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Bature and his man tied a huge log of wood around Sale’s neck. Then, they tied his hands to the back and his legs too. Sale’s eyes peer...

Bature and his man tied a huge log of wood around Sale’s neck. Then, they tied his hands to the back and his legs too. Sale’s eyes peered pleadingly at them. Coldly, they dropped him on the side of River Nija. “Shoot him,” Bature told his man. “I think you should do it sir,” said the soldier. They had both worked under Sale in the past and had great respect for him. “I said shoot him, Ikabira!” Bature said raising his voice. “That is an order!” He added waving his gun animatedly. Tears welled up in Sale’s eyes. He could not see them from his fetal position. Waves came in splashing water onto his face as he lay helplessly on the white sand-covered beach. The plan was to shoot him and dump his body with the big log of wood in the river, so it would sink to the bottom.

Dinkara, Sale’s friend who had extorted millions still lying in an account at Stanbic Bank placed his rifle on a stem. He closed his right eye and stared into the binoculars with his left eye. Frustrated, Bature walked to Sale’s body and aimed his pistol at him. He closed his eyes, looking away as his finger began to descend on the trigger. Kakakaka!!! The sound of the gunshot went through the woods off the beach. Ikabira was stunned. He dropped suddenly to his knees as Bature’s body slumped to ground. Ikabira rose to his feet and made a run for the woods. More gunshots went off, hitting him squarely in the back and in the head. Like a coconut slashed open by a sharp machete, his head exploded as his body fell to ground.

Sale was breathing hard. He tried to turn around but he was impeded by the log of wood around his neck. He kicked and dragged his body as his heart smashed ferociously against his rib cage. He heard footsteps dashing towards him. He closed his eyes, expecting the worst. “Sale!!!” He heard a distinctively familiar voice. “Is that you, Dinkara?” he asked in relief. Dinkara began to untie him quickly. “It is me, my friend. It is me!” “Thank you, Dinkara…thanks a lot!” Sale thanked his dear friend effusively. Dinkara untied him and they both ran towards Dinkara’s truck.

“How did you know where to find me?”  Sale asked him. “I have been following Bature for weeks. I knew he’d be the one to kill you if Michael chose to do so. He is under immense pressure, about to be impeached, so he is wiping away all evidence that might hurt him…and you are one of them, my friend.” “I am so grateful. I did a lot of bad things for that man. Maybe, this is my chance to do a few things right.” “I think you should, Sale. We have to hit Michael where it hurts. I have a plan. Let’s drive back to Ilude. I will explain my plan to you as we drive back.” “I am all ears!”

“Lekke, where are you?” Michael asked, yelling into his phone. “I am at your guest house on Zungeru Avenue. I am the only one here. What is going on? I need to get out of the country. You have to sneak me out of the country. How can I face the public again? I left as soon as I got your text. I have been watching the TV here. I can’t believe all the things that Uloke revealed to the house. The news is everywhere.” “Yes, he knows a lot. I will call back shortly with plans to get you out of the country. That would be best for you. In the meantime, I am doing everything I can to retain the presidency.” “Do you stand a chance?”

“Anything is possible, my dear Lekke…with money, anything is possible in Jinga.” “Is there a chance that I could return to the country later?” “Of course! As soon as the tension blows by, we will figure out some way to get you back in the country. I will fight with everything I can to win this battle. Somehow, I will take Uloke out…I promise you that.” “You have to, Mike…I am counting on you.” “Not to worry my dear, I won’t let you down. I will send a diplomatic passport to you in a short while. That should allow you to travel anywhere.

“I recommend Brazil. No one will look for you there. They will be busy looking for you in the USA and UK. I own a house in Brazil. I will send you all the details with the diplomatic passport. Go hide in Brazil for the time being. I wish I could get my hands under your pants before you leave, though, but I have a lot on my hands now, darling. My wife is threatening to divorce me with everything that has happened today.” “That is probably the only good news today! About time you left her!” Lekke replied eagerly. “You are right, my dear…you are right,” Michael answered shakily, thinking of the alimony he’d have to pay his wife once the divorce went through. His face contorted into an ugly frown.

Michael went to the office and got a diplomatic passport under the name, Mary Olokiri. He had made the diplomatic passport several months back with Lekke’s passport photo, in case they needed to leave the country suddenly and secretly. He had several diplomatic passports in multiple names but with his passport photo for himself. He placed it in a bag alongside several thousand dollars and a flight ticket to Brazil. He had one of his secretaries make the flight reservation. “Roky,” he called to one of his military aides. “Yes sir.” “Take this to my guest house on Zungeru Avenue. I want you to be very careful. You must not let anyone…I mean no one should know about this. If you go against my will, you and your family will end up six feet below,” he threatened. “I will never tell anyone, sir,” Roky answered. “Have you heard from Bature and Ikabira?” No, sir.” “Okay, go now.” “Yes sir.”

“Idriga, how are you doing?” Uloke asked. I am fine sir.” “I called to tell you that my friends in Camuran have located your family. They are safe now. We have lodged them in a secret guest house in Bamenda where no one will ever find them. They have security around the clock. I think we should leave them there until we sort out the mess here in the country.” “Thank you very much sir. I totally agree with you, but can I talk to them?” “Of course. I will send you their number tomorrow. One of my men will come to your secret lodge and deliver the number you need to call to reach them. With all the things going on now, I don’t feel comfortable sending the number by sms.” “I understand, sir.” “Good, have a good evening.” “And you too, sir.”

Idriga was not at his secret lodge. He was standing just outside the presidential Villa. He wore a hat, fake beard and non-medicated glasses. One could hardly tell that it was him. He stood behind a line of trees with his car on the other side of the road. He was waiting for one of the president’s vehicles. He had memorized all their plate numbers while working at the Villa. He saw a light flashing in the distance. He jumped onto one of the trees and scanned the oncoming car with a pair of binoculars. A Toyota Camry was speeding down the road, away from the villa. “This is it!” he mumbled to himself.

He jumped down, dashed across the road and jumped into his rented car. He waited until the car sped past him. Then, he revved the engine to life and followed the car at a safe distance. He committed the number to mind, following it like a hawk after a prey. The Toyota Camry weaved through thick traffic in downtown Ilude and then headed east towards Mirna. Then, the car veered off and headed back to town. The driver was trying to make sure he was not being followed. Idriga slowed down and watched as the driver sped past the intersection and headed for Zungeru Avenue. He knew where the driver was going. He had been there several times in the past – one of Michael’s many guest houses in the federal capital city. He waited a moment and then slowly drove onto Zungeru Avenue.

He sighted the Toyota Camry in front of the house. His heart was beating. He parked his rented car and walked calmly towards the building. The Toyota Camry was still turned on. The driver was eager to leave as soon as he had delivered his message. The front door to the house flew open and a soldier walked briskly down the stairs and into the waiting Toyota Camry. He stepped on the accelerator and zoomed back towards the presidential Villa. As soon as the Camry had left, Idriga emerged from his hiding post.

He walked back to his car and drove it to the front of the guest house. Slowly, he rolled the vehicle into position, right in front of the house without arousing attention. Then, he walked meticulously to the back of the house. Methodically, he began to work on the back door with a chisel. He was an expert at unlocking door; one of the tricks he learned in Police College. After a few minutes, he pulled out his chisel, turned the doorknob and it obliged him. Gently, he opened the door and entered a long hallway. The lights were completely out. He closed the door behind him and walked towards the stairs. He knew the house very well. He climbed to the first floor and made his way slowly towards the master bedroom, stealthily.

“I wish you were here honey,” Lekke said. She was on the phone with Michael. “I know. I can only imagine the fireworks that would go on tonight before you travel if I had been there with you, dear,” he replied. “Why don’t you come?” Michael thought about it for a moment. “I am tempted to come, my dear. I have a lot of calls to make. I need to reach about a hundred senators tonight. I working an overtime to make sure that as many of that I need to avoid impeachment are taken care of. They are all crooks anyway, so they will take a few millions to vote in my favor. I think I will come over late tonight. I will have some of my soldiers drop me off and stay in the car while you and I do a little dancing on that giant bed.” “I will be waiting, darling. I have nothing underneath my night gown!” “Oh my!!! You are setting off an earthquake all over me honey. I will be on my way as soon as possible.”

               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 16
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 14
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 15 An African Literary Blog
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