Bonnie ‘n’ clyde
The expression on TK’s face was blank…I couldn’t read it. Was he angry? Was he confused? Was he in shock? I couldn’t tell…he just stared at me and then I realized what he was feeling, my husband was scared. I walked over to him and held him, the way he had been holding me for the last four days since our daughter’s disappearance. He rested his head on my chin and pulled me close. I began to wonder if I should have waited a little before telling him what my father had told me.
Me: TK we have to let Chief Badmus help.
TK: His plan is dangerous Anjola. We could lose Oladunni forever.
Me: We don’t have a choice. Obviously, there is a traitor in our midst and we don’t know who. This is the only way we can find out TK.
TK: Let’s go to the police with this.
Me: They will make a move to arrest him, the traitor will alert him and it will be over for us. TK, it is not an option.
TK: Anjola, I trust your judgment. Our baby will come back to us, I know.
He touched my rounded belly
TK: I love you so much…all three of you.
Me: We love you too.
Ok this is what happened in the doctor’s office, as you know my father was waiting there. Apparently, he had been trying to get me alone but of course I hadn’t left the house since the kidnapping so as soon as he found out I was planning a trip to the doctor’s place he took advantage of the opportunity.
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!
Me: Why should I trust you? You appear, and my daughter disappears, a little too obvious don’t you think?
Chief Badmus: I did not arrange for Oladunni to be kidnapped.
Me: But you know who did?
Chief Badmus: Yes and it is because of me.
Chief: Look we have only a few minutes before your security guards try to check up on you. Let me explain; just sit down and listen!
I did as I was told.
Chief Badmus: I have a son named Jaiyeola. My first born child, my only son…well apart from Afolabi. We have a tradition in the Badmus family, everyone has a trust fund set up at birth but the first born son gets to be heir to the empire. The family companies, shares and stocks in companies, he gets the whole family estate. Two years ago I was told my liver was failing; I have been containing the situation with constant medical treatment and drugs. Earlier this year I was really ill, so violently ill that I needed a blood transfusion. Of course my first son, being my right hand man rose to the occasion and offered to donate blood. Unfortunately, he couldn’t and my first daughter had to step in. That was what aroused my suspicions.
Me: Your suspicions as to what?
Chief Badmus: You see the doctor who was treating me at the time is not only my doctor but a trusted friend. He told me that with the results of the blood work received from Jaiyeola, there was no way he was my biological son. With my concurrence, he went ahead and carried out a DNA test and the results confirmed what he had already suspected. Jaiyeola was not my biological son.
Me: What! Surely there must be a mistake!
Chief Badmus: I wish there was. You see I married Jaiyeola’s mother because she was pregnant at the time. She was a family friend and our parents had always wanted the union but I did not love her. She was beautiful and young so of course when she offered herself to me I did not resist but I had no intentions of marrying her. She came to me a few months later with a pregnancy result and the rest was history. I was trapped in a corner. I had to marry her because my parents valued her family in terms of business and social alliances. However, I did not expect that she would be carrying another man’s child so the paternity of the unborn child was never in question. We had a turbulent marriage especially when I fell in love with another woman…your mother, but I stayed because I decided to do what I had to do to continue the Badmus Empire as I was the first son. When I discovered Jaiyeola was not my son, I had no way of finding out the truth as his mother, my wife passed away years ago.
Me: Wait a minute…if Jaiyeola is not your son then…
Chief Badmus: Then Afolabi your brother is my only biological son and by tradition, the heir to the Badmus Estate.
I was in shock. Did Afolabi know about this?
Me: Have you told Afolabi this?
Chief Badmus: He won’t let me Anjola. He is so angry about the way he thinks I treated your mother. I fear he will never forgive me.
Me: But it still doesn’t explain Oladunni’s disappearance.
He smiled at me
Chief Badmus: Anjola you are just like your mother… impatient!
I smiled too…
Chief Badmus: What I did not know was that Jaiyeola’s mother had told him the truth before she passed on. He knew he was not my son and he didn’t say anything. He lived in fear that one day I would discover the truth, so he began siphoning money from the family’s group of companies where he was acting as an Executive Director being groomed to become Chief Executive Officer upon my retirement. I was trying to work out a system where Afolabi would get what rightly belongs to him and Jaiyeola would not be left out in the cold, so it required some amendments to my will. As soon as I initiated the process of changing my will with my lawyer, I began to notice some heavy untraceable withdrawals from the company. I knew someone had alerted Jaiyeola and he was trying to secure his future. Unfortunately, he did not trust me enough to know I would not have left him with nothing. I knew the only two people who could have betrayed me and alerted him were either my personal doctor or my lawyer. I was hurt as both have been trusted friends and advisers over the decades.
I eventually discovered that the culprit was my lawyer. I used my contacts to trace the money to some offshore accounts opened in the name of Jaiyeola’s mistress. I alerted the EFCC and the accounts were frozen. I knew he was behind it but I ensured he was not implicated. Only the lady was taken into custody, she cracked during the investigation and pointed Jaiyeola out as the mastermind. He disappeared as soon as he heard the EFCC was on to his mistress. I have not seen him since but he has been sending messages threatening me. I refused to report to the police because I still regard him as my son and I did not want to see him incarcerated but had I known he was capable of this, I would have done so.
Me: Why did he take Oladunni?
Chief Badmus: I thought after uncovering my lawyer as the traitor, it was over but unfortunately he has another inside source. I made the changes to the will and I came to your party that night to inform Afolabi that I have to retire soon due to my health challenges. All I needed was for Afolabi to sign on the dotted lines so he could become the Chief Executive Officer of the family company and also hand over your trust fund and Oladunni’s to you as the new family head. Oladunni’s disappearance was aimed at making me meet his demands. It was a hit at me not at you or your husband.
Me: What is he demanding?
Chief Badmus: Half of my estate for Oladunni’s release.
Chief Badmus: I am going to hand over all he has asked for to him so we can get Oladunni back, but I need Afolabi to agree as my heir. I know he won’t listen to me. My other daughters are not aware of any of this. To them I am having a feud with their brother over the family money and I want to keep it that way. They are currently not speaking to me, because they blame me for their brother’s disappearance. I don’t want to break their hearts by telling them what is really going on. I don’t want to endanger Oladunni, when this all blows over I will tell them.
Me: This is ridiculous! Why should you give away half of your estate to him?!
Chief Badmus: I would give it all away to get Oladunni back, but as I said this is now Afolabi’s decision as well as mine. I cannot make this decision alone.
Me: There has to be another way.
Chief Badmus: I have a plan. It’s risky but if it goes well, we get Oladunni back, keep the family money, find his accomplice and keep the story out of the press but you would have to involve your husband and your brother.
Me: What is the plan?
***Back to the Present***
Afolabi was going to be a challenge to the plan, we had to get him on board but I knew he would play hardball; I had to appeal to my brother’s conscience and his love for his niece Oladunni.
TK suggested speaking to him, I agreed. I knew he was more likely to listen to TK than to me.
I paced along the corridor outside TK’s study while he spoke to Afolabi about the plan. After what seemed like eternity, TK emerged from the study.
TK: Your brother is something else mehn!
Me: What did he say?
Me: What! I’m going to meet him…his stubbornness cannot cost me my daughter!
TK blocked my path.
TK: Hold your horses. He agreed after a lot of persuasion. He also said he doesn’t want the family estate. He doesn’t want a relationship with your father. All he wants is to get Oladunni back.
I was so relieved I hugged TK.
TK: There is only one issue. The police have decided to make the case public in twenty four hours and place a finder’s fee on the kidnapper’s head since they don’t have enough evidence to name any suspect yet. This would definitely cause Chief Badmus’s son to panic. We need to pull this off tomorrow.
Me: We are not ready! We need to plan; we need to make sure everything is right.
TK: Anjola this is no time for wishful thinking. We need to find a way to get in touch with Chief Badmus without anyone knowing to tell him we have to do this tomorrow.
Me: TK we are not ready.
TK: It’s me and you baby. We were born ready.
TK was obviously having a Bonnie and Clyde moment, all I was having on the other hand were goose pimples!
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