There is nothing like family, or a good support system to count on in your time of need. If not for the presence of my family and TK’s family, I don’t know how I would have remained sane. I was so worried about Oladunni. Was she being fed? Was she sleeping well? I could just imagine her calling out for me, or TK or her nanny and feeling we had all abandoned her. I said another prayer for my baby as I waited for the Inspector in charge of the case to finish interrogating TK in his study so I could go in for my own session.
It had been two days since the incidence and the police was in our home interrogating us all over again. I couldn’t wait to find out who the culprit was so he or she could get what they deserved; I was optimistic it would be soon as the Inspector General of Police himself was requesting for constant updates on the case because of his relationship with The Duchess. We had not heard from the kidnappers since the first call and it made the matter all the more sensitive because it was clearly not a ransom case. If the motive was money, they would have made a demand by now according to the police.
It was eventually my turn to go in and I was very agitated.
Inspector: I know this is a very difficult time for you in particular, but it is necessary that we make sure we are not overlooking any detail. We have asked each guest at the party to replay the entire party in their head a dozen times and so far nobody has remembered seeing anything suspicious. The restaurant’s security cameras were disabled earlier that day and the management did not even realize it till the incident occurred. We have concluded it was an inside job and everyone is a suspect including you!
Me: You must be out of your mind to suggest that I am capable of kidnapping my daughter! What would my motive be?
Inspector: You tell me. Have you reunited with Emeka your ex-lover and decided to run away with him and Oladunni? It won’t be the first time, would it? After all, you purchased two tickets to America in your name and Oladunni’s a few months ago. The tickets haven’t been used and unlike your previous trips you purchased them from your personal account instead of having your husband’s office make the reservation as usual. During my interrogations with your husband’s PA she denied any knowledge of the tickets, can you explain?
Me: Those tickets were bought when I was having issues with my husband, what are you implying?!
Inspector: I am not implying anything simply stating the obvious. You bought tickets to the United States for yourself and your daughter without your husband’s knowledge. The news from the grapevine is that you intended to run away with Mr Emeka Odiachi and from the news that went viral on social media you were having an affair with him.
Me: What is all this rubbish, I won’t take this insult from you! I don’t have to!
I was so angry; I pushed back my chair and rose to my feet. I was ready to walk out and slam the door as hard as I could, but his next words stopped me.
Inspector: Is your ego more important to you than finding your daughter?
He had a point; I had to cooperate for Oladunni’s sake. I conceded and sat back in the chair.
Inspector: Tell me about Mr Emeka Odiachi.
Me: Emeka was my first boyfriend. We dated in the university, it did not work out and he relocated. By the time he moved back to Nigeria, I was married with a child and we rekindled our friendship…our platonic friendship!
Inspector: That is an abridged version but I will spare you the details since we are both aware of the real story. Your husband already clarified what happened between three of you and his story confirms what Mr Emeka also told us during his session. Do you believe he has any reason to want to get even with your husband or even you?
Me: Why would he want to get even? We have settled everything and I don’t think he is capable of that.
Inspector: Do you believe Mr. Emeka is still in love with you?
Me: He has a girlfriend! She was there at the party, you questioned her yourself.
Inspector: I asked you a yes or no question Mrs Ayo-Kessington. That is not a suitable answer. Please answer the question directed at you.
Me: No I do not believe Mr. Emeka is still in love with me.
He opened a file and passed some of the papers in them to me. It was a print out of some emails between Emeka and me, including one where Emeka was telling me he would always love me and would never give up on us.
Me: This doesn’t mean anything. It was a goodbye message.
Inspector: There are messages in that print out where according to you, Mr Odiachi was behaving obsessed. Infact if I remember correctly there was one where you accused him of stalking you and your family.
Me: This is just a clear coincidence Inspector. I don’t believe Emeka kidnapped my child. He has no motive whatsoever.
Inspector: Oh Mr. Emeka is not the suspect here Mrs Ayo Kessington.
Me: Then who is?
Inspector: Moving on…how would you describe your relationship with your father?
Inspector: He was at your party; that is not the sign of a non-existent relationship.
Me: Believe it or not, that was my first time of meeting my father ever.
Inspector: I am aware. What I am not aware of is why the day your father appears, your daughter goes missing. A little suspicious don’t you think?
Me: Why would he kidnap his own grandchild?
He ignored my question.
Inspector: How would you describe your father?
Me: I told you I only met the guy two days ago, I can’t describe him.
Inspector: Fair enough. Is there any history of kidnapping in your family?
Me: Not that I am aware of.
Inspector: Ok. So you are not aware your brother was kidnapped by your father’s family at the age of 8 when you were a few days old? He gave a very vivid description of the experience and confirmed you two had discussed the event recently.
Me: Wow…I didn’t even remember that.
Inspector: It is my job to remind you. Who would you consider your closest friend who is not a member of your family?
Me: Linda Okonkwo
Inspector: Have you ever had any differences with her?
Me: Nothing major.
Inspector: Ok. But would you describe your issue with your friend Banke Bello as a major issue.
Me: That was ages ago. Banke apologized for what she did and I have forgiven her. She has absolutely no motive to do this to TK and me.
Inspector: So who do you think has a motive to do this to you and your husband?
Me: Quite frankly I can’t think of anyone that would want to see us suffer so much.
Inspector: That would be all for now, Mrs Ayo-Kessington. Thank you for your cooperation.
Me: So based on the information you have gathered so far who is the prime suspect?
Inspector: I cannot share that information at this time but trust me it’s always the person you least expect.
The next day was my antenatal appointment at the hospital. I didn’t want to leave the house, I had been indoors since the incident but
TK insisted that I go. I was in a daze throughout the ride to the hospital. My sister-in-law had offered to follow me but I insisted on going alone, I had been so suffocated by having so many people around me I just needed fresh air. Ever since we had received the threat against Bella, some armed policemen had been deployed to act as security detail for us. One of them was riding in the front seat of the car with me and there was a patrol car with 3 other armed policemen behind me.TK was taking no chances.
On my way, my phone rang. It was an unknown number; I knew it was the kidnapper. I didn’t know whether to pick the call or not, considering the fact that I was alone. I didn’t want to have the conversation without TK there but my need to find out about my daughter’s welfare was stronger than my logic, so I picked the call.
Stranger: I have been trying to get you alone Anjola.
Obviously, the kidnapper was keeping tabs on our movements. Otherwise, how did he know I was out of the house and alone?
Me: Is my daughter ok, please can I talk to her?
He didn’t respond but the next voice I heard was Oladunni’s.
Me: Hello My darling. This is mummy. Are you ok?
Oladunni: Yes. I am watching Olaf.
She was watching Frozen, her favourite cartoon. Tears streamed down my face. She sounded like she was ok.
Me: Mummy misses you darling.
I didn’t get a response from Oladunni, the stranger spoke instead.
Stranger: Your daughter is fine; she is being taken care of. I won’t hurt her; this is between me and you.
He hung up and I called TK immediately to ask him to inform the police so we could find out if they were able to trace the call.
When I got to the hospital, I was immediately ushered into the doctor’s office. I asked the police officers to wait for me outside the doctor’s office. To my greatest surprise, when I went into the doctor’s office the man behind the door was not my doctor, it was Chief Akin Badmus…my father!
I gasped in shock! What was he doing in my doctor’s office? I immediately turned towards the door to raise alarm…. he rushed towards me and covered my mouth with his hand.
Chief Badmus: Don’t shout Anjola. I am not here to hurt you, I am here to help. I know who is behind Oladunni’s disappearance and I want to help you get her back, but we cannot trust anyone…and I mean anyone!