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Yeni Kuti recounts near-death armed robbery ordeal

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ON Thursday, May 3, 2012, Yeni Kuti, first daughter of late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was robbed at gun point.  The incident occurred at Ojodu area of Lagos when the mother of one was going home from the place of leisure, The New Afrikan Shrine, Agidingbi, Lagos.

She was in a convoy with her younger brother, Femi, who just finished his weekly rehearsal at the fun spot.  According to Yeni, who rode that night in her silver Hyundai iX35 with registration number YK 1 PWR, it was an experience she would never forget in a hurry.

“It was few minutes to 12 midnight, we were returning home from Shrine after Femi’s rehearsal.  Femi’s jeep was ahead of me.  Suddenly, I saw a car obstruct my movement. At first, I never knew they were armed bandits and because my car was not locked they opened and forced me out but I fought them.  It was a serious fight. My dress that night was even stained with my own blood.  I bit one of them.   Before Femi and others in our convoy arrived at the scene, they had gone with my car and my other personal effects.”

Though the vehicle had been recovered, Yeni Kuti’s bag that contained cash, her ATM card and her dog (Masha), is still missing as she recounted the near death experience. “They would have shot me because they were carrying guns. In fact, at the time they drove off the scene, they shot several times in the air.  It’s only God that saved me.  I now believe God is with me.”

And how was the car recovered?  “We reported at the Ojodu Police Station, where they gave us their men and vehicle.  We moved around the streets searching for the vehicle, at the same time I was calling the vehicle tracker who helped us trace it to Ebute Metta, Lagos. He called me around 4 a.m that the car was parked somewhere in Ebute Metta, Lagos.  I and Femi, supported by a team of well wishers, the Nigeria Police and the Shrine police headed for the place.  We found the car near the Ebute Metta police post.

“At first, we were afraid to come near the vehicle but we summoned courage to search around.  My bag and my dog were still missing as I speak.”

According to YK Power, as she is fondly called, the pet was a gift on her 50th birthday in 2011.  “Masha was given to me last year, I am still hoping to locate it.  I will also gladly financially compensate anybody who can assist in that regard.”

Meanwhile, Yeni who will be 51 on Thursday, May 24, 2012, is planning a quiet birthday celebration.  “Unlike last year, I am having a low key birthday celebration. I plan to travel abroad with my closest friend.  So, I will not be around during that period, but I will be back for Femi’s birthday in June.”

  • This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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  • Baboo1

    They were not just ordinary robbers but organised vagabonds who planned for Yeni because normal robbers would not attack Fela’s kids. They love his music too much!!!

    It was an attack from home. Easy to guess who at the time due to family fights.