EPILOGUE AS PROLOGUE
……….Some have corruptly obscenely enriched themselves to the extent that several generations of their lineage cannot dent their ill-gotten fortunes. We will not allow you go scot free. Our demands are few. We demand greater accountability from those who govern us. Our methods are deadly. We will assassinate one member of the house and one senator every week until the leadership reduces its allowances by ninety percent. We will monitor every state governor, politician, private sector chieftain and Minister and reward corruption with extra judicial death. If you are called to serve, you are to serve the Nation, not yourself. We are highly trained, highly motivated and determined that this country will succeed.- Esquadrão da Morte
The policeman squinted into the distance. The heat from the expansive sand made the distant newly constructed block of buildings shimmer in the horizon. He was uncomfortable in the heat. Sweat oozed out from under his beret and trickled down his face in rivers and disappearing into the over starched NPF uniform. He did not wipe at his brow. His right hand was holding out an umbrella providing shade for a portly man chatting away at his cell phone. He himself was open to the sun. His left hand held very precariously a Kalashnikov AVM 7.62 mm assault rifle, the modernized version of the popular AK-47, while at the same time clutching several late model high end cell phones. The portly man was shouting at somebody at the other end of a late model Blackberry.
“Wetin concern me for the matter? I am a businessman not a philanthropist. I am a capitalist not a socialist. If the school has to go, so be it, the expansion of the hotel carpark must go according to plan. I’m warning you Kelechi, if by next week Monday that school is still there, you will lose your job. ” the man cut the connection and mumbled incomprehensibly under his breath for long moments as he attempted to make another call on the Blackberry. After several futile attempts he held it out to the policeman.
“Stupid MTN, give me Etisalat, though na the same mama born all of them?”
Wordlessly, the policeman collected the Blackberry and placed another phone, this time a Samsung Galaxy in the man’s hands.
The call connected on the third try.
“Nna, Im at the Admiralty Park site and I am not happy…” he bellowed down the phone, turning to look back at the block of buildings. When he turned, the shade provided by the umbrella shifted. The policeman quickly adjusted his arm a microsecond before the portly man turned to glare at him.
“……..I have sunk over three billion in this, I expect that by now you would have convinced the Minister to relocate the park to another place? “
The figure in black battle dress uniform looked at the pair through the variable magnification telescopic scope on his extreme long range precision CheyTac M200 rifle. The Israelis who were guarding the portly man had done their job well. There were no elevated shot points as far as two thousand yards out from the portly man, but they hadn’t factored him into their permutations. In the whole world there were probably only ten mortals who could deliver a kill to a soft target from outside of the mythic 2300 meter range.
“India Hotel to Bravo Hotel. I have a clear shot. Do you copy?” he said seemingly to himself but actually into a throat mounted microphone and radio array.
“This is Bravo Hotel, India Hotel. You have a go.”
He squeezed the trigger softly.
Mere moments after the Bugatti Veyron came to a stop at the façade of the Oriental Hotel, the doorman, who evidently knew who the car belonged to, reached out to the passenger door and opened it. The slim bespectacled man who came down, was dressed in a simple white kaftan and slippers. His face was pockmarked; evidence of some childhood battle with measles or chicken pox, and upon close examination, a diagonal tribal mark graced his right cheek. His only adornment was a solid gold Rolex on his right wrist and a humongous gold ring set with a massive opal on his wedding finger. Ignoring the envious stares from onlookers, he meandered his way into the hotel lobby and purposely navigated his way to a private lift marked ‘Presidential Suite Only.’
Three hours later, his hunger sated by the two young men, he emerged refreshed, a spring in his step as he entered the Bugatti Veyron and drove towards his house on Banana Island. It was two am in the only city in the world that never really slept.
As the powerful 16 cylinder, 8 liter supercar accelerated towards the toll gate and beyond, a dirty vagrant under the overhead bridge murmured into his throat mounted mic.
“Bravo Hotel, I have visual on the subject. Do you copy?” his voice was cold, emotionless, accent free.
“You have a go Mike Alpha.”
He squeezed the detonator softly.
Seun Odukoba, leered at the naked, statuesque, smiling girl dancing azonto at the foot of his bed in the low light. Her outrageously big breasts were flying about dramatically and his eyes followed them like at a tennis match. Her eyes did not smile; they were glazed over as if she was high on some controlled substance. Odukoba licked his lips and still watching, applied soft pressure on the girl on the bed next to him, gently but firmly pushing the back of her head towards his pubis. With the other hand, his eyes still on the enormous breasts of the statuesque girl dancing, he reached over for a glass by the bedside, then changed his mind and grabbed the whole bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. He took a healthy swig. And another. He pushed the girl close to him away and spoke to the dancer.
“Come here…..” his voice was cultured upper English caste, but it was thick with desire. “Get on your knees.” The girl laughed, turning her back towards him and bending over provocatively, looking back at him invitingly as her ample behind, curved into a shape that she knew was doing something to Odukoba ‘s system.
“Come do am oga…” her voice was thickly accented, light years from a British public school.
When he rose from the bed, his tumescence sticking out obscenely from under his enormous pot belly, the door to his left opened.
“I said I was not to be disturbed.” Odukoba said dismissively, concentrating on fitting protection as he positioned himself behind the girl holding on to her hips. Then something in her eyes, now tinged with a shadow of death made him look towards the door. It was a figure in battle dress fatigues. His head obscured by a black balaclava. In his hand was what Odukoba, who had had training with British Special Forces, knew to be a Glock 17 sidearm fitted with a muffler.
The man spoke softly as if to himself “Target acquired Bravo Hotel. Do you copy?”
“You have a go Kilo Papa.”
The man squeezed at the trigger thrice. Each one softly.
Kunmi Lawanson had been the editor of the The Day for nine glorious and not so glorious years, but he had never seen anything like the neatly typewritten note he just got from a courier. He couldn’t make sense of it, but if the three deaths were really connected then, this was the biggest story in the whole of Africa. First Hyacinth Goka, powerful senate president and controversial businessman assassinated at the site of one of his numerous construction projects. Then Sani Sami Sani, scion of one of the richest families in the country and Speaker, House of Reps. A bomb exploded under his exotic super sports car and finally Seun Odukoba, controversial super powerful elder statesman. Odukoba was the only non serving politician of the three but was easily among the most powerful men in the country, assassinated while cavorting with two girls in a secluded guesthouse. Then there was this group “Vigilante” with a new, sophisticated and dangerous brand of extra judicial justice. He looked at the name again. Esquadrao da Morte. That was Spanish for death squad. They claimed to be responsible for the several killings of controversial figures in the country over the past few weeks. The country had virtually ground to a halt, but even notorious oil marketing cabal had voluntarily disbanded. People had begun to obey traffic rules, queue when there was need, shun bribery; the society had begun to regulate itself. This was strange indeed. But then again these were strange times. He made the decision and picked up the red phone on his desk.