He was murdered. After about seven days of inquiry into his ‘death’ and sundry issues, his relatives went to the mortuary with a coffin to take his body but were shocked to find him alive. Lazarus Oluwafemi Agbolahan Makinde, now an evangelist, tells Sam Nwaoko his story.
On meeting him, he came through as a very happy man, and the way he carried himself made that obvious. However, speaking with him explained the cause of the piteous voice quality… His throat was slashed; his head smashed and his genitals were severed in a bizarre murder act. But he is alive to tell the story! And to work on the astonishing story he told in Egba variant-tinted Yoruba language made it even more engaging, considering the fact that he had no western education.
Evangelist Makinde’s joy at being alive and able to bear children came through as he struggled to be heard and understood. And this explains his eagerness to tell his story over and over again.
On the fateful day, two of my journey-men came to me and said they would like to go to my house with me and would sleep in my house. I asked them why and they both said their brothers had visitors. I told them I would not be driving home as I had intended to preach in the bus I would board… I was rounding off a three-day fast. Nevertheless, we went home together.
When we got home, I made three cups of tea and I went out to buy bread so we could eat from the stew my wife had prepared before she travelled. They said they were okay but I insisted. On my way, a neighbour, who is also a member of our church, and my landlord’s wife saw them and asked who my visitors were and I told them they were my co-workers who had come to pass the night in my house.
While I was away, they had added something to my tea and without knowing this I blessed the tea and drank. I passed out. In that state of unconsciousness, they slit my throat with a knife and removed my Adam’s apple, smashed my head so much that my brain could be seen and also cut my genitals. They took my money, locked me in the room and went away, leaving me for dead. And to think that they were my employees I was paying. One of them was Lukman Osunbiyi of Arigbajo near Ifo in Ogun State.
After some days, a foul smell had enveloped our yard and our neighbour’s. A neighbour known as Baba Isaac was the one that raised the issue of what was smelling because my room was adjacent to his. People were searching their rooms to find it. My room is on the way to the conveniences of our compound and our landlord was the one that found out that the smell was coming from my room. He called his wife, Mummy Moji, and asked what could be smelling in my room, ‘has he got dogs?’ The woman said she knew I had no dog. The man said they should send for my relations but they called our church members.
When the church members arrived at the scene, they said they could not break the door. So, they went and fetched my brother who was at Itire-Ijesha, known as Brother Kunle. He was the one that drove to Area G police station at Ogba. The police came, demanded for the duplicate key to my room from the landlord and he told them he could not lay his hands on the spare key. The police broke the door and they found my body in a pool of blood in the room… After four days.
This was late in the night of the fourth day. They took me to Idi Araba (Lagos University Teaching Hospital) and they were told to go and bury me. They went to Island Hospital, I was rejected; they went to Igbobi and they also rejected me there. I was eventually deposited at the Ikeja General Hospital mortuary. On the seventh day after the incident, members of our family went to Ikeja to retrieve my body. They went with a coffin, but the Almighty God had some point to prove. I was stacked with other dead bodies and when they got to me, they saw that I had raised my left hand and was waving it.
There was shouting and commotion at the mortuary. They took me into the hospital for treatment. I noticed that the doctors were confused as to where to start from or what to do. They had cut my throat and severed the oesophagus, my head was wide open while my manhood was dangling. But God raised one of the doctors, a white man named Daniel, through whom my rehabilitation commenced at the Ikeja General Hospital. He was the one who began some repairs of my throat and head. But it was difficult because the throat was gone, it is a cartilage and could hardly be sewn; while my head could sustain nothing and was gushing.
But somehow, he managed to cut an opening though the base of my neck and created a duct through which I was fed and given medicines. Breathing was a huge task, given the wound and the pain. And remember, my genitals were severed and suture was also nearly impossible.
There were lots of plastic holds and bandages on my neck and others… it was a sight to behold. I was later transferred to the ward.
It will interest you to know that while I was there in the ward, God appeared to me on two different occasions and said: “I am the Lord, your God. I have a task which you must accomplish.” After four days in the ward, all the pipes on me were removed by God knows who. Yes, my eyes were open but I could not see. It is needless to say that I could not talk. How and when the pipes were removed, I did not know. I kept hearing a voice telling me: “Am I not your God?” Amid that voice, the plastic and other things on my head were removed. When the nurses and others saw what had happened, there was commotion. They were asking who removed the things. They thought I had died and were confused.
When Dr Daniel arrived, he saw what had happened and exclaimed that he had never seen such a thing before. Eventually, they took me back to the theatre. He tried to replace the pipes and so on.
So, were there arrests after you came back to life?
When the news spread that I had resurrected, one of the persons that killed me committed suicide. The man’s was known as Olumide Timilehin. Lukman Osunbiyi ran away. I was told I could not procreate because my genitals had been severed. Secondly, the doctors also said that my brain was gone and that I would just be kept in a place and be fed and that I would not speak. I was passed as vegetable. It was such a difficult period. But God had some other plans.
One day, as our pastor was walking towards me and I just called out his name… I mean Pastor Oke, who was our pastor then at Christ Freedom Evangelical Ministry. That was the day I regained my voice and began to talk again. It was a great day of joy. In fact, when my mother heard what had happened, she walked to Ikeja, almost naked, to see for herself. Even after that incident, I still remained rooted to a spot, immobile.
While there, I kept hearing the police and the people talk about Lukman. The police asked me if I knew where he lived and I said I knew the place in Mushin. They asked if I could see and I said yes, just put me in the vehicle. When we got to Lukman’s residence at Mushin, we were directed to where he was at play. When we arrived at the place, they crosschecked his face with that in the photograph they had and saw that it was him truly. He attempted to jump over the fence but he was arrested by the policemen and my family members.
They accused him of murder and the matter was taken to court. It was during the hearings in court that Lukman revealed how they came about committing the murder. He spilled the beans, and revealed those who paid them to kill me. He said it was my half-brothers that paid him and Olumide to kill me in my room. There also, one of my brothers admitted that they agreed among themselves, and with Lukman, to just waste me.
Was Lukman jailed or what?
Towards the end of the matter, pointers were that Lukman and others could be sentenced to death as that was the submission of the state which was prosecuting the case. On one of the hearing days, I raised my hand and requested to speak. When I was given the opportunity, I asked that the matter be left for God to judge. I said I wouldn’t want to see them killed by the cause of this case. At some point in the matter, members of the family of Lukman came to my family and offered me N2million then, begging me to forgive their son and spare his life. They came through my relations and expressed disappointment in their son and brother. They were sorry and wanted to compensate me, but I said I did not need the money. I told them that it was God that brought me back to life and I therefore leave everything to Him.