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“I have no idea what you are talking about?” Juliet insisted. “I don’t intend to trouble you, madam. I am sorry about your health. I hope you recover well after the planned chemotherathy. Isabell told me about it. Based on that, I think you are better of telling the truth now. I pray nothing happens to you, but if for any reason you don’t make it; God forbid, don’t you think your daughter should know what happened to Dilingo?” Jariye asked her. Juliet stared directly at Jariye for what seemed like eternity. Then she said, “I have nothing more to say to you Mr. Adighibon.” “Listen to the DVD anyway. Here is my number in case you change your mind,” Jariye said as he pushed his card and a DVD across the table. Juliet stared at them without saying a word. She looked fatigued; emotionally drained.

“What is going on? What did you discuss with my mom?” Isabell asked him. “Would you like to spend the night with me?” He asked her. “Of course yes, but I want to know what is going on honey?” “I wanted to find out if your mother had a hand in your father’s death as well as Dilingo,” Jariye answered. “Does she?” “I don’t know for certain yet. She denies both adamantly. I would like to talk to her again soon.” “You suspect her that much?” “Not really. I just want to make sure she is not part of the scheme that killed your father. Do you know the man called Ijezem Obasinle?” “I know him but not very closely.” “What do you know about him?” “He has been a friend of the family. He has worked for Abugu for many years, but he seems fairly close to my mom.” “Okay. Do you know where he lives?” “No. He is somewhat secretive.” “Thanks dear. I have a few calls to make and then we can leave.” “Who else are you looking at with regards to my father’s death?”  “Have you heard the name, Chief Ukadieme?” “Yes of course, the former governor some time back.” “I don’t have much on him though, but I am looking at him seriously.” “Really? Why would he do that? Because of the case that led to his removal from office years ago?” “Yes. Maybe more. Do you know anyone by the name Geraldine?”

“Geraldine who?” “I don’t know yet. Maybe Geraldine Iningo or Geraldine Ukadieme?” Isabell thought for a moment and then shook her head. “We don’t have any Geraldine in our family that I know of,” she replied. “What do you know of your aunt, Linda who is now married to Chief Ukadieme?” “I don’t know her well, but I understand she is not too happy with the family for the way they treated her when she got pregnant as a teenager.” “Well, for now, I am still trying to fit the different pieces of the puzzle together. I wish I had a clear picture for you yet, but I don’t for now. I hope to have one soon. There is a lot that has happened in your family and the politics of this state that led to your father’s death. Soon, I hope to nail the killer who took your father’s life and my sister’s.” “What of Abugu?” “I am looking at him seriously. He is part of the scheme I am investigating.”  They both left the house shortly afterwards. Isabell made sure her mother took her pills. Juliet insisted on going to work the next day, but Isabell discouraged her. She was due to fly to the USA in less than a week for treatment.

Madubene walked casually down the street towards the house of one of Abugu’s drivers. The street was illuminated by street lights. When he reached the house, he rang the bell at the gate. It was a small one storey building tucked in the corner of Idiobong Street. The house was surrounded by trees. The security man answered the gate. “How can I help you sir?” “I am here to see Nelson Ilori. He is expecting me.” “Okay, wait sir.” The security man returned shortly and opened the gate. Madubene was taken to a small lobby where he waited until Nelson appeared. “Sorry for keeping you waiting. I had a few things to take care of. So, what is the proposition that you have for me?” Nelson asked. “My client is willing to make you an offer; a handsome one. He said to tell you that you will receive twenty-five million Shillings for the information we are after. In addition, you will be sent abroad to any country of your choice where no one will find you.” Nelson considered the offer for a moment. “So what do you want from me?” He asked. “Two things. One, place a listening device in the back of the governor’s limousine for us. Two, we need you to testify that you had seen the governor discussing with some armed men the night Maxwell Iningo was killed.”

Again, Nelson pondered the offer. “Would your client be willing to pay forty million Shillings for the risk?” He asked. “Let me make a call.” Madubene rose to his feet, walked to the corner of the lobby and placed a call to Ukadieme. Millicent and Martin sat in a car outside the house, waiting for Madubene to come out. They had followed him to the house. “He wants forty million, sir,” Madubene said. “Tell him we will pay him thirty-five,” Ukadieme answered. Madubene relayed the information to Nelson, who agreed. “He will take it,” Madubene said to Ukadieme. “Good,” he replied. Shortly after, Madubene was back in the street walking to his car. His phone rang. It was Ishigazu. “You were followed to the house,” he told him. “Really? How do you know?” Because we followed you too as a cover in case something went wrong.” “Are my followers around here now?” “Yes. Don’t look back. Keep going. They are behind you at a safe distance.”

Madubene entered his car and began to drive slowly up the street. A blue Toyota Corolla followed him slowly in a distance. All of a sudden, a Honda Pilot sped from behind the Toyota Corolla and fired shots at it. Before Martin knew what was going on, shards of glass darted at him in all directions. He bent over and marched on the break at the same time. “Are you alright Millicent?” He shouted as the Honda Pilot sped off. Madubene’s car was speeding into the darkness of the night as well. “I am hit!” Millicent shouted as she held her stomach. Blood was gushing out rapidly. “Hang on, Milli,” he said to her as she marched on and accelerator. Millicent held her stomach and leaned backwards. Martin called Dr. Olikaka as he drove and informed him that Millicent was hit. “I need you at the safe house before we get there please. She must not die,” Martin pleaded.

Dr. Olikaka was an anti-corruption campaigner in the state who helped private investigators like Millicent and her group who fought corruption by putting their lives on the line. “I will be there,” he assured Martin. “You are going to be alright Milli. Dr. Olikaka is going to the house. He’ll be on hand to treat you when we get there,” he assured her. “Make sure we are not followed to the house,” Millicent mumbled. She was a very methodical person. Even in the face of death, she was still thinking of how to outsmart the enemy. Martin looked in his rear view mirror and there was no sign that they were being followed. He took a quick left turn and then a right turn. Then, he noticed the Honda Pilot not far behind them. He called Jariye and told him to dash down towards the ring road. “It is a Honda Pilot,” Martin yelled into the phone. “If you are not far away, I need cover so I can get Millicent safely to the house. She is bleeding a lot,” He explained frantically.

“I will be back shortly,” Jariye shouted to Isabell. “No honey! Please don’t leave me alone tonight!” Isabell pleaded. “I will be back in an hour. I promise,” Jariye replied hastily as he dashed out of the house. He drove like a mad demon as he sped down ring road, Azonto. Martin drove around the area, keeping the Honda pilot behind them. “I am on Aliyu Dega Avenue now,” Martin told Jariye. Jariye sped onto Aliyu Dega Avenue. He spotted the Honda Pilot. There were four men in the vehicle, two in the back and two in front. Jariye fired shots at them, aiming at the two in the back. He could see the men squat down in pain. He was certain he had hit them both. The driver sped off in fear. They were not expecting to be attacked. Jariye chased after them in anger. That was when he caught sight of one of the men at the back. It was Dr. Ishigazu. He fired at him again in anger. Thoughts of Grace and Ozama rushed through his mind.

Ishigazu’s head lowered and he feel towards the door. From the way his body was hanging, Jariye was sure that he was dead. The jeep sped off, leaving Martin with the clear path to drive home. When they reached the house on the edge of town, Dr. Olikaka went to work quickly on Millicent. She was brave, taking he pain with incredible strength. She insisted on talking to Jariye while Dr. Olikaka worked on her. “Whether I make it or not, don’t stop fighting until you expose these evil people and bring them to justice. There is a small note that Grace carried with her. She had left me a message saying she had found the missing piece of the puzzle in this case. I am not sure she managed to pass that to you before they killed her. Find that note. I reckon it is at her office, possibly in her safe. Find it. Find out what she had written in it. It might be the link we need to solve this case.

“Finally, if I don’t make it Jariye, I want you to know this, I have loved you from the first day Grace introduced you to me.” She smiled and studied his face. Jariye peered intensely into her eyes. “You are going to make it. Dr. Olikaka is the best,” he replied. Smiling she said, “The first day we met, you wore an immaculate white long sleeve shirt with a scarlet and grey tie and a pair of black trousers. Your smile, the confidence and intelligence that you exuded swept me off my feet. I have loved you ever since. I was hoping that someday, you’d ask me out. I guess it was never meant to be…It seems your love is for Isabell now.” Jariye did not know how to answer. He held her right hand and squeezed it gently. “God is not going to let you die. You are a good person Milli.” “I am not any better or more important than those who have died fighting for this cause. Carry on if I don’t make it.” She winced in deep pain as Dr. Olikaka poked a pair of tweezers into a slit he had cut in her stomach. Although he had given her injections to numb the pain, it was still painful when he touched her internal tissues.

“I have removed the bullets now. I need to give her injections to put her to sleep. Hopefully, it won’t be too painful when you wake up. I will leave some drugs with Martin and explain to him how you are to take them,” Dr. Olikaka explained. “Thank you!” Millicent said. “Thanks doc,” added Jariye. “It is my pleasure,” answered the amiable doctor. In less than two minutes, Millicent was in deep sleep. Jariye had a brief chat with Martin and Simon before leaving. He jumped into his car and headed straight for Grace’s office.

Madubene was on the phone about the same time. “He knows too much. It is time to wipe him. We have enough evidence now to bring a corruption case against Juliet Iningo and Abugu Mabali,” Geraldine said over the phone to Madubene. “I hear he was the one that shot Ishigazu,” Madubene said in a low, sad voice. “Yes! He shot my brother!” Geraldine shouted. “Kill him tonight when he gets home.” “I am not sure he will be back here tonight.” “Then kill him whenever he gets back. He will sure come back. If he does not, lure him back with some information and shoot him at point blank range!” “I will see to that,” Madubene promised.

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Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: DIRTY POLITICS - Episode 23
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog. Listen to the DVD, governor’s limousine for us, million Shillings, Toyota Corolla, bullets, Honda Pilot, anti-corruption campaigner,
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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