Seven military policemen pulled a man into the police station, the man looked dirty like someone who had not bathed for some days. His beards are unkempt and looked rough. Traces of blood can be seen on his jeans and shirt. At a guess he would be around forty five years old. From his looks he had probably grew from Oshodi or Ojuelegba neighbor hood. His hands were cuffed behind him. No one knows why he was arrested except for the few police officers that ran after DPO.
The DPO is a tall and broad shouldered, he has a scar covering from the lower part of his nose up to his eyes. A small potbelly disfigured his sportsman stature. As soon as he came down from the marked police jeep he started walking quickly towards the building as some officers ran after him. At the entrance to the building some officers saluted him . He waved at them as he walked quickly past, he was thinking about the suspect. How a writer could be involved in a case like this still baffles him.
The case might involve some highly placed people and it won’t be a good idea assigning an IPO. If someone highly placed is involved and some information gets out it may cost him his job. There must be some level if secrecy in handling matters like this. Experience has thought him to be careful when handling cases involving highly placed people.
Two officers were taking the suspect to the counter. One of them pushed him behind the counter. The lady sergeant at the counter was about to start the detention procedures when the DPO who was about going into his office stops, looked at the orderly standing behind him. He wanted to be sure that he was properly dressed, then he said.
“Tell those guys to bring the suspect to my officer immediately” and he stepped into the office.
Inspector Sanni, one of the IPOs walked past the orderly. He disliked the orderly. He wasn’t the only one that disliked the orderly, most of the officers in the station disliked him. The orderly was arrogant and didn’t give his superior officers due respect.
“Sir…” The orderly was trying to talk to Inspector who snubbed him and walked into the DPO’s office. The DPO was sitting on the couch. He had taken off his police cap. The inspector saluted and stood a distance away from the DPO.
“Yes, what can I do for you” The DPO asked the inspector.
“I am waiting for your order sir”
“There’s no order, am handling this by myself”
The DPO had been grudging Sanni over a girlfriend issue. The DPO feels that an officer that dates the same girl with his boss is not a loyal officer. Sanni was seeing Amina, his girlfriend.
“Yes sir” Sanni turns to leave. He knows that the DPO’s hatred for him was all because of Amina and he was always careful when dealing with the DPO. He didn’t understand why the DPO won’t leave Amina for him. The DPO is married and has six children. He wasn’t married and could have married Amina if not for his fear for his boss.
“Please bring the suspect here. I will handle this one, if there is a need for an IPO I will let you know. For now you can go”
“Yes sir” Sanni saluted and left the office. On his way he met Inspector David and the orderly coming in with the suspect.
“Oga says he is handling the case by himself” Sanni told Inspector David, then takes a stern look at the suspect. He walked back into the office with David, the orderly and the suspect.
“Permission to fall out sir” Sanni asked the DPO. The DPO nodded in reply. He didn’t want Sanni around him, he irritated him. Unknown to Sanni, the DPO was already planning his transfer from the town. The less of Sanni Amina sees, the better it would be for his relationship with Amina.
“I am handling this myself” he tells David. “Tell the sergeant at the desk to prepare the detention note”
“Yes sir” David salutes and walked out of the office.
The suspect is now alone with the DPO in the office. He stood with his head bowed and his hands cuffed behind him.
“Come over here” The DPO yawned. He had not slept for some days.
The suspect walked up to a short distance away from the DPO.
“Do you drink?” The DPO asked and the suspect nodded as the Police chief walked to a small fridge and brought out a bottle of whiskey. He poured some of the content into a glass and threw it down his throat. He was a bit shaky.
After a second shot, he walked to the suspect and unlocked the cuffs. He felt pain where his wrists were cuffed.
“You know why I am doing this?” He asked.
“No sir” The suspect answered looking at the DPO. They were almost of the same height and size.
“And you want to know?” The DPO bent across the desk and brought out a tape recorder from the drawer.
“Yes” The suspect answered. He wasn’t sure if the police already knows everything.
“Hmm” The DPO said, “You don’t seem to talk much, do you?” He didn’t wait for the suspect to respond, he continued “I am trying to help you so that you can tell me everything about The Red Scorpion, and why you killed your wife” He walked behind the desk and sat down.
“Come over” He signaled to the suspect who walked towards the desk.
“Please sit down” The DPO said as he poured out a shot of whiskey into a glass for the suspect. “Tell me about yourself”
“I am Chucks” The suspect answered. “I am a writer and a businessman”
The DPO listened attentively as the suspect talked about his background, family and business. The suspect’s statement was being recorded on a tape recorder.
“Now that I know so much about your back ground I need to know why you killed your wife and what the red scorpion is all about”
Chucks, looked up to the roof like the answer was written there. He wished he wouldn’t have to narrate the whole story of his life. If the DPO or any of the police investigators must understand his story, then it has to be a story of the whole of his life. At least starting from when he met Florence.
He remembered Florence for the first time since after he was arrested early that evening. Everything had happened so fast that he had forgotten her. She was dead, and gone for good. At least he can live a peaceful life now. Florence death still makes him feel sick. Death is a funny phenomenon, it doesn’t announce its coming, and when it comes, it can take any form. Death can come through sickness, accident or by murder. Florence died by murder, murder carried out by him to free himself from her.
He noticed the DPO was tired and looked sleepy. And a thought to escape came to his mind. There must be a way to escape from the police. He remembered the small plastic bottle in his pocket. The bottle contained hydrogen gas. It was supposed to be use in a kidnap they were planing before he murdered Florence. He was planning to give it to the man that will carry out the kidnap later that night.
He started his story.