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Mob action as kidnappers overrun our cities

Posted by By ABDULFATAH OLADEINDE, OLA AGBAJE, Lagos, MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta on 2005/10/19 | Views: 304 |

Mob action as kidnappers overrun our cities


Two men were Tuesday lynched in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Tuesday as mob action against suspects who allegedly kidnap human beings for money-making ritual escalates.

Two men were Tuesday lynched in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Tuesday as mob action against suspects who allegedly kidnap human beings for money-making ritual escalates.

Money-making ritualists were alleged to have let kidnappers on the loose shortly before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the new N1,000 currency note into circulation.

No fewer than 10 suspected kidnappers have been burnt alive in Lagos and the neighbouring Ogun State since October 9 when the citizens got enraged with the discovery of a camp at Dalemo area of Sango on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, where ritual victims were allegedly being held and killed.

Two persons were arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Tuesday for attempting to kidnap an unknown child. One of them, Sheriff Shagari, had narrowly escaped being lynched by a mob in Oke-Odo, on the outskirts of Lagos on Monday. Two others were not so lucky.
An eye-witness in the Abeokuta incident told Daily Sun that the lynched men allegedly kidnapped and turned six school children into tubers of yam before being caught and set ablaze.
The men were said to have been robed in white garments with charms allegedly concealed underneath before they met their waterloo.

When Daily Sun visited the scene of the incident, the men had been burnt beyond recognition at Saabo junction, a surburb of the state capital.

A suspect who narrowly escaped being lynched by the irate mob has been handed over to the Divisional Police Headquarters, Lafenwa area of the ancient town with the yams said to have been cut into pieces.
Reacting to what he described as barbaric incident, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olufemi Awoyale warned members of the public to desist from taking the law into their hands.

According to him, his command would not tolerate "jungle justice," stressing that the law of the land presumed a suspect innocent until otherwise proved by a competent court of law.
Awoyale, said that a co-ordinator of a vigilance group in the area who he declined to name had reported that certain kidnappers had been arrested, but lamented that the suspects had been burnt to ashes before police got to the scene.

He queried: "How do they establish whether or not the burnt people were culpable as proclaimed. How do we investigate? How do we know who sent them? How are we sure they were not innocent people? We are not in a sate of anarchy. We should not take law into our hands."

The PPRO who expressed displeasure at the incident and the burning of the suspects said:" By killing them, you destroy evidence. Who are we to charge to court? The killing might have been instigated by people who had problems with the suspects."

In the Lagos incident, the charge preferred against Sheriff Shagari a.k.a Femi, in court was that he allegedly attempted to kidnap an unknown child at Ile-Epo bus stop along Abeokuta Expressway.
The offence, according to the Prosecutor, Inspector Bartholomew Nwanokoye is punishable under Sections 509 and 364 of the Criminal Code Cap. 17 Vol. II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.
However before answering not guilty to the charge, Shagari made some remarks that cast doubt over his mental fitness. Asked by the court Registrar whether he wanted his case to be tried in the magistrate court or High Court, he answered in Yoruba "Ah, moto baba kan bayi ni a ntunse"( It is one old man’s vehicle that we were repairing).

However, when confronted with the child kidnapping allegation, Shagari replied ‘Mi o ji nkan kan gbe O (I did not steal anything).
He was subsequently granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in the same amount. The two sureties, according to the trial magistrate, Mrs O. J. Awoke, must be responsible citizens. Trial was fixed for November 23, 2005.

In a related development, a woman, Salamotu Ahmed was also arraigned for attempted child kidnapping.

The woman, however, maintained her innocence, pleading not guilty to the charge preferred against her. She was also granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties while trial was fixed for November 23, 2005.

Television viewers were horrified on Monday when a Lagos-based private television showed an 11-year-old boy being set ablaze by an irate mob for allegedly attempting to kidnap a child in the Surulere area of Lagos.

The boy was burnt to death in front of the National Stadium in Lagos despite his cry of being innocent.
Reacting to the development, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Ade Ajakaiye said the mob’s action was unlawful, vowing that culprits would be fished out and punished.

Also in Lagos on Tuesday, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero expressed worry about the rising wave of mob action against suspected ritualists.
Ehindero promised to set up a committee to look into the matter.

Mr Akin Adetayo, a civil servant told Daily Sun: "People can’t take this anymore. They are prepared to stop this barbaric practice of using human beings for ritual. It just has to stop. We are all looking for money. Why must some people decide that it is through killing of their fellow beings that they will get rich? All of us want to spend the new N1,000. Why must some people decide it’s a human being like them they’ll use to get their own money? It’s callous."

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.