Eva stepped out of her room at a few minutes to eight. She looked very pretty and sweet. She wore a short red flowered gown which stopped just above her knees. Below that was a tight ash coloured jegins which accentuated her hips and brought out her bum. She looked good. She walked into the sitting room and went left towards the dinning. Shina was already seated and he beckoned her to come and sit beside her. There were two other men with stern looking faces. She sat at the table and joined the others as they waited for Sophia to arrive.
She came in at exactly 8am, looking fresh as usual. She wore a pink silk shirt with stopped just after her elbows. She was in a blue bum short jean. Her ars3 was out of this world. Eva found herself staring at Sophia’s hips all the way from the door to the dining table. Sophia got to her chair and Shina immediately got up. The other two guys got up too. Eva joined them. They waited for Sophia to sit first, after which the rest followed suit. Each person had his favourite meal already prepared and covered in front of him. Sophia said a very short prayer and opened the cover to her plate. Every other person did the same. Eva concluded that they all had to do what Sophia did. Eva was amazed at what she had in front of her. She had indomie in her plate. Not just any kind of indomie but her favourite kind. It was garnished with diced carrots, green pepper, prawns and best of all two huge snails. She looked at Shina with a wide smile on her face. Shina nodded back at her as if to say “We know EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU DEAR”. Sophia had a small grin on her face too.
“Let’s eat” Sophia commanded. Eva could not wait.
Colonel Giwa Haruna got out of his house and walked to his garage. He had previously given his driver a key and asked him to wash the red Murano jeep, informing him that he should get ready to drive him to Lagos. He was ready in record time wearing a body hugging black t-shirt and white loafer. He added a brown ‘kangor’ cap to the mix and was ready to go. His driver started the ignition as the Colonel approached the car. He got into the back seat.
“Let’s go” He ordered his driver.
As the driver shifted the gear to reverse and began to move the car, the colonel stopped him.
“Stop the car James.” He said.
“Drive back into the garage.” The colonel commanded. James obeyed.
When James was back in the garage the Colonel opened the door and got out of the jeep. He went inside the house, without saying a word to James. In ten minutes he was out. He had changed his clothes. He was now wearing a pure white linen attire, with matching trousers. He still retained his ‘kangor’ cap and loafers. He had a key in hand. He walked to another car, a black 2003 Honda Accord and opened the door.
“I changed my mind. I will drive myself. You can take the rest of the day off. I will call you when I get back.” He said to a bewildered James.
“Okay sir. Thank you sir.” was all James could say.
James watched his ‘Oga’ drive out of the villa and into the dirt road that led out of the premises.
He picked his phone, pressed and held 0 on his phone.
“He decided to drive himself. I had planted the tracker in the car he asked me to wash. He is currently driving a black Honda Accord with plates AA106SMK. It is a very ordinary and plain car. His rims are alloy and gold plated. He just left.” James said to the mouthpiece.
“Where is he likely to pass through? Challenge or Sango?” Tawo asked.
“Sir, I cannot really say. His actions this morning took me completely unawares.” James said.
“Ok Agent James. Keep this up.” Tawo said and hung up.
Tawo had been waiting a long time to take out the Colonel. Tawo hated him because he was the only one whom he could not figure out. The Colonel was the General’s ward in military school and loved him like a younger brother. That was the only reason he was still alive. Moreover, the Colonel had done The Ghost Corporation a huge favour by taking down a huge rival, The Marine Mafia and Drug Cartel. The Cartel was loud and everywhere and raking up the profits. They blocked business for The Ghosts Corporation who preferred to operate in the shadows. The General’s gift to the Colonel for his effort was his life. However, the General made sure that the Colonel was being watched at close range. They had place over fifteen different agents around him in the past three years. Cooks, drivers, fiancées, hookers, personal assistants, and even family. They knew where he lived. They knew when he had facial reconstruction. They knew everything about him. It was their job to know. Just in case a day like this came. And that day had finally arrived. Tawo was so happy his father, the General had entrusted him with this operation. He had also warned him in clear terms.
“DO NOT ENGAGE TARGET.”
Tawo was a very patient agent. He had a strong feeling that a day would come when he would finally conquer a worthy opponent. Even though he could not still do anything now, he was happy that the Colonel was finally making a move. A very silly move. He had initiated and planned the ‘scare’ at Ahmed’s residence hoping that Ahmed would contact his beloved Uncle. All was going according to plan.
He went into his control room. There were three touch screen plasma monitors on the wall. Two trusted agents sat adjacent each other decrypting codes and aligning coordinates on keyboards connected wirelessly.
‘Where are we?’ Tawo asked.
“We are currently monitoring the status of Iwo Road and Ring Road. We are watching other major areas Challenge, Sango and Apete. All lights are green at the moment sir.” One of the agents said.
“The situation is dicey sir. He is driving a very common car and he is going to be hard to pick out.” The second agent said, zooming in on the images on the large screen.
“Which satellite are you connected to?” Tawo asked looking closely at the screen.
“The Saturn-U134 sir.” The agent replied.
“Not good enough Ope. Merge the connection between Saturn –U134 and Mecury-00A.” Tawo said.
The agent did as instructed.
“Now, bridge them and merge their transitions. Use the WSPTA protocol to rewrite the imagery and log into all CCTVs, mobile phone and every fuccking device that has a lens and is in proximity. Launch a new search.” Tawo commanded.
He watched intently as the agent obeyed his command, moving his hands on the keyboard in light speed and writing codes. After a few minutes a new clearer map appeared on the screen, different lines and route lined up the screen. Tawo nodded.
“Parameters sir.” The agent asked.
“Begin Ibadan, End Lagos. Data ID: Number plates. Content: AA106SMK. Database: Vehicle Registration. Unique Search: Plate Numbers.” Tawo spelled out.
Ope entered all the details swiftly and a red button flickered atop the screen. A search sequence was initiated and the screen began to change in milliseconds. Images and images flashed on one section of the screen while the other screen had a small dot running around in all directions on the map.
“Now all we have to do is wait.” Tawo said.
Thirty minutes later, the screen stopped moving with a large rectangular box showing a message: “MATCH FOUND”
“We have got a hit sir.” Ope announced, hitting a key on the keyboard.
Tawo rolled his swivel chair beside agent Ope and watched as a green dot was moving slowly in the map.
“Zoom in on that.” Tawo ordered.
Ope zoomed in and they got the location of the Colonel.
Tawo called Shina.
“The Colonel is about to pass through Mowe. Set up your guys at the MFM area. This should be as easy as taking a pee.” Tawo said.
Shina hung up.
45 minutes later a black OPMESA patrol Van was parked across the Lagos – Ibadan express way on the route coming into Lagos. The 3-lane road was now reduced to one as men in military uniforms were stopping and checking cars. Shina did not get down from the Van but had given directions for the plate number they needed. After a while the army officer doing the search radioed Shina that they had the car in view. Three cars away. Shina was excited.
“Make sure he parks and do as instructed.” Shina radioed back.
They motioned the black Honda Accord to stop. They directed it to pull over just behind the patrol van.
The man knocked on the door.
“Can you roll down your mirror?” The man asked.
The mirror rolled down.
A young lad who looked like he was in his early twenties was at the wheel.
The Colonel was nowhere in the car.
* * * * *
Two years ago after the Colonel had brought down the Marine Cartel, he was riding on his success. His name was on every islander’s lips. Criminals feared him. Mobs shook at his presence. He got a letter from Headquarters at the Silicon Place in Abuja, asking him to appear for a second debriefing and a possible promotion. Although no one knew this, he was overjoyed. People still saw him with his trademark straight face and no signs of flooding emotions. However deep inside, he was very excited. The Silicon Place was the highest command of hierarchy of the West African Union Intelligence Force. The Force was overhead by a group of seasoned spies, exceptional detectives with unbelievable IQs and soldiers who had fought in the fore of the 2015 West African War.
He was shocked and delighted when he entered the Conference Room at the Silicon Place and saw that his mentor, The General was part of the board. After the debriefing, cross examination, and encouragement, he was dismissed and told he would be contacted. The General showed no sign of recognition and he felt bad. He was surprised however when later that evening, he opened the door to his hotel room and saw the General standing in his room, his back to the door.
“Come in Giwa Haruna” The General said in an unfriendly tone, still backing him. The Colonel’s smile disappeared.
“Good evening General. I thought this was supposed to be my room sir?” The Colonel asked.
“It is your room. No one knows I am here. I’ll be quick.” The General said. He turned to face the Colonel and took of his glasses.
“You did a good job with your last operation. No one thought you would pull it off. For that I am going to give you the best gift you could ever imagine. Your Life. Leave town. Go somewhere remote. Resign. It is for your own good. You have another option. You can ignore my advice. You won’t live to celebrate your birthday. Good day Colonel.” The General finished and walked out of the room.
The Colonel was surprised and dumbfounded. He watched as the General left the room and shut the door behind him. This was hardly the man who he took like an elder brother. This was not the man who dotted on him all through his stay in Military School. Something had definitely gone wrong. He was not about to dig into the General’s past. He knew better. He did as the General commanded.
From his experience on the force he knew better than to trust anyone, so he always took extra precautions. He always had plans A-Z just in case. He was aware that there were spies set up around him in his villa. He did not know who exactly the spies were but he was very sure at least one of the people around him, from domestic staff to Personal assistant was a spy. He shuffled his staff randomly without warning. It kept the number of spies reduced but did not totally eradicate them. He knew this, so he was always private. Always. He always stayed one step ahead.
So right from the time he received Ahmed’s call, he became extra vigilant. He called one of his mechanics who ran inter state errands for him.
“Wait for me at your shop. I will be there soon.” He said.
He knew he was going with the black Honda. The black Honda was a brand new car that he had not used before now. He was saving it for a day he would need to get Watchers off his back. He knew there were eyes on him, but he has not had any cause to shake them off recently. Now that he did, he deliberately had his driver get the Jeep ready. He was not ready to make his movement known to anyone. He saw the alarmed look on the drivers face when he switched cars. He had suspected James for a while and his actions that morning sealed the coffin. He wanted to sack him immediately. But he knew that whoever planted him there would suspect that he knew about James and would probably plant someone else who would even be more deadly than James and that would take him sometime to figure out. So he decided not to sack him. He planned to give him a raise when he came back. This way he could monitor him closely, at least now he knew who his enemy was.
When he got to the Redeemed camp, he picked the mechanic he called earlier. They did not stop the car. The Colonel moved very slowly allowing the man to jump in. He opened a lower compartment in the car and brought out a brown envelope. He handed it to the mechanic.
“Did you bring your passport photograph as I texted you to?” The Colonel asked.
“Yes Oga.” The mechanic replied.
“Good. This is what you will do. You will drive this car like a normal human being from here to Ojota. Don’t drive the car like it’s your Danfo. Do not over speed. The envelope in your hand contains the particulars of this car. Everything is in your name. If any policeman harasses you, give them my number. Do you understand?” The Colonel asked.
“I dey feel you baba.” The mechanic said nodding his head. The car was moving slowly at snail pace.
“Good. When you get into Lagos, go to that Total filling station at Ojota and act like you want to buy fuel. Stay in the car. When the attendant is done fuelling the car, come out and create a scene. Make enough noise and demand to see the manager. He is tall, fair, has a moustache and is bald headed. He will ask you if you want to go with him to his office. Tell him you need to pee first. Don’t forget! You need to pee! He will show you the rest room, and then take you to his office. He will ask you for the thing and give you a small paper. Write your account number on that sheet of paper and the account name. DO NOT SAY A WORD. 100,000 naira will be credited to your account in two weeks. The manager will give you 40,000 for the trouble. Remember, do not say a word!” The Colonel finished, stapling the mechanic’s passport photograph on one of the papers.
“Na the job be that, Oga mi?” The mechanic asked.
“That’s all you have to do. After you get the money, you leave the premises then do whatever you like with the money and the car. If anyone asks you how you got the car, after today, tell them it was a gift from me. And if police gives you trouble give them my number.” The Colonel finished, stopping the car and getting out.
The Colonel moved to the service lane of the road while the Mechanic got into the driver seat. He pressed the horn a few times and was so excited to own a new car.
“Tuale!!!! Baba o!!! You are mouthed. Iyalaya!!! Won gbe leko yi se! Awon omo covenant ma ku. Olosho meta ati Ogidida!!! Lale yiii!!!!! Let’s go to Moscow!!! Baba o!!!” The Mechanic was saying and pressing his horn.
“Hey!!!” The Colonel said bending over at the passenger window and showing him a finger.
“From now till you leave the filling station, behave like a human being! Or else!!!! Am I clear?” The Colonel warned.
“Oga mi, you clear pass pure water o. Olorun!!!” The Mechanic said.
The Colonel frowned at him.
“Sorry sir. I will totally ‘behafe’ myself.” He said and drove off.
The Colonel stopped a Danfo and entered it.
Shina approached the Black Honda. He could not believe his eyes. They had monitored the car all the way. This could not have happened. How did the Colonel get out?
“Yes officer, what is happening here?” Shina asked the man who stopped the Black Honda.
“Sir, I am guessing this car is stolen property. He says it was a gift and the number he gave is not going through.” The man replied.
“What about his papers? His license? Are his documents complete?” Shina asked frowning.
“Everything is perfect sir.” The man answered.
“Olorun oba, Wahlai na dis kain tin na him dey vex me pass wahlai. Wetin be dis na? Which kain yawa be dis? I say dem give me gift, na offense? Mo ma bora sibi yi o.”
Shina had a bug between his fingers. It was a very tiny pin that he would insert into the wrist of his target. It was the size of a rice grain. Even experts had a hard time figuring it out when it was inserted in a target’s body. He approached the Mechanic and spoke to him.
“Sorry for taking your time sir. But next time, try and make sure that the number you have is always reachable. Other police men may not be this nice. Thank you for your time.” Shina finished, out stretching his hand.
The mechanic took the hand and the shook. As their hands met, Shina inserted the bug in the mechanic’s wrist. The mechanic did not notice a thing.
“Have a good day sir.” Shina said as the mechanic entered the car,
“Thanks sir. Jabor lona fun mi jare. Olobe!” He said to the man who stopped him.
He drove away.
“Let’s pack up boys. Today’s done.” Shina said to the leader of the pack.
He got into his own car and started the ignition. He picked his phone and called Tawo.
“Target was not in the vehicle. He somehow manoeuvred his way and we lost him. I put a tracker on his decoy. Trace it and have a man on him.”
Ahmed was woken by a ringing bell. The bell rang only in his room and the sitting room. The ringing continued. He opened his front door and stood at the entrance. He stared for a long time at the person at the gate. The man at the gate was looking like a hippie. Dark shades, huge T-shirt, baggy jeans and white trainers. He wore a hood over his head. He looked like a mistake from a fashion book. He was waving at Ahmed beckoning him to come closer. Ahmed wasn’t scared. He just did not want another mugger. He felt his gun at his sides, covered by his pyjamas.
After serious thought he approached the gate, all his senses alert.
He was at the gate and looked at the man. He did not recognise him.
“How can I help you?” Ahmed asked the man.
The man pulled his dark shades a little low just above his nose and said,
“Don’t you recognise me son?”
Ahmed opened his mouth, surprised.
TO BE CONTINUED.