MOTIVE Episode Sixteen

Ateke was fast beginning to hate his phone, seemed like no good news ever came through it recently.
So when the phone rang while he was in the doctors office later in the day, he glanced at the screen: the police commissioner. He braced himself for more bad news.
“Hello sir!”
“Barrister Ateke, they are complications!” The police commissioner went straight to the point.
Ateke sighed. “What sort of complications?”
“The suspect has confessed.”
“Okay…”
“He said he was contracted to kill the senator by a woman who identified herself as Deola Lasisi.”
“What?”
“Calm down.”
“But Deola has been in the hospital, how did…”
“Exactly the point barrister, exactly. So, we alerted the bank through which payment deposit was made, for now they have confirmed that was the depositors name…”
“How?”
“Calm down barrister, calm down. I have requested a copy of the banking hall security tapes. We should get it very soon.”
“There has to be an explanation for all these. What will be her motive for killing him? She gains nothing if he dies.” He spoke his thoughts aloud.
“Greed barrister, greed. If she is connected in any way, the law will take its full course, doesn’t matter what the senator believes. I have to go, how is the senator?”
“The doctor said his vitals are improving.”
“Okay, keep me posted.” He ended the call.
Ateke whistled. “I tell you doc, this whole issue is fast turning into one ugly soap opera.”
“Life is one long soap opera.” The doctor chuckled sardonically. “I need to take advantage of this lull and have breakfast.” He glanced at his wrist watch “Its almost lunch.”
“I’ll join you, I’ve not had breakfast either.” Ateke said.
They both left the office.

When Deola screamed, her mother dropped the pot cover in her hands in fright. She ignored it as she and the maid rushed into the sitting room. Deola lay slumped awkwardly in the chair.
Chima who was on her way in, heard the scream and ran into the house.
“Deola! Deola!” Her mother called to her to revive her. “Water, get me….” She righted her head, the maid returned with a bowl of water. Mrs Lasisi sprinkled some on Deola’s forehead and tapped her cheek lightly. Deola roused with a start. “Call the driver.” Her mother instructed the maid who dashed out to do her mistress’ bidding.
“Mommy….”
“Ssshhh!” She hushed her. “Let’s take you to the hospital.”
“I’ll drive.” Chima said.
“What…..” Deola screamed as an intense pain tore through her, from her womb.

Corporal Francis read and reread the blog post through his phone with a sense of trepidation. He dragged deep on the cigarette he was smoking behind the police headquarters. Damn this blogger for saying his source came from the police headquarters, they were very few who had clearance to work on the Senator case, and if push comes to shove it won’t be difficult to identify the leak. He hoped the paltry fifty thousand he was paid won’t cost him his job.
“Corporal Francis!”
He snapped back to reality. “Sir!” He stood at attention. He had been so engrossed in the blog post he didn’t notice his superintendent join him outside for a smoke.
“Are you pinging?” Superintendent Dele asked as he lit a cigarette.
“No sir!”
“Are you reading your babe’s love text?” He laughed. “At ease, carry on!”
Francis quickly stubbed out his cigarette and hurried back into the station.

On returning from lunch, Ateke and the doctor went to Senator Tom’s hospital room to check on him, and met an obviously furious pacing Lady Ada Briggs. “What is the meaning of this?” She rounded on Ateke extending her mobile phone to him.
“What is the meaning of what?” He asked carefully, he had never seen Ada in a rage, and as such took a defensive step back, he noticed her PA sitting in a corner, typing rapidly on her phone. The doctor ignored their exchange and went ahead to check on the patient.
“The news is all over on all the blogs, on how Tom’s tart has been fingered in his attempted murder.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Take it, read for yourself.” She thrust the phone into his hand and resumed pacing.
Ateke took the offered phone and began to read, his eyes widened in surprise as he read on. Whoever was the informant did a thorough job.
“Did you have anything to do with this?” He asked Ada after reading through.
“Off course not. Why would I give information to the press and hide under anonymity. I want to know if there is any truth to this story?” She demanded.
He joined Mary to sit on the sofa. “The police are working on it.”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
The doctor cleared his throat loudly.
“Excuse me. The patient has shown tremendous improvement, and is likely to regain consciousness soon. It won’t do him good to wake up to a tense situation.”
“That’s another thing,” Ada cut in. “When were you going to tell me my husband had regained consciousness?”
“What are you talking about. The man is unconscious.” Ateke replied.
“Prior to the attack last night, he had regained consciousness but….”
“Excuse me, please, can we take this to my office?” The doctor interrupted.
“Yes, and while we are there, you will prepare the necessary papers, I’m taking my husband out of the country for better medical treatment. This Lagos is so toxic.” She said disdainfully.
“My office please.” The doctor urged.
“Mary, remain behind. Guard him with your life.” She instructed as she left following the doctor and barrister Ateke.

After hours in the theatre, the doctor emerged. The look on his face was enough confirmation of what both Mrs Lasisi and Chima dreaded. His insistence to see them in his office further heightened their fear. He didn’t have to tell them Deola lost the pregnancy, for they already knew it. Their fear was on the state of her health.

“Hello Barrister.” The commissioner of police voice sounded excited through the phone.
“Hello sir.” Ateke sounded and was tired.
“We have the tape with us, showing the person who made the deposit.” Now he sounded triumphant.
“I’m on my way…”

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