NIS UNDERGROUND FACILITY
Dan and the third man were now in the office with Dave. All three of them were seated quietly and working on their different tables.
‘Dave,’ Dan took a pause and looked at Dave’s face.
‘Yea?’ Dave replied.
‘Have you gotten any word from Ilorin or Anambra?’
‘No, I haven’t, I think it’s time to call them.’
‘Yea, I’m about to reach out to Agent Godwin, I wanted to find out from you if you’ve heard from him.’
‘Okay, just go ahead and do it.’ Dave replied.
The silence continued for a moment. Dave was rushing up his work; he wanted to finish before twelve pm so that he could leave the office and have time for lunch with Lizzy.
His phone rang and he reached out for it, Stephanie was the caller.
‘Hey! Good morning Steph,’ he said into the phone.
‘Good morning Dave,’ Stephanie replied from the other end.
‘Hope you slept well?’
‘Yes, I did. What about you?’
‘I did too. So, is there any update?’
‘Yes, there is. I really need you to be here as soon as possible.’
‘As soon as possible? Is there any problem?’
‘It’s not a problem yet, but it needs to be attended to urgently.’
‘Okay,’ Dave sighed and glanced at his wristwatch. ‘Where do we meet?’
‘I’m at the Maitama address I gave you yesterday.’
‘Erm… I didn’t write it down; can you tell me the address again?’
‘Hold on, let me get a pen.’ Dave got a pen and a jotter to scribble on. She called the address for him and he repeated the words for confirmation as he wrote them down. ‘Alright, I’ll be there in some minutes.’
He ended the call and placed the phone on his table. He took some minutes to save his work on the computer and shut it down. Then he picked his car keys and his phone from the table.
‘I’m done for the day, I’ll be leaving right now.’
‘Is there anything I need to know?’ Dan asked him.
‘Nothing for now,’ Dave replied.
‘Okay, Good day then.’
Lizzy heaved a sigh of frustration as she tried his number for the third time without him answering. She closed her eyes and shook her head, regretting that she had to rush up her work for the appointment with him.
She rested her head in the driver’s side of her car where she sat and took in a deep breath. The sound of her ringing phone made her open her eyes again. Dave was calling back finally.
‘Dave, where the **** are you?’ she said angrily after answering the call.
‘Lizzy, I’m very sorry,’ Dave’s reply came hurriedly and in a low voice. ‘I’m in a very tight situation right now and I can’t make it anymore today, I’ll call you back as soon as I can.’
‘Dave, what…’ she tried to talk but the line had gone off.
‘Argh!’ she exclaimed in frustration and shook her head in regret. Why was Dave leading her on when he wasn’t ready to be with her?
She dialed his number twice after that and he didn’t answer her calls. She began to imagine all sorts of things. She believed Dave must be taking her for granted because she made herself readily available to him.
Someone knocked on the glass window of the car. She looked up, it was him again wearing a devilish smile. She knew he had come to taunt her.
‘You are thinking about DJ when he’s obviously banging another girl at the moment,’ the man said with a crooked smile.
‘No, you’re wrong. He’s not with another girl, he told me he’s in a tight situation and I know he must be very busy with work,’ Lizzy replied him, still defending Dave even though she wasn’t so sure of where Dave was or what he was doing and she was angry with him, she was still not going to admit it, at least not in the presence of this man.
‘Hehe!’ he chuckled. ‘I’m sure even you do not believe what you’ve just said. Anyway, I am a hundred percent sure that Dave is somewhere with another girl right now and I can provide you proofs, if only you would promise to take my deal.’
‘I’m not ready for any deal with you,’ lizzy replied.
‘Why are you adamant? Even after I have shown you how I care so much about you.’
‘Just get lost.’
‘You’d be mine Lizzy, you’d be mine.’ he said with a evil grin.
‘Get away,’ she shouted at him.
He smiled before turning away. He took only some few steps before he stopped and turned again.
Stephanie was getting impatient where she sat on the driver’s seat of Dave’s car. He had left her there two hours ago and gone into the NDLEA headquarters building to confirm something she told him. The car was parked on the same street where the NDLEA headquarters was, only a few buildings away from there.
Dave showed up at exactly three o’clock. He was sweating profusely and his body was stained with dust all over. He opened the door to the passenger’s side and got in.
‘Where have you been?’ She stared at him in surprise.
He let out a breath and the pulled on the seatbelt. ‘I’ve working to get the documents you told me of,’ he replied and displayed a brown file which he brought along.
‘Did you really get them?’ she widened her eyes.
‘I don’t know if I got the exact documents, but I got something good enough to help us.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, I am. Just get the car started and let’s get out of here before I start to explain things to you.’
‘Okay,’ she replied and pulled her seatbelt on. She started the car engine and soon drove out of the place. ‘So, can you start the explanation?’
‘Err… Yes, I would explain to you but I need to know first the reason you are seeking for these documents.’ Dave said.
‘Huh?’ she stared at him blankly, surprised that he could ask he such a question.
‘Yes, I need to know, so I can be sure I’m working with the right person.’
Stephanie took a glance at his face. She wanted to stare at him for a longer moment but couldn’t because she had to focus on the road. ‘I thought I told you already how my father was involved in this and how my family’s life ended.’
‘Yes, you told me that but you didn’t tell me the reason you want the case reopened.’
‘The reason? I don’t get what you’re driving at,’ Stephanie gasped.
‘Okay, I actually know why you’re doing this but I’m not comfortable with it.’
‘I don’t understand you.’
‘Steph, you’re doing this to revenge your father and siblings’ death, isn’t it?’
‘No, I don’t see any reason for that. Revenging would not bring them back to life.’
‘Then what’s your purpose for wanting to dig up the case again?’
Stephanie remained silent for a while. They got closer to a traffic light point on the road and stopped as the color displayed at that moment was red. She used the opportunity to look at his face. ‘To be honest, maybe avenging their death is one of the reasons but I actually left Lagos and came down here to find answers when I thought of the dangers of leaving them unpunished. It would mean injustice to several other people who might be under their wickedness at the moment, it would be injustice to the souls of the dead men and women who stood their grounds for the right thing.’
Dave stared at her face for a while and then looked away, he let out a deep breath. The traffic light turned green and Stephanie drove on.
‘These file documents the case of one Mr. George who I believe to be your father against the NDLEA. And there are some pictures that I don’t understand there.’
‘Wow! That’s exactly what I need, we’d compare them with what I have at home and I’m sure we’d be able to come up with something reasonable.’
‘I believe so too.’
‘But… I didn’t ask you how you were able to get the documents,’ Stephanie said.
Dave chuckled. ‘I’m a journalist remember, I have my ways of seeking for information.’
‘But this is extreme, you didn’t just get someone to tell you, you brought the documents which I believe no staff of the NDLEA would allow you have access to.’
‘I’d explain all these to you later. Now, we have to draw up something sensible from the documents we have now.’
They got back to Stephanie’s residence at Maitama ten minutes later. They parked Dave’s car outside in the unfenced compound and went in together.
Lizzy watched from her car as they walked in together. Her heart was bitter against Dave. She had hoped that the address and all what was said about Dave was false and was almost turning back away from the place until she saw his car approaching the house which address she was given. She took out her phone and unlocked it for use. She needed to keep herself busy while she waited to see how long Dave would be in the house with the girl.
‘Whose house is this?’ Dave asked as he settled on the rug with Stephanie where she spread some documents and pictures on.
‘It’s owned by Madam Henrietta.’ Stephanie answered.
‘But she uses here less often?’
‘Well,’ Stephanie shrugged. ‘I really do not know how often she uses this place but I never knew of it until I asked her about some of my mum’s properties which my mum mentioned to be with her, then she told me they were in this house, apart from the other official reason I’m in Abuja, they’re what I actually came to get here.’
‘Hmmm… The house is a nice one.’
‘Yea, truly nice.’
For almost thirty minutes, they continued to check the pictures and documents on the floor and make comments on them, both putting down notes on jotters which they kept aside.
‘So, these proves that your father didn’t go to the place they said he went to in their accusation.’ Dave said, showing her two documents.
‘Yes,’ Stephanie squinted as she scanned through the documents. She collected them from Dave and looked closely for a minute. ‘My mum told me before that he wasn’t there, he was framed. They did it because he would not agree to work with them.’
‘But what I don’t really understand is why my Dad was never able to prove the case in court.’
‘From what I can deduce here,’ Dave said and cleared his throat. ‘I believe that these proofs were not available when the case started, Mr. George couldn’t present the proofs before he died. I think they murdered him when they saw that he was likely to win the case. They had to kill him quickly so that he could die with the blame on him and they executed it in a very intelligent way, covering it up with an accident.’
‘Hmm…’ Stephanie inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. She rested her back on the door for a moment pondering on all Dave had said.
They were done with their work thirty minutes later and Dave got up to leave immediately.
‘Oh!’ Stephanie exclaimed with her eyes wide open. She covered her mouth with her palms and stared at Dave’s face. ‘I’m sorry I didn’t offer you anything.’
‘Oh!’ Dave smiled. ‘I wasn’t even thinking about taking anything too.’
‘I’m really really sorry,’ Stephanie apologized again, feeling embarrassed.
‘It’s okay,’ Dave smiled again. ‘I’ll take anything you offer me when next I come here.’
Stephanie followed him out of the house and walked him to the car.
‘I’m really grateful for sparing time for me, I’m very grateful.’ Stephanie said as they got to the car with Dave standing beside the door to the driver’s side.
‘I’m just doing my job,’ he replied her with a smile.
‘No, it’s not your job, you’re not going to get paid for this, at least, I don’t know how to pay you.’
‘Well, I’m still pleased to work with you,’ Dave replied. They smiled at each other. He stretched out his hand to give her a handshake but she stared at his face with a smile. She moved closer to him and hugged him tightly for almost a minute, almost forcing breath out of him. She finally released him but still held his hands.
Dave stared into her eyes thinly. He could feel a strange connection between them, something he had never felt with any other lady. He admired her beauty and elegant shape again. Her face glowed under the faint evening sunlight and it made him remember someone he had seen some weeks before – the lady on low cut who he had seen weeks in Anambra State.
She finally released her fingers from his but he still held tightly to her wishing he could have her embrace him again. She stared at his for a while, he seemed to be far away in his mind. She squeezed his fingers to bring him back to reality.
‘Hello, are you going to remain here staring at me all day?’
‘Oh sorry,’ Dave laughed and quickly turned to open the car door. He wished he could answer yes to her question. ‘I’ll see you again tomorrow,’ he said before entering the car.
Stephanie waited outside and watched until he drove out of sight. She drew in the cool breeze through her nostrils as she turned back towards the house.
Thoughts of Lizzy ran through Dave’s mind as he drove back home. He knew she would be terribly angry with him and it would be difficult for him to get her to forgive him this time. He began to think of what to say to her on phone when he got home. He discarded the thought on realizing that she would likely ignore his calls. He still needed to try his best to appease her, she had done so much for him and deserved more than to be paid in the way which he was paying her.
Lizzy stepped out of the restroom with a handtowel. She sat by the edge of her bed and picked her phone. She had returned home more than thirty minutes ago after waiting at the place for fifteen minutes without seeing Dave come out. She assigned a junior officer in her team to stay and watch Dave.
She opened her WhatsApp messenger after unlocking her phone, she had received new messages from the guy she kept to watch Dave. She had three pictures and a video in it. She downloaded and viewed the pictures first. The first two showed Dave hugging the girl and the third showed them holding hands. She opened the video, it showed the same thing the pictures showed but she was able to tell how long the hug lasted and how long they held each other.
‘Delete this video and the pictures from your device ASAP, don’t ever keep history of what I asked you to do today,’ she typed into the chat box and sent to the guy.
Just as she wanted to drop her phone, Dave’s call came in. She answered at once.
‘Hello Dave,’ she said into the phone calmly.
‘He…Hi Lizzy,’ Dave answered from the other end. Lizzy could tell from his response that he wasn’t expecting her to answer his calls
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