Written by: Victor Chinoo
Isabell walked off the plane wearing dark sunshades. She scanned the vicinity at the Port Harcourt airport. She had flown into Port Harcourt on an Air France Boeing airliner. A relative was on hand to pick her up. She was keen to pick out Seyi’s security operatives. Her heart was pounding. “Is everything okay, Isabell?” Her cousin, Nwabunwanne who was picking her up from the airport asked. “Yes…yes, I am fine. I need to find someone. Please wait,” she instructed Nwabunwanne. She had given orders that her family not tell anyone that she was returning home for Princewill’s funeral. Only Nwabunwanne was allowed to receive her at the airport. She had been keen to come in and out of the country as quietly as she could.
“Seyi, are your guys here?” “She asked, having rung up Seyi. “Yes, they are. Just call this number. My son is dying. I am making plans to fly him to London for treatment.” “What happened?” “We don’t know yet, but he suddenly went down with a heart attack. I think it is Dayo, but I have yet to figure out how he did it.” “I am very sorry to hear that. I am more scared now.” “You will be alright. Do not accept anything from anyone. Stay away from crowds and do not contact your friends in Lagos.” “I already told Miranda that I was coming into the country.” “That is not a good idea. You must warn her not to tell anyone. My security will call you shortly. I have to go now.” “Thank you, Seyi. I am sorry to hear of Biola’s illness. I pray he recovers quickly.” “Thanks!”
“Your case will be heard in court on Monday, Jimoh and Yusuf. Mind you, you will face the firing squad should you be found guilty, and with the evidence we have, I guarantee that you will be found guilty,” Sergeant Sule explained to Jimoh and Yusuf. “I don’t want to die, I want to talk now,” Yusuf pleaded through tears. He looked at his government-assigned lawyer for some form of assistance, but the lawyer looked morosely back at him. The evidence against the two of them was overwhelming. “Shut your mouth,” Jimoh shouted at Yusuf. Jimoh was still convinced that Dayo would find a way to get them out.
“Sergeant Sule, there is a call for you. It is very urgent,” a police constable announced to the detective. “What is it? I have an important matter at hand,” Sule protested with a frown on his face. “Sir, the caller says that your family has been taken – your wife and two children.” Sule felt his heart crash fiercely into his stomach. He dashed out of the room where he was discussing with Jimoh, Yusuf and their lawyers. “Who is this?” He demanded on grabbing the phone. “Sule! Sule! They have kidnapped us!” Sule heard the voice of his wife, Amina over the phone. “Are you alright, Amina?” he asked her.
“Sergeant Sule, we will kill your wife and children in less than twenty four hours if you do not release Yusuf and Jimoh. I hope you heard me? Release Yusuf and Jimoh and drop all charges against them!” A husky voice warned him over the phone. The line went dead. An eerie silence descended over Sule. At the same time, a violent rage rocketed through him, in addition to a feeling of helplessness. He managed to sit down. His boss and colleagues circled around him. “This has got to be Chief Dayo,” his boss declared. No other person connected to this case has the power and resources to do this,” he continued. Sule looked at him helplessly. “John!” Shouted Sule’s boss. “Yes sir!” “Take a team to Sule’s house immediately. Secure the place and look for any evidence that you can find. Talk to neighbors and report back to me over the next few hours. We will find them, Sule! We’ll find them,” his boss assured him.
“We decided to run some toxicology tests on your son, Chief Seyi,” the doctor in charge of Biola explained to Seyi. He and Modupe were seated on the edge of their seats, listening intently. “Our tests show that your son ingested cyanide. We are doing everything we can to detoxify him. There is a high chance that he might die by the time you fly him abroad. Your best shot is to try, at least to detoxify his system here first. We are working on that now.” Seyi took a deep breath, fighting back tears.
“I knew from the get go that he was poisoned. I knew it. Do you think you will be able to save him?” “We are doing our best…this is the best shot he has at living. You need to have the police sweep his apartment. We need to test plates, cups, spoons…anything we can lay our hands on for cyanide. Someone poisoned him that night.” “Thank you, doctor. I will be over there shortly with the police. Modupe, do you remember everyone that was at the party that night?” “I remember all my friends, sir. I already sent the list to the police. I have Segun and Donald working on the other list covering all of Biola’s friends,” Modupe explained. Her eyes were swollen. She had been crying non-stop.
Seyi dashed off to Biola’s apartment to meet with the police, while Modupe sat beside Biola. He had tubes going through his nose and mouth and then connected to a computer. “God, please keep him for me. I have never known love this strong my whole life. You cannot bring Biola into my life and then let him die. Please, have mercy on him and keep bring him back to health,” she prayed through misty eyes. Security operatives stood outside the room, watching over Biola.
“I hate him. I heard that he is seriously ill in the hospital and…and…and, I am happy about it. I know I should not be, but a part of me wants him dead,” Bimbo complained bitterly. She was lying back on a couch with her psychotherapist seated opposite her. The psychotherapist listened attentively. Bimbo had been seeing the psychotherapist since she returned from London, on the advice of a friend. “It is okay to feel the way you do in the heat of the moment, Bimbo,” the psychotherapist. You don’t have to smother your feelings, but you don’t necessary have to act upon all of them either.” “He hurt me very much. I…a big part of me is glad he is dying.” “Did you have anything to do with his illness?” “I wish I did.” “Have you considered the fact that perhaps, you and Biola were never meant to be together. Sometimes, we want somethings so badly, but in reality, we may not necessarily need it.”
“That is what my brother told me. I know he is right, but it does not end the pain.” “Pain does not end overnight, Bimbo. It takes some time. You have to let it out…let it go, one day at a time!” Bimbo pondered the psychotherapist’s words. “What if you got married to him and divorced some years afterwards. The pain would be way worse, you know.” “I know you are right, but it still hurts when someone treats you like that.” “Have you ever dated anyone else apart from Biola?” “No, I have been with him for as long as I can remember.” “Why don’t you forget about marriage for some time? Take the time to relax. Date someone new and enjoy the experience for the time being. Forget marriage; just see this whole situation as an opportunity to have a spanking new experience.” “I like that,” Bimbo beamed. “I like the sound of that. I have tied my life to Biola for too long.” “Untie yourself, spread your wings and fly!”
Bimbo left the therapist’s office full of energy and desire to do something new. On her drive home, she stopped at the bank, where she ran into a good looking young man. They chatted briefly and exchanged phone numbers. He sounded interesting, fun and thoughtful. She was already looking forward to catching up with him. Remember what the therapist said; just have a good time knowing someone new. Forget marriage and long term relationship, he reminded herself as she pulled into her father’s estate.
She pulled into her garage and ran over to Akin’s but he was not at home. “I think he is over at your dad’s,” Akin’s wife informed her. With renewed energy, she walked towards her father’s massive building on the estate. She let herself in and climbed upstairs. She heard the mention of her name. Her father and Akin were in a deep discussion in one of the rooms.
“I don’t really care about Bimbo; after all, she is not my daughter. I wish that the marriage to Biola had taken place. That would have been a perfect opportunity to get Bimbo into Seyi’s family, take Seyi and Biola out of the picture methodically, and then, take over his massive empire,” Dayo said. His voice was riddled with regret. “So, there is no other way to get at Seyi?” Akin asked. “Well, his son Biola is dying. That will leave him crushed. If he dies, Seyi won’t survive it. If only we had punned off Bimbo to them. Each time I see her, I recall her mother’s infidelity.” “She will soon get married, somehow anyway.” “You think so? She seems hung up on Biola.” “She is a girl. She will find another man and carry on with her life before you know it,” Akin assured him.
Bimbo heard his heart pounding violently. She had turned on the voice recording tool on her phone. A dense streak of tears marched furiously down her face. Who am I? She thought to herself painfully. Gosh, my father is not my father? Several thoughts went through her mind.
“What if Jimoh and Yusuf talk to the police, dad,” Akin asked his father. “They won’t. I will make sure of that. I have the wife and children of the officer in charge of the case. They will be killed by tomorrow, if Jimoh and Yusuf are not released. They don’t have a choice. They will let them go,” Dayo answered. His voice reeked of arrogance. A languid smirk appeared momentarily on his face.
Bimbo carefully stowed her phone in the pocket of her jean and quietly climbed downstairs. On the ground floor, she ran into one of Dayo’s cleaning staff. “Can I do anything for you, madam?” The cleaning staff asked. “No, not to worry. I dey fine,” Bimbo replied. She walked briskly to her building, got back in her car and drove hastily out of the estate. She did not know where she was going or where she wanted to go. She just drove…