Several policemen were today battling for life in Lagos after a mob attack as they tried to rescue a suspected kidnapper that was about to be lynched.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, officers have arrested some suspects in connection with the attack today.
Owoseni disclosed that several policemen suffered life threatening injuries while patrol vehicles were also destroyed by the mob trying to prevent the police from rescuing the suspect.
The statement from the police warned the public against mob actions or jungle justice. Owoseni stated that his men would henceforth deal decisively with any such occurrence.
The statement revealed that a mob apprehended a suspect in an undisclosed area of the state and attempted to lynch him over kidnapping allegations.
The man, who appeared to be mentally challenged, was found with a sophisticated mobile phone leading the mob to conclude he must be a disguised member of a kidnap syndicate, the police statement says.
Today’s incident made it the third time this week that the public would stumble on suspected kidnapper’s hideout in Lagos.
Two suspected den of ritual killers were discovered along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway on Tuesday and Thursday.
Yesterday’s discovery was made at Ile-Zik, Ikeja while the earlier one was a dungeon in Abule Egba end of the expressway. Two suspects were burnt by a mob in the Tuesday incident.
The statement by the police boss says: “In the past few days, the Lagos State Police Command has recorded some incidents of jungle justice across the State.
“Recent cases are: The incident of 8th August, 2017 at Ajala Bus-Stop, Ijaiye-Ojokoro where two (2) persons suspected to be Kidnappers/Ritualists were completely burnt, while some buildings were vandalized.
“The incident of 10th August, 2017 at Ile-Zik Bus Stop, along Old Abeokuta Road, where mob attempted to carry out jungle justice on some destitutes, suspected to be Ritualists/Kidnappers. This was prevented by quick intervention of the Police and Sister Security Agencies.
“The incident of 11th August, 2017, where a destitute who appeared to be mentally deranged was set ablaze by mob on the allegation that he possessed a telephone.
“It is necessary to mention that in the course of the disdainful acts, vital evidence are destroyed. In addition, in the course of discharging its Constitutional responsibilities and prevent the barbaric act, Police officers suffered life threatening injuries, while stones were hurled at them as well as Police Patrol Vans. However, a number of arrests were made in this regard.
“The foregoing has made it imperative that the general public be reminded of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended which states thus: ‘It shall be the duty of every citizen to respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of others and live in unity and harmony and in the spirit of common brotherhood’
“There is no justification for jungle justice on suspected persons. It is barbaric and uncivilized. It is a manifestation of the erosion of our moral values and a disregard to sanctity of human lives. It violates the rule of law and dents the image of the State. Above all, it is a violation of the law, and all those arrested in connection with the aforementioned cases will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The General public is advised to report any suspicious happening in their areas to the Police and other Security Agencies. The public is assured of the renewed commitment of the Police and other Security Agencies to prompt response to such reports. The public is also assured of renewed synergy amongst the institutions saddled with criminal justice administration towards ensuring quick dispensation of justice.
“The general public is therefore, strongly advised to desist from this unlawful and barbaric act. No effort will be spared in ensuring that lawful means are used to bring to justice, anyone who violates the law, please.”