mob attack

Mob attacks claim 18 in one year–Report

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About 18 persons have died in 24 mob attacks across Nigeria in the past one year, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.

The incidents, which occurred between September 2021 and September 2022, involved largely motorcyclists and others related to religious violence.

Four cases were recorded in Abuja; Lagos, five; Ibadan, four; Bauchi, three; Anambra, three; Sokoto, two, while Abia, Ogun, Kogi had one reported case each.

On November 24, 2021, two persons were set ablaze by a mob along Sango-Eleyele road in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, over alleged hijacking of motorcycles.

The incident occurred barely two weeks after a mob of motorcyclists descended on some revenue collectors at Queen Cinema, Dugbe, for allegedly killing a commercial motorcyclist over his refusal to purchase a N100 daily ticket.

Religious violence ensured in Sokoto State on May 11, 2022, when some angry students of Shehu Shagari College of Education, killed their colleague, Deborah Emmanuel, for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Structures, including religious buildings and shops were looted and houses razed by a mob following the incident.

Barely a week after, another religion-motivated mob action erupted in Katangan in the Warji Local Government Area of Bauchi State, leaving a pastor injured and many houses burnt by some angry youths over alleged blasphemy.

It was reported that the crisis started when some people circulated a message on social media that a Christian girl in the town allegedly blasphemed Islam.

In Lagos, on May 12, commercial motorcyclists lynched a sound engineer, David Imoh, in the Lekki axis while his friends sustained varying degrees of injury in argument over N100 change.

Similarly, a mob attack reportedly led to the death of eight people on  May 18 after a clash ensued between traders and commercial motorcyclists at the Dei-Dei Market area of Abuja. Several shops were reportedly razed during the fracas.

Again in Abuja on June 4, a  30-year-old man, Ahmad Usman, who had a quarrel with a Muslim cleric was reportedly lynched by about 200 people.

Also on June 12, in Bauchi, a mob set ablaze a suspected motorcycle thief in Chinade town in the Katagum Local Government Area of the state.

Few days after, two boys were nabbed and tortured along the New Ife Expressway, Ibadan, Oyo State after they allegedly stole a motorcycle from Osun.

In the same vein, two suspected thieves were set ablaze by some mob around Ijokodo, along the Sango-Eleyele expressway in Ibadan, for allegedly snatching a motorcycle on June 23.

On July 21, a middle-aged man was beaten, killed and burnt by a mob along Eleyele-Poly Road in Ibadan for allegedly snatching a motorbike. He was apprehended after the owner raised the alarm.

Some security agents government officials and athletes were also victims of mob attacks.

On September 9, 2021, a mob attacked fire-fighters at the Felele area of Lokoja, Kogi State.

Similarly some policemen in Lagos and LASTMA officials, who were trying to intervene in a mob action, were reportedly attacked at Ogba area on December 7, 2021.

Some people razed two vehicles belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service following the death of four persons in a road accident involving three commercial vehicles in Sokoto State.

In Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, a mob attacked some officials of the Delta State Traffic Management Authority on February 16, 2022.

In a related development, three suspected armed robbers escaped being lynched on March 8.

On March 12, a woman narrowly escaped death from mob after she was accused of killing her husband with “overdose of sex.’’

On June 9, a mob burnt 25 commercial motorcycles after an okada rider knocked down some pedestrians to death along the Jakande Estate/Isheri Road in Lagos. The mob descended on the rider, and nearly lynched him before the police came to his rescue.

A 53-year-old woman was on June 16, stoned and stripped naked in the Mushin area of Lagos State after a baby allegedly disappeared.

She was, however, saved from being lynched by the state police command.

A security expert, Nnamdi Anekwe-chive, said mob attacks were the result of people’s lack of confidence in the justice system.

He said, “The mob attack is as a result of frustration. People do not have trust in the justice system. When people feel that those who are alleged criminals are released and that they are not going to be tried and convicted in the court, they feel that the best way which is not the right approach is to take out their frustration and anger on the said individual.

“The only way mob attack can be curtailed is when the justice system is reformed and act of criminalities are punished and people have confidence in the justice system, we will now have the confidence that if criminality does take place, there will be consequences.’’

On his part, lawyer, Malachy Ugwummadu, described mob attack as a criminal offence, adding that anyone who engaged in jungle justice should be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.

Citing Section 36, sub-section 1 of the 1999 Constitution, he said, “Anyone who you is alleged to have committed a crime, as bad as it may seems in your heart, for the safety of society and the sanctity of the life that is about to be taken, you must take him to court where the defender is given an opportunity to defend himself.’’

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, warned the public to desist from jungle justice and allow any allegation to be handled by the police.

He added that anyone caught in the act would be persecuted in accordance with the law.


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