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 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 @obasatemitope (Episode V)

 

 

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Another aspect of the story he couldn’t shake was the double life the girl lived. That could be an important lead he was omitting.  What if she and not her father had made a strong enough enemy to get her killed?

Kogberegbe double checked his house security system and drove out of his garage. His car, like his favorite jeans, was well used.

As he sped along the deserted road, he leisured in the cool breeze and absence of traffic jam. The car stereo was blaring a rock song that helped to get him in the swing of things. Anyone who saw him at this time would not have the faintest idea he was a detective. This suited Kogberegbe fine, the more his true identity remained hidden, the better his chances of penetration during tough cases.

By the time Kogberegbe got to the Okanlawons’ estate, his mind was clear and set to analyze the task at hand. His first few stops were to the Okanlawons’ neighbours. He needed outsiders’ view of the family as there could be things Dr. Okanlawon wouldn’t want Kogberegbe to know, because of his reputation. When he got to the first house, he was glad he’d decided to set out early.

Making a living in Nigeria, especially in some densely populated cities, meant leaving the house before day break, and a surety of not making it back home till very late at night. Kogberegbe watched as the mom scolded the older of their two children to move fast as they were running late. It was just 5:45am. The father gave Kogberegbe a look that said he wasn’t welcome at this time at all. He shook hands with Kogberegbe reluctantly and his wife checked the time while the two children looked sleepy and cold. Kogberegbe assured the man he would only take a while.

“Sure” The neighbour, Mr. Adamson said.

“I assume you’re aware a murder was committed in this neighbourhood yesterday” Kogberegbe said

“Yeah, heard. It’s unfortunate but I’m sure if there’s a way we could be of help, we will”

“Did you hear or see anything out of the ordinary in the early hours of last night?” Kogberegbe asked

“Not at all. Judging by the number of hours I put into my work, you wouldn’t blame me for sleeping like a log, which is what I do. Moreover, the Okanlawon’s house is two houses away. There’s a low probability I hear an occurrence in my own house, much less theirs” Adamson said, smiling humorously.

“Understandable. Do you have a night guard?”

“No. we just moved in and still trying to get our own footing” Adamson said

Kogberegbe surveyed the building “How well do you know the Okanlawons?”

“I’m afraid, not much” Adamson sighed “Almost everyone in this estate work hard and barely notice one another. We’re all hardly ever at home- with the exception of some housewives. But from what I know, Dr. Okanlawon and his family are a polite bunch. They were really warm and welcoming when we moved in and though we don’t see much of one another, I know them to be a good family”

“Do you think Dr. Okanlawon might have some strong enemies?”

Adamson gave a weak smile “Don’t we all have enemies?  As for strong ones, you’ll have to ask him because I’ve not seen or heard about him getting on many people’s wrong side- not Dr.”

“What about Ronke, Dr Okanlawon’s daughter?”

“She was a warm girl. Pity she got unlucky with fate, whoever did it must be insane. The girl would never hurt a soul. She was easy going, smiled radiantly and would greet from afar, even if you didn’t see her. We’ve heard people say they would want their children to have her kind of spirit. She mostly stayed indoors and if she had to go out, must get back home before eight pm. That’s about all I know of her, mostly gathered from what others say about her in the estate”

“Thanks, you’re been of great help” Kogberegbe lied.

“Glad I could” Adamson said, shaking Kogberegbe’ hand again before Kogberegbe passed him his complementary card

“Just in case anything comes to your mind which you have omitted, or you see anything unusual, please give me a call”

“Sure” Adamson said, walking Kogberegbe to the gate and opening it wide for his car’s passage

“Sorry I took your time. Bye” Kogberegbe said.

 

Kogberegbe interviewed some more families but didn’t get any new information. Everyone believed Ronke and her parents didn’t keep late nights. No one thought Dr. Okanlawon could have an enemy that would hate him so much as to hurt him. This left Kogberegbe retracing his steps to his starting point- Dr. Okanlawon’s gateman. Musa looked like his world had fallen apart. Kogberegbe doubted that he had his bath or even slept at all.

“Oga, that one, not froblem” Musa responded when Kogberegbe pointed it out to him “I no haffy”

“Well, you shouldn’t be. You were sloppy with your work and someone got killed” Kogberegbe said bluntly

“Thank you oga.” Musa replied with a smile, apparently without comprehension “Madam no well again. Oga carry  madam go hosfital por morning. Oga sep pit no stay again. To kill me right”

“You shouldn’t talk that way Musa” Kogberegbe said, trying to calm him down “You don’t deserve to be killed, even though you made some mistakes. What you can do now is to help me find the girl’s killer”

“Ah, oga, I want now!” Musa said as if he was offended that Kogberegbe thought he wouldn’t help “Me not haffy”

“So, let’s start from here” Kogberegbe said, leading Musa to a bench even though Musa was bent on punishing himself to death. “Musa, I want you to relax okay?”

“I okay” Musa said unconvincingly.

“Now Musa, I want you to think deeply” Kogberegbe said.

“yes sir” Musa replied

“Was there any time during the day that you left the house?”

“Lept?me I no lept the house anytime. Pood sep, na when pood seller come to me, I buy pood, chof am por oppice there” Musa said, pointing to the gatehouse that now housed a new gateman

“Okay, so tell me about yesterday, starting from the morning, what did you do all day?”

“I not do flinty. I not even chof” Musa said miserably.

“Then you must have heard when the glass was broken” Kogberegbe prodded and Musa looked even more miserable, silent and not catching Holme’s glance. Kogberegbe’ heart started beating faster. “There’s something you aren’t telling me right? “ At this, a tear rolled down Musa’s face “Talk to me Musa, help me find this killer, then at least Ronke can be avenged and you can find some peace”

“I drunk” Musa said in a small voice

“You got drunk?” Kogberegbe asked, to which Musa nodded. “Why and how? Tell me about it”

“I not know how to drunk bepore. My wipe por billage I want marry, they marry her to give another ferson” Musa stated feebly

“Okay, go on”

“I not haffy. My priend not like me not haffy and say to helf me”

“So, your friend helped you by getting you drunk?”

“It do good. I drunk and I sleef and I wake and only headache, I not thinking flinty about my wipe again because apter I wake, not long, oga or madam come and work start again”

“So, you got drunk and slept off all through the day till when your boss got back?” Kogberegbe said bewildered

“Yes oga”

“While you were drunk, do you realize anyone could have sneaked  in to lay all the pathway that made the murder easy?”

“Sir?”

“Never mind. How long have you been doing this…drinking to stupor I mean?”

“I not drunk to anywhere o oga, na just here por my oppice”

“Ok, how long have you been drinking? When did this start? Yesterday? Last week?”

“Not last week, another week”

“You mean week before the last?”

“Last last week?”Musa said nodding

“So, who’s this friend that introduced you to drinking?”

“Sabo, na Sabo. He gateman there” Musa said pointing at their neighour’s house, separated by bush “My priend, Sabo is. Me I bring Sabo prom home por North, tell oga there” He pointed again at the building “I gibe am gateman, Sabo good strong man prom my billage. He come and he become gateman, we good priend”

“I see. So you have a close relationship with this Sabo. Ok, on the night of the murder, where was Sabo?”

“Aah, me no know. Sabo always inside por night”

 

“Alright then. I guess I’ll have to talk to your friend. Musa, when was the last time you ate?” When Musa continued to look at him blankly, Kogberegbe added “food”

“Oh pood? Me no want pood. They hang me, kill me”

“No Musa, you don’t deserve to be hanged. I want you to find something to eat. You’re good to me alive than dead okay?”

“Me no want pood” he insisted

“But I want you to okay? Please” Kogberegbe stood firm and Musa kept quiet, averting his face. Kogberegbe headed for the neighbour’s compound. He’d been there earlier that morning but didn’t learn anything different from what others had to say. Though Kogberegbe greatly doubted that the murderer lived in the neighbourhood, it was his job to explore all possibilities. The killer might have had some help which could be anyone in the neighbourhood. Or at the least, Sabo might have been awake and witnessed something while Musa was in drunken sleep.

Sabo didn’t look too pleased at the sight of Kogberegbe.

“You come bepore” Sabo said, in the same adulterated English with which Musa spoke, not masking his displeasure to see Kogberegbe.

“I know I have been here before. There’s been a recent development and I’m afraid I have to question you again if you don’t mind”

“Oga e not like disturb. He want to go out not long now…”

“Never mind, I’m not here to see your boss” Kogberegbe cut in, studying Sabo’s features while he spoke with him. Sabo was very dark skinned like the other gatemen in the neighbourhood, typical of northerners; but he didn’t look half as fragile as the other men. Sabo was averagely built and about 5’9. He also carried a cool expression that convinced Kogberegbe that Sabo drank regularly. From his facial features, he also smoked a great deal.

 

 

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