• Again, CP Warns Against Jungle Justice
Angry mob yesterday stormed a den of suspected ritualists at Ile-Zik area of the old Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in Lagos State, in search of members of alleged killer gang.
At the end of the search, which, according to sources, started around 7:00a.m., two suspects were set ablaze.
Sources said the victims were lynched on the suspicion that they were members of a ritualist gang operating in the place and selling human parts to highly placed persons in the society.
Armed mobile policemen from the Lagos State Command Headquarters and operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) have since been drafted to the area to ensure that normalcy was restored to the area.
Pandemonium broke out on Thursday morning when news of the alleged discovery of yet another ritualist tunnel at Ile Zik Bus-Stop spread round the metropolis like wild fire.
The tunnel, which was uncovered by residents of the area, according to witnesses, was inhabited by some persons of questionable character.
Following the shocking discovery on Thursday, angry residents, armed with dangerous weapons, trooped to the area yesterday in search of more members of the gang.
Although the Lagos State Police Command had earlier dismissed the claim of the discovery another ritualists den at the spot, saying those found residing in the secluded area were destitutes, witnesses alleged that they saw some human parts among items recovered from the area by the Police.
The crowd, spoiling for the blood of the two suspects found inside the den by the Police and the alleged recovery of human parts on Thursday, yesterday set plans in motion to lynch anybody found hiding in the place.
It was gathered that based on this suspicion, some hoodlums had converged at the scene as early as 7:00am in search of the remaining members of the gang.
The group, numbering over 20, stormed the place and was said to have discovered some people still living inside the hideout.
An eyewitness said: “Two persons who were found to be sleeping in the area were dragged out and set on fire before the Police arrived.
In an attempt to rescue the suspects, Policemen from RRS fired canisters of tear gas into the air to disperse the crowd. The remains of the suspects have been removed by the Police.
The eyewitness said the hoodlums were reacting to last Wednesday’s discovery of another tunnel where ritualists hide to perpetuate their evil acts at Obadeyi Bus-Stop in Ijaiye area of the state.
The news, which first made the rounds on the social media, had claimed that the scene at Ile-Zik was the hideout of ritualists and had two suspects hiding inside.
The news also claimed that the two suspects arrested by the Police on Thursday were in possession of an iPhone, even though they looked sane until residents accosted them and they began to act like mentally deranged persons.
Immediately the news of the lynching of the two persons broke out, the Commander of RRS, Tunji Disu, and other Police officers stormed the area, with a view to rescuing the suspects.
They arrived late, as they watched the charred remains of the deceased lying by the roadside, but their prompt response restored normalcy in the area.
A mammoth crowd had gathered around the Expressway to catch a glimpse of the bodies of the deceased, thereby hindering smooth vehicular movement.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, while reacting to the lynching of the suspects, said the Command had in the past few days, recorded incidents of jungle justice across the state and in the course of discharging its constitutional responsibilities and preventing the barbaric act, Police officers were fatally wounded, while stones were hurled at them, as well as the Police patrol vans.
Owoseni said: “There is no justification for jungle justice on suspected persons. It is barbaric and uncivilised. 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 public is advised to report any suspicious happenings 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 Police boss warned the public to desist from this unlawful and barbaric act, as no effort would be spared in ensuring that lawful means are used to bring to justice to anyone who violates the law.