• Thursday, June 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tracking the CEO’s real blackmailer

Tracking the CEO’s real blackmailer

Tony and Kale have been at the police station where the men that accosted Tony the night before at gunpoint were taken to, after they were arrested by security experts working with Kale, Tony’s childhood friend.

The men who accosted Tony had dropped a bombshell that they were paid by a woman named Anthonia Duduyemi. Tony and Kale expected that the woman who paid them to threaten Tony would be the wife of Tony’s former operations manager named Balogun. Tony is of course disturbed at the twist and had pulled Kale from the interrogation room to speak to him in private.

As soon as they are out of the room, Tony says, “Kale, Duduyemi is the surname of my HR manager. The sacked operations manager’s name is Balogun, so I expect that the name of the woman that contracted them to threaten me with a gun should be Balogun, the wife of my former operations manager.”

Kale initially stares at Tony as if confused. “You mean it is your self-righteous lady HR manager that sent them?”

“Well, from what the men says.” Kale turns his neck and peeps through the slightly opened door at the two men. “They don’t seem to be lying.”

It is now Kale’s turn to pull Tony. He pulls him until they are out of the main building of the police station. “Phone that self-righteous HR manager of yours now and accuse her.”

“What! Certainly not!”

“Call her with my own phone so she would not know it is you before picking the call. You will explain later but meanwhile just do it now.”

“No, I won’t do that. I want to meet with her face to face and ask her in a gentlemanly way.”

Read also: President Goodluck Jonathan signs HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination ACT 2014 to law

Kale twitches his nose. “No, you won’t really be accusing her, you will just tell her that two men that accosted you at gunpoint said the person who sent them is Anthonia Duduyemi – simple.”

“It is not that simple.”

“You can simplify it.”

“Kale, if this backfires…”

“Do it first. If it’s not her, then you can just give her a salary increment.” Kale winks. “Or you don’t want to have to give her a salary increment? Okay, I’ll phone her on your behalf.”

“Certainly not.” Tony finally collects Kale’s phone and picking the number from his own phone, he dials Mrs. Duduyemi’s line. Tony puts the phone on speaker so Kale can hear. The phone rings about three times before she picks.

“Good morning. This is Tony Dembiti.”

“Mr. Tony, good morning. I was expecting your call since you had not informed me that you would be in late at the office today. Hope there’s no problem?”

“There is …” Tony looks at Kale before dropping the bombshell. He shakes his head and decides on a very lame line of questioning. “Do you bear the name Anthonia?” Tony asks lamely.

“No,’ she replies, “Why do you ask?”

“I was accosted by two men on my way home last night. They said they were sent by Anthonia Duduyemi.”

“Really! The name Duduyemi is not that common.”

“Do you know any person who goes by that name?” Tony asks.

“No, you do know it is my marital name. My husband has only one sister, who no longer bears Duduyemi and none of my children nor the children of my husband’s brothers bear Anthonia and they are all still very young.”

“Thank you Mrs. Duduyemi.” Before Tony can end the call, Kale asks, “Apart from your family members, do you know anyone called by the name Anthonia?”

“Who is that?” Mrs. Duduyemi asks sharply.

“Oh that is Kale, my friend, you know him, he comes around to the office quite often. We are at the police station where the men who accosted me last night are being interrogated.”

“Mr. Tony, this is really serious.” Mrs. Duduyemi now sounds worried. “Actually, I did not take too seriously what you were saying earlier. But the fact that you are actually at a police station and that the…”

“Madam, do you know anyone by the name Anthonia” Kale cuts in.

“Well, I have met a few people by the name…uuh, let me try to recollect…”

“Is the wife of Mr. Balogun, the former operations manager called Anthonia?”

“I can’t remember now. But you may ask Akume, he is somewhat close to the family.”

Even before Kale has finished speaking with Mrs. Duduyemi, Tony hands his phone over to him and  starts dialing Akume, his collations supervisor’s number with his own phone.

“Hello Akume, do you know the first name of Mr. Balogun, our former operations manager’s wife”

“Most people call her Anti.”

“Is she Anthonia?”

“Yes, yes, I remember now. There was a time Mr. Balogun even joked that Anthonia is the female version of Anthony and one of my collation boys laughed that she is our CEO’s female version.”

‘Ooooh!” Tony groans, ending the call

“What is it?” Kale asks because Tony didn’t put his phone on speaker.

“Balogun’s wife is indeed the blackmailer but she certainly isn’t my female version.”

“Oh yes. Anthony versus Anthonia!” Kale says laughing but stops. He pulls Tony to the car park. “Get your iPad. Now we have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that she is the one before she is arrested and comes up with her defence.”   

OLUYINKA ALAWODE