the day you were born, gbabe! Se o mo pe omo ale ni e! if you are not a bastard and a coward, how come you didn’t inform your fellow child molesters that you call politicians, that immediately I heard about your evil acts, my children and I dissociated ourselves from you? Why are we having to pay for your sins???”

“What are you talking about?” Sangosina asked, obviously confused.

“Wo, I give you 24 hours gbako to locate the whereabouts of my children o. how you were so gullible to lead them to us, I would never understand. But ma fi ina omo jo mi o! if anything happens to either one of my children ehn, I promise you, all four children from your first marriage lo ma je Olorun nipe and I will make sure I support the lawyers in prosecuting you…” she beat her chest with the palm of her hand “emi kinni yi ni mo wi be. I have documents to put you behind bars for the rest of your life. I will finish you! You have not started!!” with those words, she turned to leave.

“Kemi, hold on a bit. None of these make sense” Sangosina said

The woman stopped in her tracks and turned back angrily “oh, I forgot, the reason why I know who they are is because they told me. They told me they gave you an assignment and you failed and that the fact that they have your children should be a warning to you. I wish they could just kill you and leave my children and I alone. After all you’re nothing but a worthless pig.” She concluded, tears flowing freely down her cheeks as her friend held her shoulders, nudging her out of the station.

Still in his vantage viewpoint, Kogberegbe watched as Kemi’s friend ushered her into the passenger seat without any resistance from the latter, as she herself took the steering.

Kogberegbe placed a call to Dana to know how soon she would arrive at the station for the DNA sample. She confirmed that she was twenty minutes out and that she understood when Kogberegbe tried to explain that he needed her to take the sample because he didn’t know who to trust.

Kogberegbe rallied some policemen in preparation to escort both culprits to separate maximum security prisons. Dr. Okanlawon had also ensured that some army officers would be present in each vehicle so as to avoid foul play since Kogberegbe would not move with the vans. Kogberegbe felt relieved when he heard the information, though he was also told that the men wouldn’t arrive until midday. Kogberegbe felt that was fine, since he was still expecting Dana for the sample. Kpgberegbe felt exhausted so he decided to go wash his face, certain that the stroll to the tap would do his cramped legs some good. It did. On his way back in, he noticed that there was only one constable at the counter.

“Where is Constable Gbemileke?” Kogberegbe asked

“He took the nurse to the cell sir”

“Which nurse?” Kogberegbe asked, frowning.

“For the DNA sample sir”

Kogberegbe’s frown deepened because he knew there was no way Dana would be referred to as “nurse’ and also because he wasn’t expecting her till at least twenty minutes more. Turning around, Kogberegbe doubled up towards the holding cell; he got to the hallway just as Gbemileke inserted the key into the cell’s keyhole.

“Stop at once” Kogberegbe ordered at the top of his voice. In a swift movement, the impostor dropped the small case he was carrying, stabbed Gbemileke and threw the knife in Kogberegbe’s direction. Kogberegbe docked, thankful that the man wasn’t a skilled thrower. The impostor attempted to open Sangosina’s cell but the key wouldn’t give, it must be the wrong one. Kogberegbe got back on his feet, called for help and in no time, the mass of policemen he had got together appeared in the hallway, trapping the man in there, as there was no other way out of the cell area.

The man was arrested and cuffed while Gbemileke was rushed to the hospital. Though the other constable claimed to have searched the impostor, Kogberegbe was furious because it definitely wasn’t properly done otherwise the knife would have been spotted. Further search revealed a syringe containing some fluid which Kogberegbe suspected was intended for Sangosina who visibly shivered in the cell. Every other thing in the briefcase looked genuinely like that of a lab scientist. As much as the police interrogated him, the man refused to say a word. Kogberegbe noticed that Sangosina was rattling so hard that he feared he might have an attack so he kept a close eye on him. Sangosina finally decided to sit on the floor, murmuring incoherently.

“Wickedness. Callous people” Kogebregbe heard Sangosina mumble. “It is true, so Kemi was right, they want me dead. It is done, finished”

By the time Dana arrived, all the strength appeared to be zapped from Sangosina’s body. Although he was cuffed and armed policemen lurked around as Dana took his blood, hair samples and saliva swab, Sangosina was cooperative on his own; he had obviously given up.

Dana took the food sample as well as the syringe brought by the assassin and headed back to her office.

“Please I am ready to make a confession” Sangosina beckoned to Kogberegbe “I hear your men talking about maximum prison, please don’t take me there, I will tell you all you need to know. I heard there are soldiers out there waiting for me”

“Yes,, we’re just waiting for the final go and you’ll be on your way. A few years with heatless criminals should loosen you up a bit”

“Please, honestly, I will talk. I will even give you a written statement with all the names of the people that are involved in this thing. Please just take me to a less severe environment”

“That’s not for me to decide.” Kogberegbe said to him, feigning a disinterested look.

Sangosina started sobbing like a child, mucor coming out of his nostrils. Kogberegbe mused at the irony of life; this was a man who exuded authority and scare, as fierce as a lion just a few days on, but now nothing more than a puppet.

Kogberegbe’s phone rang, he automatically picked it without checking the phone screen, as he’d done all morning.

“Yea?” He said into the mouthpiece

“Hi” said the voice that never ceased to sound sweet to his ears even at such a peak period in his investigation­ Lucy’s.

“I’m in the middle of something babe” He said softly

“Oh, ok. Sorry for disturbing, I’ll call later then”

“Alright then. Thanks”

Kogberegbe got the signal that the transportation would be set in twenty minutes; he gave a nod and told the policemen in charge to get ready.

“You can at least find my children?” Sangosina said desperately “You heard my wife, they don’t deserve to pay for my sins”

“Why should I help you?” Kogberegbe shrugged

“Please detective. I beg you in God’s name, this is not what you think it is. I didn’t kill Ronke”

“Yea, but you gave the order; and your boy did kill her”

“It is the devil’s handiwork, I swear!”

Kogberegbe laughed “That convenient statement again? It never ceases to amuse me”

“Honestly, Sabo wasn’t supposed to kill her. It was just supposed to be a threat” Sangosina continued; Kogberegbe stylishly switched on his recorder.

“You’ll be transported in ten” Kogberegbe said in an attempt to sound uninterested.

“Please help my kids!”

“You have nothing to offer me. As far as I’m concerned, the work I’m paid for is a wrap. I nailed the girl’s killer and the person who gave the direct order. That’s good enough for me”

“If you give me a pen and paper, I’ll write a full testimony. My wife has proof to substantiate all I will write.”

COIN…..there are two sides to every story y @obasatemitope (Episode XV)

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READ ALL PREVIOUS EPISODES HERE, OPEN THE LINK AND START FROM BOTTOM TO TOP.

“What madness is this I hear about? Why would you arrest an innocent man?” The DPO said

“Sir, I have reasons to suspect…”

“We don’t make arrests based on suspicions detective. We investigate suspicions!!!” He shouted

“Yes sir” Kogberegbe simply said, knowing it was fruitless to argue with the DPO

“Now I want you to release the boy without further ado. And when I return from my journey, I want a full report and letter of apology duly addressed to the young man and the entire family he is associated with. Do you understand?”

“Yes sir” Kogberegbe simply said, not having any intention of letting Sabo go. As he dialed Dr. Okanlawon’s number, he saw Mr. Sangosina storm into the station, his agbada flying around all over the place. He gave Kogberegbe a killer look before proceeding to the constables.

“Sir” Kogberegbe said when the line connected “I would like you to pull your strongest strings to keep Sabo locked down for at least twenty four hours.  I know he will break, I just need more time”

“Is anyone causing trouble concerning him?” Dr. Okanlawon asked

“Yes sir, the DPO just got off the phone with me; I believe Mr. Sangosina called to request Sabo’s release”

“He’s a gateman!” Dr. Okanlawon said and even though Kogberegbe didn’t believe that anyone should be referred to as a lower human, he understood that Dr. was confused as to why Mr. Sangosina was so concerned about his gateman that he would pull his connection strings. However, Kogberegbe could argue that off that if the gateman got arrested, one way or another, this would tarnish Mr. Sangosina’s image if the news should get out.

“He’s a gateman sir, but for whatever reason, some people don’t want him behind bars for too long”

“I’ll call the commissioner of police right away and get back to you”

“Thank you sir”

A few minutes  later, Dr Okanlawon called to tell Kogberegbe that the DPO would be out of the picture for a while and that if Kogberegbe should need further assistance, he should not hesitate to call.

True to his words, the DPO’s phone became switched off, a fact that was made known when, a short while later, Mr. Sangosina broke all hell lose when the office informed him that they had higher order to retain Sabo in custody. Mr. Sangosina  tried to contact the DPO who didn’t respond the first two times, after which his phone completely went off.

“You have stepped on the tail of a cobra o!” Sangosina threw at Kogberegbe as he stormed out of the station, pointing a finger in Kogberegbe’s face “I will show you that in this land, you have crossed the wrong line!”

Kogberegbe left instructions that the officers watch closely over Sabo and that when Musa gets brought in, he should be taken care of. He also told them to contact him immediately if anything should come up. As he drove away from the station, he wondered who tipped off Mr. Sangosina so fast about the arrest.

Back in his office, Kogberegbe scanned through Ronke’s bank statement and noticed some huge transaction inflow and straight outflow of same. The inflows were of phony names but the outflows sounded familiar. When crosschecked with his notebook, he realized that some of the outflow went to cult members whose names he had gathered from the interviews he did earlier in the day. Kogberegbe’s theory was that Ronke needed protection from whoever was bugging her. So she turned to the cult guys who demanded money which she couldn’t raise from her parents so she turned to the club. She must have met with some really influential men who either enjoyed her service so much as to pay her such huge sum of perhaps she blackmailed more than one man.

Not long afterwards, Kogberegbe’s phone rang like it had been doing all evening.

“Sir, you wanted to know immediately if there was any development?” The constable who called said.

“Definitely. Go ahead please” Kogberegbe said

“It seems like this man is ready to talk. We realized that food is more of a weak point for him than torture. His boss brought him food but we didn’t allow him to eat it” said the constable.

“Good, I am on my way. Thank you for this information” Kogberegbe said, already half way out of his office. His earlier experience during the day had taught him not to waste valuable time in getting to a suspect.

When Kogberegbe arrived at the station, there was commotion everywhere; on getting inside he realized that CPR was being done on Sabo. The claim was that he suddenly slumped probably from dehydration or lack of food. One look however at Sabo’s visibly green veins and cracked lips, Kogberegbe knew he had been poisoned and  that the poison must have been a very strong one to have acted so fast. Not long afterwards, an ambulance arrived.

“Did you at any time leave this post? Kogberegbe asked

“No sir” They responded

“You said Mr. Sangosina brought food for Sabo?”

“Yes sir, but we decided among ourselves that he shouldn’t be fed. It even angered Mr. Sangosina that we didn’t give him food and he reported us to ASP Abu” They brought out the food to corroborate their story, it seemed intact.

“And you saw Mr. Sangosina leave? Kogberegbe asked, baffled

“I am certain sir, I was at the door all through” One constable said

“And no outsider had contact with the suspect?”

“No sir, it has been a quiet evening at the station, we haven’t had much incidence tonight”

“I see” Kogberegbe muttered “You said he was beginning to talk? What about?” He asked

“He said if he was left to spend the night in jail, he would be killed anyway and that we should please feed him before ‘they’ get to him. He said he would say no more till we give him something to eat”

“They?” Kogberegbe questioned the officer’s statement

“Yes sir, he kept saying ‘they’. That ‘they’ would think he talked and would have him killed in no time”

“Hmmm” Kogberegbe said, looking in the direction of Sabo’s body. The Doctor that was examining him confirmed that he was dead, though Kogberegbe knew right from when he stepped into the station that he was. He also confirmed that the cause of death could be attributed to poisoning but that they would have to run further tests to be able to make a conclusion. Kogberegbe thanked him.

“Do you have a syringe doc?” Kogberegbe asked

“Sure, why” said the Doctor

“Would you mind getting me a blood sample of the corpse?”

“No p” The Doctor said and proceeded to do so. Abu rushed in at that moment, looking bewildered.

“One of the men on duty just called me, I came right back, I haven’t even got home yet”

“He’s dead” Kogberegbe said simply “Poisoned”

“What!” Abu exclaimed “How is that even possible?”

Kogberegbe shrugged “Excuse me please” He said and moved to a quiet corner where he could place a call to Dana.

“Hi Dana”

“Hey you” She responded

“I know I owe you a lot of favours already, but I need to add to it”

“Make my fav bank bigger then. Fire”

“I need you to run a test for me tonight please. I have to have the result like yesterday”

“How soon can you get the sample to me?” Dana asked

“Ten minutes”

“I’ll be here” she said.

“Thanks Dana” Kogberegbe said heartily. There was a mole within their branch of the police force and he had his suspicions about who it might be. He collected Sabo’s blood sample and headed for Dana’s office. Two hours later the result came back as a perfect match with the sample found at the original crime scene. Kogberegbe hurried back to the station as fast as he could, glad that he had previously given the order for all officers to remain on duty till he returned. On getting there, he placed Abu under arrest immediately.

“I bet if I have your blood tested, it would match the sample you swapped with the  original one I gave you of Sabo to test” Kogberegbe accused but Abu just remained defiantly mute “I should have known! I saw that soft look that Sangosina sent you that day at the Okanlawon’s residence. I should have known that you both had history. And this would explain how you got to Kemta’s house so fast today, Sabo must have called you to come clean up his mess; you told him the best way he could frame the murder to look like suicide. I bet you didn’t know Musa would have called me, you didn’t bargain that I would be there when you arrived. And it was you who alerted Sangosina this evening, that’s how he got here so fast. You have been in the loop all along”

“You can’t substantiate any of your claims” Abu sneered with his hands cuffed.

“True. But I could at least charge you for obstruction of justice, it is a criminal offence” Kogberegbe said, showing him Sabo’s blood test “Lock him up please” Kogberegbe ordered a Constable. Arming himself with five police officers, Kogberegbe drove into the heat of the night, headed for Sangosina’s house thinking how naïve he was to have allowed the police search Sabo’s apartment without him being present. Knowing what he now knew about Abu, there was no saying that he didn’t cover up evidence at the scene. He called Dr. Okanlawon’s number.

“Sir, I am en route Mr. Sangosina’s house. In lieu of the fact that the DPO cannot be reached, could you please inform the Commissioner of Police that we plan to make an arrest under suspicion that he was an accomplice to murder. I will need a warrant sir” Kogberegbe said.

“Sangosina ke? Do you know what you are toying with? Are you sure?” Dr. Okanlawon said

“Sir, we found a mole within the police department and I have reasons to believe he reports to Mr. Sangosina. Mr. Sangosina’s guard died in holding this evening sir, and new evidence placed him at the scene of Ronke’s murder. If only for that, we need to bring him in for questioning”

“Wow” Dr. Okanlawon said “I will make the call immediately and the warrant will be sorted out. Please be sure that you know what you are doing, some waters are unsettled enough I won’t want you to cause further ripples”

“Yes sir” Kogberegbe said in perfect understanding, touched a single button on his earpiece that disconnected the call and resumed full concentration on his driving. Mr. Sangosina belonged to an opposition party and though he wasn’t as popularly known as Dr. Okanlawon, he had potentials which was beginning to draw attention to him nationwide. There was absolutely no way Kogberegbe would arrest him without it becoming a public sensation once the news agencies caught wind of it. And Kogberegbe knew the news people would twist and turn the story till it was made to look like a political war…Kogberegbe could find hard evidence against him.

Sangosina’s pedestrian gate was ajar so Kogberegbe and his men made easy entry into the compound, the reason for it being ajar soon obvious as they saw Sangosina loading his Cherokee Jeep with boxes and briefcases. He was obviously hurrying somewhere, somewhere he had no prior plans of going because everything looked haphazard.

“Going somewhere?” Kogberegbe asked in a tone that made Sangosina jump out of his skin; he wasn’t prepared for this visit and he visibly quivered. Kogberegbe was amused considering how confident and scary Mr. Sangosina had previously portrayed himself.

“What are you doing here?” Mr. Sangosina demanded

“You are under arrest for aiding and abetting in the murder of Ronke Okanlawon” Kogberegbe said

“You are insane” Sangosina laughed but when the police officers moved close to cuff him, he became erratic “You can’t arrest me based on presumptions! I have rights!!”

“Yes” Kogberegbe said “You do have the right to remain silent, as anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law”

“You don’t know what you are dealing with!” Mr. Sangosina said angrily.

“I intend to find out” Kogberegbe responded as they led Sangosina to the car like a ram who knew for sure that he was headed for slaughter.

 

COIN………..there are two sides to every story (Episode XIV) by @obasatemitope

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Truly when Kogberegbe tried to call the number again, it was switched off. Who could this be, he wondered. According to the message, the person had the sim card for only one reason- communication with Ronke or with a small sect of people at the most whom he could cut himself off from easily. Kogberegbe’s instincts told him that there was a high possibility that this was Ronke’s killer . and he was now certain that the person was an influential one, maybe a politician or a successful businessman. At the same time,  it could be a high ranking cultist. But whoever it was, he was influential in his world. In his summary, Kogberegbe knew he now had to look deep at three places: UNILAG, the political world and the clubhouse, where he suspected would be the link between Ronke and businessmen if it was a businessman involved. None of the three would be an easy crack.

Musa sat with his friends; they played draft and ate ‘goro’ as usual but Musa wasn’t really interested. He was far more excited about his new possession- his Nokia phone. His friends had also advised him to buy ‘momory’ which would enable him save songs on the phone. This, he did with the help of his friend, Sabo. Musa often wondered how Sabo quickly caught on with technology when it was he, Musa who brought him into civilization in the first instance.

Musa found it quite interesting that he didn’t need to depend on his transistor radio to listen to his favorite station- BBC. He so much loved to listen to BBC news even though he didn’t understand a word of what was said. Amongst them though, they usually found a way to interpret the ‘white man’s news’.

As Musa fumbled with the station, he heard a familiar sound; he didn’t know where he knew the sound from or what he associated it with but a part of his mind kept wandering towards the sound until he was forced to take his concentration off the radio and investigate the sound. He realized it was someone’s phone, Kemta; and he noticed that Sabo was also staring at Kemta, annoyance registered on his face. Kemta, one of his friends had missed his call because he was serving his turn of the game; now he fumbled through his pocket for the phone, a contented smile on his face regarding the beautiful game he just played. Musa turned back his concentration on his own phone.

“Aaah, Ayi” Musa heard Kemta say, referring to his wife. Kemta’s phone started ringing again and this time, Musa’s head jerked up; not just because the ringing tone was totally out of their circle, but because he now remembered whom he associated the ringing tone with- Ronke. One look at the phone and he knew it belonged to his late madam. Musa’s heart sank, but he knew he had to act immediately, and that he had to be wise about it. He allowed Kemta to finish his call and announce that his wife had just delivered “Mata na ta aiku yaro”. They all rejoiced with him and started up a chatter which Musa’s heart was detached from. He found the perfect moment to excuse himself and he did so. Back at his designated duty post, Musa dialed Kogberegbe’s number, just as he had taught him.

Kogberegbe was within UNILAG premises when Musa’s call came through. His communication was a mixture of Hausa and the little he could muster of English. The rant was totally confusing, but he knew Musa not to be a man of many words so he was sure something had unsettled him. He told Musa to calm down and that he would make his way over as soon as possible.

Kogberegbe was making headway in the school and had no intention of leaving anytime soon. From the many students he interviewed, he confirmed his hunch that Ronke’s clique consisted of no less than two known cult members, emphasis on “known”. This was only enough to base his assumptions on, not make any arrest since he couldn’t place any one of them at the murder scene- yet. After gathering as much information as he could for the day, which included names of known cultists in the school, Kogberegbe made his way to the bank, armed with Ronke’s cheque book and a court order giving Kogberegbe full access to the account details. The bank manager was surprisingly cooperative and after two painful hours howbeit laced with VIP treatment, Kogberegbe left the bank with statement of account that dated a year back. It was quite bulky.

Then Kogberegbe made his way to the Okanlawon’s residence where he found Musa pacing  within the premises. He looked relieved when he saw Kogberegbe and hurried to him. He explained as best as he could that he’d seen Ronke’s phone with one of the guards and that he thought it might be useful to Kogberegbe’s investigation. Kogberegbe couldn’t believe his ears.

“Who is the phone with?” Kogberegbe asked

“Kemta” Musa responded

“And he dared use the phone in public?” Kogberegbe said, wondering at the guts “Take me to him at once” Kogberegbe hurried Musa on. He wished he had known the urgency of Musa’s call, now he hoped he hadn’t wasted valuable time. Kogberegbe scanned his head for the list of guards he interviewed on the day of the incidence; whoever this Kemta character was, definitely didn’t make his list.

“Have I seen this Kemta before?” Kogberegbe asked

“Aaah. Kemta he come from home yesterday yesterday” Musa said raising his hand in explanation. Kogberegbe had an idea of what he meant and that was all that mattered.

Musa enquired from his friends of Kemta’s where-about, they simply shrugged their ignorance so Musa decided that they should check the house he guarded but he was still nowhere to be found. Kogberegbe nearly jumped out of his skin when he realized that Sabo had crept up behind them. Together, they searched the compound but didn’t find Kemta. Musa and Sabo started towards the gate, concluding that Kemta  was on the run. Kogberegbe however paused to assess the gatehouse because he thought he could make out a silhouette behind the curtain. Adrenalin pumping and obvious alarm in his eyes, Kogberegbe kicked down the fragile door, coming to face with what he feared he had seen. Hanging limply from the ceiling was Kemta’s obviously lifeless body. Musa gasped and Sabo murmured “Alah- Akbar”

As he took in the scene, he heard police siren and was momentarily shocked. “Did you call the police?” Kogberegbe asked Musa.

“Ah ah” Musa responded, shaking his head, palms up.

“Who else knew that you called me?” Kogberegbe asked

“Oga no anybody, walahi” Musa said, raising two fingers for emphasis.

Kogberegbe was furious as he only managed to snap a picture of the corpse before the policemen swarmed the room. This further made Kogberegbe wonder; how did they know where to come, when the incidence had barely been unveiled. The policemen were quickly followed by Musa’s friends and then news-seeking locals. Kogberegbe watched as the policemen lousily carried out their duties, the perimeter wasn’t even sealed which allowed for scene contamination, and in a flash the corpse had been brought down.

“He’s dead” He heard one of the officers call out, this made him smile because he knew that was a medical error since only a Medical professional could declare the death statement, even if the body was already showing signs of rot.

Abu rooted himself beside Kogberegbe, dishing out orders. He must enjoy it, Kogberegbe thought barely seconds before Abu smugly announced to him that he had just been promoted.

“Good for you” Kogberegbe said with a smile. Sabo muttered something that Kogberegbe didn’t understand so he turned to Abu for explanation.

“’Nemesis; Conscience’. That’s what he said. He obviously believes that when someone does something wrong, it gets to a  point where either nemesis catches up with you or your conscience causes you to admit your guilt”

“So Kemta suddenly started feeling guilty and decided to hang himself after showing his phone in public?” Kogberegbe asked, and from the surprised look he gave in response, Kogberegbe was sure he knew nothing about the phone. Abu however shrugged and left Kogberegbe’s side to carry out his high rank duties. Kogberegbe stooped beside the corpse, assessing it. Something seemed fishy about the whole set up but he couldn’t place a finger on it. The body felt cold to the touch and a bit stiffened which meant that Kemta hypothetically hanged himself barely minutes after Musa called Kogberegbe. Why would he bother to bring the phone out in everyone’s presence, jeopardizing his cover only to kill himself because of it. Why didn’t he sell the phone or simply toss it? On assessing the rope with which he theoretically hanged himself, Kogberegbe realized it wasn’t tight enough around the neck to have caused him to die so fast. He then checked the picture he had taken, Kemta’s head tilted in an awkward angle inconsistent with the rope pattern. It seemed as if Kemta’s neck had been snapped- just like Ronke’s.

Kogberegbe motioned for Abu “This doesn’t add up”

“How do you mean? The case has been wrapped, I just called the office to give preliminary report. The DPO should call Dr. Okanlawon soon with the news that we solved the case. It’s a wrap detective”

“This man didn’t kill himself” Kogberegbe said.

“With due respect detective, I understand that you are trying to impress Doc but I have been ordered to wrap up this case”

“How did you get here so fast?” Kogberegbe asked him now

“Anonymous tip” Abu responded

“It was barely five minutes after I discovered the body that you arrived, it means the ‘anonymous tip’ must have known about the body even before it was discovered” Kogberegbe observed.

“If you want your name recorded in the report as having found the body, that can be arranged. If you’ll excuse me please…” Abu said and started walking  away.

“One minute Abu” Kogberegbe called after him

“Yea?”

“I need a favour” Kogberegbe said, eyes fixed on Sabo who stared right back at him as if monitoring his every word and move “I need you to take Sabo in for questioning”

“Why’s that?”

“Let’s just say I have a hunch”

“Detective, that is against the law. The Nigeria police does not operate in barbarism!”

Kogberegbe rubbed his temple, trying to suppress his annoyance “When I got this job, I realized I may have to work through brick walls like you, so I carried out some digging into the background of some officers, you inclusive. I have a copy of the transactions you authorized last June” Kogberegbe said “If it is made public, I can assure you that you stand to lose your job. I am sorry I have to stoop so low as to blackmailing you, but you leave me no choice”

Abu’s eyes widened “That was an authorized operation”

“I also have the list of your superiors that authorized it covertly. I promise you I will leave no stone unturned in getting it out to media houses, it will be far beyond your control. You will have to be looking at a federal case”

“You wouldn’t” Abu said, lips slightly trembling.

“Try me” Kogberegbe said, meeting his gaze

“Arresting him on no grounds can still cost me my job”

“That’s a probability, blackmailing you is a certainty. You have a choice to make”

“But I have to take permission for every action I take” Abu said

“You were swarmed with the suicide case, I ordered Sabo’s arrest” Kogberegbe offered

“I hope not to work with you ever again” Abu said through gritted teeth.

“I won’t  look forward to it” Kogberegbe responded.

Abu beckoned on two of his men “Do as he says” he ordered them eyes still fixed on Kogberegbe

Kogberegbe led the men towards Sabo, who was weaving his way through the crowd, obviously in on the plan to have him arrested. He glanced back, saw that Kogberegbe and the men were gaining grounds and he picked up pace.

“After him” Kogberegbe ordered. The policemen caught up with Sabo in no time and had him handcuffed.

“Thank you” Kogberegbe said to them and walked towards Abu

“Walahi you go pay for this nonsense wey you do. Why you wan talk say you arrest me now???”

Kogberegbe stopped short in his strides, turning round sharply to look at Sabo who communicated beautifully in Pidgin English. Even Musa appeared shocked. Now, more than before, Kogberegbe was certain that Sabo wasn’t who he pretended to be. All the while, he fooled everyone into believing he was one of the proper Hausa clan who only understood English sparingly.

“Sabo…” Musa called, then followed up with some local dialect

“Shut up you fool!” Sabo responded menacingly and Musa visibly flinched.

“Interesting” Kogberegbe said, taking in Abu’s surprised look. “Can I take him ahead to the station with one or two of your men?” Kogberegbe asked Abu

“Sure” He responded “I just have to wait here for forensics”

“Hmm” Kogberegbe said, ignoring the urge to criticize the fact the Abu and his men put the cart before the horse once again, as they always did in their investigations. He simply smiled and made his leave.

Talk about torturing, Naija police definitely knew their way around that! Within the short while Sabo arrived at the station, he’d been shown the other side of the law. No one bothered to ask Kogberegbe what basis he was holding Sabo on. The fact that he was arrested and brought in handcuffed could only mean one thing- he was guilty. Actually though, Kogberegbe still had no solid proof against Sabo and if only he had a good lawyer or knew his rights, he would know that the police couldn’t hold him beyond twenty four hours unless they find substantial evidence against him. Kogberegbe could only hope that they could make him believe they had evidence, and as such force a confession out of him. Sabo’s little apartment had been swept by the police after Kogberegbe left, nothing was found there that could incriminate him- or so they said. Kogberegbe knew it would have been best for him to be there while they searched but he had too much on his plate to handle at once. Kogberegbe browsed through the phone that was confiscated from Sabo, it was wiped clean. However, Kogberegbe observed that it was an expensive Sony Ericson, wondering how Sabo could have managed to afford such or why he needed it in the first instance. Kogberegbe decided to call Abu to check if he was still on site, he was.

“Could you please go to Musa, I want to ask him a few questions and I’d like you to kindly interpret”

“Sure” Abu responded, obviously still pissed off with Kogberegbe. A few minutes later he was with Musa, his phone on speaker.

“Musa, remind me how you found out that your betrothed disappointed you?” Kogberegbe questioned and Musa went into a frantic Hausa correspondence, obviously glad that he didn’t have to respond in English. Through Abu, Musa confirmed that it was Sabo who suggested that they call home, the message had come through Sabo and Musa had been too distraught afterwards to make a follow-up call.

“And afterwards he started getting you drunk while he kept watch over the house?” Kogberegbe asked further and Abu affirmed. “Ok Musa, here is what I want you to do for me ok? Call home right now, find out about your wife. I will call right back ok?” Kogberegbe waited for Abu to get back on the line “Thanks Abu. Please call me back immediately he’s made contact with his people. And please bring him back to the station with you; I worry for his safety out there.”

“Ok I will” Abu said and got off the phone.

Kogberegbe was certain that Sabo was involved in the murder; he found a way to get Musa in a sad state so as to introduce him to drinking. He probably even laced the alcohol with pills that ensured that Musa was knocked out long enough to prepare for his evil act. His physique would also match the suspect profile and also perfect for Kemta’s framed suicide. He had plenty of time to set the scene, plus easy access to all the houses that his friends guarded on the estate. Kogberegbe believed that Sabo either committed the crime with Kemta who felt he had become a loose end that needed to be tied up, or Sabo committed the crime on his own then gave Ronke’s phone to Kemta to sell but the latter held on to it. Once Sabo realized the slip, he knew it was just a matter of time before Kemta pointed him as the source. A problem however remained…Sabo’s blood didn’t match the sample taken at the scene. That either meant Sabo was not the killer or there was more than one killer; but then also, the sweep of the scene didn’t suggest there was more than one killer that entered Ronke’s room.

Just then, Abu called him back “He wants to speak with you” Abu said simply

“I’m listening” Kogberegbe said.

“Eeeh, Oga my wipe eee, mpchew heeee” Musa struggled with the English for a while and decided to let Abu worry about it so he went into a frantic Hausa, ending it will “Sabo e not my priend at all at all, he wicked flinty! Kai mana!!”

Abu informed Kogberegbe that none of the things Sabo said about Musa’s betrothed was true and that they were expecting Musa back at home for the marital rites. Musa was excited about the whole turn of event, and Kogberegbe now had something to go on. Moments later, his phone rang; it was Dana.

“Hey D” Kogberegbe said

“Your fetal test is ready detective. We however need a sample to match it against” She said, going straight to the point. Kogberegbe could imagine that she was swamped with work.

“Wow, that’s good news. Let’s start with the boyfriend”

“Cool, I’m on it. I’ll get back to you” Dana said

“Thanks Dana” Kogberegbe said and got off the phone. He was just following protocol, he was almost certain that Dapo’s test against the fetus would come back negative.

His phone rang again, this time it was Dr. Okanlawon sounding quite excited.

“I heard you’ve got the murderer” Dr said, going straight to the point as if he had no time to waste.

“How did you hear this sir?”

“Well done detective. I knew you would crack the case” Dr Okanlawon said and Kogberegbe could almost hear a laugh in his voice.

“Sir…”

“Do I need to come over?”

“Sir, I haven’t yet found enough evidence to tie him to the scene”

“Then find it” Dr said impatiently

“Yes sir.”

“Good” Dr. Okanlawon said

“And sir, if Sabo did kill Ronke, I am certain that he didn’t work alone. I don’t believe a common gateman would have any motive to murder the girl sir”

“Well, he was no ordinary gateman from what I hear right?”

“Yes sir”

“So find the motive. I want the bastard to rot in jail.”

“Yes sir”

“And Kogberegbe, don’t let my information always come from outside source”

“Yes sir”

“Good work” Dr. Okanlawon said and the line went dead.

Next, it was the DPO’s call the came through to his phone

“What madness is this I hear about? Why would you arrest an innocent man?” The DPO said

“Sir, I have reasons to suspect…”

“We don’t make arrests based on suspicions detective. We investigate suspicions!!!” He shouted

“Yes sir” Kogberegbe simply said, knowing it was fruitless to argue with the DPO

“Now I want you to release the boy without further ado. And when I return from my journey,  I want a full report and letter of apology duly addressed to the young man and the entire family he is associated with. Do you understand?”

COIN……there are two sides to every story by @obasatemitope (Episode XIII)

Hey Guys,

 

It’s been thirteen weeks now, almost can’t believe it. You guys are WOW.

 

This episode isn’t just titillating, it’s also very looong. Tope decided to give you wonderful guys  a two in one Episode.

 

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS EPISODES

imagesCAHKYIG1

 

Like many ‘Lasgidians’, Kogberegbe’s alarm went off at 5:00am but unlike most of them, he rolled over to turn it off and went straight back to sleep. When his eyes finally opened at 6:30am, he felt well rested and excited. He stretched, did a short devotion, fixed himself a nice cup of coffee and sent Dr. Okanlawon a reminder. Doctor responded immediately, which surprised Kogberegbe; he probably didn’t get any sleep. Feeling alive, Kogberegbe started whistling a song that didn’t exist but the melody was so good that he continued whistling as he shaved.

It took him approximately two hours to get ready and when he was done, he stood staring at himself in the mirror, wondering what on earth was wrong with him. He looked strangely good, perhaps slightly overdressed but two reasons kept him from changing his outfit: time and ironing. Kogberegbe was as hopeless with ironing as he was with women and it’d been a while that he took his clothes over for dry-cleaning. Hoping he didn’t look as stupid as he felt, Kogberegbe grabbed his keys and dashed out the door, stealing a glance at his wrist watch. The only major appointment he had was at the Okanlawon’s residence but he needed to wait for a confirmation call before heading over. However there was a stack of paperwork that he needed to catch up with in the office before going to lunch with Lucy.

Forty-five minutes later, Kogberegbe was in his office; he greeted his secretary airily and she responded with a weird look which spurred irritation in Kogberegbe for he now knew he definitely looked stupid. Inside his office, he noticed that the bin had been thrown out and lined, but his ex-wife’s framed picture lay face-down on his shelf. His irritation was gradually building and after a few minutes of continuous discomfort, he picked up his car keys and the frame and headed out, in the ante-room, he dropped the frame with the secretary.

“Bin it” he said simply.

“Yes sir” she responded.

Kogberegbe drove down to one of his favorite clothing stores around Opebi where he purchased a very simple tee shirt which he immediately changed into. He also bought a female T-shirt which was gift-wrapped for him. Feeling smug now, he headed towards Lucy’s hospital; she should be on lunch break in about an hour. He decided to while away time at a café not far from the hospital. He ordered for a bottle of soda water, brought out his writing pad and started ruminating over his findings so far.

At this point, one thing was certain; Ronke threaded some dangerous waters, lived recklessly and definitely pissed someone off along the line. Whoever it was probably wasn’t just dangerous but also well connected. The most annoying part of the puzzle was that the murderer could be anyone, and he or she could be anywhere. For instance, there was a probability that the person resided within the estate, which would explain the easy access into the house. But the mastermind behind the execution would make him strike out the guards as suspects; the seemed to gullible to effectively plan such and moreover, there was no motive. He couldn’t rule out the parents of the girl; perhaps they found out about their daughter’s disgraceful lifestyle and felt it would be damaging to their careers. But why kill the only child they had? Kogberegbe certainly knew that an average Nigerian wouldn’t be that heartless. But what if Dr. Okanlawon had other children secretly, or if he valued his political image enough to take even his own daughter’s life? Kogberegbe would need to look closely into Dr. Okanlawon’s life.

It was also possible that Ronke’s killer was one of her school mates; it was obvious that she and her friends hung out with some fearful students, or at least were being watched by some. Kogberegbe was almost certain that Fadekemi’s boyfriend for instance was a cultist and even though she was scared of him, she was doomed if she left him; Kogberegbe knew how the gig was. So what if some cultist was interested in Ronke and she gave him an attitude? A cultist, or student at the minimum would be able to carry out such carefully planned murder, and there seemed to be a motive. But he doubted that a cultist would be careless enough to leave such traces as was found at the residence; and it was rare for them to operate outside the school and its environs; except the perpetrator was a new recruit, which made him wonder if it could have been an initiation ceremony.

There was also the issue of Ronke’s pregnancy, which made Kogberegbe conclude that whoever wanted her dead was a man; and judging by the force with which her head was snapped, the killer was definitely a man. He couldn’t shake the fact that everyone seemed to believe that the only man that Ronke dated or that she could have had sex with was Dapo, but the boy denied the fact that the child was his. If the paternity test came back negative, that would corroborate Dapo’s story although it wouldn’t let him off the hook because the prosecutor could argue that the pregnancy was enough motive for Dapo to have wanted her dead. Perhaps he felt the feeling of betrayal and jealousy got the better of him and he did the act before he could come back to his senses. And unfortunately for him, he would not be able to find an alibi during the time of the murder because technically, he would have been on the road, alone. But if Dapo was telling the truth, then his story would pan out with the period that Fadekemi told her that Ronke started behaving funny. Whatever bothered her definitely had to do with sex, which was probably why she finally gave consent to Dapo, and which was finally what led to her pregnancy. The fact that she hadn’t informed any of her friends and boyfriend about the pregnancy could also mean that she had a plan to use the pregnancy to her benefit and then terminate it to get on with her life. Kogberegbe wondered if the pregnancy was how she intended to get back at the person who had intimidated her for so long, if he was to believe Fadekemi’s recount of what Ronke told her. If that was so, then it could mean blackmail and whoever was worth blackmailing was definitely wealthy or powerful. It seemed to Kogberegbe like a well thought out plan gone bad; she was going to have her escapades and still end up with an the non-the-wise Dapo.

She definitely needed more money and when she was refused by her parents, she resulted to working at the club. Or it could have been to get access to some connection, like Jack said. But why was this necessary? To get to the root of that, Kogberegbe would have to interrogate the owner of the club and then every gold and diamond member of the club. But he knew that the club would sooner fold up that give him access to its members; that’s what they paid such ridiculous amount of money for anyway.

Kogberegbe dropped his pen and rubbed his temple, thankful that it was almost one pm. He sipped his now hot soda water, smoothed out his outfit and got ready to step under the sun.

Kogberegbe greeted the nurses familiarly as the made directly for the lunch room. His heart however sank when he saw the Doctor he’d seen the previous day, seated across the unmistakable back of his girlfriend- or ex-girlfriend, he wasn’t even sure which. He hated the sight of the two of them giggling happily together, so he turned to take his leave.

“Hey Steve” Lucy called, waving him over. The Doctor must have spotted him and alerted her. Kogberegbe didn’t want to be childish so he walked over to them.

“Nice of you to stop by” The Doctor said, standing up with a tabby cat smile glued to his face and when he noticed Kogberegbe’s confused look, he added “Lucy said you’d be joining us today”

“Did she, now?” Kogberegbe responded sarcastically, shaking the Doctor’s right hand. Lucy turned her head in embarrassment.

“Good to finally meet you inspector, your job must be interesting” The Doctor said.

“Detective” Lucy corrected with a laugh. “You look sparkly.” She added, trying to look for the reason.

Kogberegbe had never felt so small “It’s just the shirt, I spilled tea on the one I wore to the office so I had to buy this impromptu”

“It’s definitely not the shirt” Lucy said, musing.

“Not the shirt” The Doctor said dumbly. Kogberegbe darted a look his way which made him shut up immediately. He wondered why Lucy would pick such a man above him.

“I wasn’t staying anyway. I was called up on something I didn’t plan for…” Kogberegbe started to say.

“Soooooo you came all the way just to say you aren’t coming? Lucy supplied with  a confused look.

“That about sums it up” Kogberegbe responded with an embarrassed smile.

“That’s unlike you, you could have just pinged”

“Well, I didn’t think of that” He said looking even more embarrassed.

“You always think…”

“Stop it please” Kogberegbe couldn’t hold the humiliation anymore “Nice meeting you Doc”

“Did you get Lucy a gift?” The Doctor rather responded, peering into the little gift bag that Kogberegbe had unthinkingly dropped on the table. Quickly, Kogberegbe scooped it up.

“You do have a big mouth you know that? Kogberegbe said angrily.

“That was uncalled for” Lucy stood up, meeting his glare.

“Just as all these were!” Kogberegbe voiced out his frustration “I’m sorry I walked into such trap; I should have known better”

“Steve” Lucy softly called after Kogberegbe as he stormed out of the hospital, junking the gift as he went. So much for trying to understand women!

Later that evening after more weird glances from his secretary and tediously trying to get his reports up to date, Kogberegbe headed for the Okanlawon’s residence. He saw Musa seated with his peers, head bowed and oblivious to the game of draft they played. It was almost as if he was forced to sit in their midst. When he caught glimpse of Kogberegbe, a tiny sparkle crept into his eyes and freeing the frocks of his jalamia which was previously gathered on his knees, he came up to meet Kogberegbe.

“Oga” He said in a simple greeting, scratching the back of his head.

“How are you holding up Musa?” Kogberegbe shut the door.

“Uhn?”

“How are you?”

“Ha!” he laughed, nodded and lifted his eyes in a funny way “Alihamdulilahi”

“Have you remembered anything since the last time I saw you?” Kogberegbe asked, taking note of how the skin around his face suddenly changed to the sad one he’d worn over days. He looked like two different people when he was sad and when he brightened up.

“Oga, no remember anything again”

“Never mind; but I see you’ve started playing with your friends again?” Kogberegbe glanced in their direction and noticed that the men had stopped playing and now focused on them as if expecting Kogberegbe to cuff Musa and take him away.

“They call, they call” Musa said now, gesturing to explain that his friends had been trying t make him loosen up “And now today, I come, I sit, them, there.”

“Ok Musa” Kogberegbe said “Did someone bring some boxes here?” Kogberegbe also gesticulated for Musa’s comprehension.

“Yes. He ufshair” Musa pointed and started leading the way. Kogberegbe cast a last look at the guards, wondering how anyone could entrust their lives to such men; dogs were definitely better in his opinion because at least they would bark at the sight of strange things or people…but then dogs couldn’t open gates, he mused.

Ronke’s personal effects were neatly packed in boxes, all placed in the living room.

“He there” Musa pointed at the boxes which Kogberegbe had already seen.

“Thanks Musa.” Kogberegbe said as a dismissal but the man stood rooted; Kogberegbe decided to let him be.

As Kogberegbe looked through the boxes, his phone rang

“Yes” Kogberegbe answered

“Inspector Abu on the line”

“Hey Abu, how now?” Kogberegbe said.

“Very well sir. I have the result of the sample you asked me to test. I want to know if you’re in the office so that I can drop it off”

Kogberegbe’s heart raced, this could be the break he needed in the case so he didn’t want to waste time with the information “Just rip it open and tell me what it is inspector”

“Alright sir” Abu said from the other end and Kogberegbe heard the sound of paper tearing, a scrambled sound  that suggested Abu had replaced the phone in his ears and then “negative sir. The samples don’t match.”

Kogberegbe’s hopes sank, he suddenly felt tired so he sat on one of the leather chairs “Thanks inspector. You can hold on to it, I will pick it up when I come around”

“Alright sir”

“Thanks for getting back to me so quick” Kogberegbe said and went off the line. After a few minutes of sitting down, he managed to get himself back together and got back to work without bothering to spare Musa as much as a glance. He knew he was still standing there trying to make sense of what was happening. This was beginning to get frustrating for Kogberegbe; even though his recent findings pointed at various suspects, the singular person he could plausibly place at the murder scene was Sabo, and evidence now showed otherwise.

Pulling himself back together, Kogberegbe resumed scanning Ronke’s stuff, catching Musa’s swaying motion from the corner of his eye but choosing to ignore it. He wasn’t in the mood.

There didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary in the box; just clothes, make-up things and a few cheap jewelry items. There was a key in a large key-ring, along with an I.D card that had the name of the club house on it. Kogberegbe assumed the key opened a locker within the premises, which meant he would have to make a final trip to the club after all, he thought.

He had been hoping that Ronke at least kept a diary but apparently she didn’t- or did she? Kogberegbe wondered if Ronke’s wardrobe hadn’t been tampered with once her friends realized she was no more. He knew he had to get to the club house as soon as possible because if the owners had anything to hide, they would attempt to ransack Ronke’s locker, if they hadn’t done that already. Kogberegbe neatly repacked the box and placed it in Musa’s care then dialed the DPO’s office. He requested for a warrant to search Ronke’s locker at the club because he envisaged resistance. He was assured that the warrant would be issued under the condition that armed policemen accompany him. All the better, Kogberegbe thought to himself; they then arranged for the policemen to meet him on site and then he hung up. Outside, he noticed Musa’s friends were engrossed in their game as if their lives depended on it. Kogberegbe shook his head, knowing that anything could be going on at the moment in the houses they were supposed to keep watch over. Musa appeared beside him, exposing his teeth as usual, in good tiding.

“Is this how you normally play?” Kogberegbe gestured towards his friends and Musa nodded “daily?” Kogberegbe asked further

“Gaskiya ne” Musa responded

“Hmmm” Kogberegbe said, thinking “Do you have a phone Musa?”

“Oga I tell you, I not get” Musa answered

Kogberegbe glanced at his wristwatch, thinking he could spare a few minutes “Get in the car Musa”

“uhn?” Musa said dumbly

“In-the-car” Kogberegbe stressed. He knew there was a call centre within the estate, he just hoped they sell cheap phones as well. Kogberegbe noticed the smug look on Musa’s face as he gathered his garment and entered the passenger side of the car. He also noticed that Musa’s friends stopped their game once again but this time, they stood up, arms akimbo, watching their friend. Kogberegbe couldn’t decipher whether they felt he was arresting Musa or if they envied him for getting a ride; their expression could be that confusing. However, Kogberegbe was more engrossed in the realization that Musa just got in the car without securing the house he was supposed to be guarding. Kogberegbe shook his head and motioned for him to correct this wrong act.

“Aaah” Musa said smiling “e sape, eberywhere” He added, teeth out

“Yea right” Kogberegbe said sarcastically. It was becoming apparent to him that even any stupid amateur could perpetrate evil on these guards’ watch. Anything could have happened on that fateful day, anyone could have lured Musa from his duty post while the plan was being set in motion. Kogberegbe was certain that Musa would have been as careless about the security of the home as he just did.

Musa got back in the car and they drove off. As Kogberegbe made to steer off the street, he almost bumped into a careless driver who just swerved into the street without checking to see if another car was making its way out.

“Sorry” the female driver called out in haste, but she did a double take as she saw Musa “Hey! Hey!! Musa!!!” she called out and hurriedly parked, once again without looking out to see that she was not a harm to anyone around.

Musa peered through the driver’s window and bared his teeth again “Aaah. Madam” He said and Kogberegbe gave him a weird look. Everyone seem to have just one title as far as Musa was concerned. You were either “Oga” if you were a man or “Madam” for women.

“Hi. Sorry about the rough driving” She said to Kogberegbe

“It’s ok. Is everything alright?” He asked

“Are you Kogberegbe”

Puzzled, Kogberegbe responded “Yea?”

“I need to talk to you privately please” she pleaded

Kogberegbe glanced in Musa’s direction, knowing that was as private as any meeting could be, considering Musa’s dumb nature coupled with communication problem. But then, the detective side of him cautioned him; for there was no way he could be absolutely sure that Musa was in fact dumb. This made him ponder briefly on a thought he hadn’t considered before- could Musa have been an accomplice to the murder? His instincts told him Musa didn’t commit the crime, but did he know more than he divulged? He made a mental note to have Musa’s blood sample taken.

“I’ll park properly then” Kogberegbe said to the woman. When he had parked well, he stepped out o the car and met with the woman behind his car.

“I’m Subomi. Chief’s niece” She said in a way of introduction

“Ok” Kogberegbe said

“It was I who picked up Ronke’s things from school today”

“Oh I see. Hope it wasn’t too much of a bother?:

She averted her eyes, a sure sign that she was hiding something “I think something dropped off in my car while I transported the stuff”

Kogberegbe’s eyebrow arched a notch but he chose not to press her just yet “Ok” he simply said.

She produced a small transparent care and gave it to Kogberegbe “It’s a memory card  and sim card. I thought it might be useful to the investigation so I hurried back immediately”

“Ok” Kogberegbe said, assessing the case. He then stared hard at Subomi without saying anything.

“Well, that’s it” She said  nervously

“Ok” Kogberegbe said again.

She let out a heavy sigh “Trust me, it was a mistake. Just please don’t tell my uncle about it or he would never trust me again”

“If it dropped off the box without your knowledge, I see no reason why you should be worried about Doctor having knowledge of it” Kogberegbe said

“I swear it was a mistake”

“Then why don’t I believe you?”

“You have to, it’s the truth?”

“The box was sealed- by you!” Kogberegbe finally pointed out the obvious.

She fidgeted visibly “Look, I’m very sorry about this. But please know that I had a choice, I could have just tossed it; but I realized it might be useful to the investigation. She was my cousin,  and I want the case solved like everyone else does”

“You also had a choice not to obstruct investigation” Kogberegbe countered. She just stared at the ground, so Kogberegbe continued “I assume you already saw or read something on the disc otherwise you wouldn’t have thought it would be useful to the investigation after you originally took it” He paused before continuing “so I’m gonna ask you, what else ‘fell off’ the sealed box?”

“Nothing”

“Sure?”

“Just some jewelry. They are mine, she loaned them from me when she was alive”

“Seriously?”

“I swear!”

“Well, you did before! If I find out that you took more than you are letting on, I promise you I’ll make a case against you!”

“That’s all” she said in a small voice.

“Alright then, gotta dash” Kogberegbe said and circled round her to get to his car. A few blocks down, he saw the call centre, bought a cheap Nokia phone and a sim card, fitted it in, saved his phone number on it and handed it over to Musa. He seemed excited about it, his eyes glowing.

“Musa, can you operate the phone?” Kogberegbe asked

“Oferate?” he asked, confused as usual but smiling all the way.

“Can you use the phone?”

“Aaah, Sabo my priend, he know” he replied and Kogberegbe marveled at him. He who had been in Lagos for many more years than Sabo could not operate a phone but Sabo could.

“Ok here is what I want you to do for me” Kogberegbe said “You need to be vigilant henceforth, you might remember something…or someone might come back. If anything at all happens, I want you to call me…like this” Kogberegbe showed him, demonstrating all of his words and hoping Musa understood. Musa just kept nodding like a puppet even after Kogberegbe had finished speaking. Kogberegbe dropped Musa off at his street and made his own way to the clubhouse, a plan forming in his head. He had to plant a false evidence that would lure the killer back to the apartment or at least cause him to snap. He would have to be careless with the information so that the press could catch wind of it and hope it gets to the killer.

 

It was almost midnight when Kogberegbe returned to his apartment. The club manager had been impressively cooperative, which made him suspect they had already done their cleaning up before Kogberegbe arrived. It wasn’t unlikely that they had informants within the police force, Kogberegbe thought. The only things he found in the locker were her costumes, contraceptives, a wad of cash and a cheque book. Kogberegbe wondered why she kept contraceptives and still managed to get knocked up; that definitely meant she knew what she was up to. From what he gathered about her, she was a smart girl and wouldn’t do anything without thinking it through. The club manager wouldn’t make any comments about Ronke, he claimed he didn’t mingle with the staff.

Kogberegbe notices that many leaves in the cheque book had been used, the duplicates revealing huge sums of money which obviously didn’t come from her parents. The last duplicate revealed that a payment was made to a clinic; Kogberegbe wrote out the name, he would have to visit the place. He would also have to visit the bank to get a hold of Ronke’s account statement.

Back at his apartment, he brought out the memory card and sim card which Subomi gave him.

Searching through the content of the memory card, there were basically two things: Pole dancing training and “things you should know before aborting…” kogberegbe always trusted his theory, but it was nice to know that once again, his theory about Ronke’s plans concerning the pregnancy panned out.

The sim card had a password but it wasn’t difficult to crack; it was her father’s birth date. There were series of received messages on the sim  but none that was sent. It seemed as if someone was negotiating to keep Ronke from sharing a secret, there was mention of the fellow’s “ambition” and how the secret would “tarnish” it. It seemed as if there had been a back and forth financial negotiation. The last message sounded like mockery, saying no one would link the phone number to the sender. Perhaps Ronke had threatened to go public with the SMS evidences. The message claimed that the number was a special one and that he/she never shared the original contact for fear of such.

Kogberegbe was certain that this was a politician; more often than not, they were the ones with dubious minds and schemes right from the beginning. They always are a step ahead of ordinary individuals- at least the smart ones amongst them are. He pressed the ‘dial back’ button and waited as the phone rang a couple of times but wasn’t picked. He tried again a couple of times but the phone was already switched off. A few minutes later, he received an SMS.

“You are dead” The message read. A few seconds later, a second message came in “Calling was a wrong move this line never receives calls so you obviously are a hostile. You know not what you seek. The line will now go dead, just like the girl”

COIN…..there are two sides to every story (Episode XII) by @obasatemitope

 untitled

Stripper you said?”
Jack frowned “Yeah? Thought you knew; why else would you be asking me?”
“What did you mean when you said ‘freelance’”
“Means you aren’t really bound to the club. You do your thing as and when you want”
“Ok. But I was of the impression that she used to come here with her friends?” Kogberegbe was getting even more confused.
“Perhaps. Like I said, I didn’t know her that well. The job comes with a lot of protection for the girls. It’s a high class thing, and I know it’s one of the ways girls get high level contacts in Lagos. It also pays well, and it’s safe. Just a bit of pole dancing or something, no touching except for special requests and it comes with the girl’s consent. I’m not really sure what goes down in there; we have levels of operation in here and only designated staffs are allowed in the suite. We don’t know much about the girls, and absolutely nothing about the gold and diamond members”
“Those are the ones allowed in the VIP suite?”
“Yea. Silver members have another lounge; and unregistered members like you are not allowed beyond the regular floor”
“I see” Kogberegbe said “Who owns this club”
“Look, I’ve told you more than I should. My shift doesn’t end till another four hours, I just asked someone to cover while I went to the gents. I’ve overstayed as it is”
“Alright. Thanks for your time” Kogberegbe said without a choice because Jack had already turned his back and was on his way in “You have my card, please call if you remember anything else”
“Sure” Jack said and a few steps ahead, Kogberegbe saw him toss his card into an industrial bin.
Sitting in his car, Kogberegbe dialed Fadekemi’s number. She picked on the fourth ring “Yep” she said.
“It’s Kogberegbe”
“Ok”
“First let me apologize for earlier” He said
“It’s cool” She responded briefly.
“Sorry I’m calling this late but I need to ask you further questions…”
“Yea, she said so” She responded incoherently.
“Excuse me?” Kogberegbe said
“He’s here as well”
“Who?”
She gave a short laugh “She should be with you in ten minutes don’t worry”
“Hello” Kogberegbe said, confused. It was as if she was responding to a totally different conversation.
“Alright then, later” she said and went off the line.
Kogberegbe stared at the phone, wondering what madness just happened. Now he’s been able to confirm for sure that there was someone in Ronke’s clique that at least Fadekemi is scared of; and now he suspects that that person might be Fadekemi’s boyfriend. The only explanation was that he was beside her when Kogberegbe called, and must not even get a whiff that she’s been speaking with a detective. Now, Kogberegbe wondered if he shouldn’t really be taking a deeper look in the school or even among the clique. And he also wondered if Fadekemi wasn’t deliberately sent to him to throw off the trail, what if she’s been lying to him all day?
Kogberegbe put his earpiece in place, phone in the holster, turned to his favorite radio station and drove out into one of the well lit roads in Lagos state. The state was always busy, no matter what time of the day and this made it beautiful in an eerie way. Despite the daily huddles faced such as heavy traffic and poor electricity supply, Kogberegbe loved Nigeria, but particularly Lagos state and he couldn’t blame the people that daily fluxed into the state. The expensive lifestyle that also came with staying in Lag suited him just fine; he made enough to cover up for such expenses. As he drove, he noticed one of the billboards erected by the Ministry of Environment “Keeping Lasgidi clean…Eko o ni baje o”. Lagos was getting popularized as Lasgidi, and the numerous names never ceased to amuse him; some others would call it Eko state, combining English and Yoruba to qualify the state. But whichever way it is called, there was this solidarity slogan about not allowing Lagos to get spoilt, literally, and that seemed to build a kind of belonging in the people, making them feel like something bound them all together as they answer “o baje ti” in response always to the slogan of “Eko o ni baje”. Kogberegbe smiled, thinking he certainly belonged here. A few minutes later, his phone started ringing. He just glanced down briefly to ascertain the caller before refocusing on the road. As much as he liked Lagos state, he knew he had to be careful at all times and as such, he knew that one of the most stupid things he could attempt to do at that time of the day was to park to pick the call. And it was for this reason that he put on his earpiece before leaving the clubhouse, for it was also dangerous to drive and use the mobile phone.
“Fadekemi” He said into the earpiece in acknowledgement.
“Hi detective. First of all about earlier, it’s not cool. Second, sorry for the incoherent responses I gave, I couldn’t speak where I was and you ensured you called long enough that I couldn’t continue to ignore”
“I apologize. I am constrained by time, that’s why I have to get to issues as soon as I can. You held back some information about Ronke, I wonder why?”
“Excuse me?” She said. Kogberegbe could sense the anger creeping back into her voice.
“About what she…or perhaps you all do at the club”
“I’m afraid I don’t get your drift”
“Do you work at the club for instance?”
“I’m beginning to feel sorry that I came to you detective. How dare you insult us so? Of all places to work, would it be at a club house?”
Now, Kogberegbe was all the more confused, because it sounded like Fadekemi was telling the truth. “I’m very sorry Fadekemi, but trust me I’ve not had any intention of insulting you, not before and not now. All I ask is for you to help me make sense of a few confusing things.”
“I hear you”
“That club is pretty expensive, and it requires referrals. How did you guys join the club?”
“First of all, there is no such thing as ‘expensive’ for some of us. And for your information, Ronke single-handedly organized the whole thing. She did it as a surprise on Dapo’s birthday, and we’ve been frequenting the place ever since. We like it there, it’s not as low class as most other clubs you see around, if you know what I mean”
“Yea, sure.”
“Well then I gotta go now” she said hurriedly. Kogberegbe heard footsteps in the background and Fadekemi’s “Yea, it’s mom” before she went off the line.

After much deliberation, Kogberegbe decided to call Dr. Okanlawon despite the time insensitivity.
“It’s late, detective” Dr. Okanlawon said gruffly
“Apologies sir” Kogberegbe said.
“Uhn-uhn?” Dr. Okanlawon asked impatiently
“I was wondering if I could go through Ronke’s school effects. That’s if she left anything behind in school and if you’ve collected them sir?”
“No, we’ve not got round to doing that. We’ve not even formally informed the school authorities yet. I can’t say for certain that she left anything in school, but I believe she has a regular room and some of her friends are always there so there is a possibility. If you need access, I could place a call tomorrow and probably arrange someone to box and take them to the house, if that’s fine.”
“That would be perfect sir” Kogberegbe said.
“Please remind me in the morning”
“Definitely sir”
“Is that all, detective?”
“Eeer, I’d also need to know what allowance you gave Ronke?”
“Is that important to the case?”
“It probably is sir”
“Well, it varies…varied” Dr. Okanlawon corrected himself, then took a pause before going further “But we tried to keep it modest so that she wouldn’t get carried away with frivolous activities”
“Could you please be specific sir?”
“It should be in the region of #30,000. Between #30,000 and #50,000, but definitely not more than that. It was just for upkeep, we supplied everything else she needed”
“Thank you sir”
“At some point, her mother said she requested for more. But we expressly declined, so I’m sure that isn’t an issue in your case”
“It shouldn’t be sir” Kogberegbe lied “But can you remember when this was sir?”
“Not really detective, but it hasn’t been more than a few months”
“Thank you sir” Kogberegbe said.
“Are you going to tell me what this is about?” The venom was slowly entering Dr. Okanlawon’s voice but Kogberegbe wasn’t intimidated. If anything, he had learnt that in his line of work, one had to be hardened and prepared to meet with all sorts- intimidations, lies, rudeness and annoyance alike.
“Not right now sir, I haven’t yet figured out the relevance of these information; I just know for certain that they will be useful whether in affirming suspicions or discarding them” Kogberegbe answered.
“You’re hiding something from me detective; I am not stupid, you know.”
“Your daughter was a clubber Doctor”
“You insinuated as much the very first day you visited the scene”
“She was a heavy clubber sir. And there’s an indication that she frequented an expensive club” Kogberegbe said, certain that he had to give Doctor some information, howbeit little, if he wanted to get him off his back.
Dr. Okanlawon sighed “Well, she made a choice of where to spend her money then.” He said sadly, then after a long pause said “There’s more to this isn’t there?”
“It is a very expensive club sir, I have been there myself”
“And I suppose the charges don’t fall within the range of the allowance I mentioned?”
“Even if she went five times a month, and alone, I’m afraid not sir” He didn’t bother to emphasize that she financed her friends to the club.
“Then Dapo must have picked the bills. His parents are quite wealthy too, and you know boys have a way of getting more cash”
“Absolutely sir; I will question him about this tomorrow sir” Kogberegbe said.
“I heard he was picked up?”
“Yes sir”
“Have you talked to him?”
“Yes sir”
“Does he strike you as someone capable of this crime?”
“No sir. But I’m sure the Police are doing their job sir” Kogberegbe said.
“The boy’s a good lad detective; we attended the same Church when we lived in their estate. I would say I know him quite well, but I obviously didn’t even know my own daughter.” He paused; Kogberegbe refused to comment, so Dr Okanlawon went on “I don’t want to make the mistake of requesting his release if he’s involved in this, do you understand?”
“I understand sir” Kogberegbe responded.
“Do you have an idea when he can be bailed?”
“I’m not sure sir. But I was told his parents were there this morning, they should work things out soon.”
“Keep me informed detective”
“Yes sir”
“During the day detective”
“Yes sir. Sorry for the disturbance sir.” Kogberegbe said.
“Bye then” Dr. Okanlawon said, immediately followed by a click that indicated he had cut the line.
Kogberegbe found it difficult to sleep, another experience that felt alien to him; the hollow feeling persisted. He sighed in resignation when he heard a click which made him realize he’d unconsciously dialed Lucy’s number.
“Hello” She said, her voice sounding so sweet, like he was hearing it for the first time. “Hello?” She repeated in a sleepy voice.
“Did I wake you up? Kogberegbe asked.
“Not really, what’s up?”
“What? Oh, nothing really. I was trying to call someone else and…” Kogberegbe tried hopelessly to explain the mistake off.
“So it was a mistake then”
“Yea…erm…” He stuttered.
“It’s cool. You take care then”
“Lucy?” Kogberegbe called
“Yes?”
“Nice hearing your voice.”
She gave a small laugh “Thanks. I know you’re dying to discuss your case”
Kogberegbe laughed back. He really did miss sharing with her; whether directly or indirectly, she used to help him through his cases. “Probably” He said out loud.
“Maybe we should do lunch tomorrow then? I’m really knackered tonight and I’ve got an early shift tomorrow” Lucy answered.
“Ok, that sounds great”
“And Steve…?”
“Yes?”
“You should get some sleep yourself” she advised.
“Thanks. I’ll do just that. I’m sorry I forgot your birthday”
“It’s alright, it’s a weakness with most men anyways” Lucy said and Kogberegbe scoffed. He didn’t like the sound of being categorized with ‘other men’ but he knew he deserved that. Lucy ignored the scoff and said “Don’t forget to call the person you originally intended to”
Kogberegbe laughed “Goodnight Lucy”
“Goodnight” she said.

 

COIN……there are two sides to every story by @obasatemitope (Episode XI)

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Kogberegbe wondered how rude these kids have become, lips pursed. But he was thankful for the timely jolt. How could he have been drowning in such silly thoughts about women? The first thing he did was delete his ex-wife’s number from his phone. He knew that for him to be able to move on, he had to shed some of the weight he carried. He took the picture which he had kept dear over years, and carefully laid it in the waste basket, his secretary would throw it away first thing in the morning. It was difficult for him, but he knew that if he had to face the future bravely, he had to let go of the past which held him captive for so long.

He picked up his phone, recorder, notepad and headed out of his office, switching off the lights as he left. He secretary closes at 6pm, he made it a rule for her to leave the office, whether or not he was back from field work. She had a lovely family and Kogberegbe encouraged her to keep it intact; the least he could do was send her home to them in good time.

Kkogberegbe would have loved to go in his own car, but he didn’t want to spook Fadekemi. His car was an old model, the colour unique and hence it would stand out. If anyone didn’t want him to find the killer, they could go an extra mile to permanently keep someone else quiet if that someone else posed a threat. Kogberegbe didn’t want to risk another innocent life. He flagged down an empty cab. One of the good things about Lagos is that you’d hardly ever find a shortage of cabs. Even private car owners sometimes shuttle their cars to earn extra cash.

“Shoprite” Kogberegbe said through the window.

“#2,500” The driver said

“What!” Kogberegbe frowned in the darkness. Exploitation! The distance from his office to shoprite wasn’t more than 10 minutes; with traffic perhaps twenty “#2,000” he negotiated.

With a simple nod of his head, the driver agreed to the price and Kogberegbe hopped into the passenger seat. Luckily, traffic wasn’t as bad as Kogberegbe had envisaged, though that also meant he arrived Shoprite five minutes early.

“Oga, you no talk say I go wait o…” the driver started lamenting immediately Kogberegbe told him he would wait while he talked with Fadekemi, and then take him back to his office. Even before the driver finished his lamentation, Kogberegbe thrust #5,000 in his face. That should keep him quiet for a while.

At two minutes to eight, Kogberegbe decided to call Fadekemi. “Just pulling into the car park, slight traffic. I’ll be at the second entrance in three minutes, you need to pick me up. I have an unmistakable red scarf tied round my neck” she said.

“Cool” he said and four minutes later, they were in front of the entrance. Though the red scarf stood out like she’d said, Kogberegbe was confused with the rest of Fadekemi’s outfit. She had big goggles on, in fact, massive; a very short skirt, heavy wig and really high heeled shoes. Kogberegbe told the driver to stop. She saw him immediately and made her way gracefully inside the cab. You’ve got to give it up for these girls, they are classy, Kogberegbe thought, smiling.

“You’re looking at me like you’re judging me det…” Kogberegbe  gave a fake cough to cut her short. He gave her an eye signal, directed at the driver. “well, Kogberegbe”. The driver obviously found the name amusing, for he tried hopelessly to control his laughter, glancing towards Kogberegbe for a brief second.

He cleared his throat as a cover up “Where to now sir?”

“Just find a good spot in the parking lot” Kogberegbe responded.

“So?” Fadekemi looked at him defiantly.

“So what?” He gave her a surprised look. She gave him a matching look and he said “well…you look…dressy. That’s all”

“I mustn’t look different from the other nights when I go out.”

“You dress like this every night?” Kogberegbe asked.

“If you have a problem with it, I could leave”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude” Kogberegbe apologized.

“Can you excuse us for a minute?” Kogberegbe asked the driver.

The driver glanced at him in a ridiculous way “Leave you in my car? My car??”

Kogberegbe showed him the complimentary police badge which he usually carried for such occasions. “Go with your key. And you need not go farther than a few yards” He handed him an extra #5,000 “And that includes taking me back to the office” Kogberegbe gave him a menacing look. He knew the man had already made from him, more than he could probably expect for the whole night.

“I will just be by the bonnet sir o” The driver said.

“That’s fine” Kogberegbe responded, moving from the passenger seat to the back seat for proximity.

“ehn ehn” The driver said, getting out with his keys and rooted himself firmly close to the door, arms akimbo.

Kogberegbe slid forward to switch on the car radio, not because he cared for the music but to ensure the cab driver stood no chance of listening in to their conversation. Even if he wasn’t a direct threat, he seemed to like money enough to make Kogberegbe careful. For all he knew, the man could head straight to a news company to share all he heard.

“Ok, it’s safe to talk now Fadeke” Kogberegbe said.

“Just before the ASUU strike, Ronke seemed excited about something. Before then, she had been acting strange, sometimes totally off, as if something was bothering her that was beyond her control, but she wouldn’t share. She confided in me that she was doing something that could potentially be dangerous. But she wouldn’t tell me much, she said she could take care of herself. I guess she was wrong” she paused “My thinking is that someone had treated her badly and she’d been finding a way to get back at the person. She probably found a way. Her excitement was quite scary.”

“Tell a about this change in attitude, please be as explicit as possible” Kogberegbe said. He had switched on his recorder before changing seats, careful not to raise Fadekemi’s awareness.

“I am not sure if this part is relevant. But sometime last year, Ronke was very sad. Something apparently bothered her but she wouldn’t share. She must have been afraid of something or someone. She gradually sank into herself, blanking out at times, not corresponding coherently and seemingly distant most times. We had to assume it was something to do with her family because all seemed to go well in school. So we all decided to help her stay strong through it, have enough fun to drown the sorrow. After some time, she seemed to find her strength back, she became lively again. But I’m sure this doesn’t have anything to do with the murder, it was a long time ago” she said.

“You never know which little bit of information would be helpful in getting to the root of an investigation. Please go on” Kogberegbe urged.

“There isn’t much to say. About a month ago, she said she found a way to get even”

“Did she tell you who or what she was talking about?”

Fadeke shook her head “She said it was better if I didn’t know the details but she promised to tell me as much as she could as soon as the situation was dealt with. I didn’t push her because I’m sure we all have parts of our lives that we’d rather keep private”

“Sure.” Kogberegbe said, looking up from his writing pad

“I hope you didn’t put my name in that pad of yours?” Fadeke asked frowning.

“Why do you ask?”

“You know, just in case they catch up with you and kill you, I don’t want anyone getting any links to me. I don’t want to die yet”

Kogberegbe was bewildered, but one look at her face and he knew she wasn’t joking “Fadekemi, no one is going to get killed”

“How are you sure of that? Just three days ago, I was with my friend and I could have said the same thing you just said”

Kogberegbe sighed, showed her his writing pad in assurance that her name wasn’t there. There were scary movies everywhere and he was certain that she watched more than a fair share of them.

“You watch a lot of CSI movies don’t you?” Kogberegbe asked.

She laughed boldly “They’re actually my favorite”

“It’s obvious. But you need to slow down yea? Lagos isn’t as bad as L.A or Miami”

“Yea right. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Ronke isn’t safe” Fadekemi said.

“Back to Ronke, did it ever cross your mind that it could have been any of your friends that put her in the scary state? Or a fellow student?” Kogberegbe asked. He noticed the same scared look he observed in her eyes earlier on.

“No” she simply said, avoiding his gaze.

“There’s someone that you’re afraid of within your caucus isn’t there?” Kogberegbe voiced his concern.

“I’m sorry I cannot be of further help detective. I’ve told you all I know though right now it sounds futile to me. I’m sorry I wasted your time.” She tried to open the door.

“No, not at all please” he placed his hand gently on her arm “I’m sorry if that’s a path you wouldn’t like to thread”

She looked stern “It is”

“Then I apologize” Kogberegbe said. “Would you mind if I asked a few more questions?”

“Sure, go ahead” she removed her hand from the door knob.

“What do you think of Ronke’s boyfriend?” Kogberegbe asked

“Dapo?” she asked, surprised “He’s a cool guy, cute too” she said, her eyes betraying envy “They made a fine couple and I’m certain that if Ronke hadn’t met her death, they would have been crowned the couple of the year by the end of this session” a teardrop rolled down her cheek.

“Did Ronke mention her pregnancy?”

Fadekemi looked surprised “What are you talking about?”

“Autopsy showed that she was pregnant as at the time of her death”

“Oh dear! How devastated Dapo must be” she said

“Come on! He’s a kid!!” Kogberegbe said

“What do you mean?” she questioned “If I know of a couple who loved each other truly, it was those two. Dapo would have been excited about it, they would have found a way to make things work.”

“Yet you weren’t aware of this little information?”

“You are honestly not suggesting that Dapo killed her?” she looked angry

“I am not suggesting anything. I am just trying to find a murderer, that’s all”

“I understand your skepticism about him being a Pastor’s son and fathering a child out of wedlock but if they weren’t ready for it, there are ways of going about it; he definitely wouldn’t resort to killing Ronke! That’s ridiculous”

“But you’re certain the child can only be his?”

She looked from side to side “What on earth are u suggesting? First that Dapo is a murderer and now that Ronke was a slut? She was anything but! Of us all, she was the easiest going and I think this is an insult to her memory. And at this point, I don’t know what lunatic put you up to the task of investigating this case”

“Her father did”

“He’s made a grievous mistake” she said, getting out of the car.

“We could drop you close to your car” Kogberegbe called after her

“That won’t be necessary” she tossed over her shoulder, not bothering to look back.

Kogberegbe looked on as she walked away with finesse. She was a refined and intelligent lady but her dressing depicted something demeaning. He wondered how one could dress like this every night, taking in her extremely tight jeans which hugged her buttocks uncomfortably. He knew she dared not bend down. The driver peered in “Would you like to go to Allen sir?”

Kogberegbe was confused only for a second, then he burst out laughing. The driver must have assumed that Fadekemi was a pick up girl and that she did not agree with his negotiation. He laughed loudly and told the driver to take him back to his office.

 

Kogberegbe picked up his car, deciding he still had time to make one more stop which he would have deferred to the next day. He got the name of the club which Ronke and her friends visit, from Dapo. When he made a quick scan of the club and saw no familiar faces, he was a bit relieved. He had pondered on whether he would meet the friends there or not. Kogberegbe caught sight of a couple of mid-age men coming out of where he assumed was the VIP lounge, followed by some pretty girls. The club also had a hotel at the back, he mused at how convenient that was. He sat at the bar, slowly sipping his iced tea. He however noticed the bar man eyeing him suspiciously, sure that not many men showed up at a joint like this and paid so much to gain entry, only to sip iced tea. So Kogberegbe beckoned to him and ordered a bottle of rosé. The man nodded, finished folding his napkin and fetched the drink. Kogberegbe didn’t like alcohol, his system could barely take it down. But his job sometimes warrant that he indulge. The bar was thinning as the barman placed his drink in front of him. As he made to open the small bottle, Kogberegbe touched his arm, slipped him his card and quietly asked if they could meet after his shift. The barman looked from the card to Kogberegbe with hard eyes, not uttering a word. Kogberegbe feared that the man would call bouncers. He couldn’t read his expression at all.

“How much for the drink?” Kogberegbe asked audibly.

“#5,000” The barman answered coldly.

Kogberegbe fringed inside at hearing the cost of a small bottle of rosé, his brows arched for a second but he managed to pull himself back together quickly, reaching inside his pocket. He counted ten notes of #1,000 and slid it towards the man.

“Out back. Ten minutes. Name’s Jack” The barman said, still with the stern look. Kogberegbe thought the man would do better as a bouncer!

Ten minutes later, Kogberegbe’s rosé sat a few sips down at the bar while its owner stood in the hot windy night, waiting for Jack. Ten more minutes, Kogberegbe heard “Yo!” to his right and walked towards Jack.

Thanks for meeting. Name’s Kogberegbe”

“Really?” Jack asked “Thought it was a joke on your card” He still wasn’t smiling “So, your cash’s counting, what’d you want?”

Kogberegbe produced the radiant picture of Ronke which had been used to place her obituary “this girl used to frequent this place. Do you know her”

“Yea. Not so well though, club’s got boundaries. But yea, she’s always here. Haven’t seen her in days though, maybe cos of ASUU strike. I’m sure she’s a student.” Jack’s communication was impressive. Kogberegbe assumed he’s one of the numerous educated Nigerians who had to make a living anyhow for lack of suitable jobs.

“No” Kogberegbe said.

“Excuse me?” Jack said with a confused frown.

“She’s not been here because she’s dead”

“Oh yea?” Jack asked “I’m sorry to hear that”

“I was hoping you could tell me about her”

“Like I said, there are boundaries here so I didn’t know her that well. I believe she was one of the club’s freelance strippers and I know a few of the older men took interest in her. She was pretty”

“Stripper you said?”

 

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