One woman & three men
The plan was simple. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing, because I have come to realize that when complicated things appear simple, it’s always an indication that an important detail has been overlooked. Was Chief Badmus’s simple plan any different? We could only hope.
The police had informed us that they were going to place a finder’s fee on the kidnapper’s head in 24 hours. We were sure Chief Badmus’s son Jaiyeola who had kidnapped Oladunni would be informed by his inside source and would immediately try to make contact with Chief Badmus to set his own deadline. These were my father’s predictions and they were very accurate. As soon as Afolabi came on board, TK made a phone call to the secure phone number Chief Badmus had given me from his international sim card…the one line in our house that was not being tapped at the moment.
Chief Badmus confirmed that Jaiyeola had been informed and he had made contact requesting for money to be wired to an offshore account – an obscene amount of foreign currency in cash and a document to be signed by Chief Badmus and Afolabi willfully giving him 50% of the estate well as giving their promise never to press charges for the kidnap or blackmail. All of these were to be brought to him at a location at 7pm that night and in exchange he would hand over Oladunni to him unharmed. Those were his terms.
Chief Badmus had negotiated the following; he would come along with the cash and the documents which would be exchanged when it was confirmed that Oladunni was there and unharmed. The rest of the funds would then be wired to the offshore account; this would not be a factor because Jaiyeola would have a legal binding document giving him his share.
He agreed to this and we knew it was partly because he was running out of time and according to Chief Badmus’s sources, was on a flight out of the country that same night as he had hired a private aircraft…his destination was unknown.
Now this was the ‘simple’ plan, three copies of the document were made. One copy was made for Jaiyeola, one for Chief Badmus and a third one to be handed over to the family lawyer for posterity sake. What Jaiyeola would not realize was that the third document he was signing was a written confession. Admitting to siphoning company funds, embezzlement, fraud, kidnapping and blackmail. The first few pages were the original agreement document, but the rest were the written confession. Chief Badmus was of the opinion that he would only have the time to read thoroughly through only one copy and would sign the others without checking.
A clause had also been added to the document that upon any form of incapacitation such as death, mental ailment, incarceration and the likes that brought into question the character of the custodians of the Badmus Estate (now being Afolabi with 50% and Jaiyeola with 50%) or his ability to make sound decisions, the stake of the affected person would automatically be transferred to the other custodian until he was certified fit to take over control of his stake again. In the event that the custodian never recovers, such as in the case of death or permanent incapacitation, the other custodian would have control until the heir of the incapacitated custodian turned 18.
Chief Badmus’s justification of this part was simple. The signed confession would be presented to the police immediately after Oladunni was released to us. Jaiyeola would become a wanted man, bringing into play the clause in the document transferring his half of the estate back to the Afolabi. This was the point where the joker would be presented. Since there was concrete evidence that Jaiyeola was not a Badmus as proven by the DNA test, a case would be made for not transferring the estate to him or his heir (as his heir was also technically not a Badmus).
It seemed like a plan that could work, but a lot could go wrong. Jaiyeola could spot the confession document, he could have a plan of his own different from what he had communicated to Chief Badmus, but it was worth a shot. There was only one piece of information missing: who was Jaiyeola’s inside source?
Chief Badmus had a plan for that as well. He had obtained a Super-Visible Theft Detection powder which had been applied on some of the cash to be given to Jaiyeola. The powder was green and blended perfectly with the dollar bills he had requested for, but upon contact with the powder it turned purple on the skin and was almost impossible to remove for days, much like the voter’s thumb print ink.
The thinking was that since he was leaving the country that night, part of the cash requested would be used to pay for the aircraft he had hired and also to pay his informant. The substance would ensure that whoever had come in contact with the money could not eradicate the evidence for a few days.
Everything was set but only Afolabi and Chief Badmus were to meet Jaiyeola because of the signing of the documents. TK and I were to ensure that we were not in the house when the exchange was made because we were not sure if Jaiyeola had a Plan B and until we identified his accomplice we did not want Oladunni to arrive in the house after we got her back. The issue was how to get out of the house without the police or security details assigned to TK and me trailing us. We decided to stage a little drama of our own.
At about 5pm, I began to complain of stomach cramps, of course because I was pregnant everyone panicked. TK and Afolabi immediately insisted on taking me to the hospital. The police escort followed us. Immediately we got to the hospital TK, Afolabi and I went into the emergency room. While the police men remained in the waiting area. As soon as we were out of sight, Afolabi went through a back exit where Chief Badmus had a car waiting. The plan was officially in motion.
I kept the doctor sufficiently engaged for us to stay in the emergency room for a while so no one noticed Afolabi was gone. TK and I were obviously nervous but it was easily attributed to the “cramps” I was having. We waited and waited. Two hours later we had heard nothing and I was eventually moved from the emergency room to a ward when it was ascertained that all was fine. TK told the nurse I needed to rest so no one was allowed in and we remained there praying for the safe return of my father, my brother and my daughter.
TK: Anjola something went wrong. This should have been over an hour ago! We need to tell the police.
Me: How can we tell the police when we are not even sure who we can trust?
TK: Let me call my mother, she will inform the Inspector General himself and he will handle.
Me: It’s too late TK. If we wanted to inform the police we should have done that immediately my father told us who the culprit was. We are just going to escalate the situation and make a mess of things.
TK: How do you even know we can trust him?
Me: I just know we can. What could his plan possibly be? Why would he want to pretend to help us and then betray us? He has nothing to gain.
TK: So why haven’t we heard from them? This was not the plan. I’m calling Afolabi!
Me: His line has been tapped and you know! That call will give us away…calm down!
TK: Ok then. Just inform your father and your brother that if anything happens to my child they will both answer for it!
I was scared but I didn’t want TK to see through it, one of us had to be calm. We sat quietly staring at TK’s international number to ring. Eventually it did, he grabbed the phone with shaky hands. He put my father on speaker phone.
Chief Badmus: Tokunboh I have Oladunni.
Tears of relief immediately started streaming down my eyes. My baby was coming home.
TK: Where is she? Is she ok?
Chief Badmus: She is ok and she is on her way to you at the hospital. I will join you shortly, I need to take care of something.
TK: Something like what? What went wrong?
Me: Dad, where is Afolabi?
Chief Badmus: Jaiyeola took us by surprise everything went as planned but he pulled out a gun and took Afolabi with him as his insurance policy.
Me: Oh my God! Where is he taking him?
Chief Badmus: Don’t worry my dear; I have contacted the minister of aviation that is why it took me sometime to initiate contact with you. Since we know he is on a private aircraft out of the country, all the private flights have been grounded for now. We will find them and Afolabi will come home tonight I promise.
Me: Please I am counting on you please.
Chief Badmus: I am almost at the airport Anjola. I always keep my promises; I brought Oladunni back I will bring Afolabi back. I started this; it’s time to end it.
TK: Thank you so much sir.
Chief Badmus: Anything for family. Anjola hearing you call me Dad has made all this worth it. See you soon.
Apparently I had called him dad. Wow!
Oladunni was brought to us shortly by Chief Badmus’s armed guard. He also gave us the copy of Jaiyeola’s signed confession with an instruction for TK to take it to the police immediately. It was the only basis upon which Jaiyeola could be arrested when he was intercepted at the airport. TK left immediately with strict instructions to me not to move an inch from the hospital.
I was so relieved to hold my daughter she looked fine… immediately TK left to go to the police, I got the pediatrician on duty to examine her and make sure all was well. She did a thorough examination and she said all was well. Now all I could do was wait…again!
At midnight, the three most important men in my life walked into the hospital room looking frazzled. I burst into tears of relief. They narrated to me how it had all happened, Jaiyeola and Afolabi had made it to the aircraft but could not take off, because TK had alerted the police and a search had begun immediately for both of them. They eventually found them on one of the aircrafts and took Jaiyeola into custody.
It would be over…but there was one critical piece of evidence, Jaiyeola had still not mentioned his accomplice. However, Afolabi had mentioned that someone had been waiting for them in a vehicle on arrival at the airport and Jaiyeola had given the person a package…possibly cash. Unfortunately, he had not been able to identify the person as the person did not get out of the vehicle and we had every reason to believe that was the accomplice.
We made our way to the police station where we were told that all the possible accomplices mostly made up of our family and friends had been gathered for interrogation. We were minutes away from finding out who had betrayed us and my imagination was running wild! Was it Emeka or Linda? The inspector had said it was usually the last person you suspected so I was sure it won’t be either of them. Was it TK’s lawyer Femi or maybe his PA?
When we got to the police station, my heart sank. Everyone was there quite alright but I had eyes only for one person. My trusted right hand lady since my first day in TK’s house – Rosemary my maid, Oladunni’s nanny –there was nothing special about her at the time, expect for the unmistakable purple ink on the tip of her fingers.