DCT LAGOS STATION, AKIN ADESOLA STREET, VICTORIA ISLAND
His palms were sweaty. He had been in the parking lot for almost thirty minutes, working up the courage to come out of his car. He was not afraid. He only dreaded returning here to be put on the sidelines, but he couldn’t hide forever. He stepped out of his car and walked towards the building.
The DCT Lagos Station was a two-storey building in a sprawling compound with enough parking space for fifty cars. It was Patrick Emenalo’s second home. Sure, there weren’t any comfortable beds and homemade cups of tea but depending on the crisis they had to deal with, he spent most of his time here and typically saw less of his real home. Once, he had spent two weeks straight in the building and had had so much coffee that the usually delightful brew became irritating to look at. Pulling three to four all-nighters a week was the norm. Or it was, until the incident.
Getting shot had felt like a log of wood was being forced through his chest. The pain had been excruciating and had taken him by surprise. He had never been shot before. The impact of the .50 calibre bullet from his assailant’s Desert Eagle knocked him off his feet and onto the dusty floor of the warehouse where he and his partner, Lily, had chased Red Baron to.
Mode “Red Baron” Olu-Fernandez was a crime lord who had built a prostitution and racketeering empire from scratch in the Lagos underworld, but it was his involvement in smuggling weapons that had security forces hot on his heels.
When Red Baron started his criminal empire, Patrick was still with the Nigerian police. He had been a starry-eyed graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with dreams of turning around the decay in the police force. His years on the force had made him frustrated and disillusioned. His colleagues were complicit in many underground crimes, and it shamed him. Headway was not made on the Red Baron case because of the policemen he had on his payroll.
That was one of the reasons why when Patrick was approached about joining the DCT, he accepted……..
EXCERPTED FROM The Orchid Protocol, a novel by Onochie Onyekwena, Farafina Books, 2020.