Teri Iraibor is a first degree graduate in criminology and majored in financial crime in her postgraduates. At 29, she has quite a profile of experiences and places where she has worked or served in a career spanning seven years.
A one year compulsory service with the Department of State Security. She from there got contracted with the American division of Interpol where she spent four years and got series of meritorious promotion and recognition for her effort at fighting financial crimes globally. During her stint with Interpol, Teri ran recourse with the World Bank, IMF and a number of the world’s leading financial institution. She is popular for one sting operation she ran which led to recovering a looted public fund stashed in the Cayman’s, this shot her to limelight. She returned to Nigeria two years ago upon her father’s death and after mourning for a couple of months, she was invited to serve in the EFCC. Just like her name is synonymous to success, she replicated same with the commission. Recovery of looted public funds, monitoring, surveillance and she became very influential and feared. Since the establishment of the SEC, little success from what was intended has been achieved, it became incumbent on the government to clean the system, put people of character in charge, overhaul and reposition. Teri Iraibor’s name came up and who else to head the financial crimes department if not the proven anti graft advocate.
With the air condition at full swing, the office is as calm as she would want it to be. She swiveled her chair from an end of her desk to the other, opened the drawer and returned to the other end.
Just then a knock sounded on her door.
“Come on in.” She said.
The door was pushed opened and Chima walked in. From his face, one could tell he wasn’t entirely happy or feeling particularly enthusiastic.
“Hi Chima.” Teri smiled, oblivious of his gloomy look.
“I saw the brief.” He said as he sat down.
“Yeah, what do you think?” Teri asked.
“What do I think?” Chima asked rhetorically. “I think you want to go ahead with making the investigation official?”
“Apparently.” Teri replied. “Haven’t you noticed?”
“Sure you want to take on Tony Brown?” Chima asked.
Even though she only had to spend four year working in America and Europe, aside from spending her formative years abroad, her return to Nigeria exposed her to a whole different system and culture of doing things. While in the US, a public office holder could be investigated of accused of a wrongdoing, the reverse is the case in Nigeria. Private citizens, billionaires and business owners get investigated and looked into abroad, but in Nigeria they are untouchable. The personnels expected to maintain law and order feel inferior next to these class of citizens. And even though the justice system thrives on who has the most money to to spend, regardless if you make a compelling case before the court, it might rule in your favour.
“First of all, I’m not going after Tony Brown. The SEC is.” She replied. “And second of all, who is Tony Brown that cannot be investigated or questioned?” Obviously irritated at Chima’s stance.
“I understand, just that when push comes to shove, the directors around her will stand and pretent you are acting on your own accord.” Chima explained. “Just looking out for you, that’s all.”
“I appreciate your concern Chima, but I am determined to see this case to an end. Tony Brown is not bigger than the SEC. And this is not a witch hunt, he is not the only one being investigated.” Teri replied. “But do me a favor Chima?”
“I want to look back and see you behind me. I want to know I can count on you. Can I?” She asked.
“I am at your service.” He replied without hesitation.
“Good.” She smiled. “Can I buy you a drink?” She asked.
“Sure.” He replied.
“Let me welcome myself to Nigeria.” She joked.
Chima bursted into laughter. “Nooooo. I have been thinking about a welcome drink, but you best me to it.” He defended weakly.
“Beat you to it after a week?” She laughed.
“My defence.” He raised his hands in surrender. “Okay, I’ll buy you a drink.”
Collins did the backwards flip from the north end of the pool to the south where Rukayat stood cheering him up. It’s been four hours since they went out and the fun seem to have no end. He was having the best time of his life.
At the Royal Blu hotel, they had run into some old friends of Rukayat or what Collins would call, hangout friends of Rukayat. And it has been fun all through.
“Who is this guy? A fish?” A heavily built guy asked, amazed at Collins’ swimming skill.
“The reason I stopped hanging with you guys is simply because I never win any of the games we play. But my friend here is beating y’all hands down.” Rukayat boasted.
The poolside erupted with laughter.
“Let’s do ping pong.” One of the guys, Kay suggested.
“Please don’t try ping pong.” Collins pleased. “I’m not so good at it.”
“Do not listen to him. People like this are usually scary at the game. He is leading us to a trap. He said the same thing about FIFA.” The heavily built guy said laughing.
“Okay, one game, let’s see how it goes.” He agreed to play the game.
But what started as one game became numerous games where Collins triumphed in all.
“My guy is the undisputed champion here.” Rukayat boasted. “Is there a game you could beat Collins at?” She asked.
“Actually, there is still one.” Kay said as if he just remembered.
“Which one?” Collins asked.
The looks on their faces was all Rukayat needed to know what game they were referring to.
“No, no no. Not that game.” Rukayat protested.
“Why? Let’s try it out.” Collins sort of pleaded.
It took him a lot of time to process and fully understand what the new game is all about, by the time it was too late. “The game is called drag and stay sober.” Kay finally explained. “Take a drag of this, puff and see who gets high first and who gets high badly.”
The guys ordered a fresh batch of drinks and the game began in earnest.
Thirty minutes into the game; the time was 8:30pm. Collins was starting to triumph in this new game as well, as he appears to retain his sanity and soberity while the rest of the guys and the ladies who joined the game were starting to loose theirs.
“Don’t you guys have a stronger stuff than this?” Collins asked.
Rukayat opened her mouth in shock. This is a new side to Collins.
“Do a new wrap, let’s keep it going.” He urged Kay who was having difficulty fixing another wrap of the substance they were smoking.
That’s it! Even though she kind of liked this new side of Collins, she wasn’t sure if it’ll do him any good if the side becomes manifest or a part of him.
“Let’s get out of here.” She said ten minutes later as she practically dragged him out of the hotel into the parking lot.
The drive home was uneventful as it was filled with Collins saying load of gibberish.
Damn! This guy is wasted. She thought as she pulled into the street where she picked him up earlier in the day.
“Collins, we’ve gotten to your compound. Which is your apartment?” She asked.
With the little sanity left in him, he managed to point and with the help of Rukayat who guided him, they finally made it to his door and after a minute of struggling to get the key out, they were in.
Rukayat dragged him to the bed. “Just sleep, you’ll be okay by morning.” She advised.
“Don’t leave me. Pass the night here.” He pleaded passionately as he dragged her along with him. And with a thud, they fell on the bed.
It didn’t take five minutes before he fell asleep soundly, but his grip of Rukayat meant, there was no way she could free herself. And passing the night with Collins is definitely a step in the right direction.
To be continued.