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Police: men mobbed in Lagos in mistaken identity
The Lagos State Police Command has warned the residents against jungle justice. This followed a mob attack on two suspected to be ritualists at Lawanson, Mushin, last Thursday around 1 p.m.
In a video that went viral on the social media, the mob accused a man, Joseph Agugom, of trying to use his wife, Justina Emmanuel of 10 Bishop Okogie Street, Ago, Palace Way in Isolo, Lagos, and her one and a half-year-old daughter, Munachisom, for rituals. They were allegedly acting on the alarm raised by Justina, who is said to be mentally-ill, that her husband wanted to use her and her daughter for ritual.
Justina was said to have told the crowd that her husband had used their two other children for rituals. The mob descended on Joseph and Paul Agugom, inflicting injuries on their bodies.
The two men were rescued by the Anti-Crime patrol team led, by the Itire Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Odey Ogah, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).
The police recovered a Honda CRV with registration number (Lagos) FST587BU, one LG handset, one iPhone, one bag containing two flasks, three pieces of rope, one black para-military belt and a green beret.
Police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said preliminary investigation revealed that the woman is suffering from mental illness and that she was being taken to the hospital when she raised the alarm and some peopleblic stopped the car and descended on the men. Elkana said: “Members of the suspects’ and victims’ families came to the police station and made statements to the effect that the victim is suffering from mental illness and was actually being transported to a hospital.
“The other two children of the victim with her husband were brought to the station, contrary to the allegations of the victim that they were killed by the husband for money ritual. The victim (woman) was taken to the hospital by the police for medical examination.” The spokesman said command had launched a manhunt for those who mobbed the two men to bring them to justice.
“Members of the public are strongly advised to be more careful not to jump into conclusion on the alarm raised by anybody. Innocent persons have suffered death or bodily harm and inhuman treatment through jungle justice.
“Members of the public have the powers to arrest anybody suspected to have committed a crime but the law provides that such persons arrested should be handed over to the police immediately.
“It is only investigating police officers that can determine the truthfulness or otherwise of the allegations. And our laws presume the accused person to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction,” he said.