Jordan could not control his emotion as Linda walked in, almost naked. She had on her, a skirt that is better described as a pant, worst still it was stripped at the sides almost to her waist. As she walked, her underwear were clearly seen. She put on a transparent vest that is sleeveless and did not cover beyond her navel. Evidently she did not wear bra. Her breasts jiggled as she cat-walked inside the large office. Unusually, Jordan was with his wife, but it seemed the man of God has forgotten his wife was with him as he fixed his eyes on the exposed body of the young lady who appeared to have come for a parade in his office. Jordan was so overwhelmed in his amazement to the extent that his wife needed to tap him to call him back to attention.
“What can we do for you?” Mrs. Jordan asked.
The lady ignored the question until she got to the table where Jordan and his wife were.
“Please, can I sit down?” She asked
“You can sit” Mrs. Jordan replied.
“I have come for counseling, pastor. My name is Linda Jackson, I live at the City Junction. I am a student of the State University” she started.
Neither the pastor nor his wife talked, they only shook their heads, signaling to her to continue.
She stretched her legs in an apparent attempt to be more comfortable, but that did not only fully expose her tights but also her pants.
“I have a lover who I will better call a sugar daddy, I don’t know where he works or lives, and he only visited me on campus and has never given me any clue to know his identity. I called him Prince as he asked me to be calling him. He used to visit me every weekend. Then he suddenly stopped coming. I tried his numbers but it was always switched off. Occasionally, the call will get through but nobody would pick it. Coincidentally, the time he stopped coming was the time I discovered I am pregnant. Now I am three months pregnant and I cannot trace the whereabouts of my husband.”
“Are you saying you are pregnant and you are still dressing like this?” Mrs. Jordan asked surprisingly.
“The doctor said I am thirteen weeks pregnant” she replied
“The doctor said or you are pregnant?” Mrs. Jordan asked again.
“I think I am pregnant” she replied and exposed her thighs more
“Young lady, do you have any reason for dressing like this here today or this is the way you normally dress?” Mrs. Jordan asked.
“Madam, it seems you are more concerned about my dressing, but I don’t really see anything special there, I am a campus girl, and that is the way we dress on campus” she replied
“But now you are somebody’s property, you are no longer Miss Jackson; you suppose to be Mrs. Prince. Do you think Prince will be happy to see you like this?” Mrs. Jordan asked
“I dress like that in his presence” Linda replied
“Bless you, Miss Jackson,” Pastor Jordan talked for the first time “I think the first thing we need to counsel you on here is moral conduct before we talk about your missing husband ” he continued
“Perhaps prince has run away from you because of dressings like this and some other immoral acts you may have been indulging in, in the name of being a campus girl” Jordan said
“Even if Prince suddenly appears and you tell him you are pregnant, I don’t think he will want to accept a whore as a wife” Mrs. Jordan cut in.
“Madam, are you calling me a whore?” Linda asked sharply
“You are not better than one” Mrs. Jordan replied
“Please stop that” Jordan cautioned his wife
“Pastor, I think I will come and see you when you are alone” Linda said and rose up
“Never you come here again” Mrs. Jordan said
“But what is the meaning of this, is salvation not meant for sinners?” Jordan asked his wife
“You can follow her” she replied.
Pastor Jordan looked at his wrist watch, it was 18:45. He was almost late for the prayer session the Pentecostal pastors usually have every Friday. The prayer is between 7:00 Pm and 8:00 pm and they stick strictly to time. The prayer will be held at pastor Akinwale’s house which is a 15 minutes drive from his house, so if he waits a minute more they would have started the prayer before joining them, something he hated so much, but now his driver has not come. Jordan waited for two minutes more and then decided to drive himself. He bid his wife goodbye, entered his Honda Accord Executive car and drove off.
Hardly had he driven for two minutes that his phone rang. He looked at the phone; it was Pastor Akinwale’s number. Jordan though he wasn’t late yet, so why should Akinwale call him now.
“Bless you sir, I am on my way” he said
“Sorry pastor, today’s prayer has been rescheduled” Akinwale said
“Why?” He asked
“The union executives have an urgent invitation from the State’s Council this morning and they believed they would have been back before now, the chairman called me just now asking me to reschedule the meeting to maybe Saturday or Sunday. As soon as we have concluded I will call you again” he said
“O.K, Bless you” Jordan said
“Thank you and God bless you too” Akinwale replied and dropped the call.
Just as Jordan was dropping his phone the phone rang again. This time it was an unknown number.
“Bless you, who is speaking?” Jordan asked
“Hello, It’s Linda Jackson, can you still remember me?
“Oh bless you my daughter, hope you are not annoyed with the way my wife reacted to you in the morning?
“Well I am a bit annoyed pastor, but I think we can talk it over” she said
“How do you mean?” The man of God asked
“I don’t really mean anything special. I just can’t come to that your place again, if you can do me a favour, then I will be glad. If you can come over to my place” Linda said
“No my daughter, you have taken a good decision by coming for counseling in the house of God. Don’t let the devil use my wife to discourage you. I still wish you visit again I have a lot of important things to tell you and if you follow them, I am sure what looks like a heavy load to you will be lighter than air”
“Pastor, if indeed God wants to use you to solve my problem, why can’t you come to my place, your wife is hell”
Jordan thought momentarily, indeed he knew his wife was hot tempered and he saw an opportunity to visit this helpless lady as the meeting he was going for has been cancelled.
“Well are you at home?” Jordan asked
“Yes Pastor” She replied
“Where do you live?” He asked again
“The City Junction, I will send the detailed address to you now”
“O.K, bless you, I am on my way” Jordan said, terminated the call, and drove towards the road that led to the city junction.
He was just driving straight, waiting for Linda’s message.
The junction was a little far from his house and he knew he may be getting home late if he did not drive at a high speed. Linda sent the address and it didn’t take Jordan a long time to locate her house. She lived beside the Governor’s official residence. When he got there, Linda has been waiting for him in front of the house. She put on knickers and a sleeveless top that exposed more than half of her breasts. Her top covered only the front part leaving the whole of her back bared.
“Welcome sir” she greeted Jordan.
“Bless you my daughter” Jordan replied.
Linda led him to her apartment. It was flamboyantly furnished.
“What should I offer you sir” Linda asked.
“Don’t worry my little girl, I won’t stay long”
“Yet, you should take something” She insisted.
“Let’s discuss the issue I came here for first. For how long has your husband disappeared? Jordan asked.
“About three months ago” she replied.
“Could it be that he has intentionally run away?” he asked again.
“Not likely, he loves me so much”
“But if he loves you, he would have taken you home or at least shown you his identity. By hiding himself from you, it appears he has an intention of running away anytime he chooses” Jordan observed.
“No pastor, he explained to me that he has a devil as a wife”
“Yet he is supposed to let you know where he lives and work or at least his real name even if he will not take you home”
“He said he cannot trust me that I might come and make some noises with his wife
“And you said he loves you. The man loves his wife”
“No pastor he only feared his wife”
“Okay. Has he been acting like that before?”
“For what maximum period of time has he left you before?”
“He has never spent any two weeks without visiting me even when I was still living around that your place”
“Have you lived in my street before?” Jordan asked surprisingly.
“I have known you since, pastor, you used to come and pray for us”
“Where?” Jordan asked.
“Don’t worry sir” she replied.
“Bless you. Since when have you……” Jordan started then stopped.
“Is there any other person in this house” he asked.
“Seems I heard footsteps”
“Can’t be anybody except my landlady. Let’s continue our discussion” Linda said.
“Bless you. I said since when have you known Prince?”
“Two years ago”
“And he has never missed coming to you every weekend|
“Can it be that he took ill, was involved in an accident or in a serious police case?” Jordan asked.
“That is my fear pastor” Linda replied.
“Then the first thing in such a situation is prayer. Have you ever prayed for him?”
“I wish but I don’t know how to” Linda replied.
“So Linda, the first thing you will do now is to write a prayer request to the prayer warriors and ….
“Pastor that shouldn’t be the first thing” Linda interrupted. “You have been talking since. I think the first thing is to get you something to eat” she continued.
“Bless you my daughter, but I don’t eat outside. It’s almost dinner time and my wife would have been expecting me for dinner. I will eat with my family” Jordan replied.
“So I am not part of your family? She said seductively.
“After you have written the request, you will then ensure you get closer to God yourself, especially now that you are pregnant. You will then …”
“Pastor we are talking about food, you are saying something else” Linda interrupted again.
“Bless you Linda, I think I need to let you know that whatever happens, abortion is not part of the options, especially now that the pregnancy is three months” Jordan said.
“So, if you won’t eat, should I get you fruit juice?” Linda asked.
“And let’s talk about your dressing too, especially now that you are a wife” Jordan said
Linda smiled and said “It seems everything has to go with especially now. So I will get you drink, especially now that Prince is not around you will take his position”
She left and came back with a bottle of tonic wine and two glass cups.
“I said I don’t eat or drink outside” Jordan protested.
“You will do that here” she said as she placed her hand on Jordan’s shoulder.
“Remove your hand” Jordan said in an angry tone.
“I am sorry sir” she said and returned to the wine.
As she was pouring the wine into the cups, Jordan stood up and started walking towards the door. She lifted up her eyes and saw Jordan at the door.
“Why sir? You drove all the way from West End down here and you won’t finish what you came here for. You know I cannot come to your house, your wife is a devil”
“Don’t call my wife a devil” Jordan replied sharply.
“I’m Sorry pastor. Come and sit down” she pleaded. Jordan returned to his chair and said
“I am spending three more minutes here. First thing I asked you to do is to write a prayer request after that I will personally….”
“Wait pastor” Linda interrupted and moved towards him. She knelt in front of him and put her two hands on his laps. She said
“I am sorry to have described your wife in such a way, seems you love her so much”.
Jordan kept quiet. Linda looked directly into Jordan’s eyes and said
“Pastor do you share my burden? Do you know how it is for someone like me to be abandoned by a man?
Jordan pitied her but at the same time he knew she was seducing him. Since his many years in Christian ministry, he has met many ladies like that before and he has learnt how to resist them but it seemed his resisting power was fading this time as he looked at Linda’s beautiful face, smiling softly to him. He felt an urge to wrap her in his arms. He knew that if he did not start going immediately, he will fall into the trap.
“I am going, I think I have tried enough. You are the devil, not my wife” he said and stood up.
Linda stood up immediately, moved very close to him and held his two hands
“Haven’t I said I am sorry for calling your wife a devil?” she asked
“Okay, I have heard but I am going. I came here for counseling and if you won’t listen to my advice, let me go”
“Alright you are not going. How else will I make my intention know to you” Linda said
“I know your intention and I won’t allow satan to use you against me” Jordan said.
“Well if you want to go the door is opened” Linda said and moved to a three seater cushion chair in the room.
She removed her knickers and top.
Jordan stayed at the door for almost two minutes staring at Linda who was completely naked except for the G-string she was wearing. She was smiling softly. Her smiles and beauty were quite inviting. Jordan was reluctant to leave. He knew the implication but somehow he has lost his resistance. Gradually, he moved back to her.
Jordan came back to his senses. He looked at his wrist watch; it was few minutes to eight. He threw away the lady and quickly put on his clothes.
“I am sorry pastor. I promise it won’t happen again” Linda said.
Jordan ignored her and started walking towards the door. Linda followed him. They walked out of Linda’s apartment and started walking towards the gate. The place was dark.
“Are you still following me?” Jordan asked her.
“Maybe. But I want to buy bulb for this place as well. The bulb got burnt yesterday” she replied then Jordan suddenly realised he has forgotten his Bible.
“My Bible!” he said
“Oh! It’s on the table. Let me go and bring it for you” Linda said and rushed back to her flat.
Jordan waited outside.
Jordan waited patiently in the dark for few minutes but the lady refused to return.
“But what has she been doing for this long” he asked himself.
Then a figure appeared in the dark, the first glance Jordan had at her showed clearly the person was not Linda, the person was tall and slim, walking in an unusual manner. Jordan could not ascertain whether the person was a male or a female, but he noticed the person was carrying something in his hand, perhaps a book. Jordan turned quickly and faced the wall to prevent the person from seeing his face. When he was sure the figure had gone he turned back.
“Who could it be?” He asked himself.
Then he decided to check Linda in her room.
When he entered the sitting room, he met full darkness. But he was sure there was light in the room before he left. He tried to locate where the electric switch was, he found it and put on the light, but Linda was not in the sitting room. He was terrified.
“What could have happened to the girl?” he asked himself.
“Linda” he whispered, but there was no response.
He moved towards her bedroom, he became more afraid. He gently opened the door. He met darkness again. As earlier done, he looked for the switch and put on the light. Then he met the surprise of his life.
Lying face up was Linda on the bed, one hand was beside her side and the other spread away, her two legs were also spread apart. A kitchen knife was dipped deeply into the right side of her rib cage, blood was still flowing out slowly from the point of the cut, the whole bed was soaked for blood. Certainly she was dead. Jordan did not know what to do immediately, but he knew he was in real trouble.
Jordan has almost left the scene before he realized he may need to take precautions. He took out his handkerchief and wiped his fingerprint off all the materials he has touched in the house, then he rushed to his car and drove away.
“Where are you coming from? Mrs. Jordan confronted her husband.
“Didn’t I tell you where I was going before I left?” he replied.
“You have been lying, man of God. You are not coming from Pastor Akinwale’s house”
“What are you saying woman? Please I am tired I need a rest” Jordan said and tried to enter the house while his wife tried to block the entrance with her body.
She said “You are not resting until you have told me where you are coming from.
“What else do you want me to say, is this the first time I will be going to Pentecostal pastor’s prayer meeting on Friday evening?”
“Pastor Akinwale has called our landline over an hour ago, believing you must have been at home” she said.
“Akinwale called you? Jordan asked surprisingly.
“Can you see your life man of God? Pastor Akinwale said the meeting has been rescheduled and that he has informed you before. He only called to tell you that it has been shifted to Sunday evening”
“But why can’t he call me on my mobile phone” Jordan queried.
“He used a landline to call and it would be cheaper. Now answer me, where are you coming from?” Mrs. Jordan insisted.
“Woman, I need a rest now. I will tell you everything you want to know tomorrow morning” Jordan said and set to enter the house.
“One more thing pastor” Mrs Jordan said quickly “Where is your Bible?” she asked.
Jordan stood motionless and speechless. The horrible scene he witness at Linda’s bedroom has made him to forget his Bible completely. But what a fool has he been. He thought. Now he has given a cheap evidence to the police.
“I said where is your Bible?” his wife asked again.
“How can you be asking me about my bible? It is in the car. If you want to eat it you can take the key” he said pointing the car key to his wife.
“When did you start leaving your bible in the car? You usually read it every night”
“For your information, there are over twenty bibles in that room of mine” Jordan said and entered the house.
That night he could not sleep.
“I can bet it, the killer is a female” Parker said as he sat on a chair in Linda’s sitting room.
“He could be a man” Habby protested trying to get a chair as well
“I can bet it with my rank” Parker said again.
“No need for betting let’s wait for the result of the test, it will soon be out and we will have something to act on”
“Laboratory test will not tell whether a killer is a male or a female but no man would kill a woman with a kitchen knife, especially an expensive one” Parker argued.
“What if he took the knife from Linda’s own kitchen?” Habby asked
“Killers always come with their own weapons and men without weapon usually suffocate their victims especially when the victim was a female” Parker explained.
“Anybody can use a knife” Habby insisted.
“Kitchen knife is a woman weapon” Parker replied.
Simon Habby and Andryl Parker were detectives of the homicide department of the States Security Service. The duo were always working together and their combination has a reputation of cracking very difficult problems within a very short time. They have arrested an international terrorist within three days he entered the country. They have caught every member of the mob that massacred the staff of a bank in Abuja within 48 hours, eleven of them and at different locations. It appeared like a miracle to the whole nation when they announced two years ago that they have arrested the assassin who assassinated a popular politician just twelve hours after the assassination. Now that Linda was murdered very close to the Governor’s house, the Commissioner of Police in the state knew that the Governor has got all the evidences he needed to press down his demand. The Governor and many other notable citizens of the state have written many petitions against the state police boss on his incompetence. Crime rate in the state was increasing by the day and the police was not doing anything. The Inspector General of Police has traveled out of the country and is expected to be back in a day time. It was rumoured that he is going to take action on the state police boss immediately he returns. The state police boss realised this too and knew he has to crack this case before the I.G returns. By doing so, the murder will not be added to the endless list of crime in his territory and he will also use the result of that as a proof of his competence. But he was certain that his boys could not track down the killer in the time interval that he has, that was the reason he sent for Habby and Parker of the States Security Service.
When the professionals arrived the state, their assignment was very straight forward – to discover the killer and have him arrested within the next 24 hours. The police promised to give them all the support they may need. They were to report to the police chief in the district.
“How long will it take these officers to return” Habby asked rhetorically about the district police officers they have asked to quiz the people at the neighbourhood concerning the murder.
“Believe me pal, from the time I have stepped into this state and I have seen the way their police are, I have lost all confidence in them. They are nothing but a bunch of mauries” Parker replied.
“But does it take any professionalism to question people about murder incidence that has just occured in their domain? Habby asked again.
“Well, let me call their chief and ask him to direct them back to us with whatever information they may have” Parker said and took out his phone.
“Hello, detective Parker is speaking. The boys you gave us have not returned since over an hour. Please, radio them and ask them to return to us immediately with whatever information they have”
“Oh sorry, officer Parker. The boys have returned to me. They said they did not get any meaningful information” the police chief replied.
Parker looked at Habby disappointedly and said “What a numskulls the police in this state are. Can you believe that they have returned to their station without even informing us? Keeping us waiting here?”
“So what are we going to do now?” Habby asked.
“I am going out to question the people myself” Parker replied.
Habby’s phone rang. After receiving the call he faced Parker and said “Call from the laboratory. The results are out.”
“And what do we have?” Parker asked.
“Nothing Parker, nothing. No fingerprint, no foreign blood, No mark, no scratch but the boys detected some sands which do not belong to the soil of this area, on her foot mat” Habby replied.
“Then we have something. It showed she had a visitor” Parker said.
“Don’t be a balletho. We know that before. She lived alone, so if somebody killed her, automatically, he was a visitor” Habby pointed out.
“I mean she had a visitor not from this area” Parker clarified.
“Certainly but I think the special thing is that the sand discovery is a step in proving my male killer theory” Habby said.
“Ladies shoes don’t carry significant sand” Habby replied.
“If anybody can use kitchen knife, then any shoe can carry sand” Parker argued.
“The boys are gathering sand of different locations now, in the next three hours we are going to know where the sand belongs” Habby said then his phone rang and he picked it.
When he was through with the conversation, Parker asked
“Any other news?”
“I told you the killer is a man”
“What is the news?”
“The lady was 94 days pregnant” Habby replied.
“So how does that confirm your male killer’s theory”
“Somebody impregnated her, most likely a respected and happily married man who will not want his wife to know, a celebrity, a popular man of God or a politician will be ideal to fill that vacuum. The man pressurized her for 94 days to abort the pregnancy but she refused. At this stage, it was clear that she was no longer interested in abortion and would prefer to be a wife. To prevent the disgrace, embarrassment and problem that this may cost our man, he decided to kill her” Habby explained.
“Well that is your theory, by the time we question people around I will tell you mine” Parker said and they both moved out to question her neighbours.
The first person they talked to was the lady living in the next flat to Linda in the same compound. They met her coming out from the bathroom. She wrapped herself only with towels as she was talking to them. With the way she wrapped the towel, Habby thought it may fall down any moment.
“We guess you are the closest neighbour to Linda, the lady that was murdered last night” Parker told her, almost like reminding her.
“Maybe” the lady replied.
“We want you to tell us all what you know about her” Parker continued.
“All I know is that somebody was living in the flat next to me. I have no idea who she was” the lady replied.
After some time the detectives realized they were wasting their time with her they left for the next neighbour.
The next person they questioned was the man living in the house opposite to her compound. He told them he did not even know her name.
“But you have seen her before”
“No. The presence of the police in that house yesterday was what made me know somebody was living there”
“So you don’t know how she looked like?” Habby asked.
“I have never seen her before” he replied.
Habby took out some pictures.
“Look at these. That is the lady. Do you know her now?” he asked.
“Oh! Do you think I am lying. I said I have never seen her before?”
“Okay, do you know where the pictures were snapped?” Habby asked
“Of course, this is the State University” he replied.
“Which part of the University?” Parker asked.
These three were taken at the motion ground. The place was constructed basically for snapping pictures” he said separating some pictures from others “And the rest were taken at the senate building” he concluded.
“How do you know these? Parker asked
“I passed out from the University”
“And you did not know this lady” Habby asked
“That will be the fourth time you will be asking me”.
They apologized and left.
“Now we know where to trace her” Parker said
“Yes, though the motion ground and the senate building are places where anybody can take pictures but they are still somewhere to start from.
“And can you see how less informed this State Police are. They cannot even identify their own State University” Parker said.
“I don’t think much of them Parker, let us concentrate on our own investigation and believe we are working absolutely on our own” Habby advised as they entered the flat of Linda’s landlady.
“Ma, we are sorry to come and disturb you again but it seemed nobody knows anything about this young lady, so we have no choice but to come back to you” Habby said.
“No problem my sons” the old woman replied.
“Ma, I wish you tell us everything you know about this young lady” Parker requested.
“She came to me about four weeks ago requesting for an apartment. She told me her name was Linda and that she was a student. Since I have a vacant flat in my house I offered her. Although accommodation is very expensive here, as you can see, we are Governor’s neighbours but she could easily afford my fees. So I gave her and she packed in immediately. Since then I have never seen anybody visiting her and she did not go out frequently. All I noticed about her was her immoral way of dressing. I decided to talk to her about it. So yesterday evening I went to her flat, but just as I was about to knock the door, I heard a strange voice speaking inside her sitting room. So I turned back, waiting for the person to go. Some minutes later I heard the sound of a car driving away. I guessed the person has gone and I immediately went to her apartment, well when I got there I think I have already told you what I saw, a knife between her ribs.” The old woman concluded.
“Thank you ma” Parker begun “Do you know her surname?”
“No. I asked her when I wanted to write the receipt of her house payment and she said I should just put her first name alone”
“And you did not insist on getting the surname or she insisted on not telling you” Parker asked
“I think I am too old to be insisting on protocols” she replied
“Ma, she said she was a student, did she mention the name of her school?” Parker asked again.
“No” the woman replied.
“And you have no idea the school it could be”
“I am too old than to be thinking about such things”
“You said you heard somebody talking in her room yesterday, did you hear what he said” Habby asked
“Yes, I heard the person saying bless you, even twice” she replied and Habby looked at Parker’s face then Parker asked “Any other thing?”
“Nothing again that I can remember now” she said
“Maybe you can remember later” Parker said
“I don’t think I can ever remember anything again other than what I have told you. I am too old for cramming.”
“But you heard other things even if you cannot remember” Habby said rather than asking.
“I am not sure. At this my age I shouldn’t be listening to other people’s conversation”
“Is the voice you heard a male voice or a female voice” Parker asked.
“Can’t remember again, my memory is fading. I even doubt if I can distinguish them any longer” the landlady replied.
“But with your age you can still remember the person saying bless you. Maybe it was not exactly bless you, maybe it was God will bless you or you are blessed” Parker queried
“No it was exactly bless you. I can still remember because my father used to say bless you a lot so when I heard this person saying bless you I remembered my father immediately. So it couldn’t be another word” she replied.
“But this person was not your father” Parker asked.
The old woman laughed comically and said “My father died long time ago. Am I myself not due for death already?”
“And the voice did not sound like that of your father, a male voice” Habby asked.
“I said I didn’t take note of the voice”
“Okay just guess. What did your instinct say, a male or a female?” Parker asked.
“I hate giving police wrong information. I don’t know”
“You said your fees are high but the lady could afford it easily, did she look to you like a rich lady?” Habby asked.
“Yes she looked so or at least, someone that has a rich sponsor. You know she was beautiful” she replied.
“You said you heard a person driving out, did you hear him driving in” Parker asked.
“No. I noticed when the person was driving out because I was waiting for it” she replied.
“And how did the car sound?” Parker asked again.
“I am old, I cannot say certainly but to some extent it sounded like one of the cars I have used when I was like you” she replied
“And ma, can you please name some of the cars you used in your youthful days?” Habby requested.
“I am too old for that. I don’t think I can ever remember again and I don’t keep records but throughout my life I have been driving cars manufactured by Honda”
“Last thing madam, are you aware that the lady was pregnant” Habby asked.
“Ewo! So she died with pregnancy” the old woman exclaimed.
Anybody can say bless you “Habby teased as they left the old woman.
“Yes anybody can say bless you” Parker replied.
“I think I have got the direction of my investigation. I am looking for a man of God who drives Honda car. If he says bless you frequently it will be an advantage”
“So what are you going to do?” Parker asked.
“I will get all the ministers of God in the district interviewed. If anyone says bless you frequently and drives Honda car then I will get him thoroughly investigated” Habby replied.
“I can bet it you will see hundred gross of men of God who drive different Honda products in this town alone”
Habby looked at his wrist watch and said “don’t forget we only need to wait for few more minutes before we know where the strange soil belongs. I don’t need to search the whole town for Honda car.”
Parker breathed deeply “I think I am taking my own investigation straight to the State University campus. My mind did not follow you chasing any Honda car up and down. I can bet it, the woman that is too old to know that surname needs to be written in a receipt, too old to distinguish between a male and a female voice, will certainly be old enough to take the sound of a bicycle for that of a car”
Pastor Jordan looked confused as his wife entered his office with the day’s newspaper.
“What a shocking news, the lady has been murdered” Mrs. Jordan said
“Which lady” Jordan asked pretending as if he was ignorant of Linda’s death.
“The lady that came here nakedly yesterday” She replied
“You mean Linda Jackson?”
“Yes. She was killed last night” Mrs. Jordan replied and offered her husband the newspaper but he did not collect it.
He was just looking like a confused man.
“They said two experts have been invited to investigate her death.”
Jordan did not reply, he became so afraid that it was clearly shown on his face.
“What is the problem, Pastor?” Mrs. Jordan asked surprisingly.
Jordan did not reply.
“I said what is the problem? Why are you looking like this? Do you have a skeleton in the cupboard, have you been visiting her? Hee my God! Help me” she lamented.
Jordan shouted “What sort of nonsense are you saying woman? A lady came here for counseling and you chased her away, now she is dead and you expect me to be jubilating. Who knows, if you have allowed her to stay maybe our word of advice or our prayers may have saved her life. Now her blood will be asked on us”
His wife dropped the paper on the table and left.
Jordan hurriedly scanned through the story, then he read it in details looking in particular for where they will mention the evidences the police have, but none was mentioned. Haven’t they seen his Bible? He asked himself. His name and address were clearly written on the Bible. If the police have seen that, certainly they would have contacted him. Then what has become of his Bible? He asked himself again. Then he remembered the strange figure he saw that day was carrying a book. Could that be his Bible? What would the person do with his Bible. Certainly the person could not be protecting him.
Suddenly an idea came to him. His wife was tall; she just fit the figure he saw that night. She hated Linda so much that she chased her away. She was hot tempered and might believe this lady with her action the day she visited might want to snatch her husband. The devil might use her and she might decide to kill Linda. Maybe she had selected a time she thought he will be at the Pentecostal Pastors’ meeting, but coincidentally, the two of them were at Linda’s place at the same time. After killing Linda, she still did not want to put him in trouble so she helped him to take his Bible. Maybe that was the reason she noticed immediately he came back yesterday that he was not with his Bible, since the Bible was already with her.
The idea seemed so perfect to Jordan that he decided to sneak into his wife’s room and search it, hoping to see his Bible there to confirm his theory.
“My name is Andryl Parker, I am a detective of the Homicide Department of the States Security Service, I am investigating the murder of one of your students” Parker said to the Dean of Students Affair of the State University and showed her his identity card.
The corporate woman looked away from the I.D card presented to her and looked down on Parker as if he was wasting her time then she asked “Who among our students? We have not got any news that any of our students was murdered”
“Her name was Linda” Parker replied
“And her surname” the Dean asked.
“I don’t know” he replied.
“What department and level was she?” she asked again.
“I don’t know either” Parker replied.
“Was she a full time student, part time student, prelim, degree, diploma or postgraduate student?” the Dean asked.
“Sincerely ma, I have no idea” Parker confessed.
“Was she murdered in the school?” she asked again.
“Then who told you that she was a student of our school?” the Dean asked angrily.
“She told her landlady that she was a student” Parker replied
“Of our school?”
“She was not specific”
“Then you are making an empty assumption” the Dean said.
“Not an empty …….”
“Look man!” the lady interrupted “This is not the only school in this country. You better go to the Ministry of Education to get the list of other schools”.
“But she took pictures in your school”
“That is rubbish. Anybody can take pictures here. We don’t ask for I.D card before we allow people to take pictures” the Dean said looking at the wall clock in her office as if she was timing Parker.
Parker took out Linda’s pictures and handed them over to her.
“Look at her maybe you can recognize her” he said.
The Dean took a glance at just one picture and said “Mr. SSS we have hundred thousand students doing various courses and programmes in this school and another hundred thousand staying legally or illegally with them and yet another hundred thousand in our different satellite campuses all over the country, so how do you want me to recognize this harlot among the lots?”
“But you should have an album containing the photos and names of all the students in the school.”
“Well we have a register for names but not an album for photos”
“Then can I have it?” Parker requested.
“You may not need to waste your time, I can assure you, you won’t see less than a thousand lady bearing Linda either as their first name or second.
“I can cope with that” Parker replied getting happy that he was making progress.
“Well, the register is not with me. It is with the Registrar and he is out of the country now. You can come back in the next two weeks” the Dean said.
Parker was disappointed “This is an urgent case madam”.
“So what do you want me to do? To go and call him from Jupiter because you have an urgent case?” the Dean asked looking at the wall clock.
“I am investigating a murder case, it may interest you to know that the State Governor, the Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General, the Deputy Speaker and the House Leader are all interested in this case, so it may worth it if we break open the Registrar’s office by all means in case there are no spare keys” Parker recommended
“Even if God is interested in the case, you would need a court order before you can forcefully break open the office of a university top official, hard cop” the Dean told him.
Parker hated being called a cop and he expected this highly educated woman to know the difference between the police and the State Security Service.
“This is a case that must be cracked within the next twenty hours madam, and court order cannot take less than twenty four hours” Parker said
“I am sorry I cannot help you further and you can take your leave now” the woman said almost ordering him out of her office.
“How far have you gone?” the District Police Chief asked Habby.
“I think we are looking for a minister of God that is driving a Honda car as our first suspect” he replied.
“There are thousands of them driving Honda cars in this city” the
“Our investigation will be narrowed down to a particular area in the next few minutes. Can I get twenty plain-cloth policemen with journalist I.D. cards”
“What do you want to do with them?” the police chief asked.
“I want them to interview as many ministers of God around as possible, there is a particular statement I am interested in”
“But my boys don’t have another I.D. card than that of their profession”
“Can’t they prepare one?” Habby exclaimed.
“We don’t have such machines here” the chief replied.
“Don’t you know any commercial place you can do it?” Habby asked angrily.
“I think we should be able to get one” the chief replied.
“So when are we getting it?”
“In the next six hours”
Habby laughed and asked “Are you just going to manufacture the machine?”
“You know we need to take the passport photographs of the boys first”
“You mean you don’t have the passport photographs of your boys ready?”
“I am not sure”
“Then we can leave the issue of I.D. card. I can’t wait for six minutes before taking action. Let them go without the card, not many ministers of God will ask for I.D. card before granting interview” Habby said.
“What are they going to do?” the chief asked.
They should just engage the ministers of God in discussion and record the conversation. Any discussion will be okay. If I go through the recorded conversation I will identify the person I am looking for”
“But how are they going to record the conversation”
Habby was surprised “What sort of question is that, don’t you have recorders?” he asked angrily.
“We have only one in this office and one it is not functioning properly” the chief replied.
“But why all these inefficiency in this state” Habby queried frustrated.
“Mr. Habby I wish you know the situation we are passing through here. Nobody is financing the police” the police chief explained then his phone rang. “It’s your friend” he said as he picked.
“Hello sir, can I get one hundred policemen in plain cloth?” Parker asked on the phone.
“Hundred policemen! What do you want to do with them, are you going to a war?” the chief asked back.
“What about eighty or seventy?” Parker asked again.
“I don’t think so”
“So how many can I get?”
“For now, we have only two officers left in the station”
There was a pause then Parker said “Send them to me in the State University now. When they get there let them call me”
“So how am I going to get my own twenty boys” Habby asked as the chief dropped the call.
“That is still another issue” the chief replied and Habby shook his head.
“But you said you are looking for a man of God, then what is your friends doing in the State University. The police chief asked.
“Sensible detectives don’t investigate in only one direction” Habby replied.
“Can you tell me all the success you have made so far” the District Police Chief requested somehow authoritatively.
Habby was reluctant to give information but he has been mandated to report to him, so he narrated all their discoveries holding behind the word “bless you” not trusting the police enough for such sensitive word knowing full well that if the public is aware that he is looking for a man who says bless you frequently nobody will say it again.
“You told me about one statement you are looking for, how did you come about that”
“It is no word in particular . The landlady said that the man has a peculiar way of talking and uses some word frequently so all I wanted to do before is to look for a man of God that speaks in a peculiar way” Habby lied.
The police chief could not comprehend what he said but chose not to question him further.
Again, his phone rang.
“Sir, I have not seen the boys you promised” Parker said on the phone.
“Sorry, I have not sent them. Gimme a minute I will send them right away” the chief replied. “Excuse me” he said to Habby and walked out of his office.
He returned two minutes later and called Parker. “Sorry Mr. Parker, one of the two officers I promised is not around and the other is busy, he will be available in six hours time. Can you wait for him?” then he realized Parker has terminated the call.
While he was talking with Parker, Habby was talking on the phone with the technologist. When both finished, Habby said “The call was from the laboratory experts, they have discovered the location of the strange sand I told you about.”
“And where is it?”
“West End. Can I get the map of the district?” he asked and then called Parker.
An idea came to Parker as he left the Dean of students’ affair’s office, he should make an obituary of Linda with the horrible picture of how she was slain and paste it at different locations in the school. A police officer in plain cloth should be positioned close to each place that the obituary is pasted, he would listen to the discussion of the people as he was sure people would always gather there and pass different comments. From there he could get useful information or at least get somebody that would know her. He therefore took his phone and called the district police chief.
‘Hello sir can I get hundred policemen in plain coat’ he said.
“Hundred policemen! What do you want to do with them, are you going to a war?” the chief asked back.
“What about eighty or seventy?” Parker asked again.
“I don’t think so”
“So how many can I get?”
“For now , we have only two officers left in the station”
“Send them to me in the State University now. When they get there let them call me”
He called a student and asked him where he can do a clear and very urgent computer graphic work. He was directed to PrintCottage.
After twenty minutes the work was done, by then he has been expecting the policemen to have arrived, he took his phone and called the chief again.
“Sir, I have not seen the boys you promised” Parker said on the phone.
“Sorry, I have not sent them. Gimme a minute I will send them right away” the chief replied.
After some time, the chief called again. “Sorry Mr. Parker, one of the two officers I promised is not around and the other is busy, he will be available in six hours time. Can you wait for him?” Parker angrily terminated the call.
“Indeed the police officers in this State are numskulls, because he needed the assistance of just one police, he has to wait for six hours.” He thought.
Then he decided to do it alone. He would paste it in one place first and listen to the comments of the people.
After listening for twenty minutes it became almost cleared that there won’t be anybody that knows the lady. Some people that even claimed to know every event on the campus were saying it confidently that the lady was not a student of the school and they wondered why her obituary should be pasted in the school notice board. Then as he was about going to another location he heard two young men talking,
‘Look at the way they killed her’ one said.
“Do you know her?” the other asked
“Not really, I think I have seen her once with Janet” he replied.
“Which Janet?” his friend asked again
“The one in our department” he answered
As the boys left, Parker followed them.
“Excuse me” Parker said ”Please where is the Mechanical Engineering Department?” he asked.
“Oh far from here. You will go to the school of engineering, it is far you can take a bike or board a cab” one of the men replied.
“What department are you” Parker asked.
“Banking and Finance” one replied.
“Thank you” he said and moved straight to the place the bike people are he asked one to take him to the Banking and Finance Department.
As he was getting off the bike his phone rang. It was Habby.
The thought of Habby and Janet was a good coincidence. Habby’s ex in Abuja was Janet, but she was not a student of Banking and Finance. She was beautiful, elegant and outspoken. Something told Parker that this Janet Jane too will be beautiful, that will mean all Janet are beautiful. So he just looked round the many ladies at the departmental building, apparently looking for the most beautiful among them. He was satisfied with one, he has almost assumed automatically that she was the Janet, so he moved closer to her and said
“Excuse me, I am looking for Janet Jane”.
He has made a mistake, She was not Janet.
The lady looked around.
“Wait a minute” she said , then she pointed to a lady “That is Janet.”
Parker has not made so much mistakes, the lady was better described as a beauty queen. Apart from her outstanding beauty, everything about her was expensive. Her jewelries were made of pure diamond, she used an expensive wrist watch, wore Italian gucci shoes and had an ipod in her right hand.
“Indeed all Janet are beautiful, but certainly not all of them are expensive.” Parker thought.
“Hello!” Parker said
“Hi!” Janet replied
“Have you heard that your friend is dead?”
“Which friend of mine” Janet asked back.
“Linda” He replied
“Who is Linda?” she asked again.
Then Parker showed her the obituary.
“So this girl is dead” Janet said but not emotionally.
“It’s mysterious” Parker said.
“Who are you by the way?” Janet asked sharply
“I am detective Parker”
“So you are a cop. I am sorry, I don’t talk with corpers, I hate Nigerian police” she said and moved away quickly.
Parker ran after her
“Excuse me” he said
“I am not a police; I am a detective of the Homicide Department of the States Security Service Abuja”
“So you are an SSS agent” she said
“I hate SSS more than the police” she said and walked away
Parker ran after her again
“But this killer is still at large, who knows who he will target next” Parker said
“I can take care of myself” she said and walked away again.
Parker ran after her
“Hello, I can offer up to fifty thousand grand for meaningful information” he said.
Janet hissed and said ” look at me very well and estimate my worth, my father is an ambassador, my mother works with I.M.F” she hissed again and walked away.
Parker tried to evaluate the lady. She is a class. Her jewelries alone cannot cost less than two hundred thousand naira. The last time he saw the kind of her shoe was when he was in Amsterdam, then it was marked one thousand two hundred dollars. Her wrist watch too cannot cost less. Her Ipod was made of special stainless steel, the kind of phone Apple advertised for two thousand dollars. He has not evaluated her cloth, it seems there is no need for wasting time on that anymore. He has realised she was not the type of a lady he can entice with money; perhaps he can provoke her to say one or two things.
He ran after her again, then she has got very close to her Lexus car
“But what kind of a bastard ambassador is your father, that you, his daughter, hate the nation security agents. How I wish the nigger decides to kill you next or one of your goddam family.” he said
“That is impossible,” Janet replied “I guide my deeds and I don’t walk in the valley of the shadow of death. And next time you fuck with my father you won’t find it funny explaining yourself to the jury” she added, entered her car and drove away.
But she has said something, Parker was happy, to Parker no comment is a comment. “I guide my deeds and I don’t walk in the valley of the shadow of death”
Parker reasoned, so Linda was not guiding her deeds and she walked in the valley of the shadow of death. What could this mean?
Her landlady has told them her dressing was immoral, that was also clearly shown in her picture, perhaps she was a prostitute or she dated killers, married men or something like that. The old woman told him she looked like someone with a good sponsor.
Then he heard someone calling him, he looked back and saw Habby
“Detective Andryl, When did you start running after beautiful ladies on campus?” Habby asked
“Oh you have been looking at me”
“I have been watching since the past five minutes, did she finally agree?” Habby teased
“And her name is Janet” Parker said
“All Janet are devils” Habby replied
“Have you got the map of West End?” Parker asked
“Don’t mind the brainless ascaris, the map cannot be available until after six hours” Habby said.
Parker laughed and said “It seems nothing can be done in this Sodom earlier than six hours. No wonder Janet hates Nigerian police”
“Oh is that why she turned you down? You should have told her you are a banker or an engineer, at least you have over twenty I.D cards with you, you are handsome enough for any bird, you wouldn’t have run that much before she agree” Habby teased again.
Parker did not reply, rather he moved near where the bike men were
“We need not take a bike, I came with the car” Habby said. Parker ignored him and faced the motorcyclist
“Excuse me, do you Know West End very well?”
“Yes, where are you going there?” the cyclist asked
“Is there any hotel there where I can see high class prostitutes?
“Go straight to Hilltop Hotel” The cyclist replied. Parker thanked him and moved towards where Habby parked their car.
“Have you taken this dame for a prostitute?” Habby asked
“Which dame, Janet?” Parker asked back
“Who knows your Janet? I am asking about Linda” Habby said
“I will explain everything to you in the car” Parker replied
“You know that member of the house the CP introduced us to in the morning?” Habby started
“The one he called Animal something”
“Not Animal, it is Animashaun”
“Yes, what did he do?”
“He called me just now he wanted to know if we will be able to crack the case before tomorrow morning”
“And what did you tell him?”
“I asked him to call me back in six hours time”
Parker laughed and said “When you are in Rome”
When they got to West End, they stopped in front of a church to ask for direction. The gate of the church was opened; Pastor Jordan was standing at the gate.
“Good afternoon pastor” Habby greeted.
Parker looked at his wrist watch to confirm whether it was indeed afternoon.
Habby was wrong, it was two minutes to noon.
“Bless you my sons, what can I do for you” Jordan replied.
Parker looked at Habby’s face
“Bless you too pastor, where is Hilltop Hotel” Habby asked
“Just go straight and turn to your right, you will see the hotel” Jordan said
“Bless you sir” Habby said again.
Parker was not happy the way his friend was abusing the word “bless you”.
Habby waited a bit resting on the steering of the car. He peeped into the compound and saw a Honda car parked beside the church. Jordan stood by the gate wondering. He could not understanding the reason the young man was mimicking him and why they have refused to drive away after he has described the place they were looking for to them. He was sure Habby was using the word “bless you” just because he has used it.
“We are police officers” Habby said
“Bless…..” Jordan wanted to reply, then he stopped, “you are welcome” he said and then became terrified.
Have they come to arrest him? He asked himself.
Suddenly the car accelerated and it drove away. Then Jordan got relieved