The day is for honest men,

The night for thieves.

Iphigenia in Tauris- Euripides

Can you see everything? Mani asks speaking into the headset. He punches in numbers on the keypad in front of the ATM in the lobby. In a room on the next floor, Ugo studies the video feed.

I got a shot of the card, as you slotted home. With zoom and freeze, we’ll get everything on top. I also got you inputting the pin. The skimmer ensures we get the cvv.

The night before, a drunken group arrived to distract the receptionist and bell boys. OJ and Ugo placed a skimmer over the card slot and made sure it fitted like a glove. Ugo wedged a battery powered camera with wireless feed in the lamp holder. Its snout pointed towards the keypad and card slot area.

We don’t need video since we’ve got the skimmer.

The camera gives us info the skimmer cant.

Over the weekend, OJ, Mani and Ugo sit watching the video feed of wristwatches. The information is matched against the skimmer feed of bank cards. This information is loaded on a laptop in an excel spreadsheet.

Audemar Piguet Royal Oaks, Urwerk King Cobras, Patek Phillipe Sky moons, Lange & Sohne Tourbographs, and Girard Perregaux Operas get 5 stars.

Hublot Tourbillon, Daniel Roth, Parmigiani kalpa, Chopard and Chris Aire get 4 stars. All the others get 3 stars. 20 magas, is all we need.

Perfecto Mani says. We’ve got twelve five stars and eight four stars.

Only here in ABJ can you see 400 thousand dollar watches. Where do they get the money?

Same way we do. They steal it. Only the law says their way is legal.

By Monday evening, Ugo has embossed 20 cards with holders name, card number and expiry date complete with the hologram. Real holograms are embedded in the card while the fake is surface only. Indistinguishable by the ATM, but in case of a security search.

The two of you take seven cards each, I’ll take 6. You’ll individually hit 14 machines, the first round from 11:30 – 45, the second from 12:00am. Ugo, cover Wuse to Utako area, Mani you take Central area on to Maitama. I’ll oversee the Asokoro axis. Make transfers only to cash cards whose numbers are coded on your phones. Some of the cards will have savings and current accounts. If it does, make a deposit from the savings to the current before making a transfer. Don’t spend more than three minutes on a transaction. Your phones have the last four digits of each card and the pin numbers. They are the last seven dialled numbers with a preceding 080. The total take will be 70 million. In case anyone wants to run, dis one na tithe compared to the next job.

OJ, Mani and Ugo transfer 70 million, 5 hundred thousand because Ugo gets greedy. To celebrate, they head for the club. It seems the whole capital territory is here as Mani, Ugo and OJ get into the lift and are hit by strains of Davido’s Baba olowo. The doors open to let in two males and a group of females. One of the males dressed as a female complete with different colored sneakers is gesticulating and evokes a wink from Mani winks.

As woman sweet reach?

They find seats and order a Jack Daniels whisky. On the next table are four females. Four moet bottles lay empty with a fifth unopened in an ice bucket. Two have drinks in their glasses and are trying to carry on a conversation over the din. The other two are poring over blackberries. On the other side two grey- haired men of Middle Eastern origin with a bottle of Hennessey constantly scan the crowd. OJ’s perusal is broken by the microphone.

Ladies and gentlemen, King Baddo, Olamide has stepped in. It promises to be a chill night. The crowd quadruples after this announcement. Sirens go off signaling buckets of champagne making their way to consumers. The blackberry ladies are on the dance floor gyrating to Korede Bello’s Godwin. They start whispering when a guy approaches. He says a few words and is promptly rebuffed.
Women, you can’t understand them. When you think you can score, they deflate you like a balloon. What are married women doing in a club? Why do they have single friends?
Globalization is what it’s called. I believe married women should stay home or come with husbands. Forget about the ladies night out story.

A blackberry lady decides to head for the loo on wobbling heels. Before anyone can say Jack Robinson, she slumps and is retching.

Hahahaha. Her friend and a bouncer scurry her out of her centre of attraction position while the cleaners mop the floor. Hearing strains of Durosoke, Ugo looks up. Olamide is dressed in black t-shirt over black jeans coupled with Giuseppe Zanotti lace ups. Olamide beckons on a female in the crowd, the lights beam out as every neck cranes to see a fair, plumpy mulatto make her way to the stage. She starts dancing in a salsa kind of way as OJ takes a trip to the gents. Neat rows of boxed-in urinals, one can see the next man’s shoes. Mani and Ugo are with 3 girls by the time OJ returns. During introductions a waiter appears with a Gold bottle Ace of spades from Gula. It is pre planned but they have no idea. To OJ the wages of sin are sheer delight, so he turns to the nearest red head. He expects to find her boring, and hopes she reciprocates. Alas, she seems to find OJ fascinating over the frenzied Skelemba din. The mulatto is spotted at the far end of the stage doing the Shoki dance. The jerky exhibitionist dancing which seems to be de rigueur.

©Ndi Charles 2015

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