LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 14

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - policeman, kidnap her, the police might trace the call, ten million naira, in police custody, kill, Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, daughter, Volvo, sim card, Drive, kidnappers, police.

“Where is she?” The angry policeman asked Emeka. “I don’t know. She was standing there when I left,” he answered. His father had failed to bail him out this time, given the gravity of the case. He was accused of having kidnapped Ifunanya whose father was doing everything possible to find his daughter. “Look, if it entails killing you, we’ll gladly do it to get to the truth,” the policeman explained. “Her brother and boyfriend say they left her with you and you admit that yourself, but that was the last time anyone else saw her. How do you expect us to believe you?” “She was there when I left!”

The policeman signaled his colleagues to join him. They yanked Emeka onto a chair, removed his shirt and tied his hands to the arms of the chair. One of them placed naked electric wires on his shoulders, sending searing electric shock waves through him. “Ayooo!!!” He shouted through searing pain. “I did not kidnap her.” “Then, who did?” The policemen buried the naked wires in his shoulders again. He cried painfully. “I have told you the truth. Please listen to me…I did not kidnap her.” “We will continue to torture you until we find her.”

“So, what do we do now?” Uduma asked Agusi. “I am going to take her phone and ring her parents. I am sure I can find their phone numbers in her address book. I will tell them to prepare ten million naira for us or we kill her,” Agusi explained. “Wow! We are going to be rich. Do you think they will pay?” “Why not. People who live in that mansion, ten million naira is nothing for them.” Agusi took her phone and sim card, got in the car and drove off. “Keep an eye on her. I can’t call her from here; else the police might trace the call to our location. I will ring her from the Enugu Port Harcourt expressway. Agusi drove out of town and headed towards Awgu. When he reached a convenient location. He pulled up, inserted Ifunanya’s sim card in the phone and scanned through her address book.

He saw a number saved as dad and another as mom. He called dad first. “What? Ifunanya is ringing me!’ her father shouted. He was in his hotel room in Enugu with his wife and Chikamso. “Hello, Ify where are you?” he asked expectantly. “This is not your daughter. If you want to see her, get ten million naira ready for us or you will never see her again. I will call you tomorrow to tell you where to drop off the money.” Before Ifunanya’s father could say a word, the line went dead. “Was it Ifunanya?” Chikamso asked. “Kidnappers.” “Do you think they are working with the bastard, Emeka?” “There is no way of knowing. If he actually kidnapped Ifunanya, I think he would have run away. Something does not feel right. Why would he kidnap Ifunanya and fail to make any efforts to hide.” “I don’t know dad, but he was the last person to see her.” “It does not mean he kidnapped her.”

 He dialed Ifunanya’s number but it was off. He quickly called the police and informed them of the ransom demand. They began to work frantically, putting together some fake money for the delivery. “Do you think they will deliver?” Uduma asked Agusi when he returned. “They have no choice, they have to.” The police grilled Emeka a lot more, but they were getting nothing out of him. “I don’t think he knows who has my daughter,” Ifunanya’s father told the police. “Keep him in custody while we try to make the delivery. Afterwards, we will figure out what to do with him.” The police agreed with him. He had gotten an order from the Inspector General of police in Abuja to hold Emeka in police custody pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Uduma, I need you to pick up the money. I will call her father and give him three different locations before finally giving him the final one, where you will be situated. You will ride in one car while I ride in another. I will be a short distance away from you. Once he drops the money, I want you to push him into the car at gunpoint and tell him that if he had police following him, we will kill him and his daughter. Just drive up the road. I will scan the area to make sure we are clear, then we will push him off the car, go home and kill the girl. Can you handle that?” “You know what I can do, Agusi,” Uduma bragged.

“I have your money here, young man. First, I would like to talk to my daughter to be sure that she is alive,” Ifunanya’s father begged over the phone. “Your daughter is alive and well. Deliver the money and get her or you can simply forget her. I tell you what happens, and not the other way round, okay?” “This is a lot of money, young man. Make sure you have my daughter ready for me after you get the money.” “You will have your daughter back. I can assure you that,” Agusi lied. “So, where do I drop off the money for you?” “Take the money and drive along the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway. Drive alone. If you come with policemen, we will abort the mission, return to our base and shoot your daughter to death.” “I am coming alone. You need not worry about that.” “Good. Just drive slowly along the expressway. I will give you further instructions in a while.” “I am leaving now.” “Good. I hope you have all the money?” ‘Exactly ten million naira, as you stated.” “I like doing business with you. I knew you would pay. See you shortly.”

Ifunanya’s father drove along the expressway, scanning the area. His heart hammered ferociously against his rib cage. His phone began to ring as he neared Awgu. “Hello!” He said attempting to keep his eyes on the road while talking. “Take a left turn and head towards Agbogugu,” Agusi instructed. “Do you know how to get there?” “Yes…I think so. I will follow the signs.” “Good.” Ifunanya’s father took a left turn and drove towards Agbogugu as he was instructed. When he reached the town center, he stopped the car and waited. He remained in the car, listening to his heart as he pounded relentlessly.

“Hello,” he said almost gasping for air as he picked up his phone. “Drive towards Ihe. It is on the other side of the expressway. Just drive to Eke Ihe and wait there,” Agusi instructed him. “I will be right there.” He started the engine and headed back in the direction he had come. When he saw the Eke Ihe sign, he stopped the engine on the side of the road. The market was buzzing with activity. He looked for anything that would suggest where the kidnappers might be. He knew they were watching him. He wished he could pick them out somehow.

After an excruciating twenty minutes, Ifunanya’s number flashed on his screen again. He picked up, panicking. “Drive up the road, away from the market,” the voice instructed. He started the engine and headed up the steep hill away from Eke Ihe market. When he reached the edge of town, a short distance from the secondary school, he received another call. “Turn left. There is an untarred road to your left. Take it.” He saw a car in the distance. He had sighted the car before at the market. It has got to be him, Ifunanya’s father thought to himself. There is no other vehicle around here. It is him. He slowed down as the car galloped down the steep, pothole-infested road. He caught sight of the plate number. He quickly scribbled it down and headed in the direction he had been instructed.

He stopped the car and scanned the area. There was a car in the corner of the bush with no one in it. His phone began to ring again. The car he had spotted earlier, an old Honda Civic remained in the distance behind the bushes. He was convinced that the driver had been following him all along. “Hello,” he yelled into the phone. “Grab the money and step away from the car.” He obliged. “Walk towards the red Volvo.” “He walked towards the old beat-up Volvo. Out of nowhere, a gun wielding young man appeared from behind the bushes. He grabbed the bags of money from him and tossed them into the Volvo. “Get in the car,” the young man yelled. He got in the Volvo. The young man took his phone from him, turned it off, yanked the back cover open and removed his sim card.

               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 15
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 13

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 14
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - policeman, kidnap her, the police might trace the call, ten million naira, in police custody, kill, Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, daughter, Volvo, sim card, Drive, kidnappers, police. An African Literary Blog
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