ROOM 39: CHAPTER FOURTEEN
As Mbe got into the limousine, he got the shocker of his life. Mr Collingah senior had in some mysterious way escaped from the prison. Mbe didn’t know how nor when, but he certainly knew that Mr Collingah didn’t serve his term in jail. He was also aware that neither himself nor his team are relevant to Mr Collingah Sr anymore. If he could get out of prison without them, he definitely had connections that go way up above Mbe and his men.
Sitting beside Mr Collingah Sr at the back seat of the limousine was his son who has been running the entire Collinghas’ empire while his father was in jail. There wasn’t any exchange of pleasantries when they saw Mbe. As Mbe entered the limousine, the driver immediately drove away. When they got to the point where Mbe had waylaid the security guards that transported the drugs, the driver stopped and asked Mbe to get out of the car. As he opened the door, Mr Collingah jr told him that he had three days to return the drugs and all the documents or lose his family forever. As Mbe got out of the car, the driver quickly drove away.
When Mbe got out of the car, he quickly ran home to plot strategies on how to rescue his wife and kids. He knew that the Collingahs desperately needed these drugs and especially those documents. He didn’t know how important those items were to the Collingahs, but he knew that whatever made them that desperate, to the point of kidnapping his family, and warranted the appearance of both Collingah sr and jr in that limousine, meant life or death to them. So, he decided to change the game, to dictate the tune with those priceless possessions in his custody.
He quickly called two of his friends and told them that he planned to use those items against the Collingahs. He was convinced they weren’t going to harm his family until they had laid their hands on the drugs and documents. Three days were enough for him to visit Chukwuma and get the items, but he delayed purposely to know what the next move of the Collingahs would be.
Two days have passed since that threat was made and Mbe has refused to contact them. He hasn’t contacted Chukwuma either to get the drugs and documents out of the safe box in the new antiterrorism building where he hid them. In Mbe’s opinion, it’s best to leave the drugs and documents there until he was sure of the release of his family, colleagues, with a huge sum of money in recompense.
Well, Mbe was making a big mistake. It is true that the Collingahs desperately needed those items, especially the documents, but one thing Mbe didn’t realise was that the Collingahs weren’t ready for any negotiations this time. They were not ready to do any further business with Mbe and his team. All they wanted were those items and they are ready to kill just to lay their hands on the stolen items. They wanted Mbe and his cohorts to return the items with no delays, else they’d come after them and their families till the last man is dead.
When the third day arrived and Mbe wasn’t forthcoming with the items, the Collingahs called him and gave him an hour to deliver, or they’d kill one of his children in front of his wife. Mbe pretended not to understand the weight of the threat, but rather threatened to expose them to the public. He vowed to go to the news media and expose all their dirty activities, with highly indicting documents and video clips. That threat further infuriated the Collingahs, and at 6pm that evening Mbe received a shocking video message.
He was with his friends in an abandoned warehouse planning on how to rescue his family and the other colleagues that were kidnapped by the Collingahs, when the video message came in. The sender was from the camp of the Collingahs. Mbe quickly signalled one of his men to open the message so they could know what the Collingahs were up to. As the video played, the images that were displayed were horrifying to say the least. Everyone in the hall was shocked and for the first time they knew that the Collingahs had no limits to what they were willing to do to get those stolen items back
The video clip showed Mbe’s teenage daughter sexually abused on video by Mr Collingahs’s men until she passed out. Everyone in the hall was petrified for long minutes after the video clip had ended. Mbe didn’t know what nor how to feel. He was both raging inside and feeling very cold outside. He’s an evil man but he’s never done nor thought of going this far in his evildoings. What was more alarming was when the voice of Mr Collingah subtly came up at the end of the video saying, “Mbe, guess who’s next?” and the video pans to the right showing the face marred visage of Mbe’s wife.
After seeing the video, Mbe’s countenance changed. His plans have been shattered by what he saw. He now knows that the Collingahs were not disposed to negotiate at all. They were ready to rape and kill his wife and children and still come after him and the drugs. Mbe was furious and for a moment thought of driving straight to the Collingahs compound and shooting everyone. But he knew that that would mean the end of his entire family and of himself. So, he resolved rather to do what the Collingahs always asked for – deliver the drugs and documents and get his family back.
It was now around 7.30 pm the third day when Mbe decided to yield to the demands of the Collingahs. So, he quickly drove to Chukwuma’s office that evening to collect the drugs and documents that Chukwuma was asked to keep some weeks ago. Mr Chukwuma often closes from work at 6pm. But today he stayed longer because he had some foreign visitors who had come to discuss a new project they were embarking on. He was done with the construction of the new Antiterrorism Unit’s building and so was free to take up another major project in another part of the country or even outside the country.
When Mbe arrived at his office at 7:40pm, Chukwuma had closed from the office and was walking towards his car. Mbe hurriedly drove towards him and got out of his car to meet with him.
“Please, I need those items we gave to you to keep for us a few weeks ago. I need them now.” Mbe said.
“Excuse me. You need those items now?” Chukwuma responded shaking his head.
“Yes, I do. I need them now. Right now.” Mbe’s voice was shaky as if he was about to cry. But also, desperate.
“But it’s late already. Why do you need them now?” Chukwuma questioned.
“How is that your business?! We gave you the items to keep for us and now we need them. Simple.” Mbe’s desperation was now growing more visible.
“But you also told me that it was the FBI Director that asked you to keep the items in a safe place here. How is it that he suddenly needs them at this time of the night?” Chukwuma further probed. It was unbelievable that the FBI Director would make such request at almost 8pm, without prior notice. So, Chukwuma seemed suspicious of the whole thing.
“What the hell is wrong with you?! We gave you items from the FBI Director and the Director needs them now! Is that too hard to comprehend? Go inside there and get me those drugs immediately! Mbe shouted.
“Drugs? What the hell are you talking about? Drugs? Did you give me drugs to keep for you? Chukwuma said bewildered. He seemed completely lost, as the conversation was sounding more and more strange to him. First Mbe shows up at his office to hide some items from the FBI Director with no prior notice, and that very hurriedly. Then, the same Mbe shows up at night to collect the said items, still with no prior information from the FBI Director. And now he learns that the said item is illegal drugs. The entire conversation was getting weird, and Chukwuma doesn’t have ‘weird conversation’ on his to-do list that night.
“So, you mean that the items you gave me to keep for you in the safe box of this building meant for the Antiterrorism Unit are illegal drugs?” Chukwuma questioned further.
“Yes, drugs man! We gave you some drugs and documents to keep in that hell of a safe house or room or whatever you call it. Now we need them. Just go in there, get me the items – the drugs and documents – and we’ll be fine.” Mbe said, reaching for his gun.
At this point, Chukwuma didn’t know what else to do. Should he refuse to give to Mbe the sensitive items that he isn’t sure the FBI Director had asked him to bring, or should he just give the items to Mbe and walk home, then act as if nothing happened? He pondered.
While he pondered, Mbe’s voice roared again “Get the hell in there and get me those items, or I’ll kill you here and go in there to take them myself. I missed you the last time and I’m certainly not going to miss you today if you fail to give me those items. You’ve been messing around with a lady that I love, and I’ve kept my cool. If you don’t get me those drugs and documents now, I promise that you, your daughter, and everyone you love won’t see the dawn. We know where you live, what you do daily, and all the people related to you.”
Chukwuma didn’t initially understand what Mbe meant by “I missed you the last time.” But his mind quickly flashed back to a couple of weeks ago when he was been trailed by a dark vehicle close to his avenue. The vehicle had followed him from around his office to the entrance of his avenue. He recalls that it was after a police van passed that the vehicle trailing him disappeared.
That was Mbe. After his attempt to woo Chika failed, he continued to stalk her. And lately, he has grown increasingly jealous of the relationship between Chukwuma and Chika and was determined to stop it using any means possible. The said night he trailed Chukwuma with the aim to threaten him in front of his daughter. And if Chukwuma insisted on continuing the relationship with Chika, he wouldn’t hesitate to shoot him.
Thanks for reading. Here is Chapter 15.