If there are people who have been through the valley of the shadow of death, Actor Charles Okocha is one of them. Known for his mastery interpretation of roles in movies, Okocha could have been ‘six feet’ down by now if not for the grace of God.
Late in December 2015 the actor was accidentally hit by bullets from the gun of a mobile policeman while he was at a function in Nnewi, Anambra State.
News of the incident spread like wildfire with reports even suggesting the “bad boy” actor was dead.
But in an exclusive chat with Saturday Beats, Okocha recalled events leading to the tragedy and how doctors battled to save his life. Apart from the five bullets that were removed from his body, a relapse on the day he was supposed to have been discharged shows how much of a miracle his survival remains. What actually happened? “I stepped out of the wedding venue to receive a call and then walked into a bunch of fans that made some complimentary remarks. As I moved closer to acknowledge their love for me, a policeman who was around also walked to where we were standing and said that my movies always made him happy. He said as a mark of appreciation of my works and the respect he had for me, he would shoot into the air as a form of salute, even though I didn’t fancy the idea.
“The guy (policeman) was very drunk and so when he corked his gun to shoot, it fell from his hand. Sadly, the gun had been programmed to shoot rapidly and sporadically. I was very close to him and before the gun dropped some bullets had hit me. I had to hold my intestine which was already out with my hands. It was a very horrifying experience. I did not get to the hospital till after an hour even with the way I was bleeding profusely.
“At the hospital, doctors brought out five bullets from my body. There was a bullet that was removed from my leg and I bless God that the bullet did not hit my bone because it could have been crippled. Three major surgeries have left me performed on me so far.
“Last week, after the stitches had been removed and I was due for discharge, my stomach suddenly burst open again, exposing all of my intestines. I was quickly rushed back into the theatre and I’ve been in the hospital ever since. It is a miracle that I am still alive.”