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Nigeria's leading story blog. CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, The BBC, MSNBC, Forbes, The Economist, international conference on money laundering and financial crimes, federal ministry of finance, KPMG and some of the biggest banks in the country, sub-Saharan Africa, Finance sector, a bank in the Cayman Island, in accounts in Panama, information on the president, Commissioner for Finance.

International Conference Center, Azonto
“It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Juliet Iningo,” said Roland Obridu, the president of the federal republic of Amaland. The president was in Agudugba for an international conference on money laundering and financial crimes. The conference had drawn important dignitaries from across the globe, with notable reporters from CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, The BBC, MSNBC, Forbes, The Economist and several other reputable media organizations. It was the president’s brain child as he sought to demonstrate to the world, his deep-felt desire to fight corruption to a halt in Amaland. “Juliet Iningo is the commissioner for Finance in the state of Agudugba,” Roland continued. “Since assuming office in the largest state in our nation, economically speaking, she has introduced a range of programs that encourage transparency in the handling of government resources as well as plug several loopholes that allow corrupt government officials to steal from government coffers. The federal government is currently working with Juliet Iningo with a view to introducing some of these programs at the national level. We are confident that the federal ministry of finance will benefit immensely from these programs, and most of all, from Juliet’s extensive experience in the Finance sector. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our guest speaker for the day, Juliet Iningo!”

A raucous applause ushered Juliet to the stage. Abugu Mabali beamed with smiles as he watched her walk sleekly to the podium. Roland shook hands with her and then gave her a hug before joining Abugu at the high table. “Thank you Mr. President for that wonderful introduction. It is my humble pleasure to present my thoughts and insights on money laundering to this very esteemed international gathering of financial experts,” Juliet began. She was sharp...eloquent. “It is estimated that money laundering costs the vast majority of developing countries including our beloved nation Amaland over US$75 billion annually. A school of thought believes that the exact figures far exceed this estimate. This is real money; money that would normally go to projects that should tackle our numerous economic and infrastructural problems, instead they end up in hidden bank accounts abroad.” Juliet went on to draw from her experience working for the likes of KPMG and some of the biggest banks in the country. She proffered pragmatic solutions to the problem of money laundering out of sub-Saharan Africa.

Her speech was greeted by a loud and prolonged applause. She returned to her seat between the president and governor Abugu. They both gave her a standing ovation out of courtesy and respect. Soon, another speaker took the stage. “So, what are you doing tonight after the banquet?” The president, Roland asked Juliet. “It has been a very busy day, and there is still much more to go. I guess I will retire to my house afterwards,” she answered smiling. The president did his best to keep his voice down, but Abugu could hear some of the conversation between them. He made sure not to show that he could hear the president’s proposition to Juliet. “But I am sure you can find time to stop by my suite tonight. Your late husband and I were very good friends. He was such a brilliant and reliable man. Anyway, I would love to go over a few things you mentioned in your excellent speech with you tonight.” “I was thinking we could look through those in your office in the capital when I come to visit. All the same, I will see what I can do tonight.” “That sounds like it. I am sure you can make it if you try.” “I will try, Mr. President.”

Abugu made sure to return to his office after the meeting. They had a break before the evening session began so he quickly returned to his office to attend to important matters. He told his secretary he did not want to be bothered. He locked himself in and took the underground route to Juliet’s office. She had taken off her shoes and her blouse was lying on the table while she lay on the couch with the air conditioner soothing her from behind. He leaned over and gave her a kiss. “I am so glad you are here now honey,” she said. “I am glad to be here too. I could see that dirty old man pestering you. Could you believe that? He really wants to jump into bed with you.” “I figured you could hear him. What do you think?” Juliet asked. “What do you mean what do I think?” “I think it is an opportunity for us both.” “Really?” Abugu asked. “Yes. I completed the transfer of US$117 million last week to a coded secret account in a bank in the Cayman Island. By tomorrow, the money will be sleeping peacefully in accounts in Panama where they will never be traced. We still have more money to wire to other destinations. You never can tell which direction the political wind will blow. I think we should have something on the president. Let’s make sure that if for any reason we are being investigated, he will be forced to take side with us. The option of whether he wants it or not is not good enough. We have to put him in a position where he will certainly take our side,” Juliet explained.

“So, how do you intend to achieve that?” “Come on Abugu. I will do with him, the same thing I do with you. I will make sure to have it taped so when the time comes, if it comes, we can tell him to do as we want or be exposed to the world.” Abugu regarded her for a moment. He had known her quest for power, money and fame from the time they began to sleep with each other many years back behind Maxwell’s back, but there was even more to her nasty side that he did not know. She looked harmless and innocent as she lay topless on the couch. “What is worrying you Abugu? I was in bed with Maxwell at night all those years I was sleeping with you. Why is this hard for you? Afterall you will be going home to your wife tonight. Think like a businessman please!” “That is okay Julie. You can go ahead with that. How do you intend to record the entire…” He stalled for lack of an apt description. “Don’t worry about that. I have it all taken care of. I have his room already wired.” “You already knew he would ask you to come to his bed tonight?” “Let’s say I had some information on the president, so I prepared for every eventuality.” Soon, they were wrapped up in each other’s arms…

Just before the evening session began, Juliet’s phone rang. She answered the call and it was Peter, her brother in-law. She had not seen him in months. She ignored his call but Peter called yet again...and again. She finally picked up. “I saw you on TV. I know you must be busy with the president’s visit. I was wondering if you would spare me a few minutes.” “Let’s talk tomorrow Peter. I have a lot going on here now.” “That is why I decided to call now. I felt it was best to discuss my proposition with you now…right now? If you truly want to remain in office as the Commissioner for Finance, you had better listen to me now or watch your life and career go up in flames.”

Peter was not one to make empty threats. Juliet had seen him destroy other people’s lives in the past. She hated Peter and he did not like her any more that she liked him. “What do you want Peter?” “First, I want you to wire US$100 million to an account number I will give you soon. Second, I want you to do something you should have done all these years.” “And what would that be? Why would I send you such an outrageous amount of money?” “I am not done yet. You have to get Abugu to initiate an impeachment process to remove Justin Nzeabali from office as the speaker of the State house of assembly and have my man, Prince Ezekalia Isiaboti as the new speaker of the house.”

“I am hanging up now Peter. If your plan is to make me late for the evening session of this meeting, it is not going to work.” “Don’t hang up Juliet! I have evidence...I mean tapes of you sleeping with the Governor of our State, Abugu Mabali in your office, Juliet. I will not hesitate to have the tape made public tonight if you don’t listen to me and more importantly, do as I say.” There was pin-drop silence over the connection. The only sound that Juliet could hear was the pounding of her heart. Fear began to ravage her like hot knife slithering through butter. “You should stop bluffing Peter. I have known you to be like this from back in our university days, which was the reason I married your brother and not you.” “You married the wrong Iningo Juliet. You should have married me.” Peter and Juliet had met in university. He was madly in love with her, but she did not like him at all. Eventually, she met Maxwell through Peter and fell in love with him. Although Maxwell and Peter had their differences on the family front, Peter never really forgave Maxwell until he died. “Is that all or should I go now?” Peter turned on one of the tape recordings and placed his phone next to the speaker. Chills went through Juliet’s legs as she listened to her own voice playing back to her over the phone.

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Nigeria's leading story blog. CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, The BBC, MSNBC, Forbes, The Economist, international conference on money laundering and financial crimes, federal ministry of finance, KPMG and some of the biggest banks in the country, sub-Saharan Africa, Finance sector, a bank in the Cayman Island, in accounts in Panama, information on the president, Commissioner for Finance.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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