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It was a sad end for Yisa Anifowose, the leader of the Odua People’s Congress, OPC, at Shasha, Akowonjo, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, when his friend, John Taju, shot him dead while testing the efficacy of his newly acquired bullet-proof charm. The charm could not prevent bullets from penetrating into his body as he reportedly boasted before he was shot. He slumped and died as a result of the injury he sustained during the shooting. His corpse has been deposited at Igando General Hospital, for autopsy. The late Anifowose was married and had six children. Anifowose, 54, popularly called Baba Kazeem, was shot in the chest by his friend and member of OPC, Taju, a one-eyed man. The suspect has been arrested. The incident happened at the OPC tarmac, Zone 5, Orisumbare, Shasha, Lagos, the family home of the deceased. On returning to Lagos, he was invited by his friends who are members of the OPC, to their base to celebrate his newly acquired power and the purchase of a new car by one of his members. It was while they were celebrating that Baba Kazeem asked Taju who had a locally-made gun on him to shoot him to test the efficacy of the new charm. Taju reportedly shot Baba Kazeem and the bullet tore his chest. He died on the spot. His death threw the residents into confusion and his friends fled the scene. Some residents of the area quickly locked up their houses and shops and relocated from the area to avoid being arrested by the police. The matter was reported at the Idimu Police Station. But before the police arrived the scene, Taju had escaped. Policemen at the station confirmed the story, adding that the suspect was later arrested, interrogated and transferred to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos. “Investigation is ongoing in the matter,” a source at the station told us. When we visited t he residence of the late Baba Kazeem at 12, Ejigbo Road Orisumbare, Shasha, Lagos, his wife, Hafsat Anifowose and her relations gathered in front of the house to mourn the OPC leader. She lamented the death of her husband and appealed to the police to investigate the incident and bring the culprit to justice. “I cannot just stay and watch my husband killed like a chicken. The government should intervene and arrest those involved in his death,” she cried. A brother of the deceased, Adedeji Ajanaku, described the deceased as a courageous man. He called on the government to release his corpse to the family for burial in accordance with Islamic rites. Following the death of the OPC leader in this circumstance, we talked to some traditionalists on the efficacy of the so-called bullet-proof charm and whether such exist or it is just in the realm of the imagination of the believers. Dr. Bunmi Omosehindemi, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board said he has been hearing of the existence of such a charm but quickly added that he has not seen it. “Some people say it exists but I have not seen it. I am a scientist,” he said. A traditionalist, Chief Samuel Oluwasola Dedeigbo, however, confirmed that a bullet-proof charm indeed exists, adding that it is not easy to come by. “Bullet-proof charm exists but it is not easy to come by. On the OPC leader that was killed as a result of using the charm, the one they did for him was fake. He should have tested it first on an animal before asking someone to shoot him,” he stated.
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