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|THE MURDERER - A Gripping Nigerian Crime Story by Usphilipo20(m): 3:56pm On Sep 05, 2018|
Susan Obi who was in a group of six was murdered just few months into becoming a journalist - it was on a day she had a camera installed in her apartment. Her death caused dissension within the group which thickens when Tade Leo - another member of the group has all evidence leading to him. Rebecca Shittu cried for justice just at the time when the rest of the group talked about Tade's innocence. Detective Thomas was ready to put him behind the bars only that Tade couldn't be found.
Now, I'm will post the first and second chapter of "THE MURDERER" which is my debut novel here. The full version is available on Okadabooks.
Download full version on your Okadabooks App or follow this link https://www.Okadabooks.com/user/ginga
|Re: THE MURDERER - A Gripping Nigerian Crime Story by Usphilipo20(m): 3:57pm On Sep 05, 2018|
Early Monday morning Susan Obi sank into her sofa, her leg stretched forward and her eyes focused on the TV screen. Soon she adjusted her position. Lying on her chest, she rested on the sofa which was slightly smaller than her bed in width, however, the size was just enough to accommodate her lanky structure.
It was 7 a.m. and she was just right in time for the program she anticipated each morning. Susan picked up the remote to increase the volume; listening to the Morning Show on OBT Channel, has been her routine. The long ram horn reminded her of the ongoing Muslim festival, thanks to Port Harcourt religious status. Even though the main celebration was last week, the majority of the northern population and some south westerners were still having lots of mutton in their stew pot. The street buzzed with festive greetings. She wished her industrial training calendar had July in it, the freedom of sighting the landscape of almost idle highways would have been fantastic.
The euphoria of becoming a news caster was seated deep within her. It had been her dream since her fourth year in high school. Though she was an average student, she had never let her dream crumble. She had always wanted to sit before the camera in order to broadcast news to the world. She could recall how she had felt whenever she rested her head on her father's chest, as they both listened to the news.
At 7:30, a picture adorned on her hi-fi cabinet below the TV caught her attention. Swaying on her sofa to focus on it, memories of her deceased mother flooded her mind and nostalgia swept through her. Susan remembered how easy she got her industrial training placement at the same TV station her mother had worked. She could remember her affable smile during her troubled times, but now this was gone. She would have to move on, to live her life right, and make her mother proud of her. She had to do it for her pride; for her unborn children.
She jerked to the right when she heard her phone ring. She followed the echoing sound, trying to guess the last place she must have dropped the phone. She walked towards the empty wardrobe, where she had left it.
'Stan.' She said, as saw the envelop display on her phone. She thought that he was maybe trying to plan an excuse or on his way, until the "where the hell are you?" message popped out after she unlocked her phone. She slide her feet into a pair of fancy flip flops and headed toward the door, this visit was a welcome distraction. 'Sorry, I was preoccupied,' she said as soon as she saw Stan Okon. She moved to the side as she left the door ajar for her guest. Stan looked like he was out of the '70's. The cross belt clipped the three quarter trouser firmly leaving the tucked shirt fixed. His humorous appearance was not expressed on his face, his face had lines and he projected an image of seriousness every time.
'Hmm,' he said as his gaze fixed on her. She could see the surprise in his face, maybe confusion too, she wasnt sure.
'Are you missing Kelvin?' He winked, before bursting into laughter, 'If you get lost in thoughts, it must have been a conversation with him.' He said, leaving her speechless, she put her hand into her pocket and absorbed his teasing.
'No, I'm not,' she said softly. Trying to end the discussion, she held his hand to usher him inside before Rebecca's eyes would catch him entering her apartment. Kelvin Eze was the type of man she wanted since her third year in college, though she didnt allowed him in her heart until her final year. She saw his undying quest to get her. Well, that was after Tade had told Kelvin he wasn't into her.
'I can't believe that,' Stan retorted. 'It has been eight days since he left for Kaduna.'
'I am sure you are right, she is certainly speaking with him,' a tiny voice said behind him. She was sure it was Rebecca Shittu, she must have overheard this conversation. Reb's footsteps were always muffled like that of an assassin. She looked quite well in her Afro hairstyle. Her red ribbon matching with her dress. Kelvin had only spent a week in Kaduna- in the northern part of the country to represent Crossgate University at the annual university competition. And that was enough to bring a tease.
'Come on Sus, what kept you occupied?' Reb asked as she walks up to her, resting her hand on Susans shoulder.
'Will you come in or should I lock you out forever?' She said to abruptly end any further teasing she wasn't in for.
'Stan, what are you here for?' Reb asked with utter disregard for Susans request.
'Oh, you mean Stan,' she ran her eyes on him then returned her gaze to Reb. 'I'm sure you noticed his dressing. She said, trying to change the topic. After all, she wasn't expecting her to be here, not when she is busy with something.
'Susan should be able to give an answer to that,' he said as he tried resting his buttocks on the chair. 'I need to save my energy, kiddo.'
She slowly ran her hand on her hair, then her right hand find her way into her pocket. 'For a camera installation,' she stopped to study the expression on Reb's face before saying anything further. She had no choice than to say that. 'Should have informed you, but...' She let her voice trail off as Reb laughter filled the room.
'That's crazy Sus, camera for what? This is just an unnecessary expense, you should be working on your project or maybe reading for exams and...' her voice trailed off.
'This is for a personal reason, she said slowly, grateful that she hadn't got angry, 'I just...' she stopped, she didn't want to disclose the reason.
'Ok,' Reb said in a nonchalant way suggesting she wasn't concerned but she could see the chagrin on her face. 'At least you should inform me about the renovation we are about to have.'
'I think we need to know why Sus.' Stan said, 'and...'
'Reb, please come, with my phone.' She said putting an end to whatever he might have planned to do with the phone. His eyes caught the phone on the stool, she had left it there when she headed to the kitchen.
Stan sat on the sofa waiting for breakfast, at least she was the one who told him to come early and she will feed him breakfast. Though his mind wasn't off the meal Tade and Mart will cook in the hostel.
Susan poured the needed volume of water into the tomato sauce she has prepared inside the pot, then closed it with the lid. She perched on the smaller table behind her, waiting for the water to boil before adding the rice. Her apartment was few kilometres to the school, and probably one any student would be keen to have. But she disliked the limited space left for the kitchen, which was the reason that had stopped her from frying.
'I need to eat before any work.' Stan mumbled. It was a perfect declaration with perfect timing as he saw a plate of jollof rice coming toward him. His stomach grumbled, he was determined to win this battle with the plate.
Her phone rang,
'I will be there, just give me thirty minutes.' Susan said after picking up her phone, the smile on her face was a contrast to the scowl on Reb's face.
Who was that?' Stan asked.
'Tade,' she replied as she began to pack up. She walked in haste to the kitchen and returned with a take away food container, Is Mart around?' She asked, only to be answered with laughter.
Had she asked something amusing? Mart Davidson was the only Medical student they had as friend, the last to join their group. His studious character has been one of the features Stan liked in him.
Where do you think he will be? he replied, setting her free from her lost state. 'The guy will have some crazy test this week, Medicine is killing him.'
'So that's why you are amused. Right?'
'Oh no, maybe Tade is bored, because I trust Mart to be mute, the guy said he want to be the best graduating student in gynecology, that sound lovely Sus, doesn't it?'
'And that is why you like him' Reb said.
'Exactly,' he said pointing at her. He makes our group complete, that's why Susan trips for Kev,' he teased.
Not so, Kev and Tade fought to have me, remember?' She paused. 'Mart doesn't have any choice, he has to ask if he wants my jollof rice. Poor Mart, he has to read the whole night.
'I said so,' Reb looked at Stan 'The only reason she won't be worried about Kev's absence is Tade.' Her words caused the room fill with laughter.
'Thank God Mart is around to watch you guys.' Stan said turning to Reb. 'Meet you at home, Sus.' He said as she opened the door for her exit.
|Re: THE MURDERER - A Gripping Nigerian Crime Story by Usphilipo20(m): 4:49pm On Sep 05, 2018|
Reb perched on the iron railing. She had decided to stay here; she wanted this to be her last time of checking on her. After the call Sus had received in the morning Reb had not heard from her.
She allowed her gaze to be fixed upon the sky which was gradually giving a red colour, one she believed was formed as a result of atmospheric particles. She hopes the fact is true, she hopes it isn't a symbol for blood. She knew that Port Harcourt has been experiencing more of kidnapping for the past few years, and that has increased her fear especially when she can't reach either Susan or Tade on the phone.
She fumbled her hand into her Cross bag because her phone was ringing. Her phone lay at the inner compartment. She took a swipe to the green icon to the right.
'Is Sus at home?' Mart asked.
'No...' She paused blaming herself for not calling him since. 'Look, Mart,' she said. 'I should have called you, but I don't know why I...' She hesitated. 'Maybe I don't want to bring unnecessary alarm. I haven't seen Susan since she left for your place.'
'Okay.' Mart said. His response sounded shallow, making her unsure if he actually comprehended what she said.
'Will call you back.' He said before dropping the call.
She checked her wristwatch; it was 8pm.
'Things are getting weird,' she said to herself.
What was more unsettling was that Susan phone line was unreachable. That feeling only increased when she called Tade's phone and few minutes ago Mart had called and sounded strange. The last time Sus came home late, she made sure she called but now...
'One message received.' Her phone alerted.
She cared less for it; she had never really cared for messages and this started two weeks ago. Her phone piled up with unnecessary messages.
Did they go on a secret date? But can she truly do that after just few days of Kelvin absence? Will she cheat on him just because of a momentary distance? At exactly 8:05 pm, she picked her phone and cursed herself for the second time. She had ignored Mart's message and filled herself with unanswered questions.
'Stan said you were right.' Even though the message looked vague, she understood what he meant.
'No cause for alarm, maybe a secret date.' She replied with a laughing smiley, hoping that it would erase the odd thought from her mind. She knows he will laugh it off, Tade won't do such thing. Susan won't stoop so low either.
Susan felt the intensity of the sun on the iron sheet as heat circulated the whole room, she was certain it was an uncompleted building, not in this day and age would a completed one be this hot. Her skin boiled, she could feel that. Maybe she will have her skin suffer for this, she was allergic to heat. Her light skin had never been friendly to such temperature. But maybe today it will have to. Today? She was not sure of when she will be free from this.
Susan knew being kidnapped made the future uncertain, this was the reality of what she was into. Her article about being kidnapped in this part of the country would have been superb if only this had happened before writing it. The fear of death, the restlessness, the uncertainty of today, and of tomorrow. Everyone would have savoured her write-up, kidnapping had become the norm and even Port Harcourt wasn't exempted.
This captivity would be an exceptional muse for writing another article on kidnapping after graduation she thought as if that would add smile to her face. But, that could only happen if she would find a way out of her present situation. Now she could feel what they felt, all the abducted girls, all the innocent civilians, even some of those killed by ISIS and Boko Haram. What they passed through at this stage and how hungry they would be when they escaped or probably released after paying a huge sum.
'Why me?' She asked herself. Susan had never bragged about her family wealth, her rented apartment gave no indication of well off she was. Perhaps this was not the case. Maybe her father's business partners planned this, maybe it's Tade as he was the last to call her.
She allowed her mind dwell on the latter. She needed answers. Maybe, then the mystery behind her current predicament would be revealed.
'But he never knew about it.' She whispered softly as tears rolled down her cheek, 'Tade never knew about the money.' She had only confided in Kelvin who wasn't around when she got the cash in her hands, then why the kidnap? Why the chain cuffing her wrist? Why the blindfold? She kept asking herself, as she couldn't fathom it.
The holiday cost her life, but she didnt want to accept that, if her Dad hadn't declined the cheque or the online payment this wouldn't have happened to her. She wouldn't have the cash, she wouldn't have these people around her neck now. Telling Kelvin was wrong, she could remember her Dad reminding her of that, had made the year biggest mistake by giving out such vital information.
'Could it be Kelvin, my soul mate?' Susan asked herself again, it was just unbelievable.
Kelvin is in the North and he can't and will never plan such for me here in Port Harcourt. She had always trusted Kelvin and her friends.
'Where is the girl?' She heard that from maybe the other room or outside, she wasn't sure of that. But she was sure about the fear inside her.
'We need to be at our best, we must get to her house tonight...' the voice continued but she stopped listening. She already knew they wanted the money, but how on earth did they know about that. If it was money they needed then why the kidnap. That thought troubled her mind, maybe they needed something more than money. What could that be? She needed some clarity at this point but no one was going to give her the leisure of finding out.
'How much are we talking about?' Someone asked.
Her heart beat increased like that of a sprinter who had just finished racing.
'Guy, that one na small money.' Another one said in pidgin. Her heart skipped a beat, their voices were under the influence of drugs. They might not show her any mercy, her experience from various movies she had watched wasn't telling her any different.
She heard approaching footsteps which unsettled her, even though her eye was on break, her ear was awake to everything. The footsteps halted, making her shift from her position.
He should be close now. She thought as she heard nothing. She knew they would not be friendly, however she hoped they would decide her fate quickly or release her from this.
'Where una dey go?' the voice was a cracked one, 'I go kill you o.' The voice later threatened, she has expected that, pidgin isn't far from them with cracked voices.
'Killing you doesn't mean anything to us, talk now.' She could noticed the voice was different from the first one, the difference wasn't so much, but it wasn't quite as harsh. She could now understand what the first man was saying, he was definitely asking about her destination. But what did he want her to say, what has that got to do with her being kidnapped.
She could feel the gun on her bare shoulder as she only had her sleeveless blouse on, her jean jacket had been removed. Susan began to shiver. She had never felt a gun before on her.
Ta...Tade's house, he called me this morning, she said, shivering in the hot room, hers was more than one suffering from malaria.
'Do you know him?' She managed to ask, not knowing where the courage came from, but maybe that could relax her puzzled mind.
Maybe what she said was quite pleasing, because they began to untie her and also remove the blindfold.
A dark shade tainted her sight as she scanned the room, all her guesses was right it was surely an incomplete building, and probably three storey. She could sight the tall trees and she tried to gazed on her abductors. The image of the closer one formed on her retina, he looked burly, with a stern and maimed face, his eyes were red.
Not so hard to know those on drug.
'That won't help you,' the husky man said from the corner of the room, he was also studying her. 'Trying to see my face won't help you, he continued as he tilted his head for few seconds.
She sat on the floor, stretched her leg for impeccable movement of blood, and at least she can now kill the blood sucking insects which had been disturbing her with their buzzing sound.
'Do you know Tade or maybe...' she stopped, wanting him to say something, something useful.
'I think so.' He rasped weakly which contradicted his body language, his Damon-like smile in the vampires diaries series was penetrating, maybe her friends were all against her. What a bad luck that would be, she is going to lose everything, starting with her family when the bullet hits her. She was more optimistic about dying today, unless it wasn't written in her stars.
|Re: THE MURDERER - A Gripping Nigerian Crime Story by Usphilipo20(m): 12:51pm On Sep 06, 2018|
At 11 pm, it was no surprise finding herself at the front of her apartment, what her fate would be from the husky and lanky men with their Stechkin silent revolver seems unsure to her. This will be the perfect time for the crow to come, to deliver a message to Reb. Her leg wobbled as she alighted from an old Peugeot car, things look dimmer than she could ever imagine. Nobody to help, and shouting would be out of it unless she want to savage the moment. Her eyes gazed on the night sky which was not ready to help, few drops of tears roll on her cheek. Today her father money is gone, and on the bright side she was still alive.
Why can't some of my neighbours be out at this time, maybe Reb. She could help by calling the precinct.
Reb would had checked on her for close to five times before sunset, this would have been the perfect time to do that again, but she will need to play smart so as not to fall victim.
She opened her door reluctantly after fumbling her hand for few seconds in her deep short-width pocket. She was afraid of death, they had not let go and it was obvious they wont in a hurry. She sighed after a brief scan of the room.
Thank God Reb didn't play dumb to sleep in my apartment today. That relieved her a bit. How I wish we had installed a camera, it would have alerted someone in the control room. Maybe it would also increase my chance of escape.
She wished she had confided in Stan and Reb in the morning, maybe that would have given them a clue about her whereabouts.
Thoughts about Tade filled her mind again, mixing up her fear with anger enough to give her something to fight for; she had to report him to the police. She was optimistic about living, it seemed that death had passed now that they have brought her home. She had something to fight for. If I see Tade moving freely with no stint of fear then I will challenge him and find evidence to use against him. The brain behind this would surely be a familiar person.
She could still feel the touch of the gun on her shoulder, if only she could turn and take possession of the gun move her hand around his neck and escape. However, she wasn't strong enough to do this.
'Trusting your friends can also be of help to us as it is of help to you Sus, don't you think so?' One of them asked, probably their leader, he was the only one with burly stature. 'And today it was definitely helpful, he chuckled.
"Trust" she grasped his word, trying to make something out of it. If he was referring to her friends, then it should be Tade, or Kelvin in whom she always confided in, but wasn't so sure of that.
'Are you trying to fix this on my friends?' She asked, if she is about to die, then it should be for bravery.
'Think of anything sweetheart.' He replied scornfully.
Dad dropped two hundred fifty million naira with me. She could recall herself sending that text to Kelvin on Wednesday evening and that meant nobody could eavesdrop.
She deleted that message immediately after sending it, and if it can't be eavesdropped then who could it be? She made a big sigh not minding those behind, at least they will have the money before they will put a bullet through her.
'The money now,' one of them said, he was partly mangled on both hand.
That may be as a result of his work. She muffled with a slight smile.
'Maybe that will also happen to them after today,' she mumbled on what gave her some smile, probably her last one.
'Inner.' She said and pointed to the wardrobe. It polish still glow in the dull light she had in her bedroom.
'Bring him in.' Another commanding voice found its way into her eardrum, but this wasn't for her, it was him.
Who could this be? Maybe one of their captive, she thought.
Expecting him to come inside, nothing makes you happier than conquering what makes you anxious.
'You.' She pointed as he came inside, she was pretty sure of what she saw, the forest coloured shirt and black pants have always been his casual choice. She tried not to gaze on him again, her friend nailing her to the cross.
'Do your job.' The voice said again, making her raising her head.
Was his job, any other thing than to shoot?
That was her last thought before the bullet pierced her body.
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