KILLER - Episode 7

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - her apartment, She held the gun, serial killer, thinking of killing Maureen, He must be very intelligent, a highly armed police bomb squad, Genesis Deluxe Cinema Hall at Polo Park Enugu, Institute of Management and Technology, police detention.

Fear got the better of Ogechi. The killer was about to break into her apartment. The thought of that jolted her out of her shock. She fired at the door without thinking any further. She squeezed the trigger and fired five shots. Then, she listened for any movement outside. There was none. She held the gun in her left hand and opened the door with her right hand. She stepped back with the gun aiming at the door. There was no one there. She mustered the courage to push the door open, ready to shoot. There was no one on the balcony. She stepped onto the balcony and peered into the street. She saw a masked figure running down the street. He may have jumped, Ogechi thought. Did I hit him?” she wondered. Her neighbors were peering through their keyholes. Ogechi called the State CID one more time. “The squad is on the way,” the officer on the other end of the line assured her. She was rattled. Soon, the squad arrived. Armed officers combed the streets of Asata arresting any man they found in the streets.

Ogechi was driven to Oifie’s apartment. She was eager to share the experience with him. She woke him up from sleep. After narrating her story, Oifie was somewhat shocked. “He is very bold,” he remarked. “He did not know I was a police officer, remember,” she said. “I guess he knows by now, but he has been successful thus far. Success makes one reckless and too confident. He will make a mistake soon. We need to catch this guy soon before another woman is killed,” Ogechi explained. “Get some rest. You are rattled. Tomorrow we’ll start again,” Oifie urged her. He showed her the bathroom and she took a quick shower. When she returned, she wore a skimpy white nightgown. Her busts dangled under the gown catching Oifie’s eyes. He had ogled at them before, but tonight, they dangled at him.

“Here is your room,” he said to Ogechi showing her the guest room. “You are very rattled though. Do you want to sleep in the same room with me?” he added. “Are you asking me to sleep with you?” she asked. “It depends on what you mean.” “I am rattled, truly. I could use someone around me,” she said with a smile. A few minutes later, they were rolling all over Oifie’s bed. “I have seen the way you look at me at the office,” she pointed out after a steamy passionate session. “I can’t help myself. You should blame yourself for being smashingly beautiful.” “Sweet talker; I wonder where else your eyes will be roaming now that you have gotten what you wanted.” “They will stay right where they are. There is no need to look elsewhere while I have gold and diamond right under my nose,” he said with a smile. They held each other and soon slept off.

“Do you remember what Maureen told us?” Ogechi asked Oifie. “What?” “She said that the killer said something about killing his cousins. Also he talked about his wife and children living with him. I am not sure it makes sense that we continue to investigate Chidoka,” Ogechi explained to Oifie. They were the first to arrive at the office the next morning. “Are you saying that because Chidoka does not leave with his wife and children, he is not our guy?” “Yes. The guy told Maureen about his wife and children, so it can’t be Chidoka. Besides, I have been reading through Chidoka’s files. There is a huge file on him, which was compiled when he was investigated for alleged murder some years ago. They interviewed his whole family. He has only one aunt who has only boys and no girls. He can’t be our guy.”

“What if he was lying to Maureen to cover his tracks?” Oifie asked. Ogechi pondered the question. “He is a serial killer who has evaded us all this while. He must be very intelligent, so if he was not thinking of killing Maureen, he may have been feeding her crumbs to put us on the wrong trail should she be working with police,” Oifie rationalized. “You have a point, but I still don’t feel like Chidoka is our guy.” “What we feel at this time means nothing. We just have to find this guy,” said Oifie. A few hours later, they got a warrant from the high court in Enugu. Together, all four of them returned to Chidoka’s residence to execute the warrant. In addition, they brought a highly armed police bomb squad with them.

Chidoka was forced to allow them into his compound. “What do you want?” he asked after reading the warrant. “We have a warrant to search your compound. We’ll talk to you if we have any questions in the end,” Gbolahan replied. He stepped aside as the team began to ransack his property. They went from the entire main building to the guest house behind and the storage building across the property. They looked for anything that would remotely link Chidoka to any of the murdered women. The search lasted over five hours and when it seemed as though it was fruitless, a police sergeant found an interesting box in the storage building. Inside the box were newspaper and internet clippings on all the Asata murder stories. “If he was not involved, why is he collecting information on every single murder?” Uzokwe asked. They were debating whether to arrest him based on the information contained in the box. “But that is not enough to convict him,” Ogechi argued. “Why did he hide the box away inside the ceiling?” Gbolahan asked. “I think we should arrest him. If he is not guilty, we’ll release him like the other ones we arrested. He certainly has a question to answer for now,” Oifie said conclusively.

Chidoka maintained his innocence throughout the interrogation. “I have been following the case closely because when my girlfriend was murdered, I told the police that a killer was out there, but they would not listen to me. All these killings would have been avoided if they had heeded my suggestion,” Chidoka explained. “Besides, I have the right to keep my possessions anywhere I like on my property,” he argued. “We plan on detaining you until we are convinced that you are not the killer,” Oifie explained to him. “You don’t have the right to do that. You don’t have anything on me to warrant overnight detention. My lawyers are on their way. There is not a chance that I will sleep in your cell tonight,” Chidoka argued. An hour later, his lawyers arrived at the police station with court documents instructing the police to release Chidoka unless they had substantial evidence to hold him, in which case they should bring a case against him in court with immediate effect. Chidoka was released, eventually.

“I think he is the one,” Oifie said after Chidoka was released. “The killer is highly intelligent and that is how Chidoka comes across to me.” “Let’s dig deep into his family background,” Uzokwe suggested. “We already have a file on him…” Oifie began to explain. “I don’t think he is our guy,” Ogechi argued. As they argued back and forth all afternoon, hours after Chidoka was released, a man was hanging in the mango tree in Asata watching a young girl and his boyfriend making love. The tree overlooked the one storey building, thereby offering the man a good view of the room. He latched carefully onto a stem, maintaining as much stealth as possible. He counted down to the night with each passing minute as he watched them.

Chidimma returned home early. It was 6:00 pm when she returned home. She and her boyfriend had gone to see a movie at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema Hall at Polo Park Enugu. Her boyfriend, Chibuike walked her home before leaving.  “Lock your doors and windows,” Chibuike urged her as he watched her enter her apartment and shut the door. After making love in the afternoon, they had gone to see a movie at the Cinema. Two weeks earlier, Chibuike had proposed to her and she said yes. They were madly in love with each other. Chibuike dealt in motor spare parts while Chidimma studied at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. Minutes after Chibuike had driven off, the man who had been watching Chidimma’s apartment for days emerged from behind a water tank. People had shut their doors and windows tightly.

Chidimma lay on the bed admiring her engagement ring when her window swung open and a masked man entered. She had made sure to lock the window before leaving the apartment with Chibuike. Fear jumped into her heart and eyes. Before she could react, the masked man was all over her. He tied her up and dumped her like a heap of clothes before taking time to lock the window through which he had entered. The police had warned people across the area and the entire city to check their windows and doors carefully because the killer was in the habit of breaking into people’s houses while they were away to leave a window and/or door open for entering the house later. Chidimma cried painfully for not checking her windows while Chibuike was still around.

Then, the killer began to rip off her clothes. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. He had gagged Chidimma, so she could not answer. The killer walked to the door and listened. After the third knock, the knocker began to fiddle with the key. The door swung open abruptly. Chibuike had returned to pick up his camera, which he left at Chidimma’s earlier. The killer stabbed Chibuike in the shoulder and took to his heels. Chibuike began to yell and people dashed out of their apartments and houses, but the killer disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. “You saved my life, honey,” Chidimma said as Chibuike untied her. “God saved you,” Chibuike said modestly. Landlords in the area began to feel the pain. Single girls in the area moved out in huge numbers. Chidimma was quick to move out after the incident.

“So, why did you lie to us?” Oifie asked Josephine Umunna. “Igbokwe used me. He said that if I lied for him, he would marry me. He has no plans to leave his wife for me as he promised. Besides, I found out that he is sleeping with another girl in the area,” Josephine explained. “So, you are saying that you lied for Igbokwe to get him released from police detention when he was arrested?” “Yes.” “Could you please put that in writing?” Josephine quickly went to work to write her statement. “Are you doing this to get back at him for not marrying you or for cheating on you, or are you telling the truth?” Oifie continued to grill Josephine, Igbokwe’s girlfriend. “I am telling the truth.” So, do you think Igbokwe is the killer?” “I don’t know. He is busy crawling around town sleeping with every girl. I can’t say what he does when he is not with me, so I have no idea. I just want to tell you that I lied for him earlier and I am sorry for that.” “We could have you arrested for lying, but we’ll let that go. However, if we find out that you are lying to us again, we will certainly bring you to book.” ‘I am certainly telling the truth this time.”

“My name is John Ikenna,” the young man said to Gbolahan. He had arrived at the station insisting on speaking on someone working on the Asata serial killer case. Gbolahan decided to chat with him while Oifie interrogated Josephine. “So, what information do you have for us with regards to this case?” “I heard you arrested Chidoka?” “I cannot answer your question. I am here to listen.” “I wanted to let you know that he changed his family name from Ihedioha to Chimerenna. Some years back when he was arrested for the rape and murder of his secret girlfriend, no one knew his true family history. He changed his name for a number of reasons we may never find out, but in his original village, it is thought that he did so to elude allegations. He ran from his hometown to his mother’s town to cover his tracks. He was suspected in the rape and murder of his cousin, so he left for his maternal home where he changed his name before coming to the city. I have a feeling he is responsible for these killings. If you correlate this to his history, he has to be a strong suspect,” John explained.


                                          CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 6
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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KILLER - Episode 7
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - her apartment, She held the gun, serial killer, thinking of killing Maureen, He must be very intelligent, a highly armed police bomb squad, Genesis Deluxe Cinema Hall at Polo Park Enugu, Institute of Management and Technology, police detention. An African Literary Blog
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