The four criminals went out into the darkness.
They headed straight to Ubiji’s residence making sure nobody saw them, and truly, nobody saw them because they took an unusual route.
Meanwhile, Ubiji sat in the living room with a hurricane lamp and a book resting on the centre table. One could see list of items he listed out. He was actually calculating how to utilize a million naira loan he collected from the bank to establish mechanized and commercial system of farming which will generate him much profit. “I need to hire tractors, pay labourers and purchase..” he murmured robbing the bottom of the pen on his head. As he tried to continue, he heard footsteps from outside and stood up instantly.
Before he got to the door, the boys pushed it open forcefully and kicked him down on the floor at gun point giving him a sign to shut his mouth too otherwise one of their bullets would send him straight to hell.
“Where is the money?” Obinna asked.
“What money?” Ubiji threw back the question.
“Loan?” Ubiji began to wonder how they knew he collected a loan. Who must have given them the information coz only Dinta and Chioma knew about it. “Someone has betrayed me” he thought but Obinna’s voice and slap brought him back to senses.
“I said where is it!”
“Please, the money isn’t here. It’s in the bank”
Obinna looked at his boys and told them to search the house. Fortunately, they found the money. “Let’s go” he commanded but Kachi hesitated again aiming his gun at Ubiji’s leg.
“Boy, what are you doing?” Ebuka whispered at him.
“I hate liars” Kachi replied and cunk the gun. Before Obinna could drag him back, he pulled the trigger and paralyzed one of Ubiji’s legs then all ran out instantly leaving him to shout in pains. The sound of the gun attracted the vigilante group but before they arrived, the boys had gone.
“What happened?” Ijele, the group leader asked Ubiji who couldn’t reply but bled furiously from his leg.
Ijele had a blumpy body typology, short and huge. One could see the shell of a snail hanging and dangling on his neck to prove that he was 100% diabolical and spiritually strong. Without wasting time, he ordered some of his men to search the criminals while some took Ubiji to the nearest clinic.
THE NEXT DAY
The news went throughout the village and Chioma was on her way to the clinic running as fast as her legs could carry her.
The clinic was a local one but had effective facilities with professional nurses. Chioma barged into the ward to see Ubiji lying on a sick bed with bandages tied round his leg. Beside the bed was Dinta standing and shaking his head piteously.
“Ubim..” Chioma called weeping and caressing Ubiji’s head. “I never knew you had the money with u, i should have it isn’t a good idea”
Already, Dinta was beginning to suspect Chioma to be the one who licked the information. “Chioma, how did the arm robbers know that Ubiji collected a loan?” he asked. Hearing that Chioma stood up surprisingly, and at the same time, Ubiji woke up.
“I don’t know, sir”
“What do u mean when u and i are the only one who knew about it?”
“Are u accusing me..”
“Both of u should leave here” Ubiji interrupted Chioma who became excited that he had woken up. So as she bent down to touch him, he repeated harshly, “Leave me!”
Chioma startled. “What have i done?”
“You guys are bunch of betrayers. Just leave, even u uncle” Ubiji began to shed tears.
“Listen, I’m your uncle..” Dinta wanted to say but Ubiji shouted again. “I said leave!”
Nurses came and began to drag them away making Chioma weep bitterly. “Ubim.. my love, I’m not responsible of what u are accusing me of” she explained in tears as she was led out of the room. Ubiji began to cry too.
As Chioma was running back to their house in tears, so as the news got to Adaku too.
Dike was preparing to leave the house when Chioma arrived sweating seriously.
“Papa, i hope you’ve heard”
“Are u saying that u are the only one who is not aware that Ubiji was robbed last night? Do u have any hand in it?”
“Which of your interrogations should i make a scale of preference for? Moreover, Ubiji is acquaintance to me, so i know nothing about him and his money” Dike began to walk out while Chioma remained speechless. “If at all my father has a hand in what happened, then how did he know that Ubiji collected a loan?” she thought critically.
After an hour, Adaku got to the clinic and sat beside Ubiji who was awake wondering what she was doing there. Therefore he said, “U shouldn’t be here”
“I know” Adaku replied. “But i can’t help it” she added.
Adaku neglected the query and began to cares his hair. “I heard that the money they collected is a loan of a million naria” she brought out another cheque. “Here is another one million naira. You can have it, it’s free” she stretched the cheque to Ubiji..
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