KENNETH: Ebuka, please suspend whatever you are doing and come to the boardroom for an emergency board meeting. Mr Churchill is here.
EBUKA: Mr Churchill? How! When did he come into the country?
KENNETH: nobody know. Please hurry!
EBUKA: alright, man!
(Ebuka hurriedly tidied up his desk and joined the other directors and Mr Churchill at the boardroom. They all exchanged pleasantries, and Mr Churchill began to address them..)
MR CHURCHILL: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It’s good to see you all again. I know you weren’t expecting me. But there was a need for the August visit.
I’d like to start by thanking you all for your dedication and commitment to the company, Your hardwork and everything else you do for the continuous progress of this company.
Erm, now to the purpose of this meeting. Mr Okoye, could you please tell me everything about the renovation you recently carried out in the building. By everything, I mean why it was done, what was done and the total cost of it, please. Thank you!
EBUKA: thank you, Mr Churchill. About two months ago or so, I came to work and one of the cleaners alerted me of a leaking roof in the engine room. On further investigation, I discovered another leakage somewhere else and the wall on that particular room was all damp from rain falling on it…
MR CHURCHILL: sorry to interrupt, where about was this particular leakage?
EBUKA: it was in the main office at the back of the big shelf containing all our legal documents. I took before and after photographs of it.
MR CHURCHILL: perfect! I’ll like to see those later on. Continue.
EBUKA: erm, I also discovered that a lot of rodents had made some of the offices their abode. I felt this posed a risk of losing important documents which would be a shame on a company such as ours.
So I called a directors meeting and discussed total renovation and fumigation of the entire building. I also discussed cost with them.
Majority of the directors agreed except Petra who also disagrees with anything I put forward anyway. A poll was conducted and majority of directors voted in favour of it, so we passed a board resolution and commenced work.
MR CHURCHILL: I must admit that a neat and professional work was done here. I was quite impressed when you sent me the pictures.
But the cost to me appeared a little on the high side. Did you get quotes from different engineers before you chose the Chinese guy?
EBUKA: ermm, it might appear costly but that is because of the materials that were used. I also forgot to mention that he did conduit wiring on the entire building.
I did not physically get quotes from other companies but I looked up the cost of such renovations on the internet and the least was about hundred million. Since Weng agreed to charge thirty million, I felt it was a bargain.
MR CHURCHILL: how did you get to know about Weng. On recommendation?
EBUKA: yes sir. I also went on his website and saw his previous works.
MR CHURCHILL: who recommended Weng to you?
EBUKA: it was a friend.
MR CHURCHILL: would your friend be willing to testify to that in court?
EBUKA: erm, he..he.., he has gone back to Australia where he resides so he may not be able to testify in person.
MR CHURCHILL: but the court can contact him on phone, is that right?
EBUKA: ye–s but I.. I.. would need to contact him and make sure he is happy to testify first.
MR CHURCHILL: sure! Mr Okoye, is there anything else you’d like to tell the board about this contract?
EBUKA: anything such as?
MR CHURCHILL: I wouldn’t know. I’m just asking you.
EBUKA: no. But if I remember anything, I’ll inform the board. For now, this is everything I know about it.
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MR CHURCHILL: thanks, Mr Okoye. Petra, can you please tell the board everything you know about the contract. Thank you.
PETRA: erm, first of all, when this matter was presented to the board, I kicked against it, but Mr Okoye in his usual abusive manners called me a bitter single frustrated woman.
The reason I kicked against it was firstly, because such little damage to the building does not require absolute renovation. I told them it was a disproportionate measure.
Secondly, the price was just ridiculous, to be honest. But Mr Okoye was bent on getting it done and immediately.
EBUKA (interrupts) because it is my duty as a director to promote the success of the company!!!
MR CHURCHILL: please let her speak. You’ve had your time. You will still have another time to respond to her. Thank you. Please carry on, Petra. Sorry about that.
PETRA: so on the 30th of March, I went on a date with this Chinese friend of mine whom I had been chatting on facebook with, for over five years now. He called me up one day and told me he was in Nigeria for a contract.
While we were on the date, I started asking him about the contract, so i discovered it was our office he had come to work for, but I never told him I was a staff.
So I asked how he got the contract all the way from China. He told me a friend of his is a director in the company and he gave him the contract. So when I realised that the friend was Ebuka, I told him that his friend must be very kind to have done that for him, but he said it was because he was getting fifteen million naira benefit from it.
EBUKA: lies! Pure lies and cheap blackmail!
MR CHURCHILL: be quiet, please Mr Okoye. You are being rather disruptive now.
EBUKA: no, Mr Churchill! There is a malicious intent behind this! Petra is embittered because I refused to be involved in a romantic relationship with her.
I have evidence to back this up! I have text messages and inappropriate pictures of herself she sent to me!
MR CHURCHILL: I don’t care about your personal and private lives. Honestly, I don’t. I’m just all about the company. Maybe her bitterness as you put it prompted her to investigate you but if her findings are true, then they are still credible!
PETRA: sir, I admit I did ask Ebuka out and I probably sent pictures and I was heartbroken when he got married. But I did not make this up and I also recorded my conversations with Weng. I took pictures with him on our date and I have it all here with me.
MR CHURCHILL: like I said, you are both adults and I am ever so unwilling to know about your private matters. I am most definitely not interested in seeing any images. Clad or unclad. Thanks for the offer.
Petra, could you please play the conversation to the board. Thanks
(Petra played the recorded conversation and also showed them the pictures she took with Weng. At the end of It, there was a very loud silence in the boardroom. Then Mr Churchill broke it)
MR CHURCHILL: alright! Mr Okoye, I am aware that this is not a conclusive evidence to prove that you are guilty of what you have been accused of. Erm, I shall be involving the police to carry out a more extensive and valid investigation into this matter.
In the meantime, I am suspending you temporarily from the company, pending when investigation is concluded.
Just so you are aware, if you are found guilty, you will be made to account to the company every single profit you made from this transaction with interest. Please hand over every property of the company in your possession to Mr Okere. Thank you.
This concludes our meeting.
(Shattered and shivering, Ebuka staggered to his car and made his way to the hospital where his mother who had earlier came from the village, was with his poorly sister. Amara was also with them)
MADAM EBERE: o gini! (What’s the matter?) Why do you look so worn out??
EBUKA: mama I’m fine. Just tired. Nkechi, how was the dialysis?
NKECHI: painful! You look really worried. Is everything fine at work?
EBUKA: yes. Where is the doctor?
AMARACHI: I was waiting for you to come so we can go for the result.
EBUKA: perfect! Let’s go.
NKECHI: you both look good together! Mama, what do you think?
MADAM EBERE: she’s a beautiful girl…
(Ebuka and Amara got to the doctor’s office and he began to explain the result of their blood tests to them)
DOCTOR: erm, I’ll start with your test, Ebuka. Your sister’s blood type is B and yours is A. This means she cannot accept your kidney. This is a first test that Must be passed before moving on to any other thing, unfortunately you didn’t pass it. So you are not a suitable donor for her, I’m afraid.
Luckily however, Amara’s blood type is O, which makes her a universal donor. And when we did the tissue typing or genetic typing test as some people call it, we had about three antigen matches. Which again, is perfect!
But when we did the cross-matching test, sadly, we had a positive cross-match. This means that if Amara donates kidney to Nkechi, her body will attack the new kidney and this can be fatal.
Unfortunately, none of you is a suitable donor for her.
EBUKA: Jesus Christ!
AMARACHI: doctor, can we check if her mum can be a suitable donor?
DOCTOR: I’m afraid she can’t . She told me she is diabetic. That disqualifies her.
DOCTOR: it’s nothing much to worry about. She can continue on dialysis every two to three days until we are able to find a donor. As you can see, she looks alright.
(Amara and Ebuka went back to where Nkechi and her mum was; she noticed their sad countenance and asked…)
NKECHI: dede, what did the result say?
EBUKA: he said we need to do further tests…
AMARACHI: Nk, can I have your boyfriend’s number. Let’s ask him to come and do the tests too just in case.
NKECHI: okay. It’s just there in my phone. The last person I called
(Amara took the number and went to the hospital’s car park and started ringing him)
STONE: (???) hiya! Who is this?
AMARACHI: hi. Am I on to Stone?
STONE: you are. And who’re you?
AMARACHI: my name is Amara. I am Nkechi’s friend.
AMARACHI: cool? Meaning?
STONE: what do you mean?
AMARACHI: forget it. Are you aware that she is hospitalised?
STONE: I am aware! Why do you ask? Is she alright?
To be continued…