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Home  ›  Fiction  ›  The Secret of The Deal
The Secret of The Deal
by Nelson Ofokar Yagazie   (Author)
Read First Three Chapters

CHAPTER ONE

Achebe Estate was located at the tail end of Lincoln Road, which was off Uniport Road and lay adjacent to Choba Community Primary School. Northwards, it was about a kilometre and a half away from Uniport junction. Lincoln itself was an untarred road flanked by different small shops and stores. At its terminus, you could find a narrow, muddy track called Mbutu Road, in-between Wilbros Fence and Achebe Estate Fence. It stretched all the way to Wilbros Company till it burst into another wide road that led to a nearby villa.
The estate had about twenty buildings, four of which were servants quarters. The first of these was situated right by the estate’s entrance and was overlooked by a vast land covered with shrubs and grass. The second stood about two hundred metres away and the last two were attached to the walls of the fencing. All of the estate’s main buildings (blocks) had upper floors and were built in neat rows.
Block 9 could be found in-between Blocks 8 and 10. This particular house wasn’t newer than any of the others on its row but its painted walls and design told a different story. Residents who considered themselves wealthy enough normally struggled for accommodation in this very building. Sometimes, the landlord would hike the rent for the house, and yet people were always ever-ready to pay.
At the rear of the upper floor stood Apartment 15, a well-furnished, one-room apartment. Its sitting room was the kind every top student of the University of Port Harcourt would desire to have. It had an air conditioner hanging over a wall, a personal computer on a white plastic table and a television set with a DVD player in a corner. There was also a beautiful cushion with designs and colours fit for a Prince. A brick-red Italian carpet covered the floor, sharply contrasting the room’s white walls. A glass center-table was placed right in the middle, near the sofa, and a wooden cabinet stood in a corner. And on the sofa, with legs on the center-table, a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of Whisky by his side was Val Lucky, the occupant of the apartment. The young man was staring blankly at the television.
His full name was Valentine Lucky but he shortened it to Val Lucky. He was an enormous man in his late twenties who stood about five foot nine inches. He also had broad shoulders and a very flat abdomen with cold, dark eyes that contrasted with his fair complexion. His mouth was slightly skewed down and his nose wasn’t too bad for a Nigerian of Edo origin. A little scar could be seen above his right eye, one left by an injury he sustained in his childhood. In fact, Lucky was the type you would certainly call handsome. He dressed nicely, looked well fed and appeared quite intelligent.
It was a summer morning and the time was 07.00hrs. It had been raining gently for thirty minutes now and the city of Port Harcourt was relatively cold. This summer was a special one; it marked the beginning of a new political era. In April/May next year, there would be transition and elections. Now was the time that the various political parties organized their conventions. The city was burning with political campaigns. Politicians were canvassing for support in all nooks and crannies. The various radio houses spent more time playing jingles, commercial broadcasting and chanted undue slogans to aspirants. The television houses now presented documentaries on political rallies, and concentrated their news broadcast on the prevailing political atmosphere. The newspapers and magazines were not left out. They all sang the same songs and choruses. Indeed, it was a period of political explosion.
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was the most effective instrument for political propaganda at the time. This summer morning, the AMPP’s Conventions in Kaduna and Zamfara States were the main attractions.
With his blank stare still in place, Lucky reached for his bottle of Whisky and filled a glass cup before taking a long gulp. He wiped his mouth clean and heaved a sigh of relief. A cigarette entered his mouth next. After puffing up smoke in the air, he stared down at the glowing ember of the cigarette and then tapped its ash off.
He was taking another gulp of Whisky, making up his mind to leave for lectures, when the Network News began at 07:30hrs. Lucky settled in more on the sofa and stared at the television screen with keen interest. He watched the news for about twenty-five minutes. As the newscaster was rounding off the report on the President’s visit to his hometown, Lucky got up and reached for the remote control. As he raised it up, the female co-newscaster announced, “The focus is on the Rivers State PQP gubernatorial aspirant, Dr. Pascal Masa.”
With the reaction of a man who unwittingly touched a scorpion, Lucky let go of the remote. After pacing about, he sat on the sofa and stared fixedly at the screen. He had developed a unique interest in Rivers State politics and in Dr. Pascal Masa in particular.
You see, Lucky had an odd talent of keeping records of the Lords of society. He registered in his Blue Book all that happened to those within his environment. Occasionally, he would snoop into the private affairs of the rich and study in detail the habits of the VIPs. His intelligence, bravery and instinct to survive depicted him as an Igbo man. He had a sophisticated knack for getting what he wanted and his guts could only be found in an African of Igbo extraction. His desire for material possessions was alarming and his business acumen was of a first class value.
With great enthusiasm, Lucky watched the newscaster announce the return of Pascal Masa. Pascal Masa had been in Abuja for more than a week now; he had gone there for a PQP stakeholders” meeting. His return to Port Harcourt certainly excited Lucky as his lips parted in an uneasy smile. Minutes later, the newscaster rounded off by announcing the date of the PQP primaries. Lucky stared on for a moment, his eyes turning pale. He finished his drink, switched off the television set and curled back in the sofa. One leg was crossed over the other before his eyes drifted to the ceiling.
Lost in thought, Lucky had forgotten about his lectures. A rap on the door brought him back to life minutes later. He got to his feet and silently went to the spy-hole to peep through. Standing at the door was Osman. Lucky then went over to the door, pushed back the bolt, and jerked it open. Osman stepped inside, closing the door after him.
Osman was a tall, lean and dark man with bulging eyes resting on a coconut head. He also happened to be greedy, aggressive and wicked. Although twenty-eight, he looked thirty-four, with the wrinkles in his face providing the evidence of a tough life. He had come in with a parcel, which he immediately handed over to Lucky. As Lucky took the parcel from him, Osman lowered himself unto the single cushion.
Lucky flicked open the parcel while sitting on the edge of the glass table. A set of five different license plates were revealed which he took out one by one to examine.
“Ben sure did a good job,” Osman said, looking up at Lucky.
Lucky did not like praising people, so he ignored Osman. He carried the plates to the wooden cabinet and locked them inside.
He returned to sit on the sofa. “So, what did you find?”
Osman dipped his hand into his shabby jeans pocket, took out a white handkerchief and wiped his face.
“I’ve got the two points checked,” he said. “The old Aluu Power House is much better than the abandoned Emuoha Health Centre. The center is closer to settlement areas than Aluu, and the nearest house to the Power House is about fifteen kilometers away. There is only one entrance road and one exit.”
He stopped to clear his throat before continuing, “You may not know this but it was Aluu that supplied electricity to Port Harcourt International Airport at Omagwa. It wasn’t until the completion of the new one that--”
“Spare me the details,” Lucky cut in. “That ain’t important.”
A long pause followed.
“When is action beginning?” Osman said, breaking the silence.
In response, Lucky lit a cigar. He took a long draw at it, allowing its smoke to drift out through his nose.
“Our subject is back in town. Tomorrow, I will visit him and that’ll set the ball in motion. For now, I have no need of you. Return to your house and maintain absolute tranquility.”
With a raised eyebrow, Lucky leaned forward and continued, “This job is worth good money. And your cut is a quarter of a million, remember? If you talk and foil the job, two things will happen to you. First, the cops will pick you up. Secondly, after your jail term, the organization will come after you. So, for now, return to your apartment and remain calm. When I have need for you, I’ll get at you.”
In response, Osman got up.
“I’ve heard,” “he said before leaving abruptly.
Dr. Pascal Masa was a chartered accountant and had his office situated at D-line, Port Harcourt. For the sake of simplicity, he preferred to be called PC Masa. This bird-looking man was altogether materialistic, aggressive and deceptive, with his pointed nose, reddish lips and a face that could have been attractive if not for pimples and rashes. PC usually put on saintly airs but was actually nothing more than a snake in the grass.
He had once been a commissioner and legislator but was now a PQP stalwart and the most favoured of all gubernatorial aspirants in the party. His rival, Mr. Luke Baridam, hailed from the Ogoni tribe. He had defected PQP from AMPP after losing to the PQP candidate by a very narrow margin in the last general poll.
At the present time, the country appeared to be practicing a one-party system. Whoever emerged as the flag bearer of PQP was most likely to win the general election. Baridam was a political whiz kid whose shrewdness had been sufficiently helpful to him in the current political equation. He knew that if he remained in the AMPP, he would never become the Governor of Rivers State. The only way to become the governor was to pitch his tent with the powers that be. If he played his cards right, he could whip up the support of the present governor who had beaten him in the last election. The first step was to decamp to PQP. And this he did.
The Governor never wanted PC Masa to succeed him. The two men had been nursing hostility toward each other, long before he became governor. There was a time in the past, when the governor would have been appointed as ambassador to the United States but Masa had worked against it. Then, Masa was a legislator in the Federal House of Senate and had worked for the emergence of his own man instead. But now was the governor’s chance to cut his own pound of flesh.
The problem was that Masa had the backing of Mr. President. He became a stumbling block to the Governor who sought vengeance like a thirsty man seeking water. He had considered all the aspirants to the seat of governor. The man who appealed to him most was Luke Baridam, his opponent in the last general poll. It was well-known that Baridam was politically strong and popular. So the governor’s thoughts were that if he joined forces with him, they could defeat Masa, even with the President in his corner
Steadily, PC Masa grew in fame. His economic profile was commendable and his social status was high. He was a knight of the Catholic Church and by temperament, he was a sanguine. And his one regrettable weakness was his obsession for women. He was one man who loved women to a fault.
One night, Masa was driving back from Burgum where he attended a political meeting. It had been awful outing and Masa was heavy at heart. All he needed at the moment was a place where he could have fun. He decided that Safari Nightclub was the ideal place, so he drove to Agra where the club was located. It was at this nightclub that Masa met Binta.
Binta was a beautiful young lady married to an army officer, Captain Adams. Her husband was always on one assignment or the other, most of which were outside the city. Being as young as she was, she liked love-making but quite unfortunately for her, her husband was an intelligent officer and was always on duty. It was times like this that she regretted marrying a man in the army.
That particular night, her husband was on a peace-keeping mission in Brass. Being a club girl in her university days, the young lady attended clubs to relieve her boredom and headed over to Safari for a fun time. She had heard much of this club from friends and finally decided to see it for herself. After spending some minutes there, she reached the conclusion that it was definitely as amazing as they had made it seem. She chose a quiet corner at the club, sitting at a table with two bottles of beer and a glass cup while watching the club singer perform.
At the other end, Masa was drinking with a friend. He spotted her like candlelight and was immediately captivated by her beauty.
“Seems I’ve found a whore,” he told his friend before moving in her direction.
“Hello Beautiful,” he said to Binta, pulling out a chair to sit opposite her.
The lady was the easy-going type, so Masa didn’t find it difficult to get along with her. They had series of drinks together, and after which, they danced. It was while they were dancing that Masa told her how much he felt for her. Mr. Masa had a way of dealing with women and Binta was feeling the absence of her husband. And so, she yielded to Masa’s advances.
Now, Val Lucky just happened to be on the scene that night. Usually, he enjoyed drinking and dancing with young girls at clubs. But today, he was in a different mood. He had a task at hand and he wasn’t playing at it. Dressed in a brown t-shirt, a pair of black jean trousers and an over-coat, he sat at a rear table that overlooked the exit door. From where he was, he could see all that was going on at the dance floor. On his table were three bottles of Guilder beer, a glass, an opener and a packet of Rothman’s cigarettes. In between his index and middle fingers was a lighted cigarette. A whore came to sit with him but he waved her off.
It was around one o’clock when Masa and Binta left the club. At this hour, the club was still busy but they decided to leave early. From his end, Lucky watched them make their way to the door. He gulped down his drink, mashed the butt of his cigarette in the ashtray and rose to his feet. With the duo out of sight, he then followed them to the car park. Minutes later, Binta was spotted moving over to a car and opening the door. She fumbled in it for a while before locking it and joining Masa in his car. Intuition told Lucky that the car belonged to Binta and quickly, he jotted down its license plate number. And as they drove out later, he slid into his own car and followed them, keeping at a safe distance.
The road was not congested with traffic and it was dead easy to discover that one was being trailed. But Masa wasn’t expecting to be. As he joined the Aba Road and turned north, Lucky cursed under his breath. He realized that traffic was light and, should Masa’s car move at high speed, he would have trouble being on his tail. His black Jetta saloon car certainly could not compete with Masa’s brand-new Prado Jeep. He cornered to the Aba Road and accelerated.
There had been times when Lucky wanted to change his car for something nicer, probably a BMW. But as a student, a Jetta was all he could afford. It had occurred to him that an emergency could come up that would demand high speed. And in the present dispensation, a good car was ideal.
As Lucky followed the jeep past Waterline down to Rumola, his instincts told him they could be heading for Novotel. He remembered that he had heard a rumor that PC Masa had a permanent room there. Now, what he didn’t know was the room number. If they were going to Novotel, knowing this would prove quite helpful.
Suddenly, he remembered that he had a friend who worked there. Maybe he could help him. He grabbed his mobile phone from the passenger seat and dialed his friend Ibina’s number. The phone rang and rang but there was no answer.
“He must be fast asleep by now,” Lucky thought.
He noticed the indicator of the jeep signal right. It sped past the fly-over and wormed its way through the Stadium Road. In response, Lucky’s face became cloudy with fury. He dialed the number continually.
It wasn’t until after the third try that a female voice responded, “Yes?”
“Give the phone to Ibina,” Lucky said.
“Sorry, who are you?”
“You’ve got nothing to do with my identity,” Lucky returned, a hint of impatience in his voice. “Just give the phone to him now.”
Minutes later, Ibina’s cracked voice could be heard.
“Why Lucky? Why this hour?”
“It’s a matter of urgency,” Lucky replied. “I want to know PC Masa’s room number at Novotel. You worked there, so you should know.”
There was a long pause.
Then Ibina replied, “It’s on the topmost floor. Room Twenty-Six, I think.”
“Thanks,” Lucky said back before ending the call.
He followed the jeep down the Stadium Road, taking his time not to raise any suspicion. Masa turned left and drove up the entrance of the hotel while Lucky continued down the road. Towards the end of the road, just a few metres from the Liberation Stadium, he made a U-turn and started up the road again. He then drove slowly until he reached the hotel gates. Two tough-looking cops were guarding the entrance. They briskly motioned to him and he pulled up.
Lucky wound down the glass window for them and one of them came over to the driver’s side. He looked him over, asked questions and signaled him to move ahead.
The gatekeeper was a tall and provocatively slim Ikwere man. As Lucky approached, he began to drag the gate open. As he did, he staggered so much that Lucky had difficulty deciding who was dragging who: the man or the gate.
After what seemed a great battle, the gate was finally ajar and Lucky quickly drove in. About four security men stood in strategic positions on the hotel’s premises. The one patrolling the frontal area was a squat dark man who looked every bit tough. He directed Lucky to a car park at the rear side of the main building. He slowed to a crawl until he found a parking space. After pulling up, Lucky walked around to the boot of the car, opened it and took a black leather-bag from it. He closed it and then made for the reception desk.
The receptionist was an attractive young girl, about twenty-two years of age. She had an almond-shaped face, very erect breasts and a figure the shape of a coco-cola bottle. At that moment, she was wearing sky-blue jean trousers, a white top which had on it the inscription “NOV Hotels” and a black over-coat.
Lucky smiled at her and said, “I’d like a room on the topmost floor.”
“Let me check if there’s an available one,” the girl responded, consulting a notebook in front of her.
As she leafed through the pages, Lucky, filled with suspense, scanned her countenance anxiously.
“Okay!” the girl told him. “Two rooms are free.”
Lucky paid up and was given the keys to Room 19.
After a short elevator trip, he made his way to his new room on the top floor and walked right in. As he paced around the room, after abandoning his bag on the floor, an idea crept into his head. He soon left the room in response and sauntered down the corridor until he got to Room 26. It was dead of the night at this time, and everywhere was calm. Lucky moved closer to the door and nestled his ear against it. He could hear faintly hear whispering voices from its other side and laughter. Immediately, his lips parted in an evil smile. Then, he turned away and made his way to his room.
He went into the bathroom and stared up blankly at the ceiling. He soon returned to the bed area, leaving the bathroom door wide open. In his average-sized room, there was a reading table with a stool stood in a corner. He grabbed the table and carried it to the bathroom. After mounting on the table, he pulled out a jack knife from his over-coat pocket and began to hack open the ceiling, making a big enough hole to accommodate his broad shoulders. He climbed down the table and went back to the bedroom.
In the bedroom, he picked up the bag he had kept on the bed and ripped it open. A video camera emerged along with a flashlight, which he returned to the bathroom with. He took off his overcoat and the jean trousers, and with the items in hand, he again climbed the table. He placed them in his newly made ceiling hole and smoothly maneuvered himself up as well. With the help of the flashlight, he crawled towards Room 26, dragging the Video Camera with him. The odour in the ceiling was outrageously nauseating but Lucky was more than determined to get to his destination.
About eight minutes later, while moving as quietly as he could, he halted. Working slowly but steadily, he ripped open the ceiling below, making a hole big enough for the clean passage of a clenched fist. He then peeped through the hole and nodded in approval. PC Masa was right on top of Binta, pounding her like a sex-starved gorilla. She was busy moaning, jerking her narrow waist up rhythmically to match Masa’s hard thrusts. Lucky was carried away by their activity for a brief moment.
The occupant of Room 22 was a journalist and a reporter for the Tell Magazine named Frank Dennis. There had been a demonstration in Port Harcourt by the MASSOB members to protest against the continued detention of their leader, Ralph Uwazurike. Dennis had arrived the city to cover the event and was lodged in Novotel.
Throughout the night, he sat glued to a desk, writing his report. So, he was wide awake when Lucky crawled past his room. He heard the movement and was panic-stricken. He threw the door open and went out onto the balcony. He stood stunned while gaping at the ceiling.
“What’s the problem, Mister?”
Dennis whirled around. Standing in front of him was a strut-looking man with a very unfriendly look on his face. From the uniform the man was dressed in, he deduced it was the night dick. He looked beyond the man and spotted a second dick leaning on the rear balcony.
For a moment, Dennis was short of words.
“What’s biting you, fella?” the dick asked again.
Pointing at the ceiling, Dennis answered, “A movement in the roof. Seems as if a big animal’s in there”.
“An animal? It can’t be.”
He motioned at his second. They went over to a very small room that was only used for parking and jerked the door open. From there, they took a key and went to an iron door at the staircase. They unlocked the door and one of them, carrying a flashlight, climbed into the roof. The second man, who was leaning against the balcony, lit a cigar.
Dennis came to stand by his side. “I wonder what could be crawling inside of that roof though. Can’t be a human.”
“A human?” The dick repeated after him, lifting an eyebrow. “Why would somebody be in the roof? And through which means would he gain entrance?”
“Beats me. But there was definitely a great noise…”
“Maybe you were dreaming, Mister.”
“But I wasn’t asleep. I was writing at the desk.”
The dick eyed him over, shrugged and looked away.
Meanwhile, Lucky was busy being entertained in Room 26. The event was getting more and more enticing. Though Lucky was one of the few men who frowned at immorality, as he sat on a block of wood while watching this exciting lovemaking through the lens of his camera, he couldn’t help getting aroused.
Then, his ear caught a sound wave that startled him. From a distance, he heard a voice say, “Well, he is going up to see what is inside the roof.”
Lucky turned pale. His heart jolted and his fleshy face sagged instantly. He considered crawling back to his room but realized it would probably take ten minutes to get back to his room and that was too much a time in this tight corner. If he remained there, the person would pick him up. If he moved to the rear, he could collide with the man. As he contemplated what to do, a sudden sweat broke out on his face. He simply did not know the direction the man coming up would take.
Then, he saw a beam of light illuminate the roof. That told him without words all he wanted to know, and he thanked God for it. Moving fast but quietly, he crawled away in the opposite direction, leaving the camera behind.
It wasn’t until he had reached the end of the roof that he remembered he had left his cutting-knife behind. Cursing under his breath, he hit the ceiling gently with his elbow. It cracked and he removed the debris ensuring none fell to the floor. He looked down through the opening and saw no one, and then he lowered himself onto the floor. As he released his grip of the roof, a powerful beam of light flooded the area.
The security man caught a glimpse of the camera but from where he was but couldn’t make out what it was. He switched off his light and climbed down.
“You can go to bed,” he said to Dennis, and sauntered down the corridor towards the small room he had taken the key from.
By now, Lucky was leaning against the wall, fully alert. His eyes widened with every footstep heading in his direction. He spotted a closed door opposite him and dashed across the corridor to turn its handle. He was pleased to find it unlocked, and then sneaked into the room before closing the door behind him.
The footsteps were much louder now and Lucky’s heart was thumping faster. The door handle began to turn, and in response, his heart skipped a beat. “I am toast.”
With the speed of lightning and the stealthy movement of a cat, he moved to the right side of the closet and plastered himself against the wall. As the door swung open, it hemmed Lucky in, concealing him from view. He watched as the night dick went to the key cupboard on the left and hung a key. He was too occupied to notice Lucky’s feet sticking out from under the door. After he left the room and shut the door, Lucky heaved a sigh of relief.
He listened to the fading footsteps before putting a makeshift ladder together to use to climb into the roof. Crawling surreptitiously, he went back to where he left the camera.
The time was now about 06:00hrs and the streets of Port Harcourt were getting lit up by traffic. Traders and artisans could be seen on the busy roads, carrying out their businesses. Okada men in search of passengers appeared to dominate the traffic. And commercial buses were speeding down Mile 1, towards Leventis Park. A few others, mostly private cars, were heading to Marine Base.
Adjacent to the Sharks Stadium was a cyber-café. And in front of it was a giant mango tree. Under its shade was Val Lucky in his parked car. There was a Redeemed Christian Church located on a nearby street. The pastor’s sermon on infidelity could be heard from a distance, blasting through speakers.
Lucky wrinkled his nose before lighting a cigar. He had a long draw at it and allowed the smoke to drift out through his nostrils. He had been under this mango tree for about thirty minutes now after checking out of Novotel around 5:15pm. It was important he left the hotel before Masa and Binta. From where he was now, he could have an uninterrupted view of the driveway to Safari Nightclub.
The night before had been a busy one for Lucky who didn’t sleep a wink. After he had gone back to his hotel room, he felt sleepy but decided against it. If he tried, he could over-sleep which would be bad since he desperately needed to find the lady. To help him stay awake, he watched television.
Fast-forward to him in his car at 6.30pm, and he was still chain smoking. Minutes later, a Prado jeep emerged on the road. As the car sped past him, he lifted his head. Binta was spotted sitting at the passenger’s seat. He tapped ash off his cigarette and nodded. In no time the jeep reappeared and negotiated Bank Road.
Lucky then noticed a brand new KIA Optima drive out of Safari with the help of his car’s side mirror. As the car drove past him, he straightened up and saw Binta at the wheel. She drove round the bend and joined the major road. Lucky stubbed out his cigarette, and threw out the butt. Then he shifted his gear and went after her.
She drove through Marine Base and burst unto Ogbulabali. The traffic on that road was slightly congested. As she slowed down, Lucky did the same, allowing three cars to come in-between their two cars. After a short drive, they reached Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout. The traffic this time was heavy and Binta was forced to wait. Behind her was Lucky in his car, drumming his fingers on the steering. Some minutes later, the traffic light changed green. Binta lifted her foot off the brake pedal and the car surged forward.
At Aba Road, Lucky was stopped by the traffic lights but Binta managed to cross over. He cursed under his breath in response. An elderly traffic control officer motioned for him to reverse but Lucky was far from noticing him. He could only stare-ahead with his whole mind was on Binta. He had somehow lost her, thanks to the goddamn traffic light. As he waited impatiently in the car, another traffic control officer, dark and huge, moved towards him. He flung Lucky’s car door open and as he turned to see who it was, the man’s thick palm came down on his face.
“Come on, get back! Son of a bitch,” the man barked at the top of his voice.
Lucky looked at him, blood draining from his face. He lifted his heavy shoulders in a resigned shrug, selected a reverse gear and edged back.
That he met Binta was by chance. His interest was solely in Masa, but Binta looked like a lady with cash. “Who knows?” he thought.” She could just be another source of fortune.”
The traffic light finally turned green. Lucky stepped on the gas pedal and the car shot forward. Going at high speed, he meandered past the stream of cars in front of him. As he continued up the road, he caught a glimpse of an ash-coloured KIA Optima blinking its left turn signal. The car turned and drove into Bori Camp. Lucky himself, driving recklessly, swerved into Bori Camp. Not knowing that she was being dogged, Binta drove into the quarters. Lucky’s Jetta gathered speed and came out of Bori Camp through the back gate.
The time now was 17:25hrs. Sitting in his singled cushion gaping at the television, cigarette in-between his fingers, was Val Lucky. He had driven back to Achebe Estate after tailing Binta to no avail. He managed to shave, and after, he had a hot bath and dozed off. When he woke up at 14:00, he realized he was aching all over. He leaned forward, and reached for a bottle of Scotch but the pains were too much, so, he withdrew his hand. To him, he had endured a sleepless and stressful night and now, he was getting the result.
Forcing himself, he rose to his feet, and dragging one leg after the other, he moved to the kitchen. From the top of the cupboard, he took some pain pills and swallowed them. As he turned to leave the kitchen, he remembered he had not eaten anything food that day. He switched on the gas cooker, prepared some Indomie noodles and eggs. He then carried the meal to the sitting room where he ate it hungrily.
Feeling much better after the meal, he sat on the sofa and listened to the news at five. There was not much in the news that day but it took time for the program to finish. It was at 17:25 that the newscaster started rounding off. Lucky then switched off the television, grabbed his mobile phone and dialed a man named Ebi’s number. He didn’t have to wait long before his voice came through.
“Hello there, Val...”
“I want you down here now. And be snappy!” Lucky barked before cutting the line.
He then dialed Steve’s number and said, “Hurry down to my apartment.”
Both Steve and Ebi could be found sitting on the sofa 15 minutes later, listening to Lucky.
“She was fair. Was fair, slim and very beautiful. Her car was a brand new KIA Optima, ash in color and with the plate number CR 270 CAL. Record the precise time she leaves and the time she comes. Update me each night and make sure nobody suspects you. At the gates are smart and ruthless soldiers who would take pleasure in pounding you like yam.”
Steve shifted uneasily in his seat in response to Lucky’s statement. For a huge man, he was surprisingly a coward. He tapped ash off his cigarette, took a long draw at it and blew out a stream of smoke into the air.
“How do we go about that?” he asked looking confused. “We can’t loiter around with the soldiers there.”
Ebi, one leg crossed over the other, folded his arms and leaned in his seat.
“Don’t worry your head,” Lucky said. “I’ve got that organized. The plan is that you’ll be supplied with recharge cards, which you will hawk around the gates. With that nobody will pay attention to you. But play it smart, and don’t give yourselves away.”

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Product Details
Author: Nelson Ofokar Yagazie
Publication date: 11/19/2014
Pages: 93
Product dimensions: 398 x 600
More About This eBook
Overview
Two political heavy weights were in the race for Rivers State gubernatorial seat. Both were of the same party, PQP, which happened to be the ruling party in an almost one-party state. PC Masa seemed to be having an upper hand over his closest opponent, Luke Baridam. Realizing his bleak chance, Baridam's camp contacted Val Lucky to blackmail Pc Masa and throw him out of the race. Smart and efficient, Lucky did a clean job, but he had his own idea - the idea of getting hold of six million naira - an idea that pitched him against four determined forces.
To Masa, it was a case of some bright boys trying to pick quick cash. But deputy Police Commissioner, Sam Gideon, thought otherwise. Suspecting a political undertone, Gideon trailed the blackmailer - an act that gave him the shock of his life.
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Nelson Ofokar Yagazie, a product of University of Port-Harcourt, is a native of Nsukka LGA. A fun-loving fellow, Yagazie is a typified Gemini. He is also the author of "THE SPIRIT BEHIND THE MASK", an action-packed thriller. A born skeptic, and a realist, Yagazie is an ardent follower of Niccolo Machiavelli.
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