SHE heard the commotion before she got to the front desk. She rushed there and found one of their suspects resisting arrest! It was Spider, the gun owner.
‘No! You people just look for any opportunity to throw me into jail! I’ve not done anything this time!’ She shouted at the officers.
‘Hey! Stop shouting! If you have not committed a crime you won’t be here.’ Sergeant John retorted.
‘I’ve not done anything! You set me up! I just went to see my daughter and you barged in! This is police brutality! Corruption!’
Ola walked to him and he became calm immediately. Though Ola did not know him but the criminal knew her as her story had gone far and wide amongst the criminals and they knew she was not to be messed with.
‘We have your suspect ma’am.’ John said happily, he hated being under Ola’s pressure.
When Ikenna heard he was Ola’s suspect, his heart jumped to his mouth. What has he done to be a suspect of the most savage detective? He ran the operations he had been on recently in his mind and try to think if any of it backfired, none came to mind. He has done most of his theft outside the state and they were minor, nothing big enough to bring the biggest fish after him. He said a silent prayer because he did not want to go back to jail especially when he just became a father. He promised himself to cooperate and give them everything they wanted if it would save him from jail.
‘Put him in the I.O 4, I will be right there.’
AS Spider was being led away, she saw Kev running into the station, and he ran up to her.
‘Detective Ola, please what’s going on?’ he asked.
‘How do you mean?’ She played dumb.
‘Grace was arrested. Why?’
‘We are conducting an investigation, when we have answers, we will let you know!’ She was not obligated to tell him anything.
‘Can I see her?’
‘Not yet, please wait in the reception, I will attend to you soon.’ She said pointing towards the west and he headed in the direction. She was giving instructions to the desk officer about Becky when she walked in with Junior. She was relieved as the boy ran to him.
‘Aunty Ola!’ He hugged her before she could stop him.
‘Hello Junior. How are you?’
‘I am fine. How’s D-boy?’
‘He is fine.’
‘Where’s my daddy?’
‘He’s talking to my friends in the room over there, you will soon see him. Let me quickly talk to Miss Becky.’
‘Okay.’ He said but did not leave her side.
‘Hi Becky, we need to ask you some questions about your clinic, my officer here will take you to a room, I will join you soon.’
‘Erhm, erhm, hope there’s no problem? Please where’s doctor Akin?’
‘We shall see if there’s a problem or not. Doctor Akin in fine.’ She said and turned to a sergeant on her right.
‘Please take her to I.O 5.’ She said and the sergeant led Becky away.
Becky was once a jail-bird. When she was into drugs, she stole a lot to sustain her addiction and most times she got caught. She knew the police would not invite you if they did not have anything against you. If they wanted to talk to her because of the doctor, she would never betray him. He believed in her, gave her a job when others turned her down, he helped her get back on the right track. She would never give away his secrets.
She needed to hand Junior over to the welfare department so she could go about her job but they were behind the main building and she had to go out of the building to reach them. Ordinarily, she would delegate the job to a junior officer but she had a soft spot for the young boy so she took him herself.
‘Junior, I have to work, let me take you to some of my friends who will give you anything you want and show you around.’
‘Okay! Can I see the police dogs?’ He asked as they exited the building.
‘I will talk to them but promise me you’ll be careful with…’ She was saying when he tugged at her hand.
‘That’s the car!’
‘What car?’ She asked confused as the boy pointed towards the parking lot.
‘The blue car that comes to our house! That’s it!’ He said pulling her towards a car. Her heart raced.
‘Are you sure Junior?’
‘Yes!’ He said when they reached the car.
‘How do you know this is the car?’
‘The stars! It has three red stars on the side door! I forget to tell you that!’ He said pointing at the stars on the door. She hugged the boy, crammed the car’s plate number and ran back into the station still holding Junior.
‘Who is the owner of the blue Toyota with the plate number IKJ 631 LA?’ She shouted still trying to catch her breath.
He stood up tall, as tall as Mr Solomon, dark, handsome, he fitted the description Sikira gave her.
‘I am.’ Kev replied and started moving towards Ola who stopped him.
‘Wait there, I’m coming to meet you.’ She called on another officer and handed over Junior to him;
‘Take him to the welfare. Tell them to handle him like royalty.’ She said and went to where Kev was standing.
‘Sergeant! Put him in I.O 6.’ She commanded and they took a confused Kev away while she went in search of Smith in the research room.
‘Hey,’ she said entering the room. She met him in front of the photocopy machine feeding it papers. He looked up when she entered.
‘I am almost through. Becky has quite a sheet. She was a drug addict. You can read for yourself, here.’ He said passing the papers to her.
‘Thanks. Something else came up. I need files on Kelvin, Grace’s fiancé.’
‘The blue car Junior said he saw belongs to him. I need to know if he is part of the conspiracy. Grace said her sister and fiancé never met, how come his car was there and he fits perfectly into the description Sikira gave us.’
‘Oh my God! Is the conspiracy ever going to end?’ He said moving back to the computer and Ola pulled a chair next to him as they surfed the net for background check on Kelvin. They started from Grace’s Facebook to get his full name but unfortunately they could not. He was simply identified as Kelvin or Kev in their pictures, he did not have a personal account. Who in this age and time did not have a Facebook account. They checked Google too, nothing on him, they can’t check the police records without his full name, they would have to see his driver’s license and get his real name then she remember his plate number she crammed earlier. She typed it in and it brought up his information. Yusuf Egbor, born September 23, from Edo state. She was not interested in the rest of his information, she typed his real name into the police data base and his information came up. She read rapidly and printed it out in twos, she gave one to Smith and they left the research room.
‘This is the most complicated case I’ve ever been on! The web of lies and conspiracy is too much! Where do we start from now? We have five suspects in custody, where do we start from?’ Smith asked.
‘Not five, we have six, we got Spider and we will start from him.’
‘Okay. How do we go about it?’
‘We will appeal to his paternal sense, he just became a father and I don’t think he wants to go to jail. That’s how they got him in the first place.’
IKENNA was familiar with interrogation room, he knew they kept you waiting to intimidate and irritate you till you give in. He was not intimidated but he was irritated. His new-born baby girl needed him, she was sick and he needed to give her blood, he needed to get out of the police station as soon as possible. Just when he was running out of patience, the detective and another office came in. He did not wait for them to use their tricks on him, he spoke first.
‘I really don’t know what I am doing here. I have not done anything.’
‘Really? Why did you kill her?’ Ola asked even though she could feel it in her guts that he did not do it but she had to ask him.
‘Kill who? I did not kill anyone!’
‘Hmmm. We have your gun, it was used to kill someone a few days ago. How do you explain that?’
‘Your 9mm.’ She said showing him the picture from his file.
‘This one? I lost it!’
‘Really? How convenient! Listen Spider, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me the truth. Your daughter needs you and this is a murder case, you will go in for life or get the death penalty even. Tell me what happened. Was it a robbery gone bad or one of your boys took your gun. Tell us the truth.’
‘Okay! I will! I sold the gun… See, the gun was too hot, it has gone on many operations and I wanted to get rid of it. Then one on my boys brought a buyer to me. He wanted a clean gun, the one you people can’t trace but I sold him my gun because it was cheaper and I needed the money, my daughter is sick. He was looking rich, I gathered he was not going to use it to kill anyone, maybe use it as protection or toy to show his friends. That’s it!’
‘Okay. What’s his name?’
‘Arh officer! We don’t exchange cards in such dealings now! But if I see him, I can point him out.’
‘Okay. Is the person here?’ She said spread photos on the table and Spider picked a picture without blinking.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes I am! Can I go now?’
‘No, we need to test your hands for gun shot residue and you will get booked for selling a hot gun illegally. You can call your lawyer and make bail though but you know how that works. You run after bail and we will hunt you down. Am I clear?’
Ola called the lab and requested for an instant gun residue test. When they came, they tested his hands for bleach first, it read no then they did an instant gun residue test which showed he has not fired a gun recently. She advised him to call his lawyer and they left the room.
‘An officer will come and take your statement and help you contact your lawyer. Remember to stay in town.’
‘I’m not going anywhere.’ He said and meant it.
‘So we have our criminal, let’s go and talk to him.’ Smith said.
‘Not yet. It’s more complicated. Remember he was already dead before he was shot, so let’s go find out about the poison. Let’s talk to Becky.’
BECKY was feeling cold, not because the room was cold, in fact, it was warm but she was cold with fear of the unknown and she wished someone would talk to her so she could know what was going on. She wished it and they entered the room she was. The now familiar faces were not smiling and her heart raced. They sat down opposite her and opened a file with a her name on the cover. They must have dug up her past to intimidate her and she was but what it had to do with the doctor or the clinic was unclear to her.
‘Hello Becky. Sorry for keeping you waiting. We have some questions for you.’ Ola had decided to go soft on Becky, she would sweeten the truth out of her. Loyalty was a bad thing for their business, loyal people did not give up on people easily and threatening them mostly did not work. She must make Becky feel her loyalty was taken for granted.
‘You love Junior right?’
‘I love him very much, he’s like a son to me.’
‘Why do you say so.’
‘Aside the fact that he’s a sweet boy, his parents are nice, especially his father, he gave me a second chance and his aunt never gave up on me. I just love their family.’
‘Can you tell me about Joy?’
‘Well, I can’t say much about her. I didn’t know her well. She doesn’t come to the clinic often and I’ve only been to their house once when Junior had his birthday but she seemed nice.’
‘Okay, do you know anyone who might have hurt her?’
‘How do you mean?’
‘I mean, you know the doctor and his ex-wife weren’t really on good times, could he have hurt her?’
‘No! Doctor Akin is a good man, even when we put an animal down, he is always sad, sometimes he cries. He can’t hurt a fly, he is a good man, besides, he can never do anything that I’ll hurt his son. Never!’
‘Talking of putting animals down, how does that work? I mean what’s the procedure.’
Becky did not understand the change in topic, they were talking about a murder case what has the animals got to do with it?
‘We don’t just put animals down, it’s either they are battling a terminal disease and their owner doesn’t want them to suffer, or they are infected with deadly disease that doesn’t have a cure yet which can spread to other animals or they’ve tasted human blood. We are not cruel to them, we put the animals down using a powerful poison that kills them painless within minutes.’
‘Hmmm, poison. Who injects the animals?’
‘The doctor, only the doctor because he has to locate the vein that goes straight to the heart of the animal.’
‘So you keep the poison in the doctor’s office?’
‘No, we keep it in the store but in a different cabinet under lock and key so we don’t mistakenly mix it with other drugs.’
‘Who has the keys to that cabinet Becky?’
‘Yes, because it’s a controlled drug. We have to enter it in a book every time we use it. We must input every dose because we will submit to the pharmaceutical companies we get it from when we want to buy another batch. The doctor, myself and the dog owner have to sign the book. You can’t get it from a pharmacy because it’s very poisonous.’
As she talked about it, she was thinking, what was this really about? Did anyone reported her or the clinic for malpractice? They were very careful with the animals and she did not think the doctor or anyone had done anything wrong.
‘Are you telling me that if I go through your records, I won’t find any foul play in the book?’ Ola watched her closely as she asked the question for tell signs if she was lying. Becky was going to open her mouth when her eyebrows went up in alarm as if she remembered something then she quickly composed herself and Ola knew she was about to lie. So far she hadn’t detected any lie from her answers but she had a feeling the lies were about to come.
‘Erhm, we don’t make mistakes, you can’t find a foul play.’ She lowered her gaze as she answered thinking about what she had gotten herself into.
Ola knew she was lying and it was time to throw the law at her. She was done being nice, it was time to be mean.
‘Becky, I have your file here, it tells me you have been in jail twice and you are still under probation. Do you know what the law says if you commit a crime while under probation? You will get twenty-five to life, meaning you will spend the rest of your life in jail or get out when you are over sixty years old and that is if you don’t die in the prison. Do you know what the law says about mishandling CAY3P especially if you intentionally give it to a human or an animal without just cause? You will be sentenced to death!’ As she talked, Becky was sweating and shaking at the same time and she knew they had her. She continued to terrorize her.
‘Now, I know you are not a bad person, neither do I think you have any reason to kill Joy especially because it will hurt Junior and I know you care about him. I also know you are clean from drugs so you didn’t have to sell the poison for extra cash, I checked your bank accounts, you are well paid and prudent in spending. So tell me who you are covering for. Did the doctor take the poison?’
She knew she was cornered and she felt used. Her loyalty had been taken for granted and trust had been broken. She could not believe this person who cared so much for animals and human could hurt someone they claimed to love. She did not want to believe it, but she knew deep down in her heart that the officers were telling the truth. There was no point in lying because if they went through the book, they would find out that some poison could not be accounted for and that would be a greater problem for her. She had been in the system for a long time and she knew she could make a deal if she cooperated.
‘Okay, I will tell you the truth but I need you to know I wasn’t part of any plan. I know it was an offense but I thought I was doing an animal a favor. If I tell you the truth, do you promise me I will walk free?’
‘If we do our investigation and we find out that you didn’t have a hand in it, we won’t prosecute you.’ Ola usually was not the type to promise suspects or make deals with criminal but she really wanted to get to the bottom of the case and she sincerely believed Becky was used.
‘Thanks.’ Becky said relived and she spilled her gut on the traitor.
Even though the tape recorder was on, she jotted down the facts and figures as Becky narrated how the poison got out. When she was done she broke into tears saying;
‘I can’t believe my loyalty killed madam Joy. How will I face Junior now? I’m so sorry!’
‘It’s Okay. Write down your statement and sign it. We will get back to you.’ Smith who had been quite all the while said and offered her his handkerchief. He pushed the pen and paper in her front as they left the room.
‘I’ve seen many crimes, I’ve never seen a case like that. Who’s next?’ Smith asked.
‘That’s life for you. Who’s next? Victoria of course, it’s time we confront her.’ Ola said.
VICTORIA had been crying since she was arrested. It was like a veil was lifted off her eyes. What has she done and when did she become a monster? She let the fine things of life carried her away and she was in too deep. Who will give her son the life she planned for him when she went to jail? To make matters worst, her parents were old and sick, how would they cope? She was confused. For the police to come and arrest her that means they knew everything and she made it worse by running.
Ola and Smith watched from the monitor has Victoria sobbed. She was clearly guilty and remorseful but the deed as been done, she had to face the music. Her phone rang and it was the lab, she had been expecting their calls all day.
‘Yes!’ She said into the phone
‘D.O, the technicians are free now, where do you need them?’ The H.O.D said.
‘In the victim’s house, Smith will join them soon. Is that all?’
‘No. We found the gun, napkin and glove in the bin you brought in, we are running test on them.’
‘Good. The laptop?’
‘We are still working on it.’
She was a bit disappointed that was all they had for her, she thought they we’re calling to give her the good news that the victim’s laptop had been cracked. She turned to Smith saying;
‘The technicians are ready to go to the house and I want you to follow them and monitor things. I’ve already marked some places I think the diary might be hidden, I’m sure it’s in one of them.’
‘Okay. Will be back soon.’
Smith handed the files he was holding to Ola and walked towards the lab while Ola entered the room Victoria was. Victoria looked up sharply as the detective entered the room. The first thing Ola did was to offer the suspect her handkerchief, Victoria took it and wiped her face and nose.
‘Thank you.’ She said
‘You are welcome. Do you need water?’ Ola asked. She was not being sympathetic towards Victoria but she needed her composed to answer her questions and that was the reason for the care.
‘Yes please.’ She replied and Ola called for water on the intercom. After the suspect had drunk her fill, she blew her nose again and she looked ready to talk.
‘So why did you run Vic?’
‘It’s a long story.’
‘You are here, I am here and we have all day. I’m listening.’
…to be continued…
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Written by Olatorera.
Edited by Olatorera.
© 2018 by IBIOLAT VENTURES.