Written by: Victor Chinoo
“Miranda, what do you mean Princewill is missing?” Isabell asked. Her voice reeked of pain, as she clung to her bed with her phone pressed firmly against her right ear. “I have contacted his Family, Isabell, and they too have not seen or heard from him in days. They are just as worried as you are. They are all over town looking for him. His parents have already contacted the police. This is serious, Isabell.” “How can this be? Just like that?” “I am confused, Isabell, but the police are doing their best. When was the last time you heard from him?” Isabell thought for a moment. “It was some days back. He was on his way to Allen Avenue when we talked over the phone. He was going to MTN building on Allen Avenue to collect the money I won. He was excited to cash the prize money.”
“Do you happen to have the number of the man he was to meet at MTN? The man who contacted you about the prize money? I am wondering if…you know, maybe someone attacked him after he picked up the money. I think we should contact the man at MTN to make sure he actually picked up the money. From there, the police will try to trace his movements…hopefully.” “Okay, I am sending you the phone number and email address that the guy from MTN gave me.” “Good, I will forward it to the police right away.” “Please, in addition to forwarding it to the police, could you call up the number to see what the man has to say?”
“Of course, I will do that. Remain calm, Isabell, we will do our best to find him.” “Thank you very much, Miranda.” “You are welcome. A short while after the chat, Miranda’s phone buzzed. It was a text from Isabell. She forwarded the information to the police immediately and proceeded to call the number afterwards. Jimoh peered curiously at the phone as it vibrated energetically on the table. He rarely ever got a call on that phone. It was his secret number for specific jobs. He had used it to call Isabell, but with Isabell having left the country, Jimoh was not expecting her to call him on that number. He frowned fleetingly, wondering who could be calling him.
“Hello,” he said into the mouthpiece. “Hello, may I know who I am speaking with, please?” she asked. “You called me; could you tell me who you are looking for,” Jimoh shot back at her. “I am not sure really, but a friend of mine, Isabell received a call from this number before leaving the country. The caller had said that she won prize money in an MTN bonanza and she was to pick up the money from the MTN office on Allen Avenue. Well, she was leaving the country, so she made an arrangement for her boyfriend to pick up the money and ever since the day he went to pick up the prize money on Allen Avenue, he has not been seen. So, do you work for MTN?” “Yes…yes, I do,” Jimoh answered rather impulsively.
“So, do you know whether Princewill picked up the money and when?” “I am not in the office right now, but I can find out and get back to you in an hour or two.” “Thank you very much. You can reach me on this number.” “I will do that.” After Jimoh had hung up, he sat back pondering his next action. He was billed to meet with Dayo in about an hour. He needed to work out a solution to Miranda’s snooping around fast enough, so that Dayo would not fly off the handle on hearing about it.
“Jimoh, I was thinking that Seyi was the sole brain behind my recent problems. You know, there are some incriminating recordings he has on me…with that girl, Isabell. Look!” Dayo tossed a sheaf of pictures at Jimoh. “Is that Isabell?” Jimoh asked. His eyes widened, glaring piercingly at the pictures. “Yes, she is not in the US. She is in the UK…with Biola, my son in-law to be. I need to know what is going on. Is Biola behind all this? I want to strangle him with my bare hands.” “I think you need to calm down, sir. We need to stick to our original plan. You stand to gain nothing by killing him now.” “Then, when is the best time to do it?” “We need to go after Seyi’s lawyers. If they actually have the recordings you mentioned to me, then we should kill them all simultaneously. That way, not a single one of them will be able to release anything.”
“But Seyi will go bunkers! He will release the video recordings!” “Who said he would not be killed at the same time as his lawyers?” “But Biola is still in the picture. How do we take care of him?” “Let’s wait for the wedding to take place first, sir. Once Biola is married to Bimbo, we will allow some time to make sure he is the sole beneficiary in Seyi’s will. Then, we go after them all…at the same time.” “That would look too suspicious, Jimoh.” “Of course it would, but we will make it look like his business associates came after him. Leave that to me.”
Dayo wore a frown on his face. He sat back and pondered Jimoh’s plan. Then, he heaved a huge sigh, not out of relief though. His mind was plagued by a million convoluted thoughts; each of them yelling for attention. “I need to think this through. It is getting more complicated. I don’t even know Seyi’s lawyers. Knowing him, he must have left the recordings with several other people I don’t know of…yet,” he said, his frown growing uglier. “You are right, sir.” “I will have Dele and Raymond track Isabell down in London.” “Okay sir. Actually, there is something else that came up. Not to worry though, I have it under control.” ‘What is it, Jimoh?”
You remember the guy we took care of last week…Isabell’s boyfriend?” “Yes, what about him?” “A friend of Isabell’s called asking about him.” “Called where? How did she get your number?” “I had to give her a number for her boyfriend to reach me on, sir.” Dayo took a long breath. He sat back on the reclining couch with his hand on his head. Not even a sip of Gulder would calm his frayed nerves. His chest rose and fell back rapidly. His eyes seemed to be burning like a smoldering cauldron.
“What does she want?” “She was asking about Princewill.” “And what did you say to her?” “I told her that I’d call her back.” “We can’t allow any mistakes at this point, Jimoh. Kill that girl…As soon as you can.” “I already have a plan for that, sir.” “Then get on with it.” “Yes, sir!”
Jimoh sat in the backseat of the same Mercedes 230 E Class they had rode in the day he shot Princewill. His driver steered the engine through the streets of Victoria Island. Soon, they were on Lagos mainland. “Hello,” Miranda’s voice echoed over the line. “Have you found Princewill?” she asked. “Not really, but we have some very important information for you. I had a chat with my boss, and he unearthed some information that might offer you clues as to where Mr. Princewill might be,” Jimoh lied. “Really, can you send me the information?” “I am afraid I can’t. You need to come to our office on Allen Avenue. I will introduce you to my boss and he will take it from there. “I am sure you know how to locate the MTN building on Allen Avenue.” “Yes…yes, I do,” Miranda answered. “How about 12:00 noon tomorrow?” “That sounds good to me.” “Great. I will be expecting you.” “I will be there. I am very keen to find out what happened to Princewill or what he has done.” “Yes…we will share everything with you.” “See you tomorrow then.” “See you!”
Miranda got off the taxi, clutching her purse as she walked towards MTN building on Allen Avenue. The Mercedes 230 E Class was parked along the street right in front of MTN building. It was scorching hot as the sun poured down on mother earth with obstinate intensity. Jimoh scanned every female face that walked through the gate. His heart was beating fast. A ball of sweat rolled gently down his forehead and then onto his chin before taking a dive off his face, landing on his shoulder. He squinted against a backdrop of the sun, focusing intensely on the gate.
Miranda walked through the gate, looking around for the door she had been asked to locate upon arrival. She fetched a handkerchief from her purse and drained a procession of sweat marching furiously all over her face. She too squinted to keep out the persistent sun rays. “Hello, are you looking for anyone?” Jimoh asked, managing a plastic smile. “Yes, I am looking for one Mr. Bitrus Birang,” answered Miranda. “That is me. Pleased to meet you, Miss Miranda,” said Jimoh who stretched forth his hand for a handshake. “Pleased to meet you too. It is very hot, please can we go inside?” Miranda requested.
“That won’t be necessary. There is a restaurant around the corner. Let’s go there and chat in the comfort of an air-conditioned environment. My boss is already waiting there.” “I thought you said he was here?” “He went out for lunch. He said to join him there. It is only a stone’s throw away. We will be there in no time.” “I hope this won’t take long. Are we going to walk to the restaurant?” “No…why would I want to put you or myself through that? It is terribly hot indeed. I have a car waiting outside.”
Miranda followed him. On reaching the Mercedes 230 E Class, Jimoh opened the back seat door and held it for Miranda to enter. The driver quickly turned the ignition, firing the engine to life. The air conditioner began to shunt and hum gently. “Finally, I get some respite from that blazing sun,” Miranda said, savoring the gentle hands of the air conditioner that stroked her body tenderly. “Yes, you are right. It has been a terribly hot day.” “Yusuf, drive us to Mama Cass Cafeteria,” Jimoh instructed his driver. “Yes, sir!” Replied Yusuf, who placed his right foot on the accelerator, lunging the Mercedes 230 E Class forward. He drove towards Mama Cass Cafeteria on number 5 Allen Avenue, Lagos. Then suddenly, he sped off, screeching past the Mama Cass Cafeteria on 5 Allen Avenue. “Where are you going?” Miranda asked, her voice inundated with concern. Jimoh raised a gun, pointing it menacingly at her. “One more word from you, and I will blow your brains through the window!” He warned her. His voice was ice-cold; utterly devoid of emotion.