He stood at the window as stiff and ramrod as a statue. People moved about on the street below, in their vehicles and on foot, totally oblivious of the man staring down at them. None of them would realize just how close they were, to the staging ground of an event that could change the face of the nation. Probably when the story breaks on TV and the national dailies, a few might realize how close they had been, but by then, it won't matter. The deed would have been done, and Gongola would be on a new path to development.
Development. That word means a lot to everybody and yet different things to everybody. It would probably mean something different to some people after the Calaberi episode.
He was dressed in full military ceremonials, with all his ranks and awards in full display. He even wore his ceremonial sword at his side, instead of his service pistol, which he had left in his car at Rafa Mohammed Airport.
Getting the sword on the aircraft hadn’t been a problem. He had people at the airport who made sure he wasn’t disturbed, and didn’t have to show his credentials, which this mission required that he concealed.
Behind him stood another soldier, a Colonel by his rank on his uniform, even though his name tag was missing. Tanko had instructed them to drop their name tags. But their ranks stayed in place. Everybody must understand his place in this mission.
He noticed movement in the room but didn't turn around. The front door kept opening and closing, ushering people into the room. They all arrived in civilian cloths, usually the large traditional attire which they removed immediately they stepped into the room. Their phones and other electronic devices were taken from them by another Colonel at the door, and stored in a room where a loud radio was left to play near the cloths, to distort the efficiency of any listening device planted on them if any.
The newcomers all wore gloves and wore fake beards and moustaches to hide their faces from being captured by CCTV.
Tanko heard raising voices at the door and turned to see the Colonel at the door arguing with a young major who he couldn't recognize. He looked at the Colonel standing behind him.
"Find out what's going on and handle it quietly."
Colonel Uche swung around on his heels and approached the arguing men. Tanko watched as Uche asked the man something, then drew his pistol very quickly pressing the muzzle into the man's back. He matched the man into the noisy room and a few moments later, he returned to stand behind Tanko.
"Handled," he reported.
Tanko nodded. This wasn't a good sign, he thought. Somebody was probably trying to infiltrate them. He had stationed some men on the street as well as within the hotel, to be on the look out for any armed attack on the hotel and give them time to destroy all the evidence of the meeting.
He would address the matter immediately after the meeting. Colonel Adebanjo who was at the door ticked an attendance list he was carrying then locked the door.
He approached Tanko and saluted smartly. Tanko knew the meeting could now commence. He returned Adebanjo's salute as he turned to look at the now well packed room.
There was only one civilian in a room filled with military officers ranking from Captains to Colonels from across the entire Gongolan Armed Forces.
The civilian, was the President of the Gongolan Senate, Dr Gerald Olufemi. The soldiers didn't looked particularly pleased with him and he looked very out of place sitting there without his large array of aides and police and DSS security. He had even attended the meeting, in a single bulletproof SUV with a single trusted DSS operative, a far cry from his ten-cars convoy and motorcycle outriders, which came with his position in the country.
The soldiers got to their feet as Tanko approached and saluted him smartly. Tanko returned the salute.
He was looking at 27 very familiar faces. Men he had served with at one posting or the other throughout his military career. Men he could trust and who could give their lives for him in combat. Men he strongly believed shared his vision and mission.
He noticed one face was missing. He made a mental note to find out why Adewuyi wasn't here. He waved the men to their seats, while he stood, with Uche and Adebanjo standing by his sides.
"For a long time," he started. "Marginalization had an ethnic and religious face in this country. It was either the SouthEasterners or Deltans calling for Biafri or it would be the Christians or Muslims crying over non-inclusion into one Federal cabinet or the other. Even the labour unions used to cry over one form of marginalization or the other.
"In recent times however, all those conflicting interests seem to have reached a kind of compromise and have been coexisting without much friction. We hardly hear of ethnic or religious marginalization anymore. They all seem to be getting a fair deal.
"They all forgot about that single entity in this nation, that have borne and keeps bearing the brunt of their mistakes and differences. The Gongolan military didn't start insurgence. Some religious and political zealots were responsible for that, but we all lost countless brothers and sisters to their madness and we're always blamed for their inability to provide us what we need to fight the insurgents with.
"I know what we all passed through in various peacekeeping missions all over Africa, to uphold the integrity and honour of this great nation. Yes, it's a job we all signed up for but we didn't sign up for the marginalization that came with it."
He paused to let his words sink into the minds of his listeners. Their faces betrayed no emotions or expressions, unlike the civilian who was clearly enjoying the speech and showed it. But Tanko knew his words were getting to his men, not for the enjoyment of a politician, who was only a means to an end. They have all bled red together countless times, and understood what came with their career of choice. They also understood the downsides.
"I lost Charles in Liberia, a very faraway country where he gave his life for the integrity of this country but how was he treated afterwards by the country he gave his life for? How are the families of our brothers and sisters, who lost their lives fighting for this country? How are they being treated? Some are kicked out from the military houses assigned their spouses barely weeks after their demise, while they go through hell just to access the entitlements of those fallen heroes.
"When we talk about entitlements, how much are we even talking about? Do their families get enough to start over with? Are they just thrown peanuts and left to their fate by a country, their spouses, their fathers and mothers gave their lives for? We, the Gongolan military and that includes the paramilitary such as police, DSS, road saftey, customs, immigrations, civil defense you name it, are the ones being marginalized today in Gongola and it's high time somebody does something drastic about it. The other day three policemen lost their lives battling armed robbers during a bank heist. What happens to their families afterwards? I've served with foreign military. The Americans are ready to give their lives for a country that will remember their family. Our soldiers run away in the battlefield because nobody will remember their families when they die. Enough is enough."
He paused once again and observed his men. Their faces as usual was blank but their eyes told him all he needed to know. He could tell that the politician almost clapped at the speech, but restrained himself.
It was wise he did, Tanko said to himself looking away from the pot bellied Senate Leader.
"I didn't want to go beyond the military, as I don't know who we can work with in the police and other paramilitary even though they suffer what we suffer."
He nodded at Adebanjo who quickly picked up and opened a briefcase that was sitting behind a chair, and brought out 28 white files from it. He went around handing a copy to each person in the room except the civilian. He handed Tanko the last file which he took but didn't bother looking at. He knew the contents. He prepared them for each person.
"Our enemy isn't the Gongolan people neither is our enemy the Christians or the Muslims or the Igbos or Hausas," he said. "Our enemy is any government that continues the disregard and marginalization meted out on the military. The government of today is our number one enemy and must be removed to pave way for our own government, that will prioritize the military. Yes, there will be a b****y coup and it will be happening here in Calaberi in three days, but the military will not be taking over power. That's why you see the Senate President here today. If you do not agree with our mission, you may leave the room. I will only trust that you keep this conversation to yourself for the sake of your brothers and sisters who we are fighting for today."
Nobody moved. Tanko didn't have any intentions of keeping anybody that left the room alive. Two men were in the corridor with express orders, to kill anybody that left the room before the end of the meeting, aside for himself and his two close lieutenants.
"Mr Senate President, will take over power the moment we eliminate the President and his vice in three days when they will both be coming on a state visit, to address some party members ahead of next year's election," Tanko continued when he was sure everybody was one the same page with him. "You all know the Senate President is of the major opposition party in the country. Immediately the duo of President and Vice are removed from the picture, constitutionally he would take over and oversee the affairs of the country until the election. He would either contest or have a member of his party who is sympathetic to our cause contest and with federal might, win the election. I have reached and signed agreements with them to ensure the Gongolan military is reviewed immediately they get into power. A positive review will surely help guarantee our full cooperation during the elections."
"Yes we will-," the Senate President who was used to being heard started to talk but the glare from Tanko silenced him. He realized he wasn't at the Red Chambers where he held sway. In this room, at this moment, the army general was in charge.
"In those files are your mission objectives," Tanko said. "I know what each of your is trained to do, and your assignments are tailored to those trainings. You'll go through the plans separately and as a unit before you leave this room. We don't have the luxury of a staging area for live rehearsals, so you'll have to depend on your training and experience to get the job done. You may begin, we don't have time to waste."
The men opened the files and started going through the contents, which included pictures and designs amongst other information needed for the task ahead.
Tanko signalled Uche and Adebanjo to follow him, as he turned towards the window he had been standing in front earlier.
"Didn't you reach Adewuyi?" Tanko asked Uche.
"That's the problem we had earlier sir," Uche replied. "The major was from Adewuyi. He claimed Adewuyi sent him but he had surveillance and recording devices on him."
"A glasses with hidden camera, a watch with a camera and a pen with a camera," Uche reported. "He probably came with all of them in the hopes of sneaking in at least one, and record the meeting."
"Has he said anything?"
"Just that Adewuyi sent him to record the meeting and report back to him."
"That snake," Tanko cursed. He turned to Adebanjo. "Get a team down there. He must be stopped before he blows the whistle on our plans. Anybody can put two and two together after Friday and know exactly what happened if he tells anybody about this meeting even without the recordings."
Adebanjo called out two men and left the room with them, after taking away their files. He summoned two extra men from their detail downstairs, and briefed them.
Tanko watched as four men all dressed in black suits got into a black Toyota Avalon procured through proxies specifically for the job and drove away.
They would be in Iwerri within the next three hours and hopefully on time to stop Adewuyi from ratting them out.
The car along with three other vehicles, were bought by the Senate President and would be destroyed immediately after the job was done. The registration on them were fake and couldn't be traced to them.
A few minutes later, the men had memorized the contents of their respective files and already playing battle simulations and scenerios in their head. One by one, they dropped the files on the table in front of them.
Adebanjo and Uche retrieved the files which will all be destroyed afterwards and put them back into the briefcase.
"I believe we're all on the same page here," Tanko said. The men nodded in unison. "Like you already know, you have rooms booked for each of you here. You'll stay inside at all times. We don't want you bumping into somebody who might know you. Order whatever you want from the hotel. Never remove your gloves inside your rooms, and always wear your fake beards and moustaches whenever you leave the room. The Senate President has given us a very generous, untraceable credit line. Your equipment for the mission would be provided the night before, so you can check and assemble them to your specifications for action. You're dismissed."
Uche and Adebanjo retrieved their civilian cloths and disguises, which they all wore and returned to their rooms. Adebanjo, who was the technical expert, had bugged all their rooms immediately they were paid for, and when they surrendered their phones on arrival, Adebanjo had embedded a spy app secretly into their phones to monitor their calls and text messages from a mirroring laptop in his room. As much as Tanko trusted them, he couldn't leave everything to chance. Adewuyi's betrayal proved that point.
"Wonderful performance," the Senate President said. "You should consider politics when you retire from the Army."
"It wasn't a performance Mr Senate President," Tanko replied still standing with his hands folded at his back. "It was straight from the heart. That's the only way to talk to my men and gain their trust. I hope you will uphold your own end of the deal."
"Of course I dare not disappoint you," the Senate President raised his hands. "We're in this together. We need each other very much in this venture. You can trust me on that. First thing you're sure of as we discussed, is a promotion to Chief of Defense Staff-."
"Sir," Tanko interrupted him. He wasn’t in the mood to listen to empty promises, the type politicians told the ignorant electorates to get votes. "If you'll excuse us, there are some very important operational details of the mission we need to address privately."
"Ok, ok, I'll get out out of your hair," the politician rose to his feet. He pulled out a fake beard from the pocket of his flowing agbada and fixed it on his face to disguise his very popular face. "Good luck."
Tanko watched him as he strode out from the room, then Adebanjo locked the door behind him.
"Politicians," Adebanjo scuffed. "Very distasteful people."
"You may become one when you retire," Tanko told him as he sat down. "Many of us do. Bring that man here."
Uche and Adebanjo went into the room and returned dragging the man by his armpits. He was gagged and his arms were tied very firmly with nylon ropes as were his feet. Uche dropped the surveillance devices they had confiscated from him on the table in front of Tanko.
The General picked them up, one after the other and inspected them. His face twisted into a deep frown as he started at the clearly terrified man.
"Your gag will be removed," Tanko finally said calmly. "If you try to shout, your death will be the most painful and you will do it in silence. I can imagine how horrible that would be. Do you understand me?"
The soldier nodded his head fearfully. He looked from Tanko to the two men standing menacingly beside him. Tanko nodded at Uche and the gag was removed from the soldier's mouth.
"I will not repeat myself," Tanko warned. "So listen very attentively and answer very truthfully for your good."
The man nodded again.
"Who sent you?"
"Colonel Joseph Adewuyi sent me, Sir."
"Did he tell you what you're supposed to do here?"
"Yes, sir. He believes that a coup is being hatched," the young major said. "He directed me to attend on his behalf, and get the discussions on tape. I am supposed to report back to him within the next four hours else he'll know something is wrong and report the matter to the Brigade Commander with or without the evidence."
Tanko paused. He watched the man quietly. Good thing he had sent his men to Iwerri immediately he heard about the plan to infiltrate them. Hopefully, they will reach Adewuyi on time. One of the men had served at Ibinza and knows Iwerri like the back of his hand. They'll be able to get in and out easily.
"What is your name?"
"Major Nsima Udom sir."
"Do you know why we were here today?"
"We were here to chart a path for our brothers and sisters in the military," Tanko said. "The same people you and Adewuyi tried to betray."
"No sir," the terrified young major said. "I was only following orders sir."
Tanko got to his feet and turned away. Uche covered the man's mouth before he could shout and they dragged him kicking and struggling back into the room. They knew what to do.
Orders. They all followed orders. Charles died following the orders issued by a man sitting comfortably in an air conditioned room thousands of miles away from where the bullets torn his body apart. Orders from a man who saw his death as a number to be written off from a payroll list.
It was unfortunate this young and promising soldier had to die. He was going to be the first victim and he made a mental note to ask for a special package for his family.
His body would be found by the roadside two days later.
Ibinza, Omi State.
The black Toyota Avalon parked some yards from 4Field Artillery Brigade at Ibinza and one of its occupants, dressed in his military uniform bearing the rank of major started walking towards the military establishment.
He had served at Ibinza and was quite popular with all the soldiers and officers. Several of them stopped to interact with him.
"I just enter Iwerri for my girl birthday say make I block una here small before I go comot town," he lied to those who bothered to ask him why he was around.
He made his way to Colonel Joseph Adewuyi's office. He knew a female soldier there who had slept with him on various occasions and she was very excited to see him. He promised to come back to see her specially as he was on transit.
He casually asked about the Colonel before he left.
"Oga dey make I greet am?"
"No he has not come today," she replied. "Many people have been asking after him today. He didn't tell me why he is absent. I dey house when I call am."
"Maybe he isn't feeling well," he replied. "Body no be wood finally. I wish say e dey sha, well next time."
He managed to leave the barracks as fast as he could without looking very hurried.
"He isn't in the office," he told the other occupants of the car. "He has a house in town. Keep going straight, I'll direct you."
The driver brought the engine to life and headed for the state capital, Iwerri. There was a bag filled with guns and a listening device for long range surveillance. The men selected the rifle of their choice and readied them as the driver drove the car along the Port Lowcourt express road, to the off-barracks residence of the colonel.
The house was located along Nwoha Street, an old military building that had been renovated recently. It was in a former government housing estate. Opposite the house were some bushes and some mechanics operated just beyond the bushes.
The Toyota Avalon came to a causal stop opposite the house and one of the men raised the surveillance equipment and pointed it at the house.
"He's inside," he confirmed after listening for a while. "I think he is talking on phone."
Inside the house, Adewuyi was getting agitated as he tried without success to reach Nsima on his phone.
"Nsima," he spoke when he was redirected to voicemail . "This is me again. Please call me back as soon as possible. If I don't hear from you within the next twenty minutes, I'll go straight to the Brigade Commander with or without the evidence."
He was already fully dressed and paced about the sitting room. He lived alone. His family resided in Kworo his home state. He switched on the television, but barely noticed what the newscaster was saying on ChannelsTV.
He looked at the clock and cursed. He picked up his phone and dialled the Brigade Commander's number. The higher ranking officer was a close friend. He was at his off-barracks official residence and told Adewuyi to come immediately.
"Get ready," the man manning the parabolic long-range listening device alerted the others. "He's about to leave for the Brigade Commander's house. He usually has two soldiers with him. One drives and the other is an orderly. He also has a soldier guarding his gate so that's three people to deal with beside Adewuyi."
The soldier stationed at the gate started opening it, as the Peugeot 406 Staff car started driving out. The Toyota Avalon came to a screaming halt in front of the building. Before the soldier at the gate could bring his rifle, which was slung across his shoulder to bear, the emerging occupants of the Avalon fired several rounds of ammunition into his chest. The bullets lifted him off his feet and threw him into the nearby wall. He collapsed to the ground in a b****y heap.
In panic, the driver released his foot from the clutch too fast and the engine stalled. Before he could turn the engine on again and ram the vehicle into the Avalon, one of the assailants had fired a single round into his head killing him instantly. A semi-automatic burst of bullets, shredded the orderly before he could reach his holstered pistol. Adewuyi, who was sitting directly behind him, took a bullet in the shoulder.
Adewuyi had reached for his service pistol, but his injured shoulder was becoming numb and he couldn't keep a firm grip of the pistol. It fell from his hand to the car mat.
He started to reach it with his left hand, but stopped when the car door opened and he saw the face of the man aiming an AK-47 assault rifle at him.
"Why?" he managed to say.
"You betrayed your brothers in arms Adewuyi," the man replied. "A traitor is not fit to live."
Adewuyi started talking, but the short burst of gunfire from rifle drowned whatever he wanted to say. The bullets tore into his body and the car upholstery.
He died immediately.
The men jumped back into the Avalon and the driver drove off as fast as he could make the car go.
The mechanics working nearby, had taken to their heels at the sound of gunfire. The policemen on a stop-and-search checkpoint some yards away, had mobilized and drove to the scene of the shooting, barely moments after the Avalon drove away.
"They went that way," a neighbor shouted pointing at the direction the Avalon had went. "Black tinted Avalon without number plates."
The policemen jumped back into their truck and drove off, towards the direction the neighbor had pointed.
The soldiers turned into a side street and quickly replaced the number plates of the Avalon.
They got back into their vehicle and were soon blending into traffic, as they started their journey back to Calaberi.
More police vehicles had arrived at the scene of the shooting. Ibinza had been notified, and were sending over an investigative team.
Detective Superintendent Idris Gambo, pulled up to the side of the road and killed the engine of the old Toyota Camry he was assigned from the police motor pool.
He was a lead homicide detective from State CID. Idris pulled out a pack of cigarette from his pocket. He took out one, and put it between his lips. His hands went into his pockets to look for a lighter.
A sergeant was listening and taking notes from witnesses. He left them and went to meet Idris.
"What do we have here?" Idris asked, as he found his lighter and lighted the cigarette, taking a deep drag at the tobacco stick, then slowly exhaling a cloud of smoke from the side of his mouth.
"Multiple homicides sir," the sergeant replied. "Four soldiers in all. The main target was the ranking officer, a Colonel Joseph Adewuyi."
"Have you notified Army CID?"
"Yes sir," the sergeant replied. "We may have to conduct joint investigation. We're gathering testimonies of witnesses and ensuring physical evidence on site are preserved from contamination."
"The assailants, how many?"
"Witnesses say four," the sergeant said looking at his notebook. "One was driving while the others did the shooting. They came in a black Toyota Avalon. We can't exactly determine the year, but we've put out a Be On The Lookout, BOLO for any car that matches the description with four occupants."
"And that would be a few thousands of cars. This looks like a professional hit," Gambo said as he walked around the car with the bodies still inside it. "None of them got a chance to react."
"We're expecting the Army to shed more light on it sir," the sergeant said. "The hit could be work related, and with the style of execution, the shooters may have military training; that's if they're not military."
"My thought exactly," Gambo agreed. "I guess the Army CID is coming with their own ME. They may also want to take pictures of their own."
"Most likely sir."
"Debrief when you get back to the office."
Gambo walked back to his car. He noticed a van with markings of a private TV company pulling up. He cursed as he saw the reporter getting down. She spotted him to and came over to him, before he could escape into the confines of his car.
"If it's not my favourite police detective," Mercy Anaele, a TV and radio presenter and reporter with News Kitchen Radio and TV company said. "So what do we have here?"
"Are we still playing this game Idris?"
"I don't play games in matters such as this, Mercy."
"Hey," she said. "I'm just doing my job and that's keeping the public informed and letting them know that they are not wasting their taxes paying you."
"Well, you'll have to wait in line until we have something to tell you," Gambo replied. "Right now, we've just got bodies, nothing to report. Police is still investigating."
"The victims are soldiers," she observed. "Will there be a join investigation?"
"Again no comment," Gambo finally managed to unlock the car door and got inside. He wound down the window to let out the hot air. "You'll just have to wait and find out."
"You're such a killjoy."
Gambo grinned wickedly at her. He fumbled with the bunch of keys, then inserted the right one into the ignition switch.
"Maybe you'll come by the office and for once, I'll talk to you."
She brightened up. "Sure, when?"
He started the engine, engaged gears and drove away.
He drove past a military convoy complete with two army ambulances, with sirens blaring, speeding towards the crime screen.
"It's going to be a long day," Gambo thought to himself.
Calaberi, Falls State.
Brigadier General Tanko Abdullahi stood in front of the large window, looking out into the darkness beyond. His mind was faraway.
He heard the door open and heard the two sets of firm, military footsteps coming behind him. He didn’t bother turning around.
"Is it done?"
"Yes, sir," Adebanjo replied. "It's on the news already."
"Our men are back?"
"Yes, sir," Adebanjo confirmed. "There was no hitches."
Tanko nodded. "You may retire for the night."
Adebanjo and Uche saluted, then swung around on their heels as they walked out of the room.
Tanko offered a short prayer in Arabic, for the soul of Colonel Joseph Adewuyi.
Despite the fact that Adewuyi tried to betray his brothers, he was still their brother who had once upon a time, fought side by side with each other. He didn't deserve to die like that. He was a fine soldier, who believed he was doing the right thing.
Tanko stiffened and threw a smart salute. It wasn't just for Adewuyi. It was for every man and woman, who have given his or her life for that uniform and for the country.
"It is for all of you," Tanko whispered. "I must do this."
The karabinek szturmowy wzór 1996 Beryl(English: assault rifle model 1996 beryllium) is a Polish 5.56mm assault rifle, designed and produced by the Łucznik Arms Factory in the city of Radom. The rifle is to replace the 7.62×39mm AKM and 5.45×39mm FB Tantalused in the Polish Armed Forces.
Karabinek szturmowy wz. 1996 Beryl
The rifle cal. 5.56 wz. 96 Beryl.
Place of origin
War in Afghanistan
Boko Haram insurgency
FB "Łucznik" Radom
FB "Łucznik" Radom, Defence Industries Corporation of Gongola
Kbk wz. 2003
3.35 kg (7.39 lb)
943 mm (37.1 in)
742 mm (29.2 in)
457 mm (18.0 in)
7.62×39mm - Beryl M762
5.45×39mm - Beryl M545
Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire
920 m/s (3,018 ft/s)
Effective firing range
100–1,000 m sight adjustments
Maximum firing range
20-, or 30-round detachable box magazine
AK-47 magazines (Beryl M762)
AK-74 magazines (Beryl M545)
Rear sight notch on a sliding tangent, front post
Development work on a new service rifle (both a standard and carbine variant) adapted to use the intermediate 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge had been undertaken in 1995, however a functioning 5.56 mm rifle and carbine variant had already been available in Radom since 1991, known as the wz. 1991 (a rechambered wz. 1988 Tantal rifle). The new weapon's specifications were approved in February 1995 and in December the same year, a prototype production batch consisting of 11 Beryl rifles was produced. In 1997 the weapon had been successfully evaluated and adopted into service as the 5,56 mm karabinek szturmowy wz. 1996 ("assault carbine pattern 1996").
The Beryl subsequently became the standard Polish rifle. In 2011, there were more than 45,000 in the inventory, accounting for about half of the assault rifles in the Polish Army.On May 25, 2016, FB "Łucznik" Radom announced an order from the Polish Army for 26,000 Beryls and Mini-Beryls, though did not break it down by system.
Apart from Poland, 80 wz. 96A Beryls and 10 wz. 96A Mini Beryls are used by Lithuania (donated in May 2000 by Poland, including 10 rifles with Pallad grenade launcher and 10 rifles with CWL-1 scope with integrated laser rangefinder). Until 2002/2003 they were equipment of a special forces unit SOJ Aitvaras, operating in Afghanistan.
Gongola: 1,000 units of the Beryl M762 (wz. 96C version in 7.62×39mm cartridge) were delivered to the Gongolan Armed Forces in 2014, 500 in 2015. Fabryka Broni Łucznik is expecting a delivery contract exceeding 6000 units in the following years, should the Gongolan Army decide to fully adopt the weapon. At this moment (July 2017) Gongolan Army has 2,000 units of this weapon. In March 2018 Defence Industries Corporation of Gongola (DICOG) signed a letter of intent to manufacture the rifles in Gongola