RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 14

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Vice, Senate, voices, villa, president, vice president, House of Representatives, Mr. President, chambers, Toyota Corolla, impeach.


“Chief Adingo! Is this you or is it your ghost,” a senator from Ahamabra State yelled. “Order!” Duruike shouted in an effort to calm the house.  Michael nearly slumped. His heart jumped into his mouth. “My Vice, what happened? Is this truly you?” He asked Adingo who wore a delightful smile on his face. He ignored Michael’s question and walked over to the box where Duruike and Dr. Bello, the speaker of the house were seated. “I am inclined to ask the vice president to explain what is going on,” Duruike said, his voice blaring over the loud speakers sticking delicately out of the wall. “Yes! Yes! Tell us what is going on here!” voices echoed through the chambers.

Adingo mounted the podium and adjusted the microphone. He still wore a smile on his face. Michael sat down and fumbled through his ‘agbada’, searching for his phone. He dug up his phone and quickly sent a text to Bature. His text read;

Adingo is still alive. I want him shot as soon as possible. When he leaves the building, gun him down!!! Just find a way to do it!!!

Then he sent another text to Lekke:

Your husband is still alive. Either I am looking at his ghost or he is a cat of nine lives. He is in the senate chamber now about to address. Run!!! Run for cover now!!!


“Dear esteemed members of the House of Assembly and our revered senators; it is my pleasure to stand before you today to declare that I, Chief Uloke Adingo, am alive!!!” Adingo’s voice bellowed through the massive chambers.  “I say, I am alive…this is not my ghost…I am alive and well!!!” he repeated. “Yes!!!” Voices echoed around the senate chambers. “I have a lot to reveal to you all. When I am done, you will all agree with me that Dr. Michael Assimoke is no longer fit to be our president. Before I continue, I would like to request that the chambers be cleared of all journalists. There are some tapes…very graphic tapes that I would like to show you, so I insist that all journalists leave the chambers…for now, at least.”

Duruike ordered all journalists out of the chambers. “Chief Adingo has requested that you show some respect by not recording any of the video footages he is about to show us with your phone. I have to mention that if you are found recording with your phone, I will have to ask security operatives to remove you from the chambers,” Duruike informed the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate. There were murmurs in the house, but everyone stowed their phone away.

“Our president Dr. Assimoke told you that I was dead because he truly believed that I was dead. The point is, he had put in place machinery to have me killed,” Adingo began. “That is preposterous!!!” Michael shouted. “I was informed by your security operatives and your wife that you were dead!!!” he continued, yelling feverishly. “My wife? The one you have been sleeping with?” “What?” voices yelled across the chambers. “Yes, the president has been sleeping with my wife and he and my wife planned to kill me. When he thought I was dead, he came to inform you of my demise, and then lobby for my wife, his mistress to take my place as vice president. Before that though, he slept with my wife, just after he had heard that I was dead! Right in my official lodge at the Villa!”

“This is utter balderdash!!!” Michael shouted. “There is more!!! said Adingo. “I have evidence. Please, Duruike can you bring in your staff to set up the big screens over there,” Adingo requested, pointing. Duruike obliged him. Minutes later, the entire senators and members of the House of Representatives were watching Dr. Michael Assimoke making love to the vice president’s wife, Lekke on the big screen.”

“This is all mere fabrication!!! The video is rigged…it is rigged; doctored to smear my name in the mud!!!” Michael shouted. “Please let him finish,” Duruike, who was well aware all along that Adingo was alive instructed the president. “Who are you to tell me what to do, Duruike? After all, I put you on that seat as the senate president!” Michael continued to bark like a rabid dog. “We have a mode of operation here, Mr. President. Please, allow Chief Adingo to make his case.” “He is tarnishing my image and you want me to sit and watch him do that? I am leaving this chamber. I can’t stand this!!!” Michael rose to his feet and began to storm out of the senate chambers.

“Woo!!!! Woo!!!” Shouted the president’s opponents. “Yes, we support you, Mr. President!” The few who still supported him yelled. “Mr. President, by the time you hear from us again, you may no longer be the president of Jinga,” Dr. Bello, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said calmly to Michael. It dawned on him that Adingo would convince the house to impeach him, considering the gravity of allegations he was leveling against him. He swallowed his pride and returned to his seat, engendering further jeering by his opponents.

Adingo continued to level more accusations against the president, backing each one up with pictures and video recordings. “Of all the crimes that this heinous man committed, what hurts me the most is that he killed my own daughter, Linda!” “What?” “I told you he was lying. This is preposterous!” Michael shouted. He was fuming like a kettle of water boiling over a stove.

Adingo went ahead to show videos and pictures of Michael’s men picking up Linda’s body in the forest, before Monti and his men took hold of it. “He even killed his own nephew! Here is a video of his men exhuming his body so they could hide him somewhere much harder to find. I’d be dead today if my cook had not been loyal. I knew my evil wife Lekke would try to poison me, so I warned my cook ahead of time. Here is a video of Lekke trying to bribe my cook to poison me, after he had gotten a deadly poison from Michael.” In the end, there were few people in the chambers who were not convinced that Michael Assimoke was a killer, a corrupt president and unfit for office.

“What do you have to say, Mr. President before we begin the proceedings to impeach you?” Dr. Bello said in his characteristic calm manner. “These are all lies…fictitious videos put together by computer experts to besmirch my name.” “Is that all you have in your defense?” Duruike asked. “It is all lies, dear members of the house. Adingo is a power hungry animal who wants to oust me so he can become president. Before you proceed with any impeachment moves, bear in mind that the law requires that I get a fair defense. In that case, I would like to have those videos scrutinized by a computer expert. Otherwise, I will challenge my impeachment in court. I will throw everything I have at you.” “We will send them to a computer expert immediately. The joint session will reconvene in two days to vote on whether you can remain in office or not,” Duruike answered.

“Before you all leave, I have one more evidence to present to you,” Adingo offered. “Feel free to present the evidence, Adingo. Lay all the cards on the table now!” Dr. Bello urged him. Adingo pressed a buzzer on the desk in front of him and a door opened on the right wing of the chambers. Idriga walked through the door. He walked to Adingo and stood beside him. “The man standing beside me is Idriga Amusa. Does that name ring a bell to you?” Adingo asked. “He is the one accused of killing your daughter. I remember seeing him on TV,” a senator replied. “You are right, Chief Ikele. Idriga has something to share with the house,” the vice president replied. Michael sat quietly, staring hard at Idriga.

“I did not kill Linda Adingo. On the contrary, she was shot in cold blood by Colonel Sale, the president’s former chief security officer. I was there… with my own eyes, I saw them shoot her. I…” Idriga stalled for a moment as tears swept down his face. “It is okay…it is okay,” Adingo urged him. Members of both legislative houses had their hands over their mouths in shock. “She looked up to me to help her, but there was nothing…nothing I could do. She was pregnant for the president and wanted to keep the baby!” “What?” “Oh no! Let’s impeach this evil man right now!” An angry member of the house shouted. “The president ordered his men to shoot her and toss her body down a cliff in the forest,” Idriga added after quiet was finally restored in the chambers.

“He decided to make Idriga the scapegoat after he left the presidential Villa because his conscience was eating him up,” Adingo added. “Let’s impeach this man right now!” voices shouted again. “Impeach him!!! Impeach him!!! Impeach him!!!” An angry group of legislators began to sing furiously, beating on the desk as they sang. “According to the law of the land, we have to do due diligence before impeaching a president. In two days we reconvene to vote,” Duruike insisted. “But he will go about bribing people to vote in his favor,” a senator remarked. “But the law requires that we have the evidence evaluated by an independent body before impeachment,” Dr. Bello added.

“Forget the stupid law; the man is guilty as charged. You have an eye witness here. By the way, where is that Sale? He should be in jail…he should appear in court!!!” The angry senator continued to protest. In the end, they agreed to reconvene in two days. Michael was ordered to hand Sale over to the police for proper investigation. The news was all over the country. People took to the streets calling for the president’s resignation. He stubbornly turned deaf ears on protesters, clinging tenaciously onto power.

“Bature, I want you to drive Sale out of town and shoot him. Dump him somewhere that no one will ever find him,” Michael instructed Bature as soon as he left the legislative house. “Go with just one man – your most trusted man. Make it quick and clandestine!” he urged Bature. “I will, sir.” Bature replied. He extracted Sale from his cell, blindfolded him and dumped him in the trunk of an unmarked government Toyota Corolla. His closest aide drove while he sat in the back of the Toyota Corolla. Sale was curled up in the trunk sweating like a Christmas goat heading for the gallows. They weaved through the traffic of Ilude, wriggled out of town and headed for the countryside in the direction of Okoja.

“Where is Lekke?” Adingo masked his aides on returning from the senate. “She left hurriedly, sir,” one of them replied. “When?” About two hours ago, sir.” “Someone should have stopped her!” Adingo shouted. “She received a message…a text message that rattled her, sir. She looked really worried afterwards. I was fixing her nails when the text message came in. A frown appeared suddenly on her face. She won’t let me finish fixing her nails. She left shortly afterwards.” “What vehicle did she leave in?” “She took one of the unmarked Toyota Corollas, sir.” “Find her! I want you to find her, Monti!” “I have already instructed the police as well as military police to look for her, sir,” Monti answered. “Send some men you trust to go after the one of the unmarked Toyota Corollas in the vice presidential fleet. I don’t trust the police; they work for Michael.” “I will do that sir.”

“Hello,” Duruike said into the microphone of his phone. “Duruike, let’s not beat about the bush,” Michael said. “What do you mean?” “You can’t let them impeach me. We have come a long way. I will offer you a hundred million Shillings. You have to mobilize your people. I know you can do it. One hundred million tomorrow and if the impeachment is averted, I will offer you another fifty million afterwards.” “That is not going to be easy, Michael. The evidence against you is overwhelming.” “I will make it two hundred million for a start,” Michael pressed harder. Duruike took a deep breathe. “Okay, let’s do it. I will send one of my boys over to provide you with details of an offshore account where you can send the money. I can’t send the account information by phone, you know.” “I knew I could trust you, Duruike.” “It won’t be easy, but I will try my best.” “Great. I will be reaching out to Bello and the rest of the leaders of both houses.”

As soon as he hung up, Michael called Dr. Bello. “You know I can’t help you, Mr. President. Not on this one. The whole world knows you are guilty…far too guilty.” “You are not any cleaner than I am, Bello. I know you have been sleeping with one Miss Juliet Okorima, an eighteen-year-old student of the University of Ilude. I wonder what the world would think of you, if I released videos of you and her in a compromising situation. Don’t forget, I have my eyes everywhere. And your wife…what should she think of you?” Bello found himself sweating profusely, swallowing hard. “What do you want?” he asked. His voice gave away his concern. “Mobilize your people to vote in my favor!!!!” “I will see what I can do,” Bello answered reluctantly. “You better do!” Michael replied arrogantly.

STORY CONTINUES...
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 15
 
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 13
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 14
RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 14
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Vice, Senate, voices, villa, president, vice president, House of Representatives, Mr. President, chambers, Toyota Corolla, impeach.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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