Solonzo had been on the run since the bank robbery incident that occurred five years ago, but the law caught up with him last year. Though he didn’t pull the trigger, he ordered the execution of Engineer Adetukasi. After only 6 months in solitary confinement, the deadliest bank robber in Lagos was back on the street.
Solonzo would never have been nabbed by men of the anti robbery squad if it wasn’t for Deji who desperately wanted to leave the Kirikiri maximum prisons. The Police had agreed to release him before the expiration of his jail term if he gave them leads on how and where they can nail Osagie Olokodana a.k.a Solonzo. And in no time Deji started singing like a bird after years of torture and incarceration.
For eight prison years the police had used all at their disposal to get Deji talking even after he and six others had been initially sentenced to life imprisonment all to no avail. Deji jail term was reduced to 10 years following a re-opening of his case and subsequently an appeal was lodged.
He only started talking when they promised to release him from prison as soon as they end Solonzo’s life, although he was only one year short of his jail term when he was released.The plan by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was not to capture Solonzo alive, but to snuff life out of him the moment they set eyes on him.
The special anti robbery squad had done their work, but how effective was it? Unknown to Deji, the dangerous fugitive was not only captured alive but was also released having spent only 6 months at the Kuje Prisons. He was let off the hook for an undisclosed amount of money; the money was so outrageous that even the Inspector General of Police may have considered the offer.
It appeared the powers behind Solonzo were far stronger than the law enforcement agencies in the country.The officers had deceived Deji, even after spending another year in jail before he was released still the major culprit and gang leader of the assault at the bank only spent few months before he came out a free man. If Deji had known he would win the appeal, he would never had betrayed Solonzo, now his life was in jeopardy.
He was still confused as to what Solonzo was up to. The first time their paths crossed after his release from jail was when he drove his Golf 5 car towards him in front of Jamiu’s compound. He had conversed with him that day like a Father who was reuniting with his son. He never gave away any hint that he knew his buddie was the brain behind his arrest even when he knew that Deji was probably the only person that had intel on his whereabouts. Now, he was calling for a meeting to catch up on old times.
At first Deji had agreed, but sitting on the bright-coloured couch in Jamiu’s apartment, he was beginning to harbour strange thoughts. “Jamiu, something is definitely amiss. I should never have agreed to this meeting. What if he stones me dead?”
“Haba bro! he’s not stupid. You guys are meeting in a public place, I’m not sure he would want to go that route”
“Jamiu, you don’t know this dude! He’s a killer! Osagie can gun you down anywhere, even if you are in an overcrowded stadium watching a high profile football match”
Jamiu laughed hard at Deji’s analysis of Solonzo’s personality. “You exaggerate bro! I just think you are just too scared of him”
“I’m serious man. Solonzo is the most notorious criminal in Lagos”
Deji’s last statement threw Jamiu into a state of confusion. “But we are talking about Osagie here not Solonzo right?”
“Oh, I never told you?”
“Told me what?”
“Osagie and Solonzo are the same person. Solonzo is his nickname”
“What! the guy you are meeting with is the much talked about deadliest bank robber in the country”
“Yes! and no one even really knows he is, not even the policemen that forced his location out of me”
“Hmm… respect man! So the Nigerian Police think that Osagie, one of the most wanted criminals and Solonzo, the deadliest bank robber in the country are two different people?”
“Even when I told them the person they were after was the most dreaded bank robber in Lagos, they still didn’t believe me.”
“That guy is just a cat with nine lives”
“But tell me Jamiu, how have you been coping since you left prison”
“Back to my drug business”
“The hood guys have not taken over your market base?”
“Them no born their father well! they did anyways until I had to call in Quadri to do the dirty works
“Quadri? You mean AK 47?
“Jamiu is taken aback at Deji’s mention of AK 47.” You know him?
“Yes! He was the sharp shooter in Solonzo’s gang. I can’t believe that guy is out of jail too”
“Na wao, so Quadri know Solonzo”
“They are the deadliest men in the mix. If Ak 47 and Solonzo are free and alive then there is trouble brewing” Deji’s phone rang…”He’s calling, I guess he is around. Got to go, I want to know what this is about”
” You mean you want to die today”
“Well…If I die, I die,” he rose from the couch as he leaves the apartment to honour his meeting with Solonzo at Maryland Mall.
It was a Wednesday, the visitors at the mall were few on this day. Solonzo was hanging around at a spot close to Genesis Deluxe Cineman on the upper floor of the mall. He pulled out his phone to dial Deji’s number. “Tuga! how far now? I dey wait you for black Box since.”
“I don dey the mall already,” Deji had not completed his statement when he spotted Solonzo as he walked towards him with apprehension.
“Tuga! what’s up man! good to see you.” both men exchanged pleasantries
“Good to see you too boss”
Moments later, both men were seated at Barcelos having a drink together
“Dude, now that you are out of jail, what are you doing with your life?”
“Not so much boss”
“How about joining my gang,” Deji’s eyes dilated in response to Solonzo’s question. Don’t worry, you won’t have to hurt a fly? Asides from the fact that you are afraid to go to jail again, I know you are not into that line of business. It’s a different ball game now Tuga. I am the leader of a suicide squad sponsored by a top politician. I only need you as a sidekick. I will be paying you monthly…very attractive. Tuga, please don’t say no. I need your brain, plus I feel the urge to reward you for your loyalty, not too many people would have done what you did.”
“My loyalty?” Solonzo’s sermon confused Deji further
You knew my location yet you didn’t inform the police. You don’t see it as anything right?
Deji kept a poker face. The young man was at sea.
“If na Pharell or Machi, ‘God bless their soul’ them for don blow my cover since. But thank God they died in that damn prison before the panti guys could get to them”
“Pharell didn’t die boss, he escaped from jail”
Oh! of course…the rat. I forgot that part
Now Deji was completely lost, he thought Solonzo knew all along that he was the informant who leaked his where-about to the special anti robbery squad but now it was obvious something wasn’t right. “How else does he think they captured him at that remote village in Nasarawa, or does he think it was Pharell?” Deji wondered.
“It’s either Solonzo is playing games with me or he’s just ignorant that I was responsible for his arrest, subsequent torture and short-lived imprisonment.” Either ways he had made up his mind to stay as far away from him as possible, for Solonzo was a Viper.