RUMOUR HAS IT – EPISODE 1

Otunba Bayo held his flowing agbada tightly to himself as he maneuvered through the puddles of muddy water at Jabi camp. His PA cringed as the chief missed a step and dipped his crocodile-skin designer shoes into one of the puddle. He nearly stepped on a mound of poop as he tried to avoid two kids running around with sticks playing soldier VS Boko Haram game. The one playing Boko Haram surrendered when the one playing soldier wielded his heavy wooden machine gun to his face

‘Make arrangements for more clothing and food, ensure it is delivered before this week runs out’ Otunba spat as he took one last look at the makeshift IDP camp.

‘The condition of this camp is unfit for human in habitation’

‘It was in the news that the government had fixed this place sir and…’

Otunba paused in his steps and said in a conniving tone ‘you still believe in the media and the lies they spin with the government? Don’t be a fool my friend.’

The PA kept quiet, he had felt so uncomfortable surrounded with stench and filth. He was astonished to see people going about their business oblivious to the decay around them, he almost vomited when he saw a scrawny looking baby with brown hair picking what looked like cockroach on the floor and putting it in it mouth. Surprisingly, the Otunba seemed at home with the filth, he went from one shed to another, carrying his folds of agbada and charisma with him, his powerful voice boomed as he greeted the sick, old and wounded who couldn’t come outside to receive the gifts he had brought. He effortlessly relates with the crowd of kids milling around him. Otunba waved him away when he tried to stop one of the kids from touching his agbada, she looked like she’d stain the impeccable white outfit with her dirty hands.

Shrills of Nagode, mu gode so sai rent the air as Otunba doles out some wad of naira notes for the children.

He breathed a sigh of relief as they entered the car, when they travel back home he’d sink himself in his bath for hours. That is if Otunba doesn’t have other appointments he wants him to attend to. He secretly hoped there’d be no midnight meetings or engagements. He stole a look at Otunba through the mirror, Otunba had already busied himself with a newspaper, shaking his head he turned wondering whether the man never gets tired.

‘Ha ha!’ the Otunba exclaimed ‘Ehn ehn, Taiwo!’ he bellowed.

‘Sir?’

‘Have you heard about Mr Agbaje’s arrest?’ he closes the newspaper as he said this and gave his PA a scrutinizing look.

The PA cleared his throat, where would he begin? ‘Actually sir, I heard late. I am so sorry for not informing, I thought the…’

‘Go on’ the Otunba urged him and tossed the newspaper to a side.

The PA was lost for words, Otunba requested for his phone and dialed a number.

‘Hello o, Kash, where are you? Have you heard? A be ri nkan bayi. I just read it in the papers, no, yes yes, I have been busy. I didn’t see any. Are you serious?’

The PA squirmed in his seat, he had intentionally not informed Otunba about Prof. Kash’s calls, the man has a penchant for being the harbinger of bad, unfavorable news besides, he knows how unsettled the Otunba would be when he hears of Agbaje’s arrest. Agbaje and the Otunba were friends and they were both involved in a project, he had warned Otunba about the project voicing his misgivings about Agbaje. But Otunba waved him away and told him Agbaje and him have known each other from way back. The project was eventually abandoned due to lack of funds, however it was discovered that Agbaje had collected the amount necessary to execute the contract which he never told Otunba. He had hoped Otunba would use his money to bring the project to reality but Taiwo has seen to it that none of that happened.

Otunba was on the phone till they returned back to the hotel. He stepped out of the car hurriedly almost tripping on his flowing agbada, he walked briskly past the receptionist without a backward glance or a reply to her greetings. The PA followed at a much slower pace, Otunba would be on that phone for hours. He retired to his room and ordered for some food.

He contemplates rescheduling some of Otunba’s meetings for the next few hours because he knows the Otunba’s attention have been captured with the news of his friend’s arrest. He wondered whether the Otunba would be calling the DPO now or his influential friends. He wished Agbaje would be left to suffer for as long as it takes for him to come back to his senses, but he knows the Otunba, he wouldn’t rest until his friend is out of trouble. He wouldn’t mind promising or begging whoever ordered the arrest. A phone call came through the Otunba’s second phone and stopped his flow of thoughts.

‘Hello, good afternoon you are talking to Taiwo Akilapa, how may I help you?’ he said putting on his formal voice.

‘Good afternoon, I need to talk to Otunba’ a calm male voice answered from the other end.

‘I am his PA, you can talk to me I’d surely pass your message across’

‘I have to speak to the Otunba’ the voice insisted

Taiwo was getting pissed but he forced himself to stay calm ‘what for if I may ask?’

‘I said I need to speak to the Otunba this minute!’

‘Mtcheeeeeeew’ Taiwo hung up on the caller and busied himself with the meetings he’d reschedule and the ones that must hold that same day.

The call came through again, he was almost tempted to switch off the cellphone but what if another important call comes through?

‘Yes! I said you should leave a message for him’

‘Give the Otunba his phone this minute or else… ‘ the voice threatened

‘Or else what? You can’t threaten me Mr man’

‘Or else you’d regret not giving your boss his phone this minute’

The threat sounded genuine, Taiwo paused and made for the Otunba’s suite, he found him there engrossed in a phone call. He mouthed to the Otunba that he has a call on the other cell, Otunba annoyed that Taiwo would bring him a call when he is busy with one ignored him and continued with his call. He’d deal with that impunity later.

‘Sir, this is urgent’ Taiwo voiced out.

Otunba excused himself and hung up.
‘What did I tell you about interrupting my calls?’ he asked through clenched teeth

‘I am really sorry sir but this is urgent, a caller is… ‘

The Otunba held out his hand for the phone ‘Hello’ he said blandly into the phone.

‘Good afternoon Otunba’ the voice on the other end said coolly ‘I won’t take much of your time by beating about the bush’ the voice continued. ‘I just want to inform you that I have got some dirt on you’

‘What manner of insolence is this? Who are you? What dirt are you talking about? You want to threaten me? With what? E ma gba mi ke!‘ he met the eye of his PA who shrugged.

‘Ha ha ha ha’ the voice cackled ‘Otunba, you mean you have forgotten what happened on the 6th of June 1996?, if you say so, so be it. But I’d refresh your brain with…’

The Otunba hung up on the caller and swore under his breath ‘Nuisance oshi, Taiwo! Any day you bring this kind of useless call to me when I am involved with an important one, you are done working for me okay? What kind of nonsense is this?’ he picked his first phone to continue his conversation with the commissioner of police. Taiwo excused himself apologizing profusely, he was about to dial the commissioner’s number when Taiwo rushed back into the room.

‘Sir, you need to see something’

‘See what again!’

Taiwo didn’t answer and gave him the phone ‘Ehn ehn, this is just a siteweb link or what do you people call it?’

‘Sir? That website, you have forgotten? www.dirtylittlesecrets.com? That was where Mr Rufus and…’

The Otunba gasped and snatched the phone from Taiwo, he stared hard at the menacing message that accompanied the link ‘Kindly refresh your memory by visiting www.dirtylittlesecrets.com

‘Taiwo bring that your browser phone now! Oya log under it’

‘Log in you mean sir, I am on it’

Gbenu e soun! And do what I say’ the Otunba was sweating already.

The site seemed to take forever to load as Taiwo and Otunba held their breath
‘Oh my God’ Taiwo muttered and covered his mouth

‘What is it?’ the Otunba snatched the phone from him and stared at it, he couldn’t see the words clearly. He removed his glasses from it case and put them on.

QUESTIONS FOR OTUNBA ADEBAYO COKER!

It has come to our notice that Otunba Adebayo Coker, the popular businessman and philanthropist is running for the post of member of the house of Representatives. As humble, law abiding citizens of Nigeria who aim to seek the truth and separate it from the sham, we have some questions to ask Otunba Adebayo before he proceeds in his ambition.

What happened to the orphanage home you set up in the 90s? Why did you lock it up exactly 6 years after without any explanation whatsoever? What happened to the children especially Miss Fatima, Miss Hannah, Miss Chiamaka, Miss Ife, Miss Ngozi and Miss Samantha?

What exactly transpired between you and Miss Fatima that resulted into you carting her off to an unknown place in the middle of the night on the 6th of June 1996? Why haven’t we heard from the manager of your orphanage Madam Monica Iyama since then? You claimed she left without even dropping a hint that she’d be leaving, what efforts did you make in knowing why she did?

Otunba Adebayo Coker, we put it to you that you are nothing but a sniveling, dirty, shameless, useless paedophile who covers up his stinking deeds by snuffing life out of his victims and those who are against his bad habits. We put it to you that you and some of your workers saw to the death of the 6 girls mentioned above. We put it to you that you are a staunch member of the dreaded Ngolo Ngolo cult who perform human ritual to amass wealth and affluence. We put it to you that you have no interest of the people at heart and all your displays and theatrics are feeble half-hearted attempts to clinch the house of Representatives seat.

Before you prepare your robust reply, check out the pictures below!

The phone fell from the Otunba’s hands, and he fell back on the bed.
‘Who did this!…’ his lips trembled.

‘Sir, I have no idea…’

‘Dial that number right now, he wants money. That idiot wants money’ Otunba mops his brow with his sleeve, ‘Turn on the AC’ he added

‘It is on sir’

The Otunba removed his agbada and flung it into the settee in the room. He follows suit with the caftan he wore below.

Sho ti gbe? Has he picked?’ he held out his hands for the phone.

‘The number is switched off sir’ Taiwo stomach grumbled and he wished it hadn’t done that. He shouldn’t be thinking of food right now, Otunba is in trouble.

Mo gbe! I am finished! Look at those photos!’ the Otunba said throwing some spit into Taiwo’s face

Taiwo squinted at the picture of a man in a clandestine position with a little girl. The man sure looks like his boss.

Taiwo doesn’t want to believe that was Otunba, He swallowed the unsavoury liquid gathering at the back of his throat. His loyalty lies with Otunba and he has to fix this.

‘I’m on this sir’ he said and he left the room, he returned to his room to put on his shoes and take the necessary things he’d need. He took one glance at the food he ordered and realized his appetite is gone.

He ordered an Uber and as he waited, he made some calls. The Uber arrived as he was writing down a number.

He used to know a tech guy around Jabi.

EPISODE 2

2 thoughts on “RUMOUR HAS IT – EPISODE 1

  1. philomena September 17, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    All this otumbas sef. I love the suspense and the flow .

  2. Kanzah September 19, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you Philomena.

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