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.

 
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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 X)

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Kogberegbe suddenly realized he was sweating. He looked around the eatery and noticed there weren’t so many people there anymore. Naija! He mused for he knew what had happened. The air conditioners were switched off to reduce cost; they tend to leave it on only when there were many customers around. Business minds in Nigeria could be irritating, he thought, gulping the last of his coke and making his way out of the eatery in annoyance.

Kogberegbe mentally checked his to-do list and fired his car, heading toward Unilag (University of Lagos) where Ronke used to be a student. Kogberegbe already got a list of Ronke’s ‘few friends’ from her dad and a more comprehensive one from Dapo, as well as the address of the club they used to visit. According to Dapo, Ronke’s closest friend wasn’t even known by her parents.

Though Kogberegbe was skeptical about finding anyone of them in school, Dapo assured him that some of them would, especially because many of the students come from far and wide.

Ronke stayed in Moremi hall while she was alive, and that was where Kogberegbe headed. He saw a woman who identified herself as the hostel warden; she said men were not allowed in the hostel. Her face however fell as Kogberegbe told her the nature of his visit, she knew Ronke quite well. According to her, the girl was vibrant and full of life, but also very kind. Kogberegbe knew what it meant when older people said someone was ‘vibrant’. She pointed abruptly mid-sentence “Look, that is Kemi walking towards the car. Both of them were pretty close.”

“Thank you ma’am” Kogberegbe said, running to catch up with the girl before she got in the car which was obviously waiting for her, packed full with students.

“Kemi” Kogberegbe called out. She looked back and gave him an assessing look followed by an expression that showed that she didn’t know him and wasn’t too keen on doing so. She was obviously one of the high class babes on campus who didn’t have time to spare anyone who wasn’t rich or popular in school. She turned and continued graciously towards the car.

“This concerns Ronke. I assume you knew her?” This made her stop in her tracks, she turned back and smirked, throwing her head back, a gesture that made her fake long hair fly backwards. Her right hand was glued mid-air, hanging her handbag perfectly in place, her face half covered by a huge pair of sunglasses.

“Knew?” she said, giving him a look that so annoyed him.

“She’s dead” Kogberegbe said and was instantly rewarded with an immediate change in her total expression. Her seemingly starched hand impressively went limp and her face went pale.

Frowning, she asked “What are you talking about?”

Kogberegbe brought out his identification card and took a step towards her “I am detective Kogberegbe, investigating the homicide”

“Homicide?” her face contorted “what on earth are you talking about?” she screamed

“Please calm down, I will not like to take you in for questioning” which he was sure would have been what the Nigerian police would do “but at the same time, I do not want you to cause a scene” Kemi nodded her comprehension and leaned against the bonnet of the car, a tear rolled down her cheek. Kogberegbe saw her friends scurrying out of the car, they were obviously worried.

“I would like to ask you a few questions. Can you kindly ask your friends to excuse us for a few minutes?”

“It’s ok” she said blankly “we are all a clique. Some of them were even closer to Ronke than I was”

“Alright then” Kogberegbe said as the first girl approached.

“Hey” she greeted him casually and turned her attention on her friend “are you alright?” at this point, everyone else was by her side.

“Ronke is dead” Kemi blurted out and ran off into the hostel, sobbing uncontrollably as she went.

Kogberegbe rolled his eyes wondering how dramatic these girls can be. He was quite surprised though that none of these supposed friends had heard about the death or of Dapo’s arrest. Their faces registered shock, surprise and grief. One of the girls went after Kemi.

“None of you knew she’s dead?” Kogberegbe asked and they all slowly shook their heads “Did anyone of you notice anything out of the ordinary? Any odd behavior or associations that could suggest anything?” again they shook their heads in silence “was she part of a cult group?”

“Why are you asking all these questions, Mr. …?” One of the boys stepped closer, questioning Kogberegbe’s authority.

“Oh, sorry. Since you didn’t know about her death, you wouldn’t have known how she died. She was killed, more precisely her neck was snapped” Kogberegbe added for effect. He knew that these kids would need a little fright if they were going to be of any help to the case.

“Killed? That doesn’t make any sense. Who would want to kill her?” the boy questioned further.

“I was hoping you’d tell me that” Kogberegbe responded, wiping dust off his sunglasses with a white handkerchief.

“Me?” the boy asked

“Not you in particular, any of you whole lot. From what I gathered, you were her friends and you apparently knew her better than even her parents did. I am certain you are aware that she lived a double life?”

“What are you talking about?” He looked at Kogberegbe, at his friends and back at Kogberegbe “we all flock together, we know ourselves quite well. Ronke was a high spirited girl, she liked to enjoy life and get a little wild sometimes. But that’s nothing bad, we party quite hard but we also made a pact to study twice as hard. It’s not a bad way to live” he added defiantly.

“Yet one of you lost their life” Kogberegbe thre back “What’s your name buddie?”

“David”

“David, that’s one part of Ronke’s life that you know of. I believe…”

“How dare you insult our friend?” David darted back

“Ronke is- was different at home” one of the girls supplied quietly, her head bowed “Her parents don’t support clubbing or any of our lifestyles” tears rolled down her cheeks as she spoke.

David looked back at Kogberegbe, a deep frown on his face “Who are you anyway?”

“I am Kogberegbe. Detective Kogberegbe, and I’m officially investigating your friend’s death”

“I wish you luck detective. We’ll be glad when you apprehend the murderer, but nothing in our lifestyle suggests why she may have met with such fate. None of us is in any kind of cult. We are regular students, we only like to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. I still maintain that that is not a crime”

“Indeed” Kogberegbe smiled, noticing that the girl who spoke up earlier looked slightly uncomfortable. “Well, just in case you remember anything that can help with this investigation- anything at all, please give me a call” Kogberegbe said, handing out a stack of his business cards.

“I’ve told you all we know sir, we don’t have anything more to say” David said, refusing to take the cards.

“Humour me nevertheless” Kogberegbe insisted. He turned to the girl “What’s your name, lady?”

“Fadeke” she responded, looking up and collecting the cards that Kogberegbe offered.

“Thank you” Kogberegbe said, still smiling. He wore his sunglasses and excused himself. As he drove away, Kogberegbe wondered if this was another dead end…though something about David struck him as odd. He was defensive for no reason- perhaps too defensive.

Back in his office, he thumbed absent-mindedly at his desk, thinking about the case. No one saw anything out of the ordinary, according to all he’d talked to; and no one knew anything either. It’s either the murderer was a third part of Ronke’s life that he was yet to be privy to, or those who knew about him or her were extremely frightened to talk.

There had been a weird feeling that Kogberegbe carried around all day, and he just recognized it now as loneliness. It was a feeling he didn’t understand, almost entirely strange to him as he didn’t feel lonely often…and he couldn’t figure out where this is stemming from. His mind went back to all the encounters he’d had during the day, deliberately blotting out Lucyji. What she did was too much of a betrayal and even though he would admit that he wasn’t serious with the relationship, he knew he didn’t deserve to be treated the way she did. Kogberegbe decided to focus on Dana; now that’s a weird one, he mused. Dana and Kogberegbe were good friends and though he knew her to be straightforward with her opinions, those opinions had never before been directed at him; and it was for this reason that Kogberegbe wondered if she could be right. He knew he always had challenges in his relationships but what if the problem lay within; what if he truly needed to work on himself? For one, he knew he didn’t know the first thing about women but he also knew that it was hopeless for him to attempt to start learning at this stage. Women seem to have a way of making a man’s life complex and truth be told, he still hurt from his broken marriage. Kogberegbe hated to fail at anything and to him that was a major failure. It also hurt that he let his wife down and another man was able to fill the void she felt with him for so long; do for her what he was too busy to do- care. Kogberegbe should have moved on by now, and many times he thought he had…but once again as he’d done many times in the past, he found himself staring at the picture of himself and his ex-wife which he always kept at the bottom of his drawer. He felt the urge to talk to her again if only to feel a bit of the comfort, love and assurance he always did with her. He often resulted to checking up her facebook page whenever he had such urge but it always ended the same way. He would see her contended smile in lovely pictures where she was always swarmed with her family, she never seemed to have a dull moment in her life. And Kogberegbe always ended up weighing his life against what probably was hers and he ends up feeling sad. Knowing this, he deliberately veered away from his ex-wife’s facebook profile that was loading, and instead went on Lucyji’s page. As his heart began to feel a warm glow, he suddenly realized the origin of the lonely feeling he had- he missed this woman! But how can, he wondered. He’d always loved his life independent of anyone; he only put this on the line once and since that didn’t work out for him, he concluded it was best to live his life the way he liked it- independently. So why was his feelings drawing him back when he’d just been given a perfect escape route out of the strong strings that women ensure they wield round their men?

His phone ringing tone jerked him out of his reverie, he frowned as he checked the number, it was an unregistered one. He sighed and pressed the green button.

“Detective Kogberegbe on the line” he said

“Hi” The person on the other end of the line said, it was a female voice which sounded vaguely familiar but he couldn’t place it just yet “My name is Fadeke” she continued.

“Hi Fadeke, how may I help you?”

“I’m one of Ronke’s friends you spoke with earlier today” she said

“Oh, pardon me I didn’t get your name earlier on. Thanks for calling” Kogberegbe heart started racing. Probably something good was coming out of the day afterall…

“I couldn’t say anything in the presence of others earlier on.”

“Is there a reason to fear your own friends?” Kogberegbe enquired

“You mentioned cultism detective. If this is true, no one can be trusted.”

“Ok, please go on”

“I can’t discuss this with you over the phone. I am not supposed to know anything, if you know what I mean. And even if I do, I am not supposed to share.”

“Ok, can you come to my office Fadeke?”

“Your office ke? That’s risky, I can’t afford to be seen with you. Who’s to say the murderer isn’t watching us all?”

“You’re right. How about we meet casually?”

“Casually bi ti bawo? Are you listening to me detective?”

“Fadeke, you’re a smart girl. I believe you can act like everything is normal; use a camouflage is need be. Can we meet at Shoprite car park? It’s usually pretty crowded, if anyone’s following you, it should be easy to lose them around the parking lot.”

“Ok cool. How soon can you get there?”

“I can be there by 8pm, you?”

“Eight is fine. Call to know my exact location at the car park when you get there”

“Ok, see you then”

“Eerm, Detective?”

“Yep?”

“Please don’t come in that car of yours”

“Why?” he asked confused.

“Just please don’t. Thanks” with that, she went off the line.

 

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

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Kogberegbe turned the ignition of his car, not that he particularly knew where to head from here. He decided there was no harm in grabbing some lunch. The thought of lunch reminded him of Lucy.

“Oh sugar!” he exclaimed as he reached for his phone. After the third attempt, he gave up and decided to head for the hospital instead. He often had lunch with Lucy; it was a fun experience they enjoyed sharing when they could both spare the time. It gave them ample time to discuss work issues and pick each other’s brain. If he hadn’t lost her yet, Kogberegbe knew he was on the brink of doing so and though he felt nonchalant about the thought, he didn’t want Lucy to hold grudges against him. She was someone he needed to have around, even if only as a friend. Kogberegbe pulled into the car park and made for the front desk where he was greeted familiarly by one of the nurses who told him that Lucy was at the café. He said his thanks and walked towards the café which was packed full as always. He tried scouting for his girl but the café was too busy, so he reached for his phone, hoping she would pick the call this time. If she didn’t, he would just leave her a message. From the corner of his eye, Kogberegbe saw a movement, followed it and saw his girlfriend reach for her phone on the table. She had a male companion and was laughing contentedly with him. She looked at the phone screen and a moment later, Kogberegbe heard the “busy” tone on his side of the phone. He stared at the screen unbelievably and back at his girl. She was still laughing. The guy seemed to ask who the caller was, checking her phone screen. With the wave of her hand, she told him not to bother about him.

Kogberegbe stood rooted on the spot, not believing his eyes. Someone behind him asked him to make way, bringing him back to reality. He said his apologies and moved aside. As he turned to leave, his gaze locked with Lucy’s who touched the man lightly on the arm and stood up. Kogberegbe turned and left the room. He could hear Lucy’s flat soles walking briskly on the tiled floor, trying to catch up with him but he didn’t slow down. When he hit the outside pavement, she called out his name. Kogberegbe paused in his stride and slowly turned around, squinting his eyes against the sun.

“Hey” he said casually, taking in Lucy’s magnificent looks against his will. She stood a couple of feet away, looking at him daringly.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded

“Just passing by” he responded

“That dinner meant a lot to me Steve. All those nights you stood me up were bad enough. Standing me up in front of my parents…” she turned her head from side to side“…won’t happen again”

“I called you several times to…”

“Yea, to say you’re sorry” she cut him mid-sentence “but you always are. If you truly love me, we wouldn’t have so many ‘sorrys’ would we? I finally realized I’ve just been deceiving myself. I love you Kogberegbe, but I won’t commit long term to a one-sided relationship”

“Suddenly I’m the bad guy? I’m the one having fancy lunch with the punk!” he said, pointing in the direction of the café “or disconnecting my boyfriend’s calls…?”

Lucy glanced sideways smiling. When she turned her face back towards him, there was a teardrop forming as she asked “When is my birthday Steve?”

“What”? He stared at her blankly.

“My birthday. Yours is 6th of July, when is mine?” she gritted her teeth, knowing she caught him off guard “That punk…” she pointed toward the café “if nothing, remembers my birthday”

“It’s been a busy week for me Lucy…” he took a step towards her but she took one back”

“Yes Steve, it always is. I’ll pick up the rest of my things when I’m free. Not sure you noticed any of the other things are gone anyways. Goodbye Steve” with that, she turned smartly and walked back into the hospital. Kogberegbe felt like a fool. He knew he’d been terrible towards her but hadn’t realized it was this bad. How did he get so detached that he didn’t know her birthday? It felt like he didn’t care at all…or did he? It wasn’t about not remembering the date, he was totally clueless. And truly, he hadn’t noticed that she packed any of her things. He tried to convince himself that it was all because of his busy schedule, but it was lame. He wasn’t sure if he loved Lucy but his heart ached at the thought of losing her. However, he couldn’t remember the last time he made her laugh like she did with the man back there, if ever. He wondered if it was best for her to move on, and if it would be best if he didn’t stand in her way.

Kogberegbe put the car in gear, lowered the sunglasses unto his face and raced out of the parking lot. Luckily the road was free, for which he was thankful. Nothing like high speed to help vent his anger in a healthy way. After driving full speed for thirty minutes, he decided to stop at a fast food joint to while away the time while he enjoyed a hot dog and a bottle of coke.

“Hey boss” Kogberegbe recognized the laugh in Dana’s voice even before he looked up “I knew that was you” she said, holding a tray loaded with a plate and a drink. Dana liked to call him ‘boss’, it was a tease title.

“It’s hard to believe that you actually do go on break” Kogberegbe smiled back at Dana.

“Funny, I was going to say the same about you. Expecting someone boss?”

“Nope”

“So the seat is free then?” she asked

“Please” he said, gesturing towards the chair opposite him.

“So what brings you to our neighborhood?” She asked, digging into her plate of coconut rice, obviously famished.

He shrugged “dunno really. I was driving and found myself here.” Dana stared at him, eyes burning into his like she was trying to read his mind. “What!” he exclaimed, eyes wide and rolling.

“Hmm” she munched the spoonful which she’d hung in the air while she stared “girl issues yea?” she said like a wise man.

“No idea what you’re talking about” Kogberegbe lied.

“This too has gone bad hasn’t it?”

“Dana!”

“C’mon lighten up. You’re the boss of me, but you’re also my friend. It’s written all over your face that you’re having a problem you can’t solve. And knowing you, there’s only one thing you suck at, and that’s relationships!”

“That transparent huh?” he mouthed the last bit of his hot dog. “Why am I so terrible with relationships?” he said frowning.

Dana dropped her spoon and gave him a straight face “uh-oh”

“What?” he asked surprised, eyes darting left and right.

“When men like you decide to start ‘sharing’, it’s bad, it’s re-ally bad! And I’m really hungry. I’d like to eat in peace.” With that, she resumed with her food.

“Yea” Kogberegbe cleared his throat “pardon me” he turned his face and looked out the window and after some seconds of silence said “but seriously…”

“Ok…” Dana dropped her spoon again, hands in the air “I knew you hadn’t said the last of it. Here’s the thing, I’ll give you five minutes of my time and that’s it ok?”

Kogberegbe paused for a second with bewildered eyes but didn’t question her, he just said “Clear”

“What? Stop looking at me that way! We’re not at work right now. Right here right now, I’m your friend…and well, your shrink perhaps” she added from the corner of her mouth.

“What was the last thing you said?” Kogberegbe asked.

“Four minutes more” she responded looking innocently surprised.

Kogberegbe felt too overwhelmed, a feeling only too strange, so he decided to ignore Dana’s attitude, howbeit playful “Why does things have to be so complicated with women? Why are they so difficult?”

“You had a bad experience, and that qualifies women as “difficult”?”

“One bad experience?” he asked

“Ok, so you had a few, so what?” she said with a scoff “Look, I’ve known you for what, three years now?” Kogberegbe nodded “four girlfriends in those years, all wrong for you. With two of them, I told you it was never gonna work.” She gave him a ‘get it’ look

“All of them wrong?” he asked

“Wrong, not bad. This one’s a good girl, and that’s what makes it wrong for you. Most times you men go for ‘flashy’; that’s what you did with the first two I knew about. And you end up being scarred. Some of you get lucky to find really good girls sometimes but your mind is never really into it; you can’t settle for that; you gotta do better than that. This girl is brainy and pretty, classy too. But I knew she was too cool for you. You need someone who treats you badly just for the fun of it” she dabbled her hands in the air “you know, just to spice things up, keep your heart racing, add some fun to the romance…”

“Are we still talking about me?” Kogberegbe asked bewildered.

“I’m talking about y’all in general and you’re not left out of it” she pointed a finger close to his nose and laughed “but seriously dude, I’ve not sensed any form of seriousness in you so far”

“You’re wrong”

“Yea? Do you have any form of attachment with her?” she asked

“She comes to my house every now and then…she has a key!”

“Like that’s what I mean…anyway, moving on; how much time do you spend with her?” he attempted to answer but she went on “ts ts ts. Of the time you spend together, how much of it do you sacrifice? By that I mean how often do you do the chasing and not the other way round? Do you really think about her happiness? Or how to make her feel important in life? Support her? Love her? And how often do you make these known to her?” she paused for effect “you may not understand women, but quit looking at the other end of the rope. You’re broken pal; work on yourself first. And trust me, when  you do meet the right person- if you do meet the right person again, you won’t feel like she’s on a fast track with you, instead you won’t be able to wait. You don’t date for sex Steve, there’s a higher goal involved- love, inner peace, satisfaction, helping each other to achieve greater heights, friendship, care. Search within Steve, what’s missing…why do you not care like you should? Cos women want you to care; the good ones don’t want a ‘bad boy’ and maybe that’s what you’ve been in your relationships?” she shrugged “except maybe you should start looking for your own kind. Cos really Steve, it will be unfair to hunt for a caring and committed woman when all you do is be her friend from afar” she smirked, dabbed her lips with a napkin and pushed back her chair “nice chatting, boss. Time’s  up, gotta dash”

“You didn’t even allow me to say what she did…” Kogberegbe said

“You don’t have to Steve. We women feel and complain about the exact things you men do. Don’t think for a sec that we don’t find you men complicated too…or worse still that you men are perfect, cos that’s what most of you unconsciously do. You forget we are all just humans; you’re just as complicated as the next person to you. You cannot fully understand her and neither can she; but you both can put in conscious effort to continuously tryyyy to understand each other and to make things work. This conscious effort is what most men lack”

Kogberegbe pondered on what she said. There was so much wisdom in it that he found no matching response, so instead he said “You didn’t finish your lunch”

“Work’s loaded up back there; and break’s over. But it’s cool” she smiled

“I owe you lunch then”

“And I’ll hold you to that” she pointed and winked “See you around Steve.”

photo credit: google images

 

INSPECTOR KOGBEREGBE SAYS NO TO CHILD MARRIAGE

 

_NG_ _3The Queen Herself;;)_NG_

 

 

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

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“Which part don’t you understand huh? You didn’t think we were going to find out?”

Suddenly, Dapo smiled “there’s been a mix up somehow”

“Really?”

“She wasn’t pregnant; there was no way she could be”

“The autopsy can’t lie”

Dapo’s face dropped “You’re not kidding right?”

“Do I look like a clown?” Kogberegbe said angrily as he slammed his fist on the table that separated them. Dapo jumped and kept quiet

“Good thing your conscience caught up with you. So you freaked out and got someone to knock some sense into her right? Perhaps you didn’t mean so much harm but whoever you sent knocked more sense into her than was necessary. Am I right so far?” Kogberegbe’ anger reached the peak but Dapo kept quiet through his rant “Was it enough to kill her? If you knew you couldn’t face the responsibility, why weren’t you more careful? You are old enough to know the repercussion of having unprotected sex damn it!”

“There was no need to be careful detective Kogberegbe” Dapo finally said in a small voice

“Really?”

“I didn’t do it”

“Save me the sentiment, half of convicted felons have the same thing to say for themselves”

“I didn’t do it!” he screamed to gain Kogberegbe’ attention “we’ve only had sex once, and that was because I insisted. But it was more than a year after we started going out that she agreed to have sex with me and since…”

“But you did have sex right”

“Once detective, I swear, and it was a protected sex. I really can’t understand why she agreed to have sex with me in the first instance because after that first time, she wouldn’t agree to do it again. She said she only did it to prove to me that she had no problem having sex, not that I believed her. After then, she insisted we wait till we get married. I loved her, she capitalized on that and I agreed”

“Probably your protection wasn’t strong enough? She was pregnant, someone got her pregnant and you were the only one she dated!”

“I agree that someone got her pregnant but that someone wasn’t me”

“You said yourself that you had sex, even a one night thingy can result in pregnancy, you cant say you don’t know that”

“I know that however I put this, it will keep looking like I am a suspect but the only explanation is that she must have been seeing someone without me knowing”

“How can you be so sure”

“That only time we had sex was five months ago sir” Dapo said, looking up at Kogberegbe

Kogberegbe grabbed a chair and sat “What do you mean?”

“I’m sure there is a way you can determine the paternity of the foetus. You can test me or do whatever it is you people do, it will come up negative against me”

“Oh no” Kogberegbe said, covering his face with his hands “but if indeed you are innocent like you maintain, like you said, no matter how we look at it, you will always look guilty. Even from this point of view, you still have a motive”

“I know detective. But like you said earlier, I am lucky that you are on this case, you will do your best to nail the real killer won’t you?”Dapo pleaded “if I planned to kill her, I didn’t have to take her out that night, and even if i did decide to take her out, I didn’t have to bring her back, I could have done something along the way. If it was about the pregnancy, I didn’t know about it and even if I did, I could have resorted to drugging her, I wouldn’t go as far as a well planned murder, that’s not the kind of thing that a regular student does, and I assure you I am a regular student with no record of cultism. I never stopped loving her sir, and even now with the knowledge of her betrayal, I love her still. The only hurt I feel is knowing I will never see her again”

Kogberegbe looked at Dapo for a long minute and turned to leave

“Thank you detective” Dapo said

“I’m not helping you” Kogberegbe threw back over his shoulder, irritated “For all I know, you may warm the cell bed for a year.”

“It’s difficult to investigate matters in Nigeria because we don’t have records. But I know you’ll find out the truth”

 

——–

On his way out, Kogberegbe pondered about what Dapo said. Truly, it took twice the normal effort to get to the root of a crime in countries such as Nigeria. There was a particular case he remembered which the police screwed up before his arrival. Some amateurs robbed an office, leaving foot and finger prints at the scene. When the police first arrived, they questioned the local security men who claimed that it was an insider that did the job and that it wasn’t done at night. Kogberegbe knew they only cooked up this story so as to cover their own lethargic attitude to work, often times they would be found sleeping on duty. The police took their words and immediately started investigating on the assumption that the robbery didn’t take place at night and that a staff committed the crime, thus neglecting important links such as the footprints and the fingerprints. Some staff were immediately arrested and the police took off to the office. They were soon called back by some staff who pointed out the clear footprints on the fully rugged floor of one of the robbed offices. The perpetrator even took off his shoes and the prints were of the person’s bare foot. The police discarded this, saying that it was planted after they left the scene. When the finger prints on the window was shown to them, an officer attempted to wipe the finger prints, asking if it truly was a fingerprint and wondering aloud why the office window was so dirty! There was not much to work on by the time Kogberegbe arrived and he found it difficult to respect the Nigerian police ever since.

Kogberegbe drummed the steering wheel impatiently as he waited for Dana to pick up his call. She did on the third ring.

“Hey pretty. Can you please schedule a DNA test to be taken of the foetus? I need to determine the paternity”

“Let me guess, boyfriend in trouble right?” she chuckled

“They’re always the first suspects”

“I’m on it boss”

“How long will it take to have the result?

“Wouldn’t count on you having that anytime soon. It may take a month, the results you had today was rushed because of its urgency”

“I understand Dana. But can this also be pushed?  I don’t expect to still be on this case in four weeks!”

“Not much I can do boss”

“But I heard there’s a new lab in town and that you no longer have to send samples abroad for results right?”

“Yea, and that’s why it’s going to take four weeks. You know how long things used to stay when we depended on labs across the border”

“Dana, please think up something”

“Criminal samples take priority, but we even have loads of that in the lab. I’ll find a way to push it up the list. Despite that, don’t expect a miracle, it will definitely take days”

“You’re a darling, Dana. Days sound more promising than weeks. Bye” Kogberegbe put the phone in the glove box. In Lagos, you don’t just leave your phone lying around- or anything of importance for that matter. Valuable things had a way of disappearing when you do. His head was throbbing again, and Kogberegbe knew it was because he was out of leads. He would like to wrap the case as soon as possible but the only link he seemed to have would take ‘a few days’ at the minimum.

COIN……there are two sides to ever story by @obasatemitope (Episode VI)

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“You miss road sergeant?” Sabo asked now.

“Do you know Musa well?” Kogberegbe said, choosing to ignore Sabo’s reference to him as a sergeant.

“My brother Musa be”

“Tell me what’s been happening between you two for the past two weeks”

“Haffen? Nothing haffen”

“Have you been drinking with Musa?”

“Yes sergeant, Musa not haffy. Me I helf him”

“You help him by getting him drunk while he was supposed to keep watch over someone’s house?”

Sabo gave a little laugh “ Musa drunk because he just starting. Later, he be like me, nothing, just okay”

“So, when you drink, you don’t get drunk?”

“Drunk, not me, except fle-enty” he described this, spreading his hands wide

“So, Sabo while your friend was drunk, what were you always doing?”

“Me let Musa sleef” Sabo said proudly “he sleep and he be okay. Me I watch the house and my oga own. When Musa he wake, me I come back, enter my house and work”

“While Musa was drunk and you watched over his house, did you ever hear sounds?”

“Sound? Sound what?”

“Noise, like someone breaking glass” This, Kogberegbe described by smashing an invisible bottle against concrete

“No o” Sabo’s lips slopped “no noise, no”

“Try to think about it Sabo, the killer didn’t do all the preparation to get in in one night. So my guess is that while Musa got drunk and slept, someone…”

“Sabo!” Someone called from inside the house and soon, the owner of the voice, who also happened to be the owner of the house appeared. Kogberegbe met Mr. Sangosina earlier and knew the man didn’t like detectives…or maybe he simply didn’t like Kogberegbe for whatever reason.

“Detective, you’re back so soon. Hope there’s no cause for alarm?” Mr. Sangosina said. He was one of the few men that went to work whenever they felt like. He swung his briefcase, looking immaculate in his well cut three piece suit. Mr. Sangosina was rather short, with a pot belly and a slightly balding head. Kogberegbe guessed he didn’t look too handsome even in his youth.

“I just had to ask your gateman some questions” Kogberegbe said

“You might have considered informing me?”

“My bad sir” Kogberegbe responded

“Bad indeed, because this doesn’t portray a good image of my house. How manymore gatemen in the neighbourhood have you interviewed in seclusion of their bosses?”

“Your gateman was…”

“Exactly, none!” Sangosina said, not waiting for Kogberegbe to make his point “I don’t want you to start giving my neighbours ideas like we house a murderer here”

“I wasn’t suggesting that sir”

“Good, cos you should be spending more time in the Okanlawons’ house before your trail gets cold”

“Pardon me sir?”

“Go ask him” Sangosina said, his eyes bulging “He can’t say he doesn’t know who hates him so much to kill his daughter”

“But you said earlier that Mr. Okanlawon can’t possibly have enemies”

“It shouldn’t be my business to tell you now, should it? Afterall, I’m not the one with a dead daughter and if the grieving father isn’t giving you all the information that should help your investigation, what should my business be in it?”

“What exactly are you suggesting sir?”

Mr. Sangosina raised his briefcase, signaling Sabo to take it to the car. “Since he got to this estate, our peace packed up and left with him. For Christ’s sake detective, he’s a politician! Politicians are bound to have enemies. In case it slipped his memory, ask him to tell you about the most recent uproar – at least the most recent one”

“Sir…”

“I’ve said more than  I should really, you see, Segun- er, Okanlawon is my friend and I shouldn’t go leaking his secrets”

“If you’re helping him unravel the mystery of his daughter’s murder, I wouldn’t think you’re doing him any evil sir”

“I’m running late detective, I hope I have been of help to you. You wont find your murderer here and I sincerely want you to find him but you’re wasting time” With this, Mr. Sangosina headed for his car, Sabo turned diligently beside him, heading for the gate. The driver picked the queue and started the car engine. Just then, Kogberegbe noticed Sabo’s heavily plastered left arm. Kogberegbe had a brief flash of the blood on the windowsill, to the left; they had guessed that the murderer cut himself on his way out. This wound might be consistent with the shape of the glass shard. Excitement flooded through Holme’s system as he asked boldly “How did you sustain that injury, Sabo?”

`

*****

Sabo stopped in his tracks, he looked shocked for a brief moment then followed Holme’s gaze on his left arm “ok,this- I one?”

Sangosina stepped out heavily out of his Toyota Camry 2008 series and said coldly “ Show him Sabo”

To this, Sabo removed his shirt to expose other parts of his body which was tattered and heavily bandaged as well. How could someone have so many injuries without being in an accident?

“Were you in an accident?”

“Sabo does more than gate- keeping in this house and happened to fall off a ladder while installing a pipe. There were lots of debris where he worked”

Kogberegbe peered at the wounds, unsure. Sabo could have sustained these wounds long before or after the murder, and there wasn’t enough evidence at the crime scene to account for so many wounds. Nevertheless, Kogberegbe thought he would have Sabo’s blood sample if only to clear his mind of doubt. He noticed Sangosina’s burning glare and said his apologies, then excused himself.

Kogberegbe sought out Musa “How close are you to Sabo?” He asked after exchanging pleasantries with the gateman.

“Kilose?” Musa  responded, confused by the grammar as usual

“Sabo is your friend right?” Kogberegbe simplified

“Priend yes”

“Good friend?”

“Ah, gaskiane, good priend, Sabo, pamily even. Ah, I like Sabo well well and he like me back”

“Is Sabo always injuring himself? He seems to have a lot of cut” Kogberegbe said, demonstrating

“No. no” Musa  said with a downturn of his lips “Sabo serung well well”

“I see, Sabo is very strong right? You don’t see him as a man that should go injuring himself” Kogberegbe interpreted Musa’s statement and Musa  just smiled, his eyes almost closed. “But did he tell you he fell”

“Sabo he pell? Ah me oga, I no know” Musa  said, turning his head from side to side. Just then, a sergeant arrived, Abu, going by the tag attached to his uniform.

“Morning sir” Abu saluted Kogberegbe who responded alike “Glad to catch you here. I was asked to drop this report with you”

“It’s alright. Thank you” Kogberegbe replied, collecting the sealed manila from Abu. Kogberegbe was working closely with the police department on the case and they promised to give all the support they could “I wonder if I could add to your task?”

“I don’t have much doing here really, just to question Doctor further. So if the task isn’t going to take much time sir, I could take it up”

“Please get a med to take a blood sample from the gateman next door, his name is Sabo. When you do, run a match with the sample taken from the windowpane at the crime scene” Kogberegbe hoped to God that Sabo, like many other Nigerians would not know his rights. Since Kogberegbe didn’t have any proof that could put Sabo on the crime scene, he didn’t have any reason to take his blood sample

“Is he a suspect sir?” Abu asked

“I can’t say for sure that…” he couldn’t finish his statement because Mr. Sangosina drove by just then, eyes cold as ice fixed on Kogberegbe. Kogberegbe wondered why the man wouldn’t understand that he was simply doing his job. Mr. Sangosina’s gaze left Kogberegbe and rested on Abu who bowed to the man. Mr Sangosina’s expression softened for a brief second before resting again on Kogberegbe and he drove off, winding up his tinted glass as he did so. Musa  just stood there, his teeth out, eyes squinted, and hands on his hips as his gaze went from one man to another like he was taking in the full details to gist his friends later, howbeit confusing.

****

“I’ll see you around then searg” Kogberegbe said, putting on his sunglasses and heading for his car. Kogberegbe’ next stop was Ronke’s boyfriend’s house. Dr. Okanlawon supplied a phone number, which belonged to Ronke’s closest friend who in turn gave him Dapo, Ronke’s boyfriend’s address. The boy’s neighbourhood depicted as much wealth as Dr. Okanlawon’s. This made Kogberegbe smile, the rich almost always want to be acquainted with the rich- a natural phenomenon. Kogberegbe tracked down Dapo’s house number and alighted from his car. At the sound of the door bell, a uniformed maid appeared, bending her knee a fraction, she greeted Kogberegbe politely.

“Good morning” Kogberegbe responded “Er, is Dapo in?” At this, the maid gave a confusing expression which was a blend of alarm, surprise and sadness so Kogberegbe introduced himself as a detective and said “May I see Dapo please? Or does he not live here?” Kogberegbe asked again when the woman still refused to talk

“Has another same thing happened?” she finally asked

COIN …there are two sides to every story by Temitope Obasa (Episode 1)

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Happy Owanbe Saturday to everyone. This series was written by TEMITOPE OBASA and would be published every Saturday. Enjoy!

Prologue

 

 

For weeks, the stranger planned the greatest task, so far, of his life.

His master, whom he loved to think of as Chief, had carefully set everything in motion and there was to be no mistake, as Chief kept hammering in his ear.

A stupid girl, Ronke, had chosen to be Chief’s enemy and his enemies deserved to die. The stranger didn’t know the atrocity Ronke committed but he didn’t have to. For the Chief to be upset, Ronke deserved whatever she got.

So far, things worked out. He checked his wristwatch which glowed in the darkness, it was just 1:30 am and he was well positioned – inside Ronke’s room. She had a knack for sneaking out after her parents went to bed and that gave him an idea for easy access; he climbed up the way she normally did. The stranger knew Ronke’s routine by heart now because he had carefully watched and studied her over three weeks.

He waited patiently in the dark room, musing about the brilliance of Chief’s plan. During his watch, the stranger had carefully shattered the security shards of glass over the fence. If one didn’t look well, it was hard to notice because it was just wide enough to allow him passage. He wanted to wear soft sole sneakers so as to make his fall from the fence noiseless but Chief pointed out that he would be in danger of getting pierced by the glass remnants.

Together, they concluded he was better off with a hard sole and the question of noise solved by using a rope which he tied to a tire rim, to hold his weight. The rim was carefully hid in a thick bush that separated Ronke’s house from the next building.

He’d simply flung the rope into Ronke’s compound; having watched her sneak out an hour after the light in her parents’ room went out.

The stranger listened for sound; there was none, so he made his climb. He understood that once inside the compound, things became risky but he didn’t mind; he would do anything, even risk his life for the Chief. For one, he had to leave the rope hanging from the wall till he finished his assignment so he could make his escape with it; the problem however was it could be spotted if a vigilant person passed it. For another, he simply used the fact that Ronke’s parents’ room was dark and that the light went off at about the same time every night, to assume they were asleep. And then, there was Musa, the security guard. If he as much as caught glimpse of him, everything would go wrong because the stranger didn’t have instruction to kill more than one person and even if he decided to kill Musa, the stranger hadn’t come with any weapon.

The stranger would never betray Chief even if he was caught, that was the agreement they had.

Luckily, Musa didn’t come towards the direction; the house was as silent as a graveyard. The stranger entered Ronke’s room with ease, using a huge agunmaniye tree that grew beside the room. Ronke would be home anytime soon. He was excited, standing behind the curtain of the window that overlooked the front of the house. He spotted a car headlamp and smiled, it could only be one person at this time and in this area. The car stopped a building away and the slut, in whose room he was, leaned over to kiss her boyfriend, who drove the car.

The stranger felt disgusted, the world wasn’t as it used to be; where were the days when women remained chaste till they found a man that would take their hand in marriage? He felt a surge of anger as he watched the young girl wave happily to her boyfriend before turning to bounce towards the gate house. She tapped the gateman’s window gently and after some minutes, appeared through his door. She dared not use the gate for fear of waking her parents; she would rather climb in through the gatehouse window. He knew because he had watched her do it severally over the weeks. The stranger checked the time again; it was 2: 45am- the usual time she returned home. He knew she would use the side window so he kept himself well hidden behind the thick curtains where he stood but away from the window for fear of being seen from outside in case Ronke decided to put the lights on before he attacked.

Sure enough, Ronke climbed noiselessly into her room and from the moon that illuminated her face, he saw her contented smile. She flung her handbag and high heeled shoes she came in holding, on the floor with her back turned to him.

The stranger came out carefully from behind the curtain. Her hands were around her neck, trying to free it of the heavy beaded necklace that hung around it, when she felt more than hear him. Her hands paused and her head turned slowly. Her eyes only had time to register shock when he clapped his right hand on her mouth while the left held her struggling arms. She was tall but slim, which made her an easy prey for him. Rather more forcefully than he intended, he snapped her neck and felt the struggle die within her as the body went limp. He lifted her effortlessly and dumped her on the bed, still clothed in her skimpy wears. He was happy for the good deed he just did – assisting in ending the girl’s miserable life; certain she would have a better chance at finding peace in the next life than the one he just ended.

He made for the window quickly. He knew he should climb and escape but temptation kept him rooted.

Temitope Obasa is a young nigerian author. Although she studied science at graduate level, she discovered early her talent in writing and has since developed a vision around that. She has written a lot of scripts for stage and televison. Her first novel STROKES OF LIFE was published in 2009.

photo credit: google images

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